Gayle Parker, Pastor
Gayle Parker is crazy (in a good way) about her husband, Tom, and their three wonderful sons, three wonderful daughters-in-law, and four wonderful grandchildren. She loves to cook (and to eat), to hang out with people, to read, and is remarkably good at playing Words With Friends.
She loves the Lord of the Church, Jesus Christ, and she loves the people of The Spring and is enthusiastic and passionate about the mission – connecting those who are not connected to Christ, to our church community, and to Christ’s mission in the world.
Many years ago Gayle earned an MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary. An ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church, before serving at The Spring, Gayle served for 14 years as senior pastor of Historic First Presbyterian in inner-city Phoenix.
In addition to her work as a pastor, for many years, Gayle enjoyed being an adjunct professor at Fuller Seminary Arizona, where she taught in the area of preaching, and she also spent many rewarding years serving on the Board of Trustees at Whitworth University in Spokane, WA.
She considers herself blessed in more ways than she can count – but especially blessed to belong to the Lord, blessed to be dearly loved by an awesome family, and blessed to be able to use her gifts alongside others in Christ’s amazing body to advance the mission of the Kingdom of God.
Tom Parker, Pastor
Tom Parker considers himself fortunate to know the love of God through His Son Jesus Christ. He is trying to respond to that love with his life. In profound ways, he also experiences that love through the love of his wife, Gayle, his children, Luke & Jes, Ben & Sharon, and Zach & Christine, and his grandchildren. Tom loves being part of The Spring and is a big fan of the Mission – going deeper into Christ, into Community, and into the World. He is grateful for our times of worship and study, the friendships forming in the community, and he considers it a privilege to learn to do justice and mercy together with the other members of The Spring.
Tom, Gayle and seven others planted the Spring in August 16, 2009.
Tom served as the Director of Fuller Theological Seminary Arizona from 1988 to 2018, where he taught classes in Biblical Interpretation, Old Testament, Biblical Hebrew, and Biblical Greek. (Clearly the life of a party.)
Tom is a graduate of the University of Sheffield, England (M.Phil.), Princeton Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and the University of Arizona (B.A.). He is an ordained Pastor in the Presbyterian Church.
Tom loves it that Gayle loves to cook. He is happy to enjoy the food, the company, and the wine. His hobbies are reading and running, and he enjoys watching well-written comedy.
Tracy Ann Battaglia, Media & Communications
Tracy Ann is a wife, mother, and an entrepreneur & educator. The Battaglia’s had their greatest adventure yet by escaping the frozen wasteland of rural Illinois to embrace the blossoming desert of Tempe, Arizona.
Since graduation with a degree in photography from Illinois State University in 2006, she has been a full-time wedding, editorial, lifestyle, and fine art photographer. She teaches entrepreneurship workshops, photography mentorship programs, and specialized or generic photography courses at the Desert Botanical Gardens.
Things that make her come alive are adventures of all kinds; cooking, calligraphy, hiking the desert with her family, traveling to the beach, the forest, or the desert, and simply hanging out her garden backyard. She is a complete nerd about Harry Potter, superheroes, and reading young adult fiction.
Tracy Ann is excited to be on staff, to give life and beauty to all we do at the Spring. If you have graphic design or decorating experience please catch her after service, if you want to volunteer to create slides and content for our website! She is always taking names and submissions.
Joe Surin, Children’s Ministry
Joe is originally from the Midwest and grew up in the Chicago area. In his twenties, he moved to Arizona. He has been involved in Children’s Ministry at various churches in different capacities. He first believed and trusted in Christ at a young age, through the Children’s Ministry at the church where he grew up. Joe believes in making Children’s Ministry the best hour of a child’s week, doing this in the safest and healthy environment imaginable.
After graduating from Wheaton Academy, he has received degrees from Taylor University, Bethany Seminary, and Gordon-Conwell in Massachusetts. In addition to desert hikes, he enjoys reading and spending time with family.
Joe and his wife Debbie have been married for 17 years. They live in Tempe with their two boys, Peter, age 15, and Matthew, age 12, along with their dog Pepper.
Mat Weddle, Director Of Music
Hi! My name is Mat. I’m excited to come on staff and be a part of the community at The Spring! My son Owen just turned seven. I grew up in the church and I started leading worship and playing music in my high school youth group. Since then I’ve either worked for churches or as a gigging musician and sometimes both at the same time. Right now I gig full time, read a lot of fiction and history, go on bike rides with my son, and try to learn to cook Paleo. My dream vacation is to one day visit the Mushroom Kingdom on the Millennium Falcon with Steve Nash.