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, Director of 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, Director of Administration

Joe is originally from the Midwest and grew up in the Chicago area.  In his twenties, he moved to Arizona. Joe and his wife Debbie have been married for 21 years.  They have 2 boys; Matthew is age 16 and attends high school in Tempe, and Peter is age 19, and is a first year student at Dartmouth College. 

Jessica St. John, Children’s Ministry Director

Having been both a mother and an aunt for the better part of a decade, Jessica has long had a passion for being influential in the lives of the youth in her midst. 

Jessica has been involved with children’s ministry for over twelve years both as a volunteer and on staff. She has taught nearly every age in Sunday School classes, wrote curriculum for multiple congregations, and worked on the craft team that provided the children’s activities for those congregations.

Jessica was also the Kids Connection Director for a local church and developed the program from the ground up as the church grew. As the program director, Jessica spent her time training, developing staff, and creating curriculum for all church activities outside of the Sunday service.

Jessica considers herself immensely blessed to have a loving husband and four beautiful children. She enjoys spending time with her family as well as cooking, gardening, and being outdoors.