The Spring

Connecting people to Christ, to our church community, and to God's mission in the world.


Gayle Parker, Pastor


Gayle Parker is crazy (in a good way) about her husband, Tom, and their three wonderful sons and three wonderful daughters-in-law. 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 a 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 two established churches in the Phoenix area – as an associate pastor at Scottsdale Presbyterian and for 14 years as senior pastor of Historic First Presbyterian in inner-city Phoenix.

In addition to being a pastor, when she has time, Gayle serves as an adjunct professor at Fuller Seminary Arizona, where she teaches in the area of preaching.

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. In profound ways, he also experiences that love through the love of his wife, Gayle, and his children, Luke + Jes, Ben + Sharon, and Zach + Christine. He is trying to respond to that love with his life. 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.

In addition to pastoring at The Spring, Tom has served as the Director of Fuller Theological Seminary Southwest since 1988, where he also teaches classes in 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 enjoys watching well-written comedy.

Travis Kingma, Director of Community Life




Travis Kingma hails from West Michigan, digs east coast pizza, and is down to play Ping-Pong most anytime.  Along with spending time with his incredible wife Samantha, his free time mostly consists of writing music, mountain biking, board sports, and going on spontaneous adventures.

Travis is a graduate of Fuller Seminary (M.Div.) in Pasadena, California and Hope College (B.A.) in Holland, Michigan.

Travis is deeply honored to be a part of the staff at the Spring Church and is eager to use his God given gifts to serve as a witness to the Gospel.  In the role of Director of Community Life, Travis is excited to help folks find their place at The Spring, get connected through small groups, service opportunities, and outreach events.  He has a passion for reaching and serving people in the margins through the unfailing love of God revealed in Jesus Christ.


Chris Elliott, Audio Technician




Chris Elliott is a well rounded musician with experience in many different corners of the music industry including performance, recording, live sound, and composition. He graduated in 2007 from Mesa Community College with an Associates Degree in Audio Production Technology.

Chris has been involved with music since a very young age. He started singing in the children’s choir at his family’s church in Atlanta Georgia, then upon moving to Arizona he played Alto Saxophone in the school band through middle school and high school. Since then he has been involved with many different musical groups and activities of many different styles. Currently he is a member of two performing bands and is a live sound technician at a few local venues as well as holding the Audio Technician position at The Spring Church. Chris was also involved with Young Life as both a student and leader throughout his high school and college career.


Tracy Battaglia, Media & Communications


Tracy is a small farm town girl from the middle of no-where Illinois. She is a wife and a mother. The Battaglia’s had their greatest adventure yet by escaping the frozen wasteland of Normal Illinois to embrace the blossoming desert of Tempe, Arizona. 

Tracy graduated with a degree in photography from Illinois State University in 2006 and she has been a full time wedding, lifestyle, and fine art photographer since. She also teaches small business classes and dabbles with graphic and interior/space design. Things that make her come alive are adventure of all kinds; hiking the desert with her family, traveling, festivals, and the beach. She is a nerd about Harry Potter and reading young adult fiction in general. 

Tracy is excited to be on staff, to give life and beauty to all we do at the Spring. 

Joe Surin, Children’s Ministry

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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 most safe 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.