Nancy Powella, Pastor
Like many people, Nancy Powella attended church throughout childhood and into adulthood before she had a real encounter with God. With this encounter in 1982, her life in Christ began; God captured her heart and “loved her” into a life of transformation. Nancy graduated from Logos Bible College in 1984 with a Bachelor of Sacred Literature. She returned to teach in the Bible College for six years, serving concurrently as the director during the last four of those years. In 1991, with the help of her husband Emil, she opened a non-denominational church in Stone Mountain called Gateway Believers Fellowship. Here, she served as a pastor for fifteen years and learned much about the Lord’s love and grace as she ministered to families both in the church and in the community. In 2009, Nancy responded to yet another call -- this time, to pastor Trinity Christian Church in Tucker. Having never regretted saying “yes” to the Lord’s call, Nancy took a step of faith and obedience once more. She now joyfully anticipates seeing more of the Lord’s purpose fulfilled as she walks alongside the families at Trinity, growing in the Lord and endeavoring to hear His voice.
Throughout her ministry, whether teaching in the Bible College or pastoring a church, Nancy has always had a passion to see believers grow in their faith, develop their spiritual gifts, and grow in the character of Christ. She knows that scripture does not proclaim that being a Christian will be pain-free. Rather, she emphasizes that scripture proclaims, “the truth will make you free,” to be who God made you to be (John 8:38). What better plan for your life is there than to become the person that God means for you to be?
Emil Powella, Co-Pastor
If you spend any length of time around Emil Powella, you will discover that he has a handful of truths framed in short, pithy statements that he loves to share with others. One of those phrases is “people need something that is real, that works, now.” This memorable maxim sums up Emil’s outlook on church ministry. He believes that a relationship with Christ should be first and foremost a tangible, practical, and effective component of a Christian’s life and that the local church should help people to develop that type of relationship. In his sermons, teachings and conversations, Emil can often be found encouraging those around him to not only study and learn the truth of God’s Word, but to make it a real part of their everyday lives. “If being in church isn’t working for you in a real way,” Emil often says, “then you might as well go to the country club and play golf.”
Like his outlook on ministry, Emil’s life itself has been a marriage of the practical and the spiritual. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Business from the University of Florida and marrying Nancy in 1968, Emil began a corporate career in sales and marketing that would last for the next thirty-five years. As he wholeheartedly pursued a career in business, Emil encountered the grace and mercy of Christ, which set him on a parallel wholehearted pursuit of God. In 1983, he gave his life to Christ, and shortly after that, he enrolled in River of Life Bible College. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Sacred Literature in 1986 and served as an instructor in the Bible College after graduating.
In 1991, Emil assisted his wife Nancy in opening Gateway Believers Fellowship Church, a nondenominational congregation serving the Lilburn and Stone Mountain communities. Over the next 15 years, while continuing his career in sales and marketing, Emil helped Nancy with the various duties and responsibilities associated with maintaining a small church. In 2004, Emil retired from his corporate job and was able focus on ministry full time. He now works joyfully alongside his wife Nancy as co-pastor of Trinity Christian Church.