Our Staff

We take God and our calling more seriously than we take ourselves.
Feel free to call or drop in–we’d love to get to know you personally.

A Little About Us

Paige Bates
Family Life Minister
Paige and her husband Evan have two grown children. Their oldest, Samuel, lives with his wife, Brooke, in Starkville, MS, and their youngest, Rebekah, is a student at Mississippi State University. 
As the Family Life Minister Paige oversees all ministry areas and helps with new ministry development. She also oversees our New Member process and connects our CrossBridge members with areas where they can use their gifts to serve and to opportunities for spiritual growth.
Paige is passionate about ministry and  feels it is a great honor and privilege to have the opportunity to love and lead the CrossBridge Family.
"It is my desire for each member of our CrossBridge family to find meaningful connections, opportunities to grow spiritually, and places where they can use their gifts to serve both inside and outside of the church."
(205) 991-1978
Garry Brantley
Lead Minister
Garry has a passion to present God’s good news in a meaningful way to those who hear. He holds the B.A., M.A., and M.Div. degrees from Southern Christian University with emphases in Old Testament Theology and biblical languages. In 2000, Garry completed the Doctor of Ministry degree from Columbia Theological Seminary, writing a dissertation addressing the subject of biblical hermeneutics.
Prior to planting the CrossBridge Church in 1998, Garry served a variety of churches in Georgia and Alabama, and also worked for several years in the specialized ministry of Apologetics. He has written extensively in the area of biblical interpretation, Christian evidences, and postmodernism. Garry is the author of a book, Digging For Answers, Has Archeology Disproved The Bible? (1995). He also currently serves as an adjunct professor at Faulkner University where he teaches theology, sociology, and Christian ethics courses. Additionally, he teaches Hebrew at the Hebraic Institute in Birmingham.
Garry and his wife, Carol, have been married for 40 years. They have four children, Amber, Allen (married to their wonderful daughter-in-law, Kim Lancaster), Zach (married to their other, wonderful daughter-in-law, Jordan Linder)  and Miranda. They currently are blessed with three grandsons, Hunter (13 yrs), Gideon (3 yrs), and Hughston (2 yrs).  In Garry’s own words, “they have filled our home and touched our hearts with the joy of heaven.” Garry’s personal goals are to seek after God to be the husband, father, and minister God has called him to be.
Zach Brantley
Associate Minister/Worship Director
Zach grew up here in Hoover, AL. He attended Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN where he completed a B.A. in Theology and Ministry in 2013 and a Masters of Divinity in 2018. In 2014 he spent 11 months in Brisbane, Australia serving with local churches and schools and has many cherished relationships there.
Zach met his incredible wife, Jordan, here in Birmingham and they have a precious boy named Hughston and are expecting their second child in September 2023.  They live in Pelham, AL.
Zach enjoys God and loves the church. He enjoys hanging out with his wife, son and friends, discussing theology and books, singing and picking the guitar with friends, coffee, cooking and hanging out around a campfire.
Dana Hillin
Office Administrator
Dana joined the CrossBridge Staff April 2019. She was employed at Faulkner University and Behavioral Health Systems prior to joining the church staff.
“I feel very blessed to be a part of this wonderful team. I have been a member of CrossBridge since 1999 and love my church family. Going to work feels like being at home. My goal and passion is to be a support to our ministry staff to do the most important work in serving with the church family to be the hands and feet of Jesus.“
Dana was born and raised in the Midwest. After high school she attended Harding University and has been in the south ever since.
Dana was blessed to be a stay-at-home mom for many years and has two daughters Hannah (married to her sweetheart Robert) and Sarah, all are graduates of Harding University, plus a grand dog, Bernie.  She loves to spend time with her friends and family, playing games, going to the movies, painting, hiking and traveling.
Noah Merritt
Youth Minister
"The Church has played a huge role in my life. God’s assembled children have been my community and my home since I was a child. My parents embedded a deep appreciation for the church and a desire to serve its members in the hearts of my three younger siblings and me. Those roots began to produce fruit when I started to discern a calling to vocational ministry when I was about thirteen years old. My youth minister created some opportunities for me to teach my peers and step into leadership roles in a church setting. In those moments, I experienced God’s presence in overwhelming and undeniable ways. I felt God slowly begin to fill me with a passion to pastor His Church.
I followed this calling to Lipscomb University, where I was able to cultivate my own unique relationship with God.
Today, I am seeking to put my faith (and my degree) to work  by investing into the students here at Crossbridge.  I am seeking to be a channel through which God’s love, truth, wisdom, peace, and joy can impact the lives of His beloved children. Specifically, I hope to be an avenue through which God can move to enable middle and high school students to find their sense of identity and purpose in Him."
Noah grew up just outside of Nashville, TN and has a degree in Theology and Ministry with minors in Spanish and Biblical Greek. He and his wife, Selin, began serving at CrossBridge in February 2020. He enjoys disc golf, reading, ultimate frisbee, board games, and sitcoms.
Emilee Orr
Elementary Children's Minister
Emilee Orr is originally from Montgomery and has been living in Birmingham since 2011. She graduated from Samford University in 2015 with a bachelor's degree in Religion and Sociology.  She accepted Christ at the age of 8 while talking with her father and eating ice cream one night after a church service.  God has taught her many lessons about faithfulness, love, grace, and discipleship throughout her life.
She spent 8 years working in Community Life Ministry running children's camps and community outreach programs.  She's also taught preschool for 3 years. She is passionate about the local Church and how programs and outreach can help us live day to day with Christ.  She loves kids and all the wisdom and joy they bring to the world.
She loves all things creative, artistic, and active, and also loves hanging out at home with her husband, John, their dog, Finn, and watching some good TV or a movie.
Lisa Craven
Early Childhood Minister
Meet “Miss Lisa.” 
“I have connected with children all of my life. Being one of six, there were always children around and I often wanted to be their Mommy. My youngest brother remembers me studying the subject of parenting/children throughout my youth! I guess you could say children are my passion in this life.”
She is a life-long learner and an Honor Graduate of JSCC.  She has many years of experience providing and advocating for children, and those more advanced in years. She currently serves as a volunteer in the community, delivering for Meals on Wheels to our neighbors in Shelby County. After a three-and-a-half year break, Lisa has restarted her journey with CrossBridge Kids, now serving as Early Childhood Minister. She is working with children aged four months up to kindergarten, parents/guardians, caregivers and teachers.
Lisa also enjoys traveling and experiencing different cultures. It was when she first traveled to Honduras with Mission Lazarus that Lisa began a desire to continue traveling with the purpose of helping others, where they are. “Our spoken languages are different but the games we play, the giggles we share, and all of the sweet hugs are a universal language. In 2019, I traveled to Ethiopia with the organization Hawassa Hope, and met our sponsor-child. Praying over Andu and her mom was something I did not feel worthy to do, but the Spirit of God spoke for me. Even with our language barrier, it was so intimate. I simply cannot begin to explain my heart. I often hope for God’s guidance back to Africa.”
Lisa and her husband, Darrell, have celebrated 40 years of marriage. They are charter members of CrossBridge Church of Christ, where they raised their three children. They have two daughters-in-law, one god-son and one grandson.
“It is rejuvenating to be in CBK again. I am grateful to God and for Leaders who have entrusted me to do this work. Please continue praying that my heart is aligned with God’s in all things and at all times.”

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