meet our LEADERSHIP AND STAFF


  • pASTOR

    GREG FORD

    Greg is the President and Pastor of Echo Ministries and has been leading Echo since January of 2007. Greg’s true passion and calling is to serve and minister to singles by helping them grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ, and to get them connected to an authentic body of believers. Previously, he served on the National Advisory Board of Christian Mingle and as a leader in the Singles Ministry at Northpoint Community Church beginning in 2000. In January of 2007, Greg felt the Lord calling him to launch a new and distinctly different ministry, dedicated specifically to singles, that could minister to them in more unique and fulfilling ways.


    Greg knows firsthand of all the challenges as well as the advantages of being single because he has never been married. Greg currently resides and enjoys living in the Appalachian Mountains of Georgia. He is an avid outdoors-man and loves encouraging others to reach their God-given potential.

    Email: gregford@echoministries.com

  • eLDER

    KARL BERNDT

    Karl has been the Pastor and founder of Calvary Chapel Hiawassee, and is currently the Lead Pastor at Cameron UMC. He is married to his wife Holly and has a daughter Madeline. He graduated from Luther Rice University and Seminary with a BA in Ministry. Over the years, Karl has had a heart for singles and has been a singles leader at Northpoint Community Church prior to becoming a Pastor.

    Email: karl_berndt@yahoo.com

  • ELDER

    AARRON PINA

    Aarron is the President and Executive Director of Seasons of Life Ministries in Alpharetta, Georgia. For many years, he has had a heart for singles and has served in discipling men, and as a leader in the Divorce Care and Singles Ministry at Northpoint Community Church. He is married with four children and currently holds dual membership at both Northpoint and Free Chapel in Gainesville. 

    Email: aarron@seasonsoflifeministries.org

  • ELDER

    WILLIAM ILLG

    William Illg is a Regional Vice President with Primerica Financial Services. He graduated from Brenau University in Gainesville, GA with his Bachelor's Degree in Theatre Performance. William understands all the different aspects of Echo, since he formerly worked as the Next Generation Leader reaching the 20’s & 30’s, and along side Greg as his assistant. He thinks singles ministry is a special type of ministry because singles face a different set of challenges than people who are married. He loved working in his role with Echo and is delighted to be on the Board of Elders to continue to guide this ministry in accordance with God’s will. Before working with Echo, he had the opportunity to lead the "20's singles" for Browns Bridge Community Church in Cumming, GA. William and his wife currently live in Macon, GA and attend Ingleside Baptist Church where they participate in a married small-group.

    Email: williamillg@gmail.com

  • Treasurer

    KEVIN WATKINS

    Kevin grew up in Jacksonville, Florida where at age 25 during a revival meeting at Parkwood Baptist, he realized he was a lost church member and accepted Christ as his Savior. He currently lives in Lawrenceville where he attends 12 Stone Church. He has been active in Echo since 2010. Kevin feels Echo has given him the opportunity to meet many other singles and develop some great friendships. Even more importantly, it has allowed the opportunity to serve others through the many Echo service projects while spending time with my many new Echo friends. 


  • SECRETARY

    mARTHA peebles

    For the past 7 years, Martha has been working for a Pump Manufacturing company in Marietta. Previously she has helped plant 2 churches in Kennesaw, led worship for 3 different churches and worked alongside her former husband in ministry for 25 years. Currently, Martha is heavily involved in her church, Riverstone Church in Kennesaw, through leading a small group and serving on the greeting and prayer teams. In 2016, Martha jumped into Echo Ministries with a camping trip and loved it so much that she hasn't missed one since. She enjoys hiking, kayaking, camping and anything outdoors, along with music, reading, and any 'people' activities. Martha hopes to bring value to Echo's Stewardship Board through her love for people and years of ministry experience.



  • stewardship board member

    rich forbes

    Rich was raised in Buckhead and currently lives in Sandy Springs. He attends Buckhead Church where he also volunteers as an UpStreet Leader. At the age of 15 he went to live in a Children's Home in Tennessee where he came to know the Lord. He graduated from Samford University with a BS in Finance and Real Estate, and is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Project Management (PMP). After 22 years of working in real estate acquisitions, he has now become an entrepreneur of a successful movie production rental company. He loves this ministry and is stoked about Echo's future and looks forward to serving as the Treasurer.


  • stewardship board member

    crissy huard

    Crissy grew up in Farmington Hills, Michigan and came to know the Lord at a very young age while attending a vacation Bible study. She studied and worked in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she earned a Master's of Science in Occupational Therapy. After graduating, Crissy moved to Georgia persuing her career as an Occupational Therapist and now resides in Oakwood. She enjoys reading, walking, square dancing and volunteering at a nursing home. Crissy says that Echo Ministry is an answer to her prayers and that the many events and fellowship opportunities have helped her realize the abundant life that the Lord promises in His word.


  • Stewardship board chairman

    joel maxwell

    Joel grew up in Gwinnett County in the city of Lilburn and currently resides in Gainesville. He was raised in a Christian home and came to know the Lord at an early age. Joel works as a medical executive in the clinical research industry. He studied at Kennesaw University during his undergraduate and completed a medical doctorate degree at Albert Einstein School of Medicine. It's Joel's passion of ministering to singles which lead him to Echo Ministries, where he serves as a ministry leader and Chairman of the Stewardship Board

  • Stewardship Board vice chairman

    george graves

    George Graves is a Georgia native who is happily retired after serving 30 years in the Air Force with the rank of Colonel, and then 8 years as a Delta Pilot. He is a graduate of the Air Force Academy as well as a veteran of the Vietnam War. He did not become a Christian until late in life. He currently lives in Dawsonville where he is a community coach at Dawson County High School for cross country and soccer. He enjoys hiking, playing tennis as well as his 7 grandsons and 1 granddaughter. George has been a leader in Echo for many years and currently serves as the Vice Chairman of the Stewardship Board. 


  • Stewardship Board member

    victoria darr

    Victoria was born in Los Angles, CA. However, she was mostly raised in Georgia and currently resides in Jefferson, GA. She graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in theatre, and has a Masters of Art in Teaching from Brenau University. She currently works as an insurance claims adjuster in homeowners claims. She came to know the Lord in 2004, and she has been a part of Echo for several years. She states that by her involvement in this ministry, she has grown in her relationship with the Lord and cultivated a heart for ministering to singles.  

  • Stewardship board member

    pam higgins

    Pamela grew up traveling the world as the daughter of a Non-Commissioned Officer in the Air Force. Georgia became home when she was 15 and she now resides in Lawrenceville. In 1993, she graduated from North Georgia College and State University with a Bachelors in Biology with a minor in Education. Pam was raised Catholic but didn’t have a personal relationship with God until she was 34 and accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior. God has given her a calling and she has dedicated her life in service to the Lord by ministering to widows (singles) and orphans (James 1:27), both here and abroad. She spent 4 years as a missionary in Kenya, and has also gone on short term missions to Russia, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Rwanda. She is currently teaching Science in Gwinnett County Public Schools while continuing her international missions through CrossPointe Church in Duluth and How Far Ministries. A friend invited her to an Echo event and she was thrilled to find such an inspired ministry for singles to grow in their relationship with Christ and find fellowship with one another. She enjoys getting out in nature with the hikes and camping as well as experiencing a deeper relationship with the Lord through the Bible studies and fellowship with other singles in Echo. She is honored to serve God by being a member of Echo’s Stewardship Board, and continuing the calling on her life in a new direction with ministering to singles.