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

  • 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 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

    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 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

    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.  

  • Stewardship board member

    james jarrell

    James is a Georgia native raised in the Atlanta area. He grew up in the Baptist church and accepted Jesus as his Savior at the age of 12. He has worked for the same company since 1984 but also enjoys investing in Real Estate in the metro area. He moved to Cumming in 2008 and began getting involved with Echo in 2014. Due to the impact of Echo in James’ life, he has grown closer to the Lord and made some incredible friends. James is honored to be part of Echo and be a stewardship board member. He firmly believes in Echo’s mission of providing community for single adults to grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ and one another. 

  • stewardship board member

    Tracy risley

    Tracy was raised in Massachusetts and later the greater Dayton/Cincinnati Ohio area. She earned a Bachelor's and  Master's Degree in Speech Language Pathology. Tracy has worked as a Speech Therapist since 1990, helping both children and adults develop and recover speech, language, and swallowing abilities in medical and educational settings. In 2007 she and her family moved to northeast Georgia. Tracy was always a believer but felt she lacked a sense of true connection to God until she joined her first small group in 2012. Through fellowship with other believers, she began to develop a personal relationship with Christ which helped her refocus her energies and allow God to rebuild her life into one of greater purpose and peace. Tracy discovered Echo on Meetup in 2014 and has since come to love this community of kind, fun, supportive, faithful friends and wonderful adventures! Tracy enjoys fostering rescue dogs, camping and travel, spending time with family, and volunteering and worship at her church. 


  • STEWARDSHIP BOARD MEMBER

    TERESA CAMPBELL

    Teresa Campbell is from Texas and has been living in North Georgia for almost 8 years. 

    In her time of seeking for something more, she met Jesus in 1996. She would describe it as, “a whirlwind romance from the beginning!” Her testimony is full of instances she walked away thinking her way was better than God’s way, but it only led her to heartache and destruction. She is so grateful for God’s forgiveness, faithfulness and love, that not only allows her back but continues to call and pursue her. She is so happy to have found Echo Ministries. She started attending Echo around 7 years ago and started getting more involved around 3 years ago. This is how she would describe Echo Ministries: “Echo is a cut above with the outreach, outlets and community building and all for the glory of God. Echo is a ministry that truly provides for growth in our relationships with Christ and each other. As a single female, I have never felt more honored, loved and respected than with this great group of people. Come check us out!”

  • EXECUTIVE Staff Assistant

    WILLIAM ILLG

    Along with working for Echo Ministries, 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 loves the mission and the values of Echo Ministries. He is happy to be working with a ministry that isn't just about being "social" or "hanging out." He says, "This ministry is about connecting with other single adults while collectively focusing on our Heavenly Father." You can catch him leading events from time to time, assisting Greg or working in the Echo office. When not at work, you will typically find him hanging out with his three year old son, Beckett. He loves the outdoors and is happy to be on staff with Echo Ministries.