Matt & Sara Thompson

Lead Pastors

Since Matt was a teenager, he felt called into full-time ministry and since the age of 22, God has done amazing things through his obedience in accepting that call. Matt has worked in many different facets of ministry from Youth, Music, and Creative Pastor roles. Joining the staff of ELC in 2015, Matt has come alongside his mother and father (Founding & Care Pastors Bobby and Sherry Thompson) in order to help build a thriving church on the Gulf Coast. Matt has a Master's Degree of Arts in Ministry from Richmont Graduate University. Sara is a local school office clerk and helps in various areas in the church. Their desire is to create a church that unchurched people would love to attend. Matt took role of Lead Pastor for Elevation Life Church in November 2020.

Matt and his wife Sara have three sons: Maddox, Brooks, and Ryder.

Contact Matt

Meet our staff

  • Bobby & Sherry Thompson

    Founding & Care Pastors

    Bobby and Sherry have over 40+ years of experience of ministry in various areas, nearly all of that time being a lead pastor. He has a huge compassionate heart for people and reaching his community for Jesus. Bobby and his wife Sherry founded Elevation Life Church in September 2011 with a desire for reaching and caring for others while pointing them towards Jesus. Bobby joined the staff as the Founding & Care Pastor in November 2020.

    Bobby and Sherry have two children: Bryan and Matthew (Lead Pastor) and nine grandchildren: Grace, Hope, Noel, Katie, Max, Nathan, Maddox, Brooks, and Ryder.

    Contact Bobby

  • Tony & Samantha Shackleford

    Student Pastors

    Tony joined the staff of ELC in 2020. Tony has a huge heart for people domestically and globally. He is a graduate from South Carolina School of Leadership and has a Masters Degree of Arts in Ministry from Richmond Graduate University. Tony has been in ministry for 15 years in volunteer capacities and on staff positions in various ministries. Samantha is involved with students alongside her husband and also is a part of the worship team here at ELC. Their passion is to reach people with the love of Jesus.

    Tony and his wife Samantha have three children: Bryce, Grayson, and AnneLee.

    Contact Tony

  • Donald & Joann Price

    Children's Pastors

    Donald joined the staff of ELC in 2020. Donald and JoAnn have been in children's ministry for over 20 years. Donald and Jo Ann have been a part of kids camps and conferences, as well as children's pastors in various churches throughout the years. They believe in teaching children to build a lasting relationship with Jesus.

    Donald and Jo Ann have two children: Jonathan and Justina, and four grandchildren: Karsten, Gwynevere, Arabella and Hunter. 

    Contact Donald

  • Andrew & Sidney Padilla

    Media Pastors

    Andrew joined the staff of ELC from 2019-2021 and reunited in 2023. Andrew has a passion for reaching people through creative media of all kinds. Andrew has been in volunteer and staff positions in various ministries for 20 years. Sidney is involved with media along with her husband, both having a heart to create avenues for people to find Jesus.

    Contact Andrew