Staff

PASTORAL STAFF

  • Taylor Burgess

    Lead Pastor (Preaching, Mission and Vision)

    Taylor Burgess is the Lead and Founding Pastor of Cross Community Church. He is married to Emily and they have three young boys; Gideon, Nolan, and Lincoln. Taylor was raised in Boone, NC, but has called Beaufort “home” since 2013. Prior to planting Cross Community in 2016, Taylor served multiple churches in North and South Carolina through student ministry, worship ministry, and preaching. He holds an undergraduate degree in religious studies and a master’s degree in church planting and evangelism from Liberty University, and he is currently studying at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Taylor loves his family, working outside, books, sports, and coffee. He is passionate about preaching the gospel verse-by-verse, and outside of his role at CCC, you can find him speaking at ministry events, camps, and retreats throughout the southeast.

  • Dave Eatman

    Pastor of Teaching and Spiritual Formation

    Dave Eatman serves as Pastor of Teaching and Spiritual Formation at Cross Community Church. He is married to Laurie, and they have three adult children; Austin, his wife Katie, and grandchildren Killian, Asher, and Alora; Devin; and Whitney. Dave was born and raised in Clayton, NC, and he and Laurie moved to Beaufort in the summer of 2015 to serve as field missionaries with Cru Military, where Laurie continues to serve locally as missionary staff. He holds a BS in Psychology: Christian Counseling and a Master of Divinity: Chaplaincy from Liberty University. Dave loves reading, traveling, and spending time outdoors, especially camping and hiking. Dave is a Marine Corps veteran and currently serves as a Chaplain in the Navy Reserve. Dave enjoys teaching God’s word and leading others in finding an authentic Christian community.

  • Scott Shipes

    Executive Pastor

    Scott Shipes serves as the Executive Pastor at Cross Community Church. He has been married to Tonya Peals for over 32 years and they have 6 children; Makenzie (Tyler Smith), Hunter (Tara), Chandler, Parker, Joseph and Joshua, and six grandchildren; Stella, Voss, Noah, Vivie, Raleigh, and Rigby. Scott was born and raised up in Williston, SC. Scott and his family lived and served on the mission field in Botswana, Africa from July 2010 until they returned home in July 2013. Their work abroad involved going into communities to equip leaders on how to develop children by meeting their mental, physical, social and spiritual needs. He attended Clemson University where he received his undergraduate degree in Textile Technology and his Masters of Christian Ministry from North Greenville University in May 2015. Scott loves working in his yard, traveling, food, and nice meal with friends and family. His life verse is Deuteronomy 6:5-7.

  • Dustin Nally

    Pastor of Counseling and Relational Discipleship

    Dustin Nally is the Pastor of Counseling and Relational Discipleship at Cross Community Church. He is married to Kori Jo, and they have three boys; Jaden, Uriah, and Asher. Dustin was born and raised in Cartersville, GA. The Lowcountry, however, has truly been home since attending the College of Charleston from 2002-2006. After receiving the call to ministry, he and his wife attended Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary where he received an M. Div. in Christian Ministries. Prior to Cross, Dustin served as the Discipleship Pastor at Central Baptist Church in Henderson, NC. Dustin is zealous about marriage and family, loves working with his hands, and enjoys woodworking. Dustin has a heart for church revitalization and desires to see the Lord cause a movement of revival among these hurting churches through the power of the Gospel.

  • Greyson Johnston

    Worship Pastor

    Greyson Johnston serves as the Worship Pastor of Cross Community Church. He is married to Lauryn, and they have three boys; Everett, Walker, and James. Greyson has lived the majority of his life in Beaufort, certainly enough to be considered a Beaufortonian. Greyson served in worship ministry in churches in North Carolina and South Carolina before Cross Community Church was planted. Greyson is connected with a ministry school called 10,000 Fathers where the desire is to teach worship leaders how to grow from just being song leaders to worship pastors. It was in this time that his heart for writing songs for the local church developed and has led to some great opportunities, including recording a live project of songs we sing regularly in our church services. Greyson’s heart is that the Gospel would be communicated through every element of our worship gatherings and that we don’t only worship with the songs we sing but with an all-of-life response to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

  • Michael Morrison

    Pastor of Congregational Care

    Michael Morrison serves as the Pastor of Congregational Care at Cross Community Church. He is married to Mallory and they have two daughters; Nora and Vera. Michael is from McClellanville, SC. Michael moved to Beaufort in 2011 and he and his family were a part of the plant team for Cross Community. Michael holds a graduate of theology from Liberty University. His desire is to see people get connected and help them understand our call to serve the body of Christ. Outside of Cross Community Church, you can find him spending time with his family, playing golf, or cheering on Clemson football or Liverpool FC.

MINISTRY STAFF

  • Leandra Livesay

    Executive Director of Ministries

    Leandra Livesay is the Executive Director of Ministries at Cross Community Church. She and her husband Nate have lived in South Carolina for over 20 years and have three kids; Elizabeth, Tyler, and Troy. In her many years in ministry, Leandra has had the privilege of serving as both a Student and Children’s Minister, leading volunteers to share the gospel with the next generation from babies to college-aged kids. Leandra graduated from King University and has a Master’s in Higher Education from USC. She loves spending time with her family, listening to podcasts, cooking, and going to the beach.

  • Cole Forrest

    Student Minister

    Cole Forrest is the Student Minister at Cross Community Church. He and his wife, Ashton, moved to Beaufort in May of 2020 to come be a part of the Cross family. Cole was born and raised around Greensboro, NC, and has worked with students in multiple churches within the triad region of NC. Some of Cole’s passions include; being outside, sports, reading, preaching/teaching, and church planting. Cole holds degrees from both Liberty University (Bachelor’s Degree in Pastoral Leadership) and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Master of Divinity in Biblical Counseling).

  • Nichole Bright

    Children's Ministry Assistant

    Nichole Bright serves as the Children’s Ministry Assistant. She was born and raised in Beaufort and met her husband, Danny, in middle school. They both graduated from Battery Creek High School in 2004 and got married in 2007. They have two children, Dylan & Emma. Growing up, Nichole always wanted to be a teacher but God had other plans and she has been working as an administrator at Burton Fire District since 2007. She has been serving in the early childhood side of Cross Kids for 5 years and is excited to shift into a new role while continuing to serve the families of Cross Community! Nichole enjoys time with family through boating, traveling and sports. And she appreciates a good outdoor walk and dinner or coffee with friends.

  • Monica Wilkinson

    Women's Discipleship Director

    Monica Wilkinson serves as the Women’s Discipleship Director. She is married to David and they have three teenagers. Monica enjoys creating an inviting atmosphere through words, beauty and slowing down. She has written three books and enjoys writing in her free time as well as various creative outlets and cultivating beauty in everyday moments. She is excited and humbled to be part of the work and ministry of Cross, and loves serving the women of Cross.

  • Aaron Schranz

    Director of Connections

    Aaron Schranz serves as the Director of Connections at Cross Community Church.  She is married to Jason and they have four children; Hannah, John Noah, Tice, and Milly.  Aaron is originally from Florida but Jason’s Marine Corps service has brought them repeatedly to Beaufort, SC.  The first time from 2011-2014, then again from 2015-2020, and most recently in 2022.  Their family feels fortunate to now call the Lowcountry their permanent home.  Aaron earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Belmont University in Nashville, TN and a Master of Theological Studies from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX.  She loves being busy with her children who are involved in theater, band, gymnastics, and baseball.  In her free time she loves enjoying a good cup of coffee, walking on the Spanish Moss Trail, hosting parties, and gathering friends around the dinner table or fire pit.  Aaron is excited to be a part of the Cross staff and a member of this community that is committed to preaching the gospel and making disciples. 

  • Ashleigh Paxton

    Ministry Assistant

    Ashleigh Paxton serves as Ministry Assistant at Cross Community Church.  She is married to Thayer and they are raising four kids. Their family came to the lowcountry as a Marine Corps family in 2009, but Ashleigh was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA and she graduated from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown with a B.A. in Business Management.  She had the joy of being home with her kids and spending some of those years homeschooling before joining the staff at Cross.  She loves spending time with her family, reading a thoughtful novel,  Pittsburgh sports, volunteering in animal rescue and raising her backyard chickens.

  • Emily Burgess

    Communications Director

    Emily Burgess serves as the Communications Director at Cross Community Church. She is married to Taylor and they have three boys; Gideon, Nolan, and Lincoln. Emily graduated from Appalachian State University with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism. She has written for several magazines while staying-at-home with her boys and now serves in this role part-time, putting her social media skills to work. She enjoys planning parties and events, organizing, and engaging other ladies one-on-one.

  • Ali Strickland

    Children's Ministry Director

    Ali Strickland is the Children’s Ministry Director at Cross Community Church.  She and her husband of 18 years, Chris, moved to Beaufort in December 2021 with their two daughters, Emma Cate and Charlie Ann.  The whole family instantly felt that God was calling them to join Cross Community as covenant members and get involved in the ministries of the church.  Ali has been a public school educator and administrator for 18 years, but always felt called to serve in Children’s Ministry.  Ali holds degrees from North Greenville University, Converse College, and Southern Wesleyan University in Elementary Education and Administration/Supervision of Schools.  She loves spending time with her family, snuggling with her pets, and reading books on the beach. She is excited to preach the gospel and make disciples of all the children in CROSSkids!

  • Ben Whitlock

    Facilities Coordinator

    Ben Whitlock serves as the facilities coordinator for Cross Community Church. He is married to Sheryl Whitlock and between them they have 6 adult children, and 12 grandchildren. Sheryl is a nurse at Beaufort Memorial Hospital. Ben was born in Phoenix Arizona but was raised in Oklahoma.   Ben spent much of his adult life in Broken Arrow Oklahoma. Ben moved to Columbia SC in 1997. Ben served as the Worship leader and teacher at Eason Memorial Batist Church in Eastover SC for 7 years.  Ben had a 30+ year career as a Jeweler, then entered the retail management world as a manager of  a Store Manager for specialty grocery stores Fresh Market and Earth Fare. The grocery business took Ben to Atlanta GA for 6 years. Ben and Sheryl moved to Beaufort SC in 2021 and enjoy living close to family. Ben and Sheryl enjoy spending time with friends and family and walking and dining at the waterfront. They are proud to call Beaufort and Cross Community Church their home.