Meet the Staff
Dr. Rob Nash, Senior Pastor
Robert N. Nash, Jr.* serves as the Arnall-MannThomasson Professor of Missions and World Religions. He received his Ph.D. degree in Church History (1989) and his M.Div. degree (1985) from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. In addition, he completed both his M.A. (History) and B.A. degrees at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, Georgia. Dr. Nash served as Global Missions Coordinator at the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (2006-2012) and as a professor in the religion departments at both Shorter College in Rome, Georgia (1994-2006) and at Judson College in Marion, Alabama (1992-1994). He also served as Dean of the School of Religion and International Studies at Shorter College for several years.
Dr. Nash is married to Guyeth Nash, a psychotherapist, and they have two grown children, Douglas and Lindsay. He is an avid viewer of food and travel programs on television and enjoys grilling and eating his way through every Asian restaurant in Atlanta. He runs about 12-15 miles a week to keep off the pounds generated by his food interests. The Nashes have a dog named Nemo and two cats, Mama Kitty and Agamemnon.
* biography from Mercer University website accessed March 30, 2018 (https://theology.mercer.edu/faculty-staff/robert-nash.cfm).
Justin Bishop, Associate Pastor
Justin serves as worship pastor on Sundays, leading the choir and planning the service, and through the week, he serves as the church administrator. He grew up just down the road in Canton where his parents still live and fish…lots of “big” stories to tell there! As a graduate of Cherokee High School, his English teacher gave him a keyboard; a friend of the family gave him a guitar, and the rest was musical history! He now plays 17 instruments…if it has strings, he can play it. Justin attended Mercer University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and went on to earn a Master of Divinity at the McAfee School of Theology where he completed a thesis on William Faulkner and Genesis. Because Pastor Rob still works full-time as a professor at Mercer University, Justin provides a full-time pastoral presence at the church during the week.
He comes to us from Johns Creek Baptist Church where he led youth worship for 5 years and worked as a youth ministry intern 3 years prior. He formerly taught High School English at King’s Ridge Christian School. During his summer breaks, he has both led and chaperoned youth trips to Student Life and PASSPORT, and he even led worship for PASSPORT for 2 summers.
Julie Ball, Church Administrator
Julie is a native of New Bern, North Carolina. She is a graduate of the NC School of Science and Mathematics, Wake Forest University, and Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond. Julie has worked and volunteered in a wide variety of ministry roles and settings, including youth ministry, home repair ministry, church administration, and Christian education—just to name a few! Her greatest passions for ministry are in the areas of creative spiritual development and worship. She's thankful God led her to HERITAGE in the spring of 2015 after she and her family moved to the area from Memphis, Tennessee.
In her free moments, Julie enjoys writing, reading, photography, hiking, and exploring her new home state. She loves cupcakes, college basketball, and everything to do with the Muppets.
Louise Byrd, Church Musician
Louise is a native of Cobb County, moving to Woodstock at the age of ten. She graduated from Cherokee High School, where she was in the Band and the French Club. She earned the Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Tift College, the Master of Music from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and the Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University. She has enjoyed playing the piano from a young age, as well as singing in the Graded Choir program, the Tift College Choir, church choirs, and other choral groups. Her concentration at SWBTS was in Piano Performance. She has also taught Children's Choirs and directed adult and children's handbells, as well as serving as Minister of Music at several churches.
Calista Gondry, Church Musician
Calista Gondry began music studies in her native Louisiana, with piano at age 12, and organ in college while working on a degree in mathematics. Most of her life was spent in Florida, where she graduated in 1960 from Stetson University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics. After a 31-year career as a high school mathematics teacher, she earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Organ Performance in 2004 from Florida Atlantic University. She served several churches in Florida as pianist/organist until she moved to Canton in 2005, where she found a church home at HERITAGE. She served as organist there from 2006 until retiring in 2014 to spend more time with her daughter, Erin, son-in-law, Ron and grandson, Collyn, who, as of June 2016, has a baby brother.
Though delighted to be "back on the bench," Calista still enjoys fun times with her family and friends.