Who We Are

Craig Ireland

Senior Pastor

Craig Ireland of Brisbane, Australia has been called as the Senior Pastor at Oak Grove. His first Sunday with Oak Grove was October 1, 2017. Craig holds a Bachelor of Theology degree from the Charles Sturt University and has been serving as the Senior Pastor at Hope Reformed Baptist Church in Australia since September of 2008. He and his wife, Katarina, have four young children-Knox, Lucia, Tobiah, and Baxter. Craig is passionate about preaching, evangelism, missions and discipleship.

Pastor Craig has traveled extensively, particularly in Asia and Southeast Asia, doing mission work, church planting and training and equipping of rural pastors. He has authored several books for pastoral development, evangelism, and church planting. For the past 6 years he has sat on the national executive board of the Fellowship of Evangelical Churches of Australia. On a personal level, Pastor Craig loves coffee, reading history, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Rugby League, travel, and personal evangelism.

Matthew Garland

Young Adults' Minister

Matthew Garland is the Young Adult’s Minister here at Oak Grove. He holds a Bachelors of Science from Stephen F. Austin State University in Child Development and Family Living. During his time at SFA, he met his wife Kelly Garland. Matthew seeks to see not only college students, but the broad range of young adults in Nacogdoches be engaged with both the power of the gospel and discipleship. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, watching movies, and spending time with people.

Aaron Kelley

Youth Minister

Aaron Kelley is the Interim Student Minister for The Ridge, Oak Grove’s youth ministry. He is currently a junior majoring in Political Science at Stephen F. Austin State University. Aaron wants to see a revival among the youth of Nacogdoches and their families for the Lord.

His goal is to reach teens with the Gospel, disciple them into mature followers, and equip them to grow in the Lord and share their faith confidently for the rest of their lives. He also wants to support families in their efforts to disciple their teenage children. When he isn’t studying or serving the youth, Aaron loves to read, play frisbee, and drink coffee.

Emily Koonce

Worship Minister

Emily Simmons is the Worship Minister at Oak Grove. She is a graduate of Panola College and has a lifetime of music and worship experience.  She has a heart for sharing the gospel and leading people into the presence of the Lord through worship. 

Her mission at Oak Grove is to lead in true, Spirit-filled praise to the King, that keeps our eyes and hearts looking unto Jesus.  Her role as a faithful Worship Minister magnifies the greatness of God in Jesus Christ though the power of the Holy Spirit by skillfully combining God’s Word with music, thereby motivating the congregation to proclaim the gospel, cherish God’s presence, and to live for God’s glory. When not performing, her hobbies include practicing music, running, and reading her Bible.