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TVP’s Mission to North America Committee Welcomes New Members

Each presbytery has a committee of local leaders who report to Mission to North America (MNA). The Tennessee Valley Presbytery designated its MNA Committee with the responsibility of establishing new TVP mission churches and developing such procedures necessary to fulfill this task.

This year, the Tennessee Valley Presbytery’s MNA Committee welcomes four new members: Jason Coffey, Benjie Slaton, Seth Hammond, and Shawn Slate.

Jason Coffey

Jason Coffey became a member of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Chattanooga in 1989 where he’s served as a Ruling Elder since 2015. He and his wife, Catherine, and their four children live in Chattanooga–Jason’s hometown.

Jason’s career revolves around fundraising, nonprofit management, board training, and nonprofit communications. He previously worked as the fundraiser for the presbytery’s church planting initiative, helping us grow investors in the mission of reaching the lost and renewing communities.

He also enjoys running a few real estate small businesses and serves on the board of Zoë Angling Group, a missional business in the fishing industry.

Jason serves on the MNA Committee because he understands the connection between planting churches and people coming to Christ. Church planting serves as both the greatest evangelical opportunity in a neighborhood and an opportunity for community renewal as relationships form around the gospel.

Benjie Slaton

Growing up in charismatic circles in Texas, Benjie Slaton became familiar with the PCA in college through Reformed University Fellowship (RUF). With an interest in ministry, he then attended Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson.

Benjie served as the RUF campus minister at the University of Texas, Austin, joined a church plant, and served as an assistant pastor at two church plants for six years each. In this season, Benjie fell in love with the particular evangelism, vibrancy, and creativity of church plants. Eventually, Benjie was called to plant Grace + Peace in Ooltewah, TN. The church started corporate worship in September 2019 and particularized in August 2022.

Benjie is excited to be on the MNA Committee because he’s long been convinced that church planting is one way God effectively gathers his people, church planting is part of Grace + Peace’s vision, and he sees the committee as a way to creatively and collaboratively work together throughout the presbytery.

Benjie says, “The presbytery took a risk on me and invested in me, and I’m grateful for that. I’m committed to the idea that church planting is best when it is a presbytery-wide effort. Hutch Garmany and Travis Vaughn have done a fabulous job of establishing expectations and ways of operating as a team that gives the best opportunity for plants to succeed.”

When Grace + Peace particularized, Benjie and the elders talked about how to maintain the vibrancy of a church plant even as the church grew. Benjie says, “We talked about how we could seed the idea of us being engaged in church planting. The language we use at Grace + Peace is that we want to give away our best for the benefit of the kingdom.”

Benjie has been married to Natalie for 25 years, and they have three children, ages 21, 19, and 16.

Seth Hammond

Seth Hammond currently serves as the lead pastor of Christ Covenant PCA in Knoxville and has been on staff there since 2013. Before that, he was the associate pastor at University Presbyterian Church in Orlando, FL. He holds a Master of Divinity, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science, and he’s currently enrolled in Reformed Theological Seminary’s Doctor of Ministry program.

He is the chairman of the Knox County Church Network, a network of like-minded churches throughout the county. He serves on two boards: National Embryo Donation Center and Anchor Learning Center (a Christian learning center for public school students). Seth is also a military wing chaplain in the Tennessee Air National Guard.

He and Stephanie, his wife of fifteen years, have four children: Caleb, Abby, Sarah, and Katie.

Seth grew up in a Christian home and at the age of five, he came to understand that he was a sinner in dire need of a savior. He has since been on a journey of growing in his faith. In middle school and high school, he began to sense a call to ministry while leading Bible studies for his classmates.

Through local churches (all of which begin as church plants), Seth is eager to be the hands, feet, and voice through which Jesus makes His hope known in the world. He says, “Christ Covenant’s mission statement is to reach and equip people of all ages to know the truth, love Jesus and others, and serve people everywhere. Part of our strategy to fulfill this mission is to equip pastors from within to plant churches in the Knoxville area, to support pastors to plant in other parts of the nation, and to deploy missionaries around the world. We need more Reformed, confessional evangelical churches that make a difference in their community.”

Shawn Slate

Shawn Slate has been the pastor of Redeemer Church in Knoxville, TN for the last nine years. Having become a Christian while in college at Clemson University and serving as the RUF campus minister at the University of Virginia for ten years, he is very passionate about ministry in university cities. He believes that gospel-centered churches in these areas have the tremendous opportunity of not just reaching the next generation, but also, as students graduate and faculty and administration take new jobs, the opportunity to reach states, regions, and to some extent, the nation.

Shawn believes that church planting is a strategic opportunity for our presbytery to partner together in order to bear witness to Jesus as He gathers people to Himself. He is excited to serve on the presbytery’s MNA Committee.

Shawn and Jennifer have been married for almost 28 years. A former English professor, Jennifer is now an administrator at the University of Tennessee. The Slates have had the privilege of raising three children: William (25) who lives in Richmond, VA; Mary Austin (22) who is graduating from Berry College; and Annabel (18) who is a first year at the University of Tennessee.

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