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Lead Pastor:

Matt Morgan is the founding and lead pastor of Escalate Church.  He and his family moved to Hickory, NC in July of 2010 pursuing God's call to plant a gospel-centered church that would faithfully communicate the good news of Jesus Christ to people in and around Hickory.  He is a graduate of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, graduating with a Master of Divinity in May of 2005.  He previously held ministry positions at Dudley Shoals Baptist Church in Granite Falls, NC (2006-2008) and at Providence Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC (2008-2010).  Matt has been married to his wife Amy since June 2001 and they have four children. 





The elders' main role at Escalate is to intercede for members in prayer, fostering growth in the individuals at our church by making sure they have a place to use their gifts and talents, and to support Pastor Matt in the role of teaching and shepherding the church. They aim to be available always for spiritual conversation and to help meet the needs of Escalate Church. 



Seth Abel is one of the elders at Escalate Church. He has attended Escalate since he moved to Hickory in 2015. He is from Rocky Mount, NC. Seth has been married for 4 years to Sarah and they have two children - they got married at Escalate! Seth leads one of the Connection Points at Escalate. His strengths lie in shepherding, teaching and encouragement. He really enjoys being part of the body of Christ and his desire is to help the church grow and be as healthy as it can be, to see everyone using their gifts and building each other up, loving each other well and spreading the love of Christ to the community around us. 



Jake Snyder is one of the elders at Escalate Church. He was born and raised in High Point, NC and moved to Hickory in 2012 to attend Lenoir-Rhyne University. He has attended Escalate since 2014 when he met Pastor Matt at Lenoir-Rhyne. Him and his wife still serve on campus, presently with the Gathering House ministry. Jake has been married for 8 years to Jesse, who he also met at LR, and they have two daughters. Jake leads a Connection Point group at Escalate and serves in the worship band. His strengths lie in intentionality, exhortation and serving. He felt called to be an elder as it was an opportunity to serve the church that has given him so much in terms of spiritual life and growth. He loves the people of Escalate deeply and is honored to have a role shepherding and leading the church.