Staff & Elders


Jeff Wilkins


Jeff has been the lead pastor at City Church since June 2015.

Jeff grew up in Los Angeles, California, and then moved to rural Arkansas when he was sixteen years old. He received a Bachelor's degree in Religion from Hendrix College in 1986 and a Master of Theology degree in African-American Religious History and Religious Thought from Vanderbilt University's Divinity School in 1990. Toward the end of his time at Vanderbilt, God graciously drew Jeff to Himself. After his years in Nashville, he moved to Philadelphia and attended Westminster Theological Seminary, where he received his Master of Divinity in 1995.

Jeff served as the Associate Pastor to Families and Youth at Fort Worth Presbyterian Church for the next eight years, then as the RUF campus minister at NC State from 2004-2009 and the RUF campus minister at Tennessee Tech from 2009-May 2015.

Jeff is married to Cathy, and they have three children: Micah (23), Asher (21), and Anna Grace (18).


Mitchell Carter


Mitchell is the Pastor of Families, Youth, and Children at City Church. He and his wife, Lauren, and their family moved to Nashville and City Church in March 2017.

Mitchell grew up in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, where, at the age of eight, he publicly professed faith in Christ and was baptized. He went to college at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, receiving a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics and a teacher's license in High School Math in 2013. At Harding, Mitchell's beliefs began to be challenged, and God pressed into him a deep desire to know the Christian Faith and teach it to others. This led to a desire to serve God and His Church in full-time ministry. After graduating from Harding, Mitchell married Lauren, and they moved together to St. Louis, Missouri to attend Covenant Theological Seminary, where he received his Master of Divinity in 2016. Mitchell was then ordained as a pastor in the Presbyterian Church in America in January 2018.

Mitchell and Lauren have five children: Hadley, Madison, Audrey, Hodge, and Owen.


Christa Johnston

Christa is the Director of Women's Ministries & Church Administrator at City Church since April 2017, but Nashville and City Church have been home to her since 2009.

Originally from Michigan (M Go Blue!), Christa attended Clarks Summit University (formerly Baptist Bible College) in Pennsylvania where she received a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies with an emphasis in Women's Ministry. Following undergraduate studies, she worked in admissions and event services at places of higher education in Pennsylvania, California and Tennessee. Most recently, Christa worked as a digital project & account manager for several years in Nashville.

She is excited and humbled to work on staff for City Church and previously served as a volunteer in children's ministry, women's Bible study, and as the facilitator of the Women's Ministry Committee. Christa enjoys being outside and active, reading, cooking with her husband Phillip, and hosting friends for dinner. She tries to travel abroad once a year.


Aaron Sands: Elder


For almost 10 years Aaron toured and recorded playing bass with Jars of Clay. He then transitioned into a life closer to home as one of the founders of Blood:Water Mission, and continues his work with Blood:Water to this day. He and his wife Cari were part of the launch team of City Church. They have two children, Sam and Willa. Aaron has been an elder since 2008.


Eric Quiram: Elder


Eric is one of the ruling elders at City Church.

Raised in Maryland, he studied Psychology at Virginia Tech (Go Hokies!), pursued a second Bachelors in jazz studies and music education at Towson State University and more recently completed a masters of Theology at the Vanderbilt’s Divinity School. Eric also loves carpentry and, along with his work at City Church, invests and manages real estate, as well as builds new homes in the neighborhood. He loves the eclectic nature of East Nashville and resides there with his wife Mandy and his two daughters and son, Lorelei, Hazel, and Amos. Mandy works as a tutor in advanced calculus, chemistry and SAT prep.

Eric plans on taking the Isaiah 40:31 quite literally and taking up hang-gliding once his children have grown.


Rick Puncochar: Elder Emeritus


Rick became a Christian in the fall of 1969 and was baptized in a very cold stream in southern Oregon. Almost immediately he began to realize that somehow God had poured out his love and Spirit on him by calling him His son. Soon after, he met his wife, Chrissie. They have been married for 43 years and have four children and 12 grandchildren. They consider it a delight to call City Church their community, and a constant reminder that God has lavished His love on them by putting them in the Body of Christ. His career has been somewhat varied from teaching to construction to sales and finally retiring (sort of) in 2001. Rick still finds himself involved part time in business as well as finding a little time to go fishing with friends and grandchildren.