Pastors & Staff

Matt Walton

Lead Pastor

University of the Cumberlands (2001)
Southeastern Theological Seminary (2008)

Why should I come to The Passage Church?
First let me say what you already know The Passage is not the perfect church, but I believe we do love Jesus and desire to make much of Him. We want to be followers of Jesus who make followers of Jesus. If you are not a follower of Jesus and have significant questions about Him or if you are a follower of Jesus looking to serve and belong in a local church we would love to see you Sunday.

Kirk Faulkenberry

Associate Pastor

Presbyterian College (2010)
Southeastern Theological Seminary (2014)

Originally from South Carolina, I have lived in different parts of Wake county since 2010.  I grew up going to church, but did not come to faith until I was a senior in high school.  It was a drawn out process with lots of questioning, but the truth of Jesus won out in my life.  During college, I felt that God might be calling me to ministry, and that is what led me to SEBTS in Wake Forest.  I started attending the Passage sometime in 2012 because of my roommates, and I came on staff in 2015.  I'm a big fan of fantasy, sci-fi, or murder mystery books, shows, or movies.  I'm also into college football, big Clemson Tigers fan!

The Passage Church is a great place to be, and has been a huge influence on my life.  I'm excited that you are looking around, interested in who we are and what we believe.  I think that if you give it a chance, the Passage Church can become home for you too!  My areas of focus are First Impressions and membership. Since I'm bivocational, I try to support our other staff in their areas of ministry by helping with students and leading a Missional Comunity. If you are looking for a way to plug in here at the Passage, I would love to help you do that!

Michael Lawing

Discipleship Pastor

Lenoir-Rhyne University (2011)
Southeastern Theological Seminary (2018)
I was the first person to follow Jesus in my family for many generations. In high school, the Lord saved me from a life of sin that was leading me to very dark places. He sovereignly placed faithful followers of Jesus in my life to share the gospel and used the local church to show me how to walk obediently with the Lord. He quickly confirmed in me a calling to go and teach others to follow Him too!
My wife Samantha (Sammi). Four kids... Silas, Abel, Novella, and Vivian.
PC ... but I hypocritically have every other Apple device so...
Favorite Food/Drink: 
I'm a vegan. Just kidding, I love steak. Huge steaks.
Favorite Game: 
The game where you put your kids in bed and read for two hours.
What do you do in your free time?: 
Family time doing stuff outside with our chickens and goats.
Why should I come to The Passage Church?: 
We don't compromise on the truth here. We are unapologetically seeking to make Jesus known in every neighborhood, grocery store, ballet class, T-ball game and dinner table. If you want to know the living God and Jesus Christ His son, you'll get that here. Then we'll help you take Him with you wherever your mission field is. 

Bryson Murry

Family Minister 

My name is Bryson and I am the Family Minister here at The Passage Church. I grew up in the Portland, Maine area, but I also lived in Kentucky and Tennessee before my wife Amelia and I moved to North Carolina a couple of years ago. I graduated from Boyce College in 2019 and am currently working on my Advanced Master of Divinity at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. I love good coffee, laughing with friends, and watching the Boston Celtics with my wife.

I work directly with Passage Students (our 6th-12th grade ministry) and also help oversee Passage Kids. My hope is to partner with families to raise up disciple-making disciples who devote their lives to knowing Jesus and making him known. If you have any questions about Passage Students or Passage Kids, I would love to connect with you and talk about how God is at work in the next generation at The Passage Church!

Jason Stacy

Worship Pastor

I have been leading worship in music for a long time. My desire is to see the people of God engage Him in worship through music. The Bible talks about the Saints before God worshiping Him by singing, and we get the honor of practicing that eternal act now as His church.

Family: My wife is Dawn and I have three children; Emily, Rachel, and Garrett.
How I came to Christ: I came to know Christ in my mid 20's as Dawn and I were looking to find a church were we could raise our children. God used that in my life to hear the Gospel clearly for the first time. It was then I recognized my sinfulness and need of salvation. God wrecked my heart and is still working in me, though my sin is forgiven I still battle with my hearts deceitfulness. God's goodness continues to remind me that I am His and I have been bought by the blood of Jesus .
PC or Mac: Definitely PC!! It is the world that makes sense.
Favorite food and drink: Food, water.
Favorite game: Football, Go Stealers!!
Why the Passage Church: The Passage Church is a place that God is honored. The Bible is taught through exposition weekly in a practical and understanding way. The music is centered on God and the work He has done and is doing today. It is a place you can come and experience love and community with people who's desire is to make God known.

Lilly Sims

Administration/Passage Students Intern

My name is Lilly Sims; I am twenty-one years old and have attended the passage for around fourteen years. I am the Passage Church’s intern, handling administrative tasks and overseeing the advocacy program. I am currently getting my Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Liberty University. I am dedicated to learning more about how to serve and help others in the challenges of life. I am the daughter of Les and Donna Pippin and am the youngest child in my family. I love all things coffee and baking and enjoy serving in student ministry.

Clayton Welch


Thanks for checking out our website! My wife Melissa and I have been at The Passage since 2015, and I've been on staff since 2017. I'm originally from the food capital of the world (Louisiana), but I have been in North Carolina for so long I've actually grown fond of vinegar BBQ. Melissa and I have 3 kiddos, and I work full time as a fireman with the City of Raleigh.

I have my hands in just about anything you see from weekly emails, bulletins, website, app, etc. I also occasionally pretend to play guitar with the worship team. We have enjoyed our time here at The Passage and would love to meet you. If you see me in the hall, don't be a stranger. 

Jenn Walton

Kids Director

Jennifer has been on staff with The Passage Church since the very beginning. We are so thankful to have her serve on our team. Jenn gives direction to our Preschool and Kids Ministry. When Jenn is not serving at the Passage she is probably with her boys or teaching her 4th graders as an educator for Heritage Leadership Academy.

If you have a question about the curriculum we use on Sundays, Centri-Kid camp, or how you can volunteer to serve our children on Sunday morning she would love to talk with you.