Greg Gilbert


Senior Pastor

Greg grew up in a wonderful Christian family, with two parents who love the Lord very much and made sure that he heard the good news of salvation at every opportunity.  At 9 years old, he professed faith in Christ as his Dad shared the gospel yet again and he was baptized shortly thereafter.  For the next few years, he grew as a Christian, still attending church, and then went to Yale University for undergrad studies.  Those were good years spiritually, mostly because he had to learn like never before how to defend his faith.  It was also during those years that the Lord began to call him to Christian ministry.  After Yale, Greg spent some time serving in a few different churches, went to seminary, got married to Moriah, and had three awesome kids: Justin, Jack, and Juliet. Greg was called to serve Third Avenue Baptist as the Senior Pastor in 2010.

Ben Birkholz


Associate Pastor

Ben had the privilege of growing up in a Christian home, where God used the godly example of his family to bring him to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. In September of ’99 Ben married his beautiful wife (highschool sweetheart!) Stephanie, and is father to three boys Samuel, Jacob and Luke. Ben and his family moved from Minnesota to Louisville in 2007. He spent four years serving on staff at a local homeless mission, and graduated from Southern Seminary before being called to Third Avenue as Associate Pastor in 2011.

Brandon Shafer


Associate Pastor

Brandon grew up in a church-going family in Oklahoma and heard the gospel regularly at the church they attended. God saved Brandon at age 12 through the faithful witness of one of the members there, and he was baptized shortly after. As a teenager, the Lord called Brandon to Christian ministry. In preparation for that calling, he completed a degree in Biblical Languages from Oklahoma Baptist University and a M.Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Brandon met his wife, Cindy, while he was in seminary, and they married in 2007. They worked with refugees in Greece for several years before returning to Oklahoma to serve at a local church. In August 2018, Brandon became the Associate Pastor of Discipleship at Third Avenue. Brandon and Cindy are blessed with four wonderful children.

Mike Carnicella


Director of Operations

Mike grew up in Zionsville, IN, a suburb on the north side of Indianapolis.  After high school he headed up the road to West Lafayette, to begin college at Purdue University (boiler up!).  In God's kind providence, Mike met his wife, Lindsey, and they were both baptized and married at Kossuth Street Baptist Church in Lafayette, IN.  From there, Mike and Lindsey headed down the road to Louisville for work and seminary.  God was kind again to lead Mike and Lindsey to Third Avenue, in 2010.  Eight years in Louisville and at Third Avenue have been formative.  Mike has worn many hats at Third Avenue, starting out as Pastoral Assistant, then Administrative Assistant, then Administrator, and now Director of Operations.  Mike is excited about what God is doing at Third Avenue and looks forward to the days ahead.  Mike enjoys spending free time reading fiction, climbing things, and giggling with his two kids, Leo and Lucia.

Tanner Blosser


Children's Ministry Coordinator

Tanner grew up in a small town in the panhandle Oklahoma where he was raised in a wonderful Christian home. While at  camp at age 12, he professed faith and truly understood the Gospel for the first time. After high school, Tanner attended Oklahoma State University (Go Pokes!) and began to have a desire to serve in the local church and began to serve in various opportunities within that context . After college Tanner worked at a camp in Colorado, where he would meet his wife Laura. They have been married since August 2017.

Tanner currently serves as our Children’s Ministry Coordinator and is also pursuing his Master of Divinity at SBTS. You can probably find Tanner watching the OSU Cowboys or the OKC Thunder, despite the fact that they consistently disappoint him. Tanner & Laura love hanging out with people, eating great local food, and pretending to be into outdoor activities.

Dakota Fritz


Pastoral Assistant (Senior)

Stephen Xia


Pastoral Assistant (Outreach)

Stephen grew up in a Christian family and was baptized as a believer in 8th grade. He first encountered expository preaching and systematic theology during his college years at the University of Illinois and has developed a love for those things ever since. After college, he returned to the East Coast to work in finance and attended an SBC church in Manhattan's Chinatown. Stephen moved to Louisville in the Fall of 2016 and is currently pursuing an M.Div at Southern Seminary. He likes reading short fiction and can often be found sitting on the porch when it's raining.

Aaron Scott


Youth Ministry Coordinator

Aaron was born and raised in a pastor’s home in Denver, Colorado where the Lord saved him through the faithful ministry of his parents teaching him God’s Word. He received his BA and MA in Biblical Studies from Northland International University where he met his wife, Elizabeth. After Aaron graduated from NIU, they moved to the Island of Guam, where Aaron served as the Youth Pastor for 4 years at Harvest Baptist Church. While there, the Lord used various mentors to point Aaron and Liz to seminary in preparation for a further calling in the ministry. They moved to Louisville where Aaron is currently working on his Mdiv at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Aaron and Elizabeth have two beautiful sons named Elijah and Nathaniel. Aaron’s passions are family, food, theology, and sports.

John Evanko


Campus Director @ U of L: Campus Outreach

John grew up in Paducah, KY and moved to Louisville in 2008 to begin school at the University of Louisville. He became a Christian during his freshman year of college and quickly developed a love for sharing the gospel with his friends on campus. After graduating in 2013 with a master’s degree in civil engineering, John came on staff as the director of Campus Outreach. In May of 2014, John married his lovely wife, Shannon. Both John and Shannon love U of L and are excited about the work God is doing through CCF.