Matthew Elrod

LEAD PASTOR

I grew up very close to Greenville in a magical place called Possum Kingdom.  After high school, I started my collegiate journey at Clemson University where I majored in psychology.  While there, God began to unpack and unwrap my religious heart.  He helped me unlearn a great deal of what I thought I knew about Him and His Kingdom and began to teach me who He is and what He wanted of my life.  I began traveling and teaching at various camps and conferences, and I never imagined how much I would love teaching God’s Word.  

In 2004, I took a leap, basically hitting the reset button on my undergrad, and I transferred to Columbia International University to major in Bible and Bible Teaching.  In the midst of it all, I convinced a Kentucky girl named Abi Clifton to marry me in the winter of 2005. 

In 2010, we took a missions assignment with the North American Mission Board and Apartment Life in Greenville.  I never thought I would return to “home;” I had imagined that we would be missionaries in a far off country like China or even somewhere in Africa (if my wife had her way). God had other plans, and Greenville was not really the same city it was when I left.  In some ways it was like I was coming home, but in more ways it was not. 

We got involved with Origins shortly after moving to Greenville and have not looked back since.  Our contract term with NAMB ended in July of 2012, at which time I came on board with Origins as Pastor of Discipleship.  I love God,  His people, and His mission.  My heart’s desire is that we know who we are and what our roles are in light of God’s immeasurable Grace.

We have 2 wildly amazing children: Caleb Thomas and Liza Rose.  

 

Joel Thrasher

ELDER

I am a Georgia boy, born and raised in the northwestern corner of the state. Having been a pretty good kid, I decided to enjoy my new found freedoms in college. Thankfully, it was not long before I realized I wasn't having nearly as much fun as the advertisers said I would. And I began looking for something different. I didn't know what. Just different. There were 2 guys who lived in the same apartment complex as me who invited me to a Bible study. I was searching, so I went. Most of the students there were involved in what I knew as Baptist Campus Ministry. They invited me. And I went. It was through BCM that I came to understand my need for God to be in control of my life, and I became a follower of Jesus. 

It seems a lot happened pretty fast. Kathy and I met. I began to feel that God wanted me to serve as a career missionary. Finished my degree. We got married. Two weeks later, grad school started. My professional career has always been in the area of serving local churches. We were in Alabama for 8 years (Roll Tide), and have lived in Greenville for over 23 years. Kathy has taught 6th grade Math in Greenville County for over 20 years. I'm glad she has a passion for middle school students! 

Because of work, I knew about Origins from the very beginning. There is not enough space here to explain how enticing this new, exciting, different kind of church was to both of us. We have officially been connected for almost 8 years. We have led and hosted a community group. Kathy serves as the Treasurer. I have been very involved in the mission partnerships, and that will be my primary focus as Elder. 

Saved the best for last: We are parents to Brittney, and Gran and Pops to Reese and Kinsley. 

 
Origins Staff Photos - IMG_2492.JPG

Neal Culler

ELDER

My name is Neal Culler and I currently live is Greenville, SC with my wife, Lindsey, and my baby boy Hayes. I was born and raised in Camden, SC. From Camden I attended and graduated from Clemson University majoring in Construction Science and Management with a minor in Business Administration. After college I lived in Annapolis, MD one year and then moved back to South Carolina to work for my family business. I currently am one of the owners and run the upstate branch of my company Culler Roofing. Lindsey and I feel in love with Greenville while at Clemson and decided that this is where we wanted to be. We've been at origins working on 5 years now and I was recently given the honor of being one of our church family's Elders.