The Staff

Russ Corley grew up in Nashville, TN, and graduated from David Lipscomb College in 1975. He received his PhD from The Ohio State University (OSU) in 1983. While in Columbus, OH, he preached at Indian Springs Church of Christ and taught in the Department of Communication at OSU where he won awards for his teaching. He returned to Nashville in 1985 and served as a minister at Otter Creek Church of Christ until 1990. At that time, he began Encouragement Ministries with the support of a number of individuals who believed in his gift for working with people in crisis. He continues to serve as the lead minister and the Executive Director of EM.  In 2015, Russ began to serve as the Senior Minister at Madison Church of Christ. He is married to Jackie, and they are grateful for their children and grandchildren. He enjoys photography, exercise, storytelling, and leading “wacky” Bible songs with the children at Otter Creek Kindergarten and Preschool (he began this in 1985). When he has some spare time, he enjoys reading Dallas Willard, C.S. Lewis, and Nicholas Wolterstorff. He is deeply grateful for the groups of men that he is involved with on a weekly basis; their friendship as brothers, friends, and fellow disciples has been life changing.

Pat Ward joined Encouragement Ministries full time in 2017 after working part-time for 10 years. Previously, she served as Director of Otter Creek School for 29 years. She has a degree in elementary education from Lipscomb University in Nashville. She taught first grade in Atlanta for 3 years before moving back to Nashville and began teaching at Otter Creek Kindergarten and Nursery School. Pat was employed by the school for 34 years. She is the mother of two children: a married son who is a graduate of Lipscomb University and currently is an SLP for NHC and a married daughter who is a graduate of UT and taught in inner city Nashville for 10 years. Pat has served on the Athletic Board for Brentwood High School, the Wayne Reed Christian Center Board (serving as chairman for a brief period), and the Encouragement Ministries Board. Pat attends Otter Creek church of Christ.

Amanda Price joined the staff of Encouragement Ministries in January 2011 overseeing daily operations for the organization. A graduate of Lipscomb University, Amanda has built a career in communications within the hospitality industry and the non-profit sector working for Rutledge Hill Press, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and Kinnard & Associates. Before joining Encouragement Ministries, she led the Communications Department at the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau. She has served on the Council of Partner Institutions and the feasibility board for the National Museum of African American Music. Amanda has been married to Bill for more than 20 years, and they have two young daughters.