Pastoral Leadership



Ken has been a pastor for 17 years and started NewBranch back in 2008 along with 12 other families. He has been married to Susan for 27 years and together they have four sons (two grown, and two in high school). Ken did his undergraduate work at Georgia Tech, his graduate work at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and enjoys reading, golf, and going to the movies with Susan. His primary role as Lead Pastor is preaching and staff leadership.

Contact Ken.



Kris and his wife Stephanie live in Jefferson with their middle school daughter Katelyn. They both work in Athens and their son, Justin, lives in Athens while attending UGA.  Kris is a Liberty University graduate and some of his hobbies include hunting, fishing, reading theology books, and watching Georgia Football. The Harrison family started worshiping at NewBranch in 2010.


Bowdie Jenkins, Elder

Bowdie is a Gwinnett native. He has been married to Andrea for 20 years and is the father to Jarrett, Blaine and Jacob. In his spare time you can usually find Bowdie on a field or court somewhere watching or coaching one of his boys. Bowdie and Andrea been a part of NewBranch for almost 7 years.

John Keese.jpg

John keese, ELDER

John and Kris Keese grew up in Southern California, but have moved twenty times since marrying in 1972 (due to 13 years in the USAF and nearly 28 working for an airline). Their most recent move was to the local area anticipating John’s retirement, joining NewBranch in 2016. God has blessed them with seven grown children and sixteen grandchildren, who seemingly live everywhere, from this local area to most of the way around the world. Some of John’s many interests include board games, woodworking, boating and (still) flying.


DAn ross, ELDER

Dan was born in Ohio and raised in Michigan. He attended Trinity Bible College, in Florida. Dan served in a number of churches as Minister of Music and Youth Pastor in Florida and Michigan. He has been married to Janie since 1965. Dan has one grown daughter who lives in Athens with her husband. and has three grown grandchildren. Dan was ordained to the gospel ministry in 2007.


David Bleth

David Bleth

Will Rogers

Will Rogers

Jacob Hall

Jacob Hall

Michael Shiflett

Michael Shiflett

Tyler Recker

Tyler Recker

Earl Turner

Earl Turner

Ministry Leaders

Bruce Thompson  Men's Ministry

Bruce Thompson

Men's Ministry

Lori Bleth   Women's Ministry

Lori Bleth

Women's Ministry

John Keese   Missions

John Keese


Jonathan Mitchell   College & Young Adults and Students

Jonathan Mitchell

College & Young Adults and Students

Tyler Recker   Discipleship and Pastoral Intern

Tyler Recker

Discipleship and Pastoral Intern


Ken Rucker , Senior Pastor

Ken Rucker, Senior Pastor

Christi Reichert , Children's Ministry Director

Christi Reichert, Children's Ministry Director

Jonathan Mitchell , Youth Minister

Jonathan Mitchell, Youth Minister

Regan McShane , Communications

Regan McShane, Communications

Bob Bochat , Worship Leader

Bob Bochat, Worship Leader