We exist to glorify God by loving our community through proclaiming the Word of God.


Laura Atkins - Nursery & Preschool Director

Laura Atkins

Nursery & Preschool Director


Laura grew up in the Birmingham area and was actively involved in a church similar to SMCC. Wanting to make a difference in the lives of kids, she graduated from Samford University with an education degree. She met her husband, Tim, here in the singles group at SMCC. They married in 1995 and have three children: Emily (19), John (16), and Mandy (13). After serving in various roles in the nursery, Laura accepted the position as Nursery and Preschool Director in August 2006. In addition to loving on babies and preschoolers, Laura enjoys getting to know the moms and encouraging them in this stage of life. In her spare time, she watches NFL football (Geaux Saints!), college football (War Eagle!), and spending time with her family.

Ministry Summary

Shades Mountain Kids cares for children ages birth through five years old. In the nursery area (birth-two), our goal is to provide a safe, secure environment conducive to your child’s physical, social, and spiritual growth. When you are confident in leaving your child in the care of our loving staff, then you are able to worship with a sense of security. As we hold the babies, we pray for them to receive all that God has for them in life. In our preschool area (three-five), we present biblical learning materials with a hands-on approach to help establish an active faith in God in the hearts of the children. We seek to encourage all children in a growing, loving relationship with Jesus Christ.

Melissa Moore - Children's Ministry Director

Melissa Moore

Children's Ministry Director


Melissa grew up in Panama City, Florida and attended Gulf Coast college. She has lived in the Birmingham area since 1995 and has been a Kindergarten teacher at SMCS since 2000. She joined the SMCC Staff in 2015. Melissa has been married to her wonderful husband, Bill, for 23 years and has two grown boys, Jay and Drew. She enjoys photography, coffee, and the beach.

Ministry Summary

The Children’s Ministry at SMCC exists to teach children the gospel and deepen their love for Jesus.

Kris Goertzen - Women's Ministry Director

Kris Goertzen

Women's Ministry Director


God has given Kris a passion to motivate women to live near His heart. Her gift of exhortation has delighted women in the United States, and other countries. She loves bringing encouragement from God’s Word. As she often says, “There’s nothing better than an open Bible and a room full of estrogen!” Her love for women is evident as she teaches the truth of God’s Word clearly, passionately and with the color and enthusiasm only Kris can bring. Her constant desire is to equip women to know God intimately and to live joyous, purposeful lives in the light of Scripture. Her favorite ministry is serving alongside her husband who is currently the new senior pastor at Shades Mountain Community Church in Birmingham, AL.

Andrew Spigner

Recreation Director


Andrew has been attending Shades Mountain Independent Church ever since he was a child. After graduating Troy University in 2013 with his degree in Speech Communications and Public Relations and a minor in Psychology, Andrew realized he had a heart for ministry so he began to volunteer as a High School Discipleship leader at SMIC. Andrew since then has been very involved in creating opportunities for the youth to stay connected and to get involved with the church. Andrew has served at the church in various positions, but when the opportunity arose in 2017 to become the Recreational Director for SMIC and the Assistant Camp Director for Camp Straight Street, he felt the tug on his heart to be in full time ministry. Andrew also enjoys hanging out with friends over a good meal and mountain biking on the weekends.

Ministry Summary

The recreational programs at SMCC exist to connect our community to the Gospel through the avenue of sports. Sports is a natural way to grow community, build relationships, and to connect with those that are around us that might not have a relationship with Christ.