Our Staff

Mark Rouse / Lead Pastor

My name is Mark and you can find out a bit more about my story HERE.

Ray Hammond / Executive & Worship Pastor

My name is Ray, and I oversee the worship and financial areas of the church. I’m passionate about helping followers of Jesus discover how to worship Him in every area of their lives. My wife, Lisa, and I were married in 2001, and we have two children: Jonas & Ava. Born in Ohio and raised near Pittsburgh, PA, I’ve lived in Western NY since 2001. My favorite TV shows are White Collar and The Goldbergs. I enjoy sports, music, photography, reading and ice cream.

Christel Arslanian / Next Gen Director

My name is Christel and I have the privilege of leading our Kids & Student Ministry at Epic. I grew up in Rochester, moved to NYC for college and was on staff at a church in the city for 6 years. In 2013, I moved back to WNY to help launch Epic Church! I love spending time with people, being artsy/crafty, ice cream (an Epic Staff staple) and anything that makes me laugh 😀

Jenna Keller / Executive Assistant

My name is Jenna and I work alongside Pastor Mark. I am inspired by people’s life stories and am passionate about creating a space that people feel at home in. Although born in Pittsburgh, PA, Buffalo has been my home since 2002. In 2012, I headed off to study and serve at a local church in Fayetteville, NC before settling back in Buffalo. Some of my favorites include interior design (Joanna Gaines, always.), Maine, baking and all things vintage.

Karen Carleton / Groups Coordinator

My name is Karen and I facilitate connections as the Groups Director. It is in my DNA to build relationships due to numerous relocations. I love seeing people grow in their faith as they share their life experiences within the context of community groups. Other things you might want to know about me…I am married with 4 children. I am a pickleball fanatic. I have an insatiable sweet tooth. I love live music and new experiences. And last, but not least, I hope to meet you someday!