About Us

We are committed to being open and real. We may not have all the answers, but we believe in seeking God's guidance for the answers we need. Our belief in loving God and loving people stretches out, to serve both our local and our global communities.  Our congregation consists of real, down to earth people, trying to get through life together and trusting God to help us. There are no dress codes, rules for attendance, or any expectations of you. We invite you to join us on Sunday, service starts at 11am, but the inspiration can last a lifetime!

Meet Our Leadership Team


Mark & Donna Porado

Lead Pastor
Church Elders


Mark & Donna Porado have been in ministry together since 1999. Donna served as a Youth leader as a teenager. They served together is Student ministry from 1999 until 2009 when they became Lead Pastors of their Church in Cleveland, Ga. They also founded and led a Motorcycle ministry that saw many bikers come to know Christ. They also operated Holy Grounds Coffee House in Cleveland. Part of that ministry was serving free meals twice a week and providing free concerts to students in the area. In 2015 Mark & Donna moved to Jasper to become Lead Pastors of Living Word Church. They have 3 adult children and 5 grandchildren.

Gerald and Sheryl Faulkner came to Living Word Church in 1989. They have faithfully served here in many capacities, including ministering to our children for several years. They have filled in as an interim pastor on several occasions as well. 

Both Gerald and Sheryl are graduates of Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida and International Seminary in Plymouth, Florida. At one time they were pastors in North Carolina and Pennsylvania. And they have both administered and taught in Christian schools. 

Gerald & Sheryl Faulkner

Associate Pastor
Church Elders

Mark & Levonne Leuenberger
Executive Director of Ministry
Benevolence Deacon

Mark & Levonne Leuenberger have been leading and serving in various ministries since they moved to Georgia in 1989.  This has included leading children’s ministries, sound team and small groups as well as serving in many support ministries.  They started attending LWC when they moved from Atlanta to Jasper in 2019 and became members in 2020.  Levonne currently serves in the children’s ministry.   They became Benevolence Deacons in 2021, and then in March 2022, Mark assumed the role of Executive Director of Ministries at LWC.  In this role, Mark oversees the business and operational functions of the church. 

Before getting married in 2016 here at LWC, Billy and Kim were both serving separately in the church. Billy started attending here in 2008 where shortly after he served on the Guest Services Team as well as leading the Iron Men Ministry.  Kim came to the church in 2011, where over the years she has served as Missions Liaison, Women's Ministry leader and now her current position of Prayer Team leader. In 2021, they became Elders of LWC and continue to serve both the church and the community they love side by side. 

Billy & Kim Echols

Church Elders
Prayer Team Leader

Slayter & Megan Kousek
Worship Pastor

Pam Layfield is the Fellowship Deacon for LWC. Since helping her mother cook, when she was a teenager, she has always loved to be in the kitchen. Knowing that God's Word says a lot about fellowshipping with one another and sharing a meal, Pam is a wonderful, daily example of someone who loves to serve by serving others!

Pam Layfield
Fellowship Deacon
Tom & Candice Fowler
Connections Leader
Men's Bible Study Leader
Women's Bible Study Leader

Bryan has been our Media Deacon coming upon 6 years. He heads up the media team which is the backbone of our church's operations and services. Even though most of the time he and his team are relatively unnoticed, what they provide is not. From displaying song lyrics, to graphics and scripture for sermons, to streaming our services live and then uploading them to both our Facebook and Youtube pages. They also handle all the lighting aspects for the sanctuary. Bryan is also one half of our LWC Mountain Movers ministry on Wednesday nights! 

Bryan Epps
Media Deacon