Our Staff

Matthew Armstrong


Matt and Stacey Armstrong are thankful to be in a church in their home town. Though both were born outside of Georgia, like many others, Atlanta has become their home. They have three beautiful children, Zoe (11) and Cameron (9), and Noah (5).

Before setting out to plant Village Church in 2010 Matt served as an assistant pastor at All Souls Fellowship in Decatur. It was during that time that he learned the importance of loving and serving a place and gained a deep affection for the east-side Atlanta neighborhoods. He and his family hope to grow old and raise their kids here. Matt is passionate about pastoring the church to love, serve, and benefit its neighborhood. 

He loves good food, dark beer, and deep conversation around the table. Stacey is a gifted musician, singer, and song-writer when she’s not making sure the kids don’t kill each other.

Emily Larsgaard

Executive Assistant 

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Emily landed in Atlanta, Georgia via way of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She has called Atlanta home now for over 8 years and loves being a part of the East Atlanta community.  

Since graduating from Middle Tennessee State University Emily has worked for the campus ministry Reformed University Fellowship in a variety of both administrative and relational ministry roles. Her experience at RUF helped her develop a deep love of Jesus, people, and organizing everything.

Emily loves taking spin classes and taking naps. She also loves her husband, Joel, and their two girls, Selma and Polly. You will often find them sitting on their front porch (or in the inflatable kiddie pool). Feel free to come join the fun!

Abe Okie

Worship Director

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Abe and his family are happy to be settled in East Atlanta after a 6-year stint teaching music in the Indian Himalayas and several months of resettlement. In India, Abe came to appreciate roadside chai, mangos, and America. Prior to this international post, he was worship director at a church in Midtown. When he is not helping people to sing, Abe enjoys biking, reading, and reading about biking.

His wife, Bethany is an actress, music director and vocal coach. They have two children: Caroline, who is a budding artist/helicopter pilot, and Samuel, who is very happy to see you.

Rachael Smith

Children's Ministry Director

Born and raised in Denver, Rachael has a special fondness for outdoor adventures. But as an Atlanta transplant since 2004 she has a growing appreciation for air conditioning.

She grew up in a tight-knit community that exposed her to the Lord from as early as she can remember. However, God really grabbed hold of her heart around at age 17. She graduated from Colorado Christian University with a double major in Biblical Studies and Communication. It was during her college years that she first became involved with youth ministry (with Young Life) and began to see her heart for teaching and discipling others. She is passionate about training up and speaking into generations of believers starting with children and reaching into adulthood. It is a real honor for her to see how the Lord uses the full church body to minister to the young hearts at Village Church of East Atlanta.

Rachael can tell a great (mostly true) story and loves a good laugh. The only people Rachael loves more than Carol Burnett are the four boys who live in her house — her husband, David, and three fast-growing sons.