What We Believe

We desire to see lives changed by the gospel.

Core Beliefs

Imago Dei stands in the line of Historic Christianity (The Apostles’ Creed). Covenant Members of Imago Dei must affirm and believe the following nine core, historic beliefs.

There is only one true and living God who is the Creator of the universe. He exists eternally in three Persons – the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

The Bible is God’s written revelation of Himself to mankind divinely given through human authors who were inspired by the Holy Spirit. It is entirely true, totally sufficient, and completely authoritative for matters of life and faith.

Human Beings are created by God to bear His image. They are the crowning work of His creation worthy of love, dignity, and respect regardless of matters like age, race, gender, or class.

Because of the Fall, the image of God in people is distorted but not lost. All people have disobeyed God willfully through sin; thus inheriting both physical and spiritual death and the need for redemption. All human beings are born with a sin nature and into an environment inclined toward sin. Only by the grace of God through Jesus Christ can they experience salvation.

Jesus is both fully God and fully human. He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died on the Cross as a substitute for mankind, was raised from the dead, ascended into heaven, and will one day return.

Salvation comes only through Jesus Christ, the only mediator between God and man. No other religion, belief, or person can reconcile God and man. He alone can provide forgiveness and eternal salvation.

Salvation comes only through a faith relationship with Jesus Christ, the Savior, as a person repents of sin and receives Christ’s forgiveness and eternal life. Salvation is instantaneous and accomplished solely by the power of the Holy Spirit through the Word of God. This salvation is wholly of God by grace on the basis of Christ’s life, death and resurrection, not on the basis of human works. All the redeemed are secured in Christ forever.

The Holy Spirit immediately places all people who put their faith in Jesus Christ into one united spiritual body, the Church, of which Christ is the head.

God will bring the world to its appropriate end in His own time and in His own way. At that time, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth. Christ will judge both the saved and unsaved. Those who have trusted Christ will receive a glorified body and dwell forever with the Lord. Those who have not trusted in Christ will spend eternity in hell, the place of everlasting punishment.

Core Values


We desire to see lives changed by the gospel. Everything we do is shaped by the gospel, which is the good news of what God has accomplished in the person of his Son – in His perfect life, sacrificial death, and victorious resurrection – to secure forgiveness of sins and fullness of life for all who will repent of their sin and believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior.


The gospel creates a redeemed and transformed community. Imago Dei Church is committed to living life together & challenging one another to grow as disciples of Christ in the household of God.


We have been rescued & redeemed by a loving and missionary God. Therefore, we seek to join His mission by making disciples among all nations and loving our neighbors with the love of Christ.



Imago Dei Church is an elder-led church. We view the role of elder and the role of pastor as one and the same. Therefore, those noted as “Pastors” are  “Elders.” For more on these convictions, view our Philosophy of Ministry.

Akeloe Facey

Pastor for Family Discipleship

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Akeloe was born in Kingston, Jamaica, where he lived until the age of 12 when he then moved to Philadelphia, PA. He attended undergrad at Temple University where he met his future wife, N’keesha. After graduating in 2006, he relocated to the D.C. Metro area, got married shortly thereafter, and began a 15-year long career in the software development field while earning a graduate degree at the University of Maryland. Simultaneously, Akeloe devoted his time to youth and family discipleship, teaching the Bible and mentoring middle and high school students, and equipping and encouraging parents. In 2015, Akeloe and his wife moved to Raleigh and began attending Imago Dei. Akeloe served in the student ministry and as a growth group leader before joining IDC’s staff full-time in January 2021, serving families. He is currently pursuing a degree at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Akeloe and N’keesha have two very lively sons, Elijah and Noah. In his spare time, Akeloe enjoys reading, watching or playing soccer, and being a fully committed foodie. Get to know Akeloe (video).

Donnie Hollis

Pastor for Worship and Member Care

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Donnie was born and raised in Mississippi where Jesus saved him in1998 and Meghan married him in 2007. He and Meghan moved to Raleigh in 2011 to help plant IDC. He became a pastor in 2012. They now have 5 children (Judah, Evelyn, John, Olivia, and Ben) and love serving the saints at IDC! Get to know Donnie (video).

Zac Lyons

Pastor for Missions and Evangelism

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Zac was born in Memphis, TN, but grew up in West Africa as the son of missionary church planters. Zac and his wife, Amanda, joined Imago Dei in 2013 while he was a student at SEBTS. He became a lay pastor in 2018 and started full time as the Pastor for Missions and Evangelism in the fall of 2020. Together, he and Amanda have two precious daughters, Adelyn and Jaimee. Zac loves to equip, support, and encourage those we send to make disciples and plant churches among the unreached and least-reached in our city, throughout North America, and around the world. When not serving the church, he enjoys reading, being outdoors, chatting with people, playing disc golf, and relaxing with his family. Get to know Zac (video).

Tony Merida

Pastor for Preaching and Vision

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Tony Merida is the founding pastor of Imago Dei Church in Raleigh, N.C, and is the vice president of Planter Development for Send Network. He also serves as a Board member for The Gospel Coalition. Tony has written several books including, The Christ-Centered Expositor, Love Your Church, and multiple volumes in the Christ-Centered Exposition commentary series. He’s happily married to Kimberly, and they have five children.

Matt Sigmon

Executive Pastor

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Matt grew up in the Carolinas; he met his future wife, Shauna, during their sophomore year of high school. They were married in 1995, the day after Matt graduated from Clemson University with a degree in Chemical Engineering. He worked for over 20 years as an engineer in the industrial automation industry. Matt both graduated from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and became part of the core team that planted Imago Dei Church in May of 2011. Since then he has served as the Executive Pastor, retiring from engineering in late 2015 in order to serve full time at Imago Dei. Matt and Shauna have five children: Gabrielle, Grace, Caleb, Abraham, and Mabry. When not serving the church, he enjoys traveling, being outdoors, satire and witty banter, cheering on the Tigers, and spending time with his amazing wife and family. Get to know Matt (video).

Seth Wise

Pastor for Administration

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Seth is originally from Georgia where he attended college at Georgia College and State University majoring in business administration. He moved to the Raleigh area in 2011 and joined IDC shortly after. Seth graduated from Southeastern Seminary in 2014 and Cedarville University in 2023. He met his wife, Emily, at IDC and they have been married since August 2015 and they have two daughters, Margot and Iris. Seth enjoys reading and watching the Atlanta Braves and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Get to know Seth (video).

Josh Cornelissen


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Josh grew up in Minnesota and Virginia before attending college in South Carolina, where he met and married his wife Deborah. They moved to North Carolina in 2013 and began attending Imago Dei, where in 2019 Josh was confirmed as a lay elder. He has degrees from Columbia International University (CIU), the Zwemer Institute for Muslim Studies and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and Deborah have a young son, Caleb, and live in Wake Forest, NC. He is a major nerd and loves writing and reading Fantasy novels, superheroes, Star Wars, board games, and basketball. Get to know Josh (video).

Matt Lee


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Matt Lee was born and raised in Southern California and moved to North Carolina in 2018. He and his wife Tasha have three wonderful kids Micah, Asa, and Eden; along with his niece Autumn. He received his BA from San Diego State University and completed his MA from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Matt has been working as an Instructional Designer at various companies and organizations for over a decade. In his downtime, Matt enjoys reading, spoken word, sports, and spending time with friends and family.

Devin Moncada


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Devin was born and raised in Louisiana, but he now lives in Wake Forest with his wife Evan and their children, time with whom he enjoys like cold, summer treats that always seem to melt too quickly. He graduated from Louisiana College (BA) and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (MDiv) and is pursuing a PhD in Old Testament at SEBTS. He joined Imago Dei in 2016 and started serving as a lay pastor in 2021. He enjoys sourdough bread, coffee, biking, and uncovering his buried feelings with a Fredrik Backman novel. Get to know Devin (video).

Dave Phillips


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Dave was born and raised in Wheaton, IL and lives in Wake Forest with his wife Julie and daughter Annabelle. They have been at IDC since 2013. Dave became a lay pastor at IDC in 2023 and works as the Director of Financial Aid at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a graduate of Wheaton College (BA), Moody Graduate School (MDiv), and SEBTS (PhD). He loves spending time with his family, playing basketball, reading, science-fiction and fantasy, and smoking meat.

Willy Rodriguez


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Willy Rodriguez, originally from the Dominican Republic, relocated to the United States in 2007. He lived in NYC where he met Keity Rodriguez and has been Married to Keity since 2009. Willy became a Christian shortly after getting married. Summer of 2017, Willy and his family moved to Raleigh area and in summer of 2018, Willy and Keity became members of IDC. For the past five years, Willy has served the church as a growth group leader and he has been the director of IDC’s Hispanic Initiative for the past three years.

Matt Steele


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Matt and Laura Steele have been married for 24yrs. Parents to Grace, Patrick, Ethan, Quinton, Matthew, and Susanna. They have been blessed to have both biological and adopted children. The Steeles have been foster parents and involved with Safe Families for many years. Matt is employed by Cepheid as a Manager of Sales Training and Development and Laura homeschools the kids. The Steeles are from TX and moved to Raleigh from Lake Villa, IL. Matt and Laura are graduates of Texas Tech University and Matt has a Masters from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Laura and Matt are certified Biblical counselors. Get to know Matt (video).

Daniel Stevens


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Daniel is originally from Gainesville, GA and has been a member of Imago Dei Church since moving to Wake Forest with his wife in 2011. He served as a growth group leader before becoming a pastor at IDC in June 2017. Daniel is a fan of Atlanta Braves baseball, fishing/golf (pretty much anything outdoors), US presidential history, pretending not to be a slipshod carpenter, and Paul’s letter to the Colossians. He and his wife, Lauren, have one daughter and two foster daughters. Get to know Daniel (video).

Walter Strickland


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Walter is a graduate of Cedarville University (BA), Southeastern Seminary (MDiv & ThM), and the University of Aberdeen (PhD). He is a theology professor at Southeastern Seminary and an entrepreneur who co-owns an EdTech company. Having authored and contributed to more than 10 books, Dr. Strickland serves as a regular conference speaker, university lecturer, and professional development facilitator. He and his wife Stephanie live in the greater Raleigh area with their children. Get to know Walter (video).


Deacons are leading servants who assist the church in ministry by meeting various practical and member care needs in the body.

  • Rob Barton Deacon

  • Michael Britt Facilities Manager & Men's Discipleship Coordinator

  • Stephen Britton Deacon

  • Sara Beth Fentress Deacon

  • Andee Hart Deacon

  • Brett Hart Operations Manager

  • Ellen Holder Deacon

  • Erik Loomis Deacon

  • Andy Rodriguez Deacon

  • Aaron Schaefer Deacon

  • Joey Schultz Deacon

  • Laura Steele Deacon

  • Kristen Taylor Deacon

  • Katie Turkal Deacon

Ministry Directors & Coordinators

Ministry Directors & Coordinators serve the church by providing leadership in specific ministry initiatives.

  • Sam Ammons Elementary Discipleship Coordinator

  • Christy Britton Content Coordinator

  • Tyler Burton Director of College Discipleship & Local Mission

  • Jacob Collins-Gambill Family Discipleship Coordinator

  • Summer Crepelle Director of Childcare & Kids Discipleship

  • Blair Feller Global Missions Coordinator

  • Brian Key Director of Discipleship

  • Amanda Lyons Women's Discipleship Coordinator

  • Kimberly Merida Director of Worship Development

  • Denise O’Donoghue Director of Counseling Development

  • Willy Rodriguez Director of Hispanic Ministry

  • Shauna Sigmon Director of Women's Discipleship & Special Events

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