GET TO KNOW OUR STAFF
Greg Payton, a husband, father, pastor, and avid fly fisherman was born into a pastor’s home in 1972. He was involved in ministry from day one. He graduated from Orange Park High School in Orange Park, Florida, in 1990. At 15 years of age, Greg surrendered his life to full-time Christian service. After three years at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, he transferred to Oklahoma University in Norman, Oklahoma, to be closer to his college sweetheart (and soon-to-be wife) Patty McGowen.
Greg graduated with a degree in business administration from the University of Oklahoma in 1995. From there, he began a career as a Farmers Insurance Agent in Norman, Oklahoma. Realizing the call to ministry on his life, Greg left the insurance business and went to seminary at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas. He began his ministry as Children’s Pastor at First Baptist Church in Moore, Oklahoma. In 2002 Greg and Patty moved to Billings, Montana, to plant what would become The Rock Church.
Pastor Greg is serving his second term as President of the Montana Southern Baptist Convention. He has spent many hours volunteering for organizations such as Trout Unlimited, Casting for Recovery, Lat45° Adventure Ministries, and the Federation of Fly Fishers.
Greg and his wife Patty live in Billings, Montana. They have four children: Tanner (26) and his wife Lexy, Nathan (23), Josh (21) and his fiancé Jessica, and Paislee (6). The newest member of the family is their first grandson, Toby Payton (1).
The Payton family has always had a lot going on. Between Greg pastoring the church and participating in other ministry engagements and his wife Patty working full time as a kindergarten teacher in the Billings Public School System and leading the children’s ministry at The Rock, things never seemed to slow down. Having three boys active in music and football, although enjoyable, added to the busy schedule. As satisfied as they were with their boys and their many activities, the Paytons still longed for one more family member … a little girl.
Having been burdened with a desire to adopt, their family was finally complete in October 2016. Their daughter Paislee was born. She was greeted at the hospital by many arms waiting to welcome her home. Greg and Patty were instantly smitten, as were her big brothers.
Greg is very committed to Lord and The Rock Church, its ministry and outreach to Laurel and the surrounding communities.
Favorite Bible Verse: II Corinthians 4:4-6
Student Pastor, Media Director
Nathan Payton, a musician, college student, and football enthusiast was born in Oklahoma.He is a die-hard OU fan. Nathan says he is blessed that God gave him such an amazing family, God-fearing parents—Greg and Patty Payton, and three amazing siblings–Tanner, Josh, and Paislee. Although you are not supposed to have favorite siblings, it is not even a debate that Paislee is Nathan’s favorite.
Nathan is Student Pastor at The Rock Church. Nathan has years of experience working and preaching the gospel to students. The student ministry on Wednesdays is the highlight of his week. Nathan is also the Media Director at The Rock Church, which means whenever there are technical issues, he is right there to attempt to fix them. Additionally, Nathan serves on the worship team at The Rock. Having served on the technical side of the worship team for years, in November 2019 when playing the keyboard spot needed to be filled, Nathan planned on stepping in and learning the keys before January 2020, only to be thrown into the deep end that following Sunday to play for worship.
As for college, Nathan is attending Grand Canyon University full time through their online program for elementary education with a minor in Biblical studies. Most of his free time is taken up by the new Madden game that releases every year, friends, practicing the keys relentlessly, and serving as a counselor at Clydehurst Christian Ranch. Nathan’s dream is to continue to work in the ministry field and go wherever God leads him.
Favorite Bible Verse: Luke 9:23
Joyce Payton serves in a secretarial capacity as assistant to Pastor Greg. Joyce has been in this type of work most of her life. For years, she was a pastor’s wife and, as a result, got to know the workings of a church from the inside out. Joyce has two children: Pastor Greg and Sonya Payton Howell, six grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
Joyce attended Oklahoma Baptist University while working full time at Tinker Air Force Base. She also worked in other government agencies in her early years. Later she worked as a medical transcriptionist at a hospital in Oklahoma. However, the work she did with Florida Baptist and Montana Southern Baptist Conventions has been most beneficial to working in the church. Joyce began doing the church’s secretarial work in 2002 before the church launched in 2003.
Joyce’s favorite hobbies are scrapbooking, making cards, and playing the piano.
Favorite Bible Verse: Romans 1:16
Amanda Hjelvik is a mother, a wife, and a strong woman of faith. Amanda was born in Billings, Montana, and has lived in Montana her entire life. Amanda is a mother to many, including her children: Matisen, Remington, Dawson, Alexis, Sara, and Savannah. Amanda has been married 12 years to her amazing husband Mikol. In her free time, Amanda enjoys spending time with her family, working out at the gym, watching Oklahoma football, and shopping at lululemon.
Amanda serves as an Administrative Assistant at The Rock Church, which entails answering phones, emails, printing and ministry assignments. Amanda says her favorite serving opportunity is on the welcome team at The Rock, and she looks forward to greeting people with a smiling face as they arrive on Sundays. Amanda says she is very thankful for the many ways God has blessed her and her family.
Favorite Bible Verse: Psalm 139:14
Creative Director, Administrative Director
Nyssa Brown is the wife of 15 years to Nick and mother to three boys: Gage, Masen, and Dylan. She has been on staff at The Rock for 10 years. She serves as Creative Director and Administrative Director with involvement in all facets of the ministry, including assisting Pastor Greg, leading worship, coordinating Life Groups, managing volunteers and assimilation, ministry and event planning, etc. She uses her experience in interior design and passion for creativity to manage social media, website design and more.
Nyssa spent years working in interior design and has found her niche in leading the creative direction at The Rock. She has used her talents in these areas to serve ministries such as the Montana Southern Baptist Convention, Lat45° Adventure Ministries, and Trout Unlimited. Nyssa loves sharing her faith in Jesus with others, has led young women’s Bible studies, and loves encouraging young women to grow in their faith.
Favorite Bible verse: Romans 15:13
It isn’t just giving in general that is expected; it is selfless and sacrificial giving that overflows from a heart responding to the generosity of the gospel.