Matthew Delaughter, Lead Pastor
Matthew Delaughter is the Lead Pastor/Planter of Immanuel Community Church. Matthew has been married to Annie since the summer of 2009. They have three young children: Bryson, Eliana, and Paton.
Matthew and Annie are originally from southern Mississippi. Matthew grew up in a small United Methodist Church in Brookhaven, MS, and he became a believer in Christ around the age of 12. Matthew grew up loving sports as he excelled in football and baseball, and went on to play football at Copiah-Lincoln Community College. It was while he was at Co-Lin that he met Annie and where he also felt a call to vocational ministry. After Co-Lin, Matthew moved to study Biblical and Theological Studies at Boyce College in Louisville, KY, and he later studied at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. Matthew ended up living in Louisville for eight years, mostly because of the ministry of Immanuel Baptist Church. It was at Immanuel where Matthew and Annie had their most formative years for understanding gospel ministry. During this time they were loved well by the church through a long season of miscarriages, and it was also during this time that they became foster parents and adopted their first son (Bryson). Matthew went through Immanuel’s three year apprenticeship, and he was later affirmed by the church to be sent out as a church planter to New Orleans.
The Delaughters moved to New Orleans in June of 2015 to begin the work of church planting. To begin building relationships in the city, Matthew coached football with the Recreation Department, which is part of the reason why Immanuel planted where they planted as Matthew coached at a park that is just north of where the church now meets. Matthew’s goals in ministry are to cultivate a people who love the preaching of the gospel because they love Jesus, to help believers see their great need of the local church and prayer, and to gather a people from every walk of life so that their unity could only be explained by the beauty and power of the gospel. Matthew’s joys in life are dating Annie, playing and being silly with his kids, shamelessly pulling for the Saints and Pelicans, enjoying the city of New Orleans, and seeing Immanuel grow more into the image of Christ.
Ben Curtis, Pastor
Ben and his wife, Jordan, are originally from South Alabama. They have been married for 9 years and have three children: Cooper, Raeleigh, and Chapman. Ben attended Boyce College at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where he earned at B.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies. It was there that he met Matthew Delaughter and was introduced to Immanuel Baptist Church in Louisville, KY. His time in Louisville ignited in him a passion for the discipleship and growth of the local church. Aside from spending time with his family and serving as a pastor at Immanuel, Ben enjoys watching a good football game (especially the Saints and the Auburn Tigers), eating good food, and when there’s time, hunting and fishing. He currently serves as a sales rep for a local copier company.
Cody Cunningham, Pastor
Cody and his wife Margaret, who are natives of southern Mississippi, have three children: Josiah, Charlotte, and Levi. Before moving to New Orleans, the Cunninghams lived in Wake Forest, North Carolina, where Cody graduated from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary with his Master of Divinity. Cody is passionate about seeing men and women grow in the understanding of and love for the church, raising up godly leaders, and seeing the gospel go to the most unreached places in the world. Besides hanging with his wife and kids, Cody also enjoys a good cup of coffee and getting swept up in a good book. In addition to his responsibilities at Immanuel, Cody serves as the Training Facilitator for West Africa for Reaching and Teaching International Ministries, where he partners with local churches to provide theological training for pastors who have little or no access to formal theological training.
Andrew Hanna, Pastoral Intern
Andrew Hanna serves as one of the Pastoral Interns of Immanuel Community Church. Andrew is burdened for the children and youth of the New Orleans area, and he engages the Treme community through sports ministries and evangelistic Bible studies. Andrew desires for the local church to embrace Christ and showcase the restorative power of the gospel. He is happily married to Mary Margaret. Andrew is also a student at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, where he is pursuing a degree in biblical studies.
DeAron Washington, Pastoral Intern
DeAron serve as one of the Pastoral Interns at Immanuel, where he focuses on establishing partnerships with local pastors in the Treme community and the local bookstore. DeAron is married to Jessica and is the father of Karis. He is a student at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, pursuing a degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. DeAron is passionate about racial reconciliation and assisting the church in understanding the difficult topics that encompasses it. He is a native of Lexington, Mississippi, and previously earned a degree in Psychology from Delta State University.
Marie serves as the church’s Administrative Assistant, facilitating the activities of the church by answering emails, ordering supplies, writing newsletters, and generally making sure that everyone knows what’s going on at Immanuel. A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Marie moved to New Orleans from Louisville, Kentucky, along with her husband and young daughter: Willie and Talia.