Our Mission

Helping you and your friends fall in love with Jesus.

We will have approachable and relevant teachings from the Bible that you can apply to your life today.

We will bend-over backwards for guests. They are not a nuisance. Jesus is the main point, and we will make reaching those far from God the focus of our mission.

This will be a safe place for people to explore Christianity. You don’t have to have all the answers. You don’t have to have any of the answers. You won’t be singled out for being new. Someone exploring faith is not looked down upon for being late to the game. Rather, this person will be celebrated.

We will create environments that are disarming to new people. There will be refreshments. There will be smiling and inviting faces. Honesty, not superficiality, will be encouraged. Our environments will scream, “We’re glad you’re here;” not, “You must conform, then you’ll be accepted.”

People are invited to wear clothes they feel comfortable in.

We will be intentional at using language that is easily understood. We will make sure that the methods we use to teach are as easy as possible to understand and apply.

We will have contemporary music. When people come, we want them to think, “Wow. This is awesome music. This is the kind of music I would like listening to when I’m in the car.”

We will be a church that like Jesus did not lean towards only grace, or only truth. We aren’t even trying to find the perfect balance of grace and truth. Instead we will seek to be completely truthful, and completely graceful.

As a church body, we will remember the fact that there are people who are far from God. We will remember that these people are our neighbors, coworkers, friends and family. We will build a culture that champions and celebrates inviting these people to our church.

We will seek to be our neighbor’s best neighbor.

We will be a generous church. We will leverage the temporary for the sake of the eternal. We will be generous in big things and in small things. We will be generous in partnering with organizations in Huntsville. We will be generous in serving our community. We will give every first time guest a free gift that they will actually want to use. We will always have Bibles people can have for free. We will give away free coffee. From the biggest thing to the smallest we want to exude generosity.

We will love Huntsville. We will be a church that if it ever disappeared, our community will be genuinely sad; even the community that does not yet know Jesus.


We are committed to helping you fall more in love by Jesus, and seeing the relevance of the Gospel to your everyday life.


We are committed to creating environments where we can love God and others, together.


Everything we do, we want to do for the glory of God!

Our Vision

Where Essential Is Headed Long Term

1. A safe place for you and others to explore Jesus in Huntsville.

2. Will open coffee shop (or other businesses) to help the people of Huntsville.

3. Starting 1,000 churches around the world.

4. Eradicating homelessness in Huntsville.

5. Experimenting with new ideas on how to love our community.

6. Leading other churches to love the people of Huntsville well.

7. Biblically centered and outwardly focused.

8. Life-long learners on how to reach our city.

9. Helping you, your friends, and family grow.

10. Pioneering how churches start where population is increasing and church attendance is decreasing.

We believe God has called you to reach the 250,000 un-churched and de-churched in the Huntsville area. We believe if we do not reach them, they won’t be reached. Projections show three startling facts. 1. Huntsville is growing. 2. Churches are shrinking. 3. Those who are in church tend to be older (50 years old and up). Who will reach the next generation who don’t go to church? You will.

Because of this, you and Essential are going to do something special in 2018.

1. You will play a key part in helping us reach our next milestone of reaching 350 people with the Gospel each week. If we do not reach them, who will?

2. You don’t just talk, you do. We will conduct 6 church-wide outreach events, and collectively, at least 20 Community Group outreach events. We will be life-long learners and doers in loving the people of Huntsville.

3. You will pioneer church planting in the Bible-belt this year by showing the relevance of Christ to our culture. We will run a public social media campaign comparing the difference between religion and the Gospel.

4. You will become indispensable to the city of Huntsville. We will do this by volunteering through our community groups at major city events. Huntsville leaders will know if you need something done right, you call the people of Essential.

5. You will be part of a group of people to begin the process of praying intentionally for the door to open to create a coffee shop (or other business). We are specifically praying for a leader to rise up and run with this project (could it be you?).

6. You will help take a step towards eradicating involuntary homelessness in Huntsville by donating at least $4,000.

7. You will start 2 new churches this year. One in New York City and one in Washington D.C. Church planting is hard, but using our collective experience, resources, and people we will support these two Gospel works.

8. You are creating a place where you can belong and you can grow. We will see 150 adults join a community group. 150 serve on a ministry team. 150 participating together in Community Bible Reading. These aren’t just numbers. They are people like you. They have a story. They are loved by God.

Join in, and belong to something bigger than yourself


Our Beliefs

Essential is a Biblically centered and outwardly focused church.

We believe in one God, who unconditionally loves all people, regardless of their race, gender, or nationality. He eternally exists in three distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each person of the Trinity is fully and completely God, sharing all of the divine attributes in a perfect loving community. (Matthew 28:19; John 1:14; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Colossians 1:15-20; Hebrews 1:1-3; Revelation 1:4-6)
We believe Jesus Christ is the perfect revelation of God to humankind. He is fully God and fully man. After voluntarily coming to earth and living a sinless life, He died on the cross as the substitute for humanity’s sin. His resurrection from the grave affirms His victory over sin and death. (Matthew 1:18-2:12; John 1:1-18; Romans 3:21-26; 1 Corinthians 12; Philippians 2:5-8; Colossians 1:15-23; Hebrews 1:1-13; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 John 1:1-2:2)

We believe God created humans, both male and female, in His perfect image. Because of our rebellion, we were all separated from God. However, we can all be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. (Genesis 1:26-31; Romans 3:10-18; Ephesians 2:1-3)

We believe that all who trust in Jesus Christ alone as their Lord and Savior will receive the forgiveness of sins and the free gift of eternal life. True peace and fulfillment in life are only found in a relationship with Jesus. (John 3:16, 6:35-40, 10:27-30; Romans 8:28-39; Philippians 1:6; 2 Timothy 2:13; 1 Peter 1:3-9; 1 John 5:11-13)

We believe in the Holy Spirit, who indwells the followers of Jesus at the point of salvation. He also equips them with spiritual gifts for serving others, and guides them in the journey to become like Christ as they relinquish control of their lives. (John 14:15-26; Acts 2:1-33; Romans 8:1-27; Galatians 5:16-23; 1 John 2:20-27)
We believe the Bible to be completely true and authoritative in all areas of faith and practice. It is God-inspired and a source of strength, direction, and wisdom for those who apply it to their lives. (John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21)

Loving God. Loving People.

Our Leaders

TIm Milner

Lead Pastor

Tim was born and raised in Huntsville, Alabama. Most recently, Tim was the Executive Pastor of Epic Church in San Francisco. Tim and Kristin were part of the team that started Epic Church. Despite being a challenging place to start a church, Epic grew from 0 to 500 in just four years. It was at this time when Tim received the clear and undeniable call to move back to his hometown to start Essential Church.

Previously, Tim attended The University of Alabama where he received his undergrad in Business Management. At this time he accepted the call to full time vocational ministry. Tim attended New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

Chase Allen

Associate Pastor

Chase was born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and raised in nearby Lucedale. Chase has served with various ministries, including youth and college. Chase has also coordinated partnerships and led mission teams around the world. Most recently, Chase served on on the administrative staff of Epic Church in San Francisco while attending seminary in the Bay Area. Chase and his wife, Kayela, have one daughter, Eleanor.

Chase Morris

Worship Pastor

Chase was born and raised in Huntsville, Alabama. He is currently attending The University of Alabama in Huntsville to complete his bachelors in Accounting. Chase grew up in the church, and has been actively involved in ministry since his adolescence. He has led worship at several different churches in the Huntsville area and has felt a strong calling to ministry from a young age. One of his core desires is to create an environment where worship is taught and expressed in a biblical and impactful way.

Haley Carter

Family Minister

Haley was born in Huntsville, AL and has lived in North Alabama all her life. Growing up as the daughter of a Children’s Minister and Teacher, she developed a passion for teaching others about the Lord and his love. Haley graduated from the University of North Alabama with a degree in Sociology and has served as a Children’s Director since then. She wants kids to see how important they are to the Lord and their ability to reach out and share the gospel with those in their sphere of influence.

Debra Graybeal

Administration & Communication

Debra was born in Birmingham, Alabama, and grew up in nearby Etowah County. In 2012, Debra and her husband, Seth, moved to Huntsville for Seth’s job and they love living in the Rocket City! Debra and Seth have been married since 2004 and have one canine child, Cesar, their spoiled-rotten Chihuahua! Debra enjoys leading the Weekday Team and Social Media Team, while also serving as a volunteer member of the Essential staff. She wants everyone at Essential to be well-informed and comfortable communicating with the staff and each other.

Want to worship with us?

Though we may not have met, we already like you. We don't care what you wear, how many piercings or tattoos you have, what candidate you voted for, or if you even know anything about the Bible. We're a church full of people just like you with every kind of story imaginable. We think you're going to love this place and we're saving a seat for you! We can't wait to see you!

Sundays 9:30 and 11am

1806 University Drive, Huntsville (downtown area, inside the Spark building, near Red Lobster)