Photo Credit:  Peter Hellberg

Matt Peterson, Lead Pastor

Matt is the Lead Pastor at Awake Church, as well as the founder of the water supplying organization Hydrating Humanity. From day to day, Matt can be found speaking on the heart of God, helping others to connect with the person of Jesus, and even on occasion, making electrical repairs via scissor lift around the church building. His passion is to release the Kingdom of Heaven, lead others to a safe, healthy place spiritually, and participate with the family members at Awake to find their purpose and live fully alive.

Originally from Oregon, Matt now lives in North Carolina with his beautiful wife Debbie and their five sons. He is an avid storyteller who often shares his own adventure-packed history as well as stories of others that have inspired him. When he is not at Awake, you may find Matt watching an afternoon football game, enjoying his family, or capturing photos of the outdoors.



Dawn Bray, Pastoral Care Pastor

Dawn Bray oversees the pastoral care ministries at Awake Church. She desires to extend support and care to the body at Awake and is raising up teams to minister and serve every area of need in our congregation.

She also leads Awake Freedom. Awake Freedom is a ministry designed to nurture healthy families through tools for individual intimacy and connection with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. 

Dawn and her husband Lonnie live in Kernersville on a small farm where they founded New Reflection Ministries.  This ministry originated through Dawn's personal healing journey which is a testimony she loves to share. Dawn truly has a heart and compassion to see others healed and living life abundantly. As Dawn says, “My years of training to be a prayer minister, as well as my own healing journey, is what gave me God’s heart to see others healed and walking in their true God given identity.”

When she is not at Awake, she enjoys being with her family and making memories with her grandchildren as well walking, writing, worshiping at the keyboard and spending time in nature and with the horses on their property.



David Olinger, Worship Pastor

David Olinger is our Worship Pastor at Awake Church. Since 2008, he’s been leading the music for our worship gatherings and pouring into our musicians, worship leaders and artists. David is a songwriter and recording artist. His album “Hope” debuted in 2012  and was followed by “Wellborne Music” in 2018 as the first collaborative worship album from a growing community of artists and songwriters rooted in the Awake Church community. Wellborne Music is a record label that exists to empower songwriters and musicians to produce albums that set captives free, bring healing to the broken, and hope to the searching soul. 

David is also Pastor of our Get Together Groups (Awake’s small group ministry).

David and his wife Lauren live in Winston Salem, along with their two rowdy pups, Roux and Mila.
In their free time, the Olingers love the outdoors, climbing, hiking, photography and frequent trips to the beach.



Brigitte Wingate, Administrator

Brigitte Wingate is the Administrator at Awake Church and assistant to our Lead Pastor, Matt Peterson.
Brigitte does everything from accounting, scheduling, planning and promoting events, answering emails, and ensuring all things run as smoothly as possible.
She began working at the church part-time as an administrative assistant after a year of being an active member. Brigitte is known for her organizational skills, efficiency and love of authentic relationship and community.

Brigitte grew up in California, then Virginia before moving to Winston Salem following her time serving at ‘A Place for the Heart’, a ministry which leads a discipleship School for Young Adults.

Brigitte is married to Seth Wingate and they live in Winston Salem.

In her free time, Brigitte loves working out, going to the farmers market, cooking healthy meals, game nights, drinking good coffee, hiking, climbing, and really all outdoor adventuring.



Debbie Peterson, Children’s Pastor

Debbie co-leads the Children's ministry at Awake Church.  She taught elementary and middle school for eighteen years and has stepped away to embrace this privilege of partnering with parents, grandparents and caregivers in nurturing children and sharing God's amazing love and plan for their lives.    

She is married to Matt, the lead pastor and they have had five incredible sons.    She also nannies children and is a Barre Fitness Instructor.