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Gary was born and raised in Sacramento, CA and moved to the Research Triangle Park area in 2017. He graduated from Sacramento State (B.A. 1996) and The Master’s Seminary (M.Div. 2000).


He pastored in California from 1998 to 2016 in a variety of churches and roles and is passionate about preaching, discipleship, leading, and engaging the city.

Gary is married to his wife, Tracy, and God has blessed them with 3 children. He enjoys eating, movies, basketball, soccer, football and recently pickleball. While he has begun cheering for local college sports, Gary is a die-hard Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors fan.

Rev. Gary Lee 

Lead Pastor


David Contreras

Director of Equip & Kids

Empty nesters David and Norma have been joyfully married for 34 years, raising five children to adulthood in Southern California. Prompted by much prayer and discussion, they felt God calling them to the Apex/Cary area and to ministry with Rooted Church. This has been a family migration that includes three of their sons with their wives (Christian and Sarah, Michael and Breana, and David and Crystal), along with four of their grandchildren, Aislynn, Silas, Titus, and Clover.


David serves as our Director of Equip Ministries, overseeing servant leaders of Men’s, Women’s, Growth Groups, Tweens/Teens and Kids. David and Norma work closely together ministering to children and their parents as servant leaders of Rooted Kids. They provide encouragement and counsel for young married couples as the Lord wills.


Edie Perra is a Durham, NC native until recently moving to Raleigh in 2021. She recently graduated from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Masters Degree in Divinity with an emphasis in Missiology.  Currently she is the Deaconess of Hospitality and Missions at Rooted Church. She has been married to her husband, Michael, for 23 years. They have two daughters, Morgan and Skylar. In 2019, the family served in Trinidad and Tobago on a church planting team. Edie loves Indian food, travel, watching movies, epic family UNO tournaments, history, and reading books about missions and global missional perspectives.

Edie Perra

Global Mission Advisor


A native of Kansas City, MO, Mike moved to Willow Spring, NC in 2021. He currently working on his Masters of Theological Studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and expects to graduate in 2022. Since beginning his seminary education Mike has a developed a passion for teaching and counseling ministries.


Mike has been blessed to be married to his wife, Michelle for 13 years. They have 4 children, Nicole, Josh, Carly and Grayson. Mike is an avid Kansas City Chiefs fan. He enjoys playing the bass, science fiction movies and documentaries, day tripping with Michelle and reading books on theology and history.

Prayer Mobilization

Mike Nugent


Originally from Texas and later moving to Florida during his childhood, Brandon and his wife, Alissa, have lived in the RTP area since 2015 and have been blessed with two children, Brayden and Liliana. Brandon joined Rooted Church in 2021 and oversees the church’s music ministry.  He seeks to live a life of worship as he engages with his family, coworkers, the church body and local community. 


Brandon works as a software engineer within the healthcare industry and enjoys spending time with his wife and kids, good food, basketball, creating and playing music, and traveling.

Music Director

Brandon Gilzean


Teen Team

Austin & Gabrielle Wright

Michigan natives, Gabrielle and Austin Wright found themselves in sunny southern California for 5 years before moving to Raleigh in June 2021. Austin teaches English at Apex High School and Gabrielle cares for their daughter Eden at home. Their favorite things about North Carolina include their porch swing, the Pisgah National Forest, and Prime Barbecue. They love getting to spend time with students on Sunday mornings with Rooted Teens and are blessed to be a part of the Gospel-centered community that is Rooted Church! 

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