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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

Brandon Siwula


Matthew is currently serving as a pastoral intern at Rooted Church. Originally from Birmingham, AL, the Lord called Matthew to North Carolina for ministry training at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. During his time in seminary, Matthew has developed a love for teaching and children's ministry. Along with his wife Taylor and their daughter Selah, Matthew lives in Wake Forest and is a leader for the North Raleigh area Growth Group. 

Childrens Director

Matthew McGinnis


Edie Perra

Deaconess of Hospitality and Mission

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.


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.

Mike Nugent

Seminary Intern


Music Director

Brandon Gilzean

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.


Teen Team

Grant Dietrich
Austin & Gabrielle Wright


Grant moved to the Raleigh, NC area in 2017 to be closer to his girlfriend who is now his wife Yijia Dietrich. He is from Harrisburg, PA and has been in North Carolina on and off since 2013. He enjoys reading books in his spare time and is passionate about learning about Theology and Church History. Grant and his wife have been attending Rooted since the end of 2020.


Outside of Church and home life Grant works in the information technology field in a hospital environment. He has been employed in information technology since 2013 and has an A/S in Information Science Technology from Penn State. He is currently working on B/A in East Asian Studies at University Maryland Global Campus and is scheduled to graduated spring 2022.


Michigan natives, Gabrielle and Austin Wright found themselves in sunny southern California for 5 years before moving to Raleigh in June 2021. They are both English teachers and love getting to spend more time with students on Sunday mornings with Rooted Teens! They are expecting their first baby (girl!) in May and are equal parts nervous/excited about becoming parents! In her free time, Gabrielle enjoys running and keeping up with her pen pals while Austin enjoys racquetball and strategy board games. They both love ultimate frisbee and Lord of the Rings! Gabrielle and Austin are blessed to be a part of the Gospel-centered community that is Rooted Church!