Our Directional Leadership Team works together to shape the vision and direction of Christ Fellowship.

Rick Blackwood is the lead pastor of Christ Fellowship. Christ Fellowship has seven locations in Miami-Dade county and nine in the surrounding Latin and Caribbean countries. Rick is the author of The Power of Multi-sensory Preaching and Teaching, the visionary behind Leading From the Pulpit, and holds two Master’s degrees and three Doctoral degrees from Grace Theological Seminary, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Trinity International University. Rick is married to Rhonda. They have two daughters, Natalie and Rebekah.

Lead Pastor


Omar Giritli is a pastor who serves on the Christ Fellowship Directional Leadership Team as the Director of Campuses and the Christ Fellowship Teaching Team. He has also served as a Campus Pastor and the Small Group Pastor for Christ Fellowship. He holds a Master of Divinity degree from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also holds a Law Degree from the University of Miami and is a member of the Florida Bar. Pastor Omar and his wife, Ashley, live in Miami with their daughter, Camila.

Teaching Team Pastor


Deborah Sutton serves on the Christ Fellowship Directional Leadership Team as the Director of Operations and CFO.  She has held financial roles at Christ Fellowship and Christ Fellowship Academy for 30 years. She grew up in the Florida Keys and has a Bachelor's degree from Trinity University and a Masters of Business Administration from Barry University.  Debbie and her husband, Brad, live in Miami and are blessed with two children and five grandchildren.

Director of Operations


Jim Tomberlin serves as the Chief of Staff under Rick Blackwood in leading the Directional Leadership Team at Christ Fellowship. 

He is the author of 125 Tips for MultiSite Churches, Better Together: Making Church Merger Work, and 

Church Locality: New Rules for Church Buildings in a Multisite, Church Planting and Giga-Church World.

Jim holds a B.A. in Anthropology from Georgia State University in Atlanta and a Masters of Theology (Th.M) from Dallas Theological Seminary. Jim and his wife, Deryl, have three children and eleven grandchildren. 

Chief of Staff


Samantha Stockton serves on the Christ Fellowship Directional Leadership Team as the Director of Ministries.  She was born in Da Nang, Vietnam and raised her entire life in Miami. Samantha considers herself a Miamian for life! Her passion is to coach leaders to be the best at utilizing their gifts and making it easy for ministries to help people follow Jesus. She is married to A.J., and mama to Andy and Savanna. If you want to get to know her more, Samantha is always ready to meet you, just bring some Cuban coffee and pastelitos. 

Director of Ministries


Carlos Cardenas serves as the Campus Pastor for the Palmetto Bay Campus and is also part of the Christ Fellowship Teaching Team. He also served as the Campus Pastor for the West Kendall Campus as well as the Worship Director. He holds a Master’s in Theological Studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity Seminary and Bachelor’s in Business Management from Florida International University. Carlos lives in Palmetto Bay with his wife Shany, and his children Noah, Nathan and Everly. Aside from spending time with his family, Carlos loves to barbecue and watch his favorite football team, the Miami Hurricanes.

Teaching Team Pastor


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