Board of Trustees
Prince Avenue Christian School is a ministry of Prince Avenue Baptist Church. All PACS Board members are active members of PABC and serve three year terms.
Diane Bahnsen (Board Secretary) graduated from the University of Georgia in 1969 with a Bachelor of Science in Education and in 1975 with a Master’s of Education. Diane married her husband, Lynn, in 1969. She previously taught in the business department at Athens Technical College, but now she enjoys being a homemaker and grandmother of seven, all of whom are currently enrolled at Prince Avenue. Diane joined the board in May 2016.
Jeff Carter (Board Chairman) graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Engineering. After spending several years as vice president of an Atlanta-based engineering firm, Jeff launched Carter Engineering in 2004, a civil engineering and land planning service in his hometown of Athens. Jeff married his wife, Susanne, in 1997, and they currently have two children enrolled at PACS. Jeff began his service on the board in 2010.
Brian Elrod graduated from Luther Rice Bible College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion and Christian Worldview. He is a commercial real estate broker with The Elrod Group. Brian married his wife, Kim, in 2000, and they currently have four children attending PACS. Brian joined the board in 2016.
Richard Frierson graduated from Berry College in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. In 1996 he married his wife, Amy, and together they came to Athens in 1997 to begin their work as full-time house parents with WinShape Homes, a long-term foster care program established by Truett Cathy, the founder of Chick-fil-A. Since that time, the Friersons have had 12 children graduate from Prince Avenue, and they currently have 10 children in the school. Richard began his service on the board in 2009.
Daniel W. Gowder graduated from North Georgia College and State University in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in biology, earned his medical doctorate at the Medical College of Georgia in 2004, and completed his Emergency Medicine Residency at Palmetto Health Richland and the University of South Carolina in 2007. Dr. Gowder is American Board of Emergency Medicine certified and has worked at Piedmont Athens Regional since 2010 in the Emergency Department. He served on active duty in the United States Air Force from 2007-2010 and has continued to serve in the Air National Guard since 2010 as a physician and has deployed worldwide. Dr. Gowder married his wife, Rachel, in 2002; they have four children, two of whom are school age and attend Prince Avenue. He joined the board in 2017.
Emily Hicks graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication and from Piedmont College with a Master of Arts in Teaching in the field of Social Science. Emily married her husband, Joe, in 1998 and currently enjoys being a homemaker. Emily has two children attending Prince Avenue and one pre-school age child who will attend in the future. Emily joined the board in 2017.
Dr. John McCall is Professor Emeritus of Veterinary Parasitology at the University of Georgia. He serves as a consultant, advisor, or key opinion leader for several animal health companies, the World Health Organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. McCall received his BS from UGA in 1963, MS from UGA in 1967, and his PhD from UGA in 1970. He has been married to his wife, Gail, since 1964, and their two daughters are Prince Avenue graduates (‘86 and ‘95). Additionally, Dr. McCall has one grandson and one granddaughter who are PACS graduates (’14 and ‘17) and five other grandchildren who are currently students in the school. Dr. McCall has many years of board service, and his most recent assignment began in 2016.
Joe Taylor (Board Vice Chair) graduated from Middle Georgia College (ABA) and the University of Georgia (BBA) with a major in accounting. Joe currently works as a financial advisor and managing partner at The Avenue Wealth Management Group. Joe married his wife, Hayley, in 1994, and they have one son who is a Prince Avenue graduate (‘16) and one daughter who is a senior at Prince this year. Joe began his work with the board more than 20 years ago.
Dr. Thomas Wells graduated from Georgia College and State University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Minor in Chemistry and received his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia. Dr. Wells has worked as an internist at Hawthorne Medical Associates since 1997. In 1994 he married his wife, Amy, and they have one child who graduated from Prince Avenue (‘16) and three other children currently enrolled in the school. Dr. Wells began his service on the board in 2012.