Passion for Christ and growth of His Kingdom are major emphasis for Father Jonathan. He is committed to seeing Jesus known, worshipped and obeyed at Grace Church, in Ocala and beyond. Through faith he believes many will find a deep, meaningful and vibrant life in Christ at Grace.
Father Jonathan has been senior pastor of Grace almost eight years. Prior to that he was the assistant at Grace, immediately following seminary at the University of the South in Tennessee. Before that he worked for 8 years with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship on college campuses across Central Florida.
"I love the people God has brought and continues to bring to Grace Church. God is doing a powerful work in our midst and it's awesome to be a part of it."
Fr. Jonathan's free time is filled with family activities as he is blessed with an incredible wife and four wonderful kids. When there's a bit of down time, he likes to read about culture, watch British Top Gear, or watch/play just about any kind of sports (with a particular affinity for football).
Mary has been a member of Grace Church since 2009 and was ordained a deacon in December 2012. She is Chaplain for Grace VPK, pastor to the "little lambs," their families and the staff. Mary is also Chaplain of our chapter of the Order of the Daughters of the King. Serving in the Philippines, ministering to teenage girls who were victims of human trafficking, has strengthened her resolve to see that all are free from modern day slavery and she continues to work toward that goal. Mary served as a nurse, educator and administrator with the Veterans Health Administration for 28 years. She loves the arts, especially music, and enjoys singing with the Choir of Grace when she can. Mary lives with a dog inherited from her sister, and is one cat short of being "a crazy cat lady."
Josh has been at Grace since June 2012. A cradle Episcopalian, he's been involved in church music ministry since his mom held him as a baby while singing in the choir. He grew up in a home constantly surrounded by Godly music, and was taught from a young age that music was created by God for the purpose of honoring Him. Over the course of his life, Josh has learned to love the music of many genres and this shows in his leadership style. Josh also is the founding Director of our School of the Arts. Josh studied Vocal Performance at Liberty University's School of Music, where he met his beautiful and talented wife, Sophia. They have two beautiful daughters and a son. In addition to working at Grace, he teaches music at Ambleide School of Ocala on our campus. When Josh isn't spending free time with his family, he's usually watching opera...or doing something even more nerdy: playing retro videogames.
Children's Ministry Coordinator
As a lifelong Episcopalian and child advocate, Buff has been fortunate to be blessed by many different forms of Christian Education. From childhood through adulthood, the faith-lessons that have stuck with her the most are those born from experience - whether in a classroom setting, youth groups, camps or during the ongoing 'school of life'. Each week she takes a look at the lessons that are read in adult church. Then she designs active things for our children to have fun with, so that families have common topics to talk about over Sunday lunch and throughout the week. Our children are such huge blessings, full of natural faith and curiosity - Buff is looking forward to meeting your family.
What is a Verger, you might ask? The Verger is the one who works behind the scenes to ensure that the Service has Ushers and Acolytes and Readers and Chalice Ministers; that the myriad of details required for a Church Service are covered, so the Priest can concentrate on worship. Dave is that kind of a detail guy. A retired Letter Carrier, he has a deep interest in studying Scripture and the details of our Liturgy. A bit of a perfectionist, Dave will be there on Sunday morning ensuring that your worship experience is as smooth and holy as possible. Some Sundays, you'll see him at the Altar in his black and grey vestments; but most of the time, he'll be in the pews, worshipping with his wife Janie.
Don has been a member at Grace since 2000. Prior to moving to Ocala, he and his wife, Mary, lived in Downers Grove, Illinois where Don served for 15 years as the Chaplain and Bereavement Counselor for St. Thomas Hospice. After moving to Ocala, Don served for 13 years as the Bereavement and Spiritual Care Manager for Cornerstone Hospice. Now that he is retired, he volunteers to present bereavement programs at Hospice of Marion County and Munroe Regional Hospital. Don is a graduate of the University of Memphis, the American Academy of Bereavement, the Bishop Anderson Institute for Chaplain Formation, and was commissioned an Episcopal Healthcare Chaplain in 1987 by Bishop Frank Griswold. In his free time Don enjoys working in his yard or spending the day with Mary at Amelia Island.