2023 Prospective Elders.
Jesse Garner (OJ)
I grew up in New Braunfels, Texas, as part of a Christian home and became a believer at a young age. As a child and teenager, I was involved with an AWANA program at a local church which was a huge spiritual influence on my life.
I went to Louisiana State University for a music degree and while there was heavily involved with college ministry at Chapel on the Campus. They were reviving their college ministry so I was able to see what it looked like to build a ministry from the ground up! After college and some travel, I came to Pine Cove for the Forge, a leadership and discipleship training program.
I came on full time at Pine Cove after the Forge and have now worked at Pine Cove for 15 years in various roles. I’m currently the Senior Director of Engagement, which involves a lot of digital communications work and overseeing our CampLife app. My wife, Lacey, and I have been married for 9 years, and we have two children: Keldon (6) and Rose (2).
I’ve been a member of Grace for over 10 years, all of which I’ve been honored to serve on the worship team! My hope is to see God glorified and lives changed through the ministry of Grace Community Church. My heart is for deep personal relationship with Jesus for every church member, as demonstrated by their love and service to others.
Forrest Kaiser (OJ)
I grew up in a suburb of Chicago. I did not come from a religious family but came to know Jesus as an adult after my wife and I moved to Tyler after college graduation. My wife was hired by Grace Community Church in 1998 (we consider it missionary hiring now!), and we became plugged in with many of the people here. A few great men such as Glenn Strauss, Chad Hollowell, and Clyde Powell invested in me early on and helped me come to a solid understanding of my need for Christ. This is one of the reasons we are so committed to GCC as a family.
I have been married to my wife, Maureen, for 27 years, and we have two children: Eli (20) and Lydia (18). I am currently a professor at the University of Texas at Tyler where I work in the graduate school of Education. Prior to my job at UTT, I served as principal of four area schools in Tyler and Whitehouse. When I’m not working, I enjoy playing music (I have served on the Grace worship team for over 20 years), working with my hands, being outside, and exercising.
I want Grace to continue as a place where we focus on worship, community, and mission. Rather than just a building to gather in, I believe our church should actively equip believers for sharing the Gospel and doing the work of the kingdom beyond our walls. In preparation for His return, we need to be intentional about how we approach this work to best use the resources given.
I am greatly honored to be considered for the opportunity to serve our church in this way.
Kermit Kinsley (LD)
Originally from South Dakota, I was the last child of three children to Agnes and Berdell Kinsley. I became a Christian through the ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ in 1976 at the University of South Dakota after finally understanding that Jesus was not just the Savior of the world, but He was my Savior and wanted to forgive me of my sin and walk with me as my Lord.
After working with Campus Crusade for Christ, I went to graduate school at Iowa State University and got a PhD in Organic Chemistry in 1988. I then went to work for Vista Chemical Company working primarily in research and development and spent 32 years there. My last role was Manager of Research and Development with Sasol, a South African company which has assets in the US. After my retirement in 2020, we moved to Lindale and began attending the Lindale campus, where I currently serve teaching Sunday School and leading a small group.
I am married to Virginia, who was a teacher for 23 years in Orange, Texas. We have three children and four grandchildren: Melissa, married to Anwar and their children, Adrian and Ares; Justin who is married to Rachel and their children, Charlotte and Hallie; and Yohanas Taddesse, our son by choice.
In my free time, I love to travel and play golf, and I enjoy woodworking.
My hope for Grace is that as a community of believers we faithfully live out the life of Christ so that we are conformed to His image by growing in our faith and spreading the good news of Jesus Christ to our neighbors, family, and ultimately the world.
Robby Mayne (UB)
I grew up in South Louisiana but ended up moving to Texas at the age of 10. I was raised in the Lutheran Church, in a loving, stable home, but I didn’t come to know Jesus as my Savior until my junior year of high school. It was during that time I was introduced to Jesus as a personal God who wanted to have a relationship with me, not just try to dictate my behavior.
I have been married to my amazing wife, Mallory, since March of 2015. We met through Pine Cove here in Tyler. We have three beautiful kids: our daughter, Layton (6), and our boys, Miller (4) and Maddox (2).
I work as a realtor with RealEdge Real Estate, and I am also the East Texas Sales Rep for ForeverLawn Texas. We install premium artificial turf for homes, businesses, playgrounds, and sports fields.
In my spare time, I love playing golf, all things LSU, the New Orleans Saints, and working out, but mostly, I love spending time with my family.
I hope to continue to see Grace serve the Tyler area by making and equipping disciples. I hope to see our church provide parents with the tools they need to be the primary disciplers of their kids. I also long to see our campuses have thriving children’s and student ministries that serve our families as we come alongside the discipleship of their kids.
Jeff Miller (UB)
I grew up in East Texas and was homeschooled all the way through childhood. Our family traveled a lot for Advanced Training Institute conferences and soccer. After graduating, I spent several years with YWAM doing training and missions before entering the workforce at the age of 21. I traveled to North Africa, Albania, and Mexico.
I grew up in a Christian home and understood I needed Jesus at the age of 5. I have been growing as a disciple in His word ever since!
I met my wife, Adrianne, at the UB campus, and we’ve been married for almost 15 years. We have 3 boys: Jachin (10), Joshua (8), and Jet (7), and a dog named Fischer. I’ve been a member at Grace for 25 years, 20 of those at UB.
I’ve worked at East Texas Alarm for 21 years. The first 14 years, I was an installer, and for the last 7 years, I have managed the Service Department. My hobbies are running and tennis, training others in group fitness, and spending time with our 3 boys.
My hope for Grace is to see people getting connected and trained up to be His hands and feet, both inside and outside of the church. I love serving behind the scenes and meeting the needs of others. Over the last two decades, I’ve enjoyed plugging in as a Projectionist, a Hall Dad, on the Set Up/Tear Down team, as a Greeter, and presently, serving on the Security Team at the UB campus.
Adrianne and I try to serve together as well. We both serve at Pine Cove investing in Forge students. We led the 20somethings for the first three years of our marriage, and we’ve led a community group for the last seven years. We feel it’s important in our marriage to be united in how, when, and where we serve so we can be a team together. Adrianne and I also love finishing each other’s movie quotes and laugh a lot together.
Jason Toon (LD)
I was born in Greenville, Texas. I became a believer at the age of 9 when I responded to the Holy Spirit’s call and was baptized at Highland Terrace Baptist Church.
I am an environmental health and safety professional, and I currently support the Target Distribution Center as a Safety Manager. In my spare time, I love to read and work outside.
I am married to Michele who works at Grace’s Lindale campus. Our son, Logan, is 22 and will graduate from UT Austin next spring and is engaged to be married. Our daughter, Sydney, is 17 and is a senior at Lindale High School.
Michele and I have been members of Grace since about 1998, and we were on the team that planted Grace Lindale.
I desire for Grace to be a place where truth (God’s word) is proclaimed and people can experience God’s love and grace and be transformed by His Holy Spirit.
Brad Weesner (LD)
I grew up in Hideaway Lake. It was a great community to grow up in, and I got to experience life with some really great friends. As a child, I went to church with my parents at First Baptist Lindale and got baptized at the age of 10. As a teenager, I always knew I believed in Jesus, even though I probably did not live like it at times. I would say I started coming back around to Him in my mid-20s.
I am a very dedicated family man. My wonderful wife, Emily, and I have two incredible daughters: Kennedy and Jordyn. I love spending most of my time with them when I am not working. I currently work for Trane Commercial out of Dallas. I am also an avid sports fan and try to play some golf when time permits.
My hope for Grace Community Church is that it would continue to develop into a safe place for sinners to come together to grow and not be judged, but at the same time, to be held accountable to their growth and walk with the Lord. I hope it continues to become a place where people can be real with each other and wherever they’re at in their journey.
I want to continue growing in my walk with the Lord and being pushed by a group that will hold me accountable. I believe Grace Community Church gives me the opportunity to do so.