I am excited to be the senior pastor at such an amazing church! I grew up in South Florida and made my way back to my home state after 21 years in South Carolina, California, and Texas. I am passionate about reading and studying God’s Word together. As a disciple and a pastor, I love to preach and teach the Bible, equipping followers of Christ with a biblical worldview that captures our hearts and fixes our attention on God's story. Before I was a pastor I was a football coach and enjoy being a part of a team and working together toward our vision. I look forward to getting to know you as the Stepps join the MPC family. My hope and prayer for our church is that each of us would move one step closer to Jesus each week as we gather together around God’s Word for worship and discipleship.
Click on this link to read more about our new senior pastor and his family.
Associate Pastor of Congregational Care
I am excited to serve as Pastor of Congregational Care here at Mandarin Presbyterian Church. I am passionate about pastoral care and the privilege it is to walk alongside others in times of joy and need. As I serve in this capacity I look forward to equipping others to do the same. I value the importance of nurturing one’s faith and relationship with Christ, through small groups, fellowship and Worship. I am thrilled to be able to serve in ministry, alongside my wife Jenn. We have three beautiful daughters, Jaden, Rylee, and Reese. I enjoy time with family and friends, fly fishing and being outdoors.
Associate Pastor of Next Generation
It is a great privilege to be a part of the pastoral staff and worshiping community at MPC! As the Pastor of Next Generation Ministries, it is my joy to oversee all that we are doing with children, youth and families. I am passionate about equipping the church and parents to fulfill the promises we make at baptism. We all have a critical role to play in loving our next generation to love Jesus! My husband, Jeff, and I have three fabulous daughters, Jaden, Rylee, and Reese and have been married over 20 years! My favorite thing (in addition to Jesus) is when all 5 of us are together in the same space! Other things that make my heart happy are sparkles, walking on the beach, flip flops, and the smell of lemons and mulch (though not together… and only the pine bark nuggets and natural cypress)!
Director of Operations
I am thrilled to be a part of the MPC staff! I grew up in Indianapolis Indiana and have always been actively involved in church life. I have served as an elder twice, taught Bible classes and have led many church related initiatives. My wife, Tammy, and I have actively served homeless initiatives through the church and through the Salvation Army. I have two wonderful boys and three grandsons. My wife and I enjoy spending time with family and traveling and I love all things outdoors – golf, tennis, exercising, fishing, hunting, and even yard work!
Worship And Arts
As the Director of Music and Worship, I work to create and facilitate an authentic and relevant worship experience for people to encounter Jesus. I lead the sanctuary choir and worship team and oversee other areas within the music ministry as well as work with other tech components of the worship service. It’s such a privilege to work with people that love Jesus and have a love of music that choose to service Him by sharing their talent with our congregation and community. I’m from Western Pennsylvania and LOVE the cold weather and SNOW!! After finishing grad school at the University of Miami, God’s sense of humor seems to be keeping me in Florida, but has blessed me with my wife Becky and “dancing” daughter Kayla. You’ll usually find me wearing anything “Black & Gold” with Pittsburgh Steelers or Pittsburgh Penguins on it, eating pizza or sushi…I wonder if there’s a thing as a sushi pizza…Hmmmm…
Contemporary Worship Director
Scott is our Contemporary Worship Director.
Children's Ministry Director
Originally from South Carolina, I joined the NexGen staff at Mandarin Presbyterian in spring of 2022. Helping people to know and love Jesus has been my passion since I was 8 years old (don’t try to guess how long ago that was!) I love building relationships with people and helping parents lead their children to know and love Jesus, too! Kids Ministry is my greatest joy. . . that and my sweet hubby and 2 dachshunds, Winston & Bailey! Wes and I love doing anything outdoors as well as being big “foodies.” So, please pass along your favorite dining spot recommendations! We love trying new places and experimenting in the kitchen ourselves!
Middle School Ministries Director
I was raised in Augusta, Georgia, and moved to Jacksonville my junior year of high school, where I attended Bartram Trail High School. I spent a year at Mississippi College and then finished my degree at the University of North Florida. I have been married to my wife, Mackenzie, since March of 2020, and we have a dog named Paisley. Since I was a teenager, I have had a passion for working with students and my hope is to show middle school students that they can have a close and personal walk with the Lord, no matter their age. I am an avid sports fan, my favorite sport being basketball. I love watching Mississippi State, Duke, Atlanta Braves, and the Golden State Warriors.
High School Ministries Director
I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and moved to Manhattan, Kansas when I was 16 years old. I take a lot of pride of being from Kansas…home of THE Kansas State University! I moved to Jacksonville 2 years ago, after most recently living in Oklahoma City and I’ve been serving in Student Ministry for the past 10 years. I truly love working with students and helping them learn what it means to have a relationship with Christ. I am so glad I chose to move to Florida because that’s where I met my best friend. I have been married to my beautiful wife Tiffany for 3 months now. In my free time I enjoy watching Kansas State sports, traveling, playing basketball and living a healthy, active life style.
Next Gen Administrative Assistant
I love overseeing the “behind the scenes” side of kids, middle school and high school programming and working with families. I grew up in Abingdon, Virginia and dreamed of living in Florida after my first visit to Disney and Daytona Beach at age 8. My dreams came true 20 years later when my husband Bill and I moved to Jacksonville. We have been members of MPC since 2003. Our kids grew up at MPC and are now in college - Go Gators! I enjoy baking, spending time with family, going to the beach and proofreading (yes, really!)
As the MPC Parish Associate, I devote my time visiting the senior members of our congregation who are unable to attend worship due to illness or life situations. I also visit hospitals, rehab centers, and nursing facilities. I have been serving MPC since 2017 and have loved every minute. Although my roots are in Pennsylvania I’ve lived in Florida for the past 20 some years. My wife Joyce and I have a combined family of 4 children and 7 grandchildren.
Lee is thrilled to be returning to MPP as the preschool director. She is a Florida Cracker, born and raised in South Florida. She fell in love with North Florida while attending Florida State University, where she earned a degree in Early Childhood Education and met her amazing husband, Allen. She has worked serving young children and their families for more than thirty years in the public and private sectors. Lee’s two, incredible grown children (Allen Jr and Emma) are both MPP graduates, and she was delighted to be able to teach at the preschool while her kids attended. In her free time, she loves to garden, cook, and spend time with her family. Lee and Allen enjoy hiking, biking, paddle boarding, and other activities that get them outdoors.
Administrative Assistant/Handbell Choir Director
My administrative duties include working with the Pastoral Staff and the Director of Music at MPC. I also keep busy as Membership Secretary, Calendar & Events Coordinator, newsletter publisher and direct the Handbell Choir. I’m an avid sports fan, especially football (Go Buffalo Bills), NASCAR & golf. I love to read, go to the theater or watch a good movie…I’ve also been known to decorate a room or two (or Christmas tree) in my spare time.
Accounting Administrator/Administrative Assistant
I’m so happy to be the accounting administrator/administrative assistant and work with the wonderful staff of MPC! My husband, Wayne, and I have been members of MPC since 1998 and raised our two boys in the church. They are now grown and independent – yay! I love to travel and have visited many countries around the world. I also love to read, paint and do crafty things, watch movies and shop.
I’ve had the privilege for the past 15 years to serve as the bookkeeper for the church as well as the pre-school. I am truly blessed to be able to work with some pretty amazing and talented staff members at Mandarin Presbyterian church! I love what I do and love interacting with our church members! I married my college sweetheart, Mike 37 years ago and we have raised 4 amazing human beings! We love to travel and visit our children and spend time with them and when we have a free weekend you can catch us chilling at the beach with our 2 Labradors.
Danielle (Dani) Jackson
Contact Dani Jackson
As the Communications Director, I provide strategic and creative direction to our communications and media ministries as we tell the story of what God is doing through our amazing church. Originally from the Washington, DC area, Florida has been home since 2008 except for 4 1/2 incredible years living overseas in Japan with my husband (Simon) and our three wonderful kids. I love cheering for my kids playing their favorite sports, traveling (17 countries so far), enjoying our local beaches as well as walking our dog (Bleu).
As the Technical Director, my responsibility is to ensure best-in-class video and audio production quality for MPC and its related ministries. Whether you choose to attend service in-person, or by watching along with us on our livestream, it is my goal to guarantee the best possible experience, To that end, I am excited to continue improving upon that experience and I look forward to discovering new and interesting ways to communicate our message,
As Facilities Manager, I am responsible for the maintenance and repairs of our 17 acres of property, over 80,000 SF of buildings and three church owned vehicles. This job would not be possible without the help of so many volunteers that generously give their time and talents to help with the work needed to maintain God’s house. I am so grateful for those people that add to the blessing of working at the church with so many talented and dedicated men and women on the staff.
My wife, Jean, and son, Douglas and I have been long time convenant partners of MPC. My primary interest outside of church, work and family is my involvement with the 'Mulch 4 Missions' annual high school summer mission trips fundraisers.
Life is such an adventure!! In 1981 I married the love of my life, Bryan, and the fun began. Like all newlyweds, we had our plans of what our life would be, but God just laughed and took us in other directions…. Job transfers (I always said I would never live in Florida, lol, and look at me now!), infertility and international adoptions to name a few! We have 2 amazing son’s, Brandon and Bryce and Jacksonville has been our home since 1993. I like to think of our home as “The Party House!” I love it when it is filled with family and friends eating, laughing, and just enjoying being together. I read something once that said “With food comes fellowship. And from that fellowship, friendships are developed. And from those friendships, fun times begin to happen.” I love that!! That’s why I am so thankful for my position on the staff here at MPC. I love to plan events and parties and see everyone having a great time with each other.
In my spare time, HAHAHAHA, I love spending time with my family, going to my “Happy Place” a.k.a. Disney, and cheering for THE Ohio State Buckeyes! I love Christmas and start decorating the last weekend in October. Our retirement goals are to work at the Magic Kingdom. Bryan wants to be the conductor at the train station and I see myself as being a Fairy Godmother….oooo, or working in the candy shop on Main Street U.S.A.
Elders, Deacons, and Trustees
Mandarin Presbyterian Church is committed to reaching out to our community, neighbors, coworkers, and friends. We want to love people to love Jesus Christ. We do that by electing individuals to help oversee the body of the church. These individuals are put on one of three governing boards.
The 12 members of Session, are individually called Elders. The Session is responsible for the vision, mission and government of MPC. They provide oversight without micromanaging all staff and programs, trusting those that God has brought on staff here. The Elders set and oversee spiritual direction growth within the church. They encourage and support staff, and they commit to actively participate in the life of the church.
Class of 2024: Chris Davis, Curt Etheridge, Rosa Heard, Bob Gillander
Class of 2025: Kim Harris, Hawley Smith III, Carol Yelinek, Tami Shepler
Class of 2026: Matt Balanky, Danielle Caplin, Frank Talbot, Penny Kievet
Craig Henderson, Danielle Caplin, Zan Frick and Joe Perry
Bob Gillander, Van Hogan, Bill Murphy, Joe Perry, Ted Pratchios, Rosa Heard and Danielle Caplin.
If you would like to reach out to our Session members (collectively) you can email Session.
A deacon is an elected and ordained member of the congregation who has been selected to serve the needs of the other members of the congregation. Deacons meet the needs of the congregation through a wide variety of ways, from praying with someone who is experiencing loss, to delivering meals to a family in crisis, or assisting in serving communion. Since the needs of any congregation is vast, so too, the reach of the deacons is very broad.
Class of 2024: Emily Balanky, Megan Bryant, Scott Cooper, Faith Hipp, Keith Johnston, Kelly Keitzer, Glenda Kelsey, Alisa Knox, Susan LeVoy, Marjorie Lewis, Jenn O'Brien, Matt Polimeni, Heath Schopp, Steve Steen, Maria Valdes
Class of 2025: Marc Elmore, Bob Hathaway, Brandon Perkins, Kay Hathaway, Tien Flowe, Johnny Harris, Mike Sharrit, Kim Kelley, Sharon Masters, Kris Murphy, Kelley Rhodes, Allen Samuels, Beth Sullivan, Anne Pace Sutton, Barb Trawick
Class of 2026: Bob Arnold, Jennifer Bias, Krista Knot, Sandy Soluski, Wayne Petrone, Rein O'Steen, Cindy Althouse, Treva Straatsma, Pam Moyer, Rob Higginbotham, Stephen Monks, Jane Monks.
The Trustees act in regard to the real and personal property of the church. They also manage any permanent special funds of the church. In our case, that includes our Endowment Fund and Scholarship Fund. Finally, they manage special funds for the furtherance of the ministry plan of the church, i.e, building funds.
Current Trustees Classes:
Class of 2024: Mark Anderson, Mark Momberg
Class of 2025: Jason Shepler, Greig Moyer, Zan Frick
Class of 2026: Wayne Gaff, Pat Sullivan