It’s such a joy to pastor the congregation of Mandarin Presbyterian Church and to serve alongside such a talented and passionate staff! I love Jesus Christ and I’m passionate about helping people discover the wonder of knowing Him and the honor of serving Him. I love to study the Bible and help it come to life for people. I am the proud husband of the illustrious Joy Robbins and father of Hannah, Peter, and Abigail. We are from California, but also lived for two years the West African nation of Ghana where I served with International Justice Mission fighting against child trafficking. I love playing sports, fishing, camping, coaching my kids’ sports…and pulling for my 49ers! When we meet, please don’t bring up the last seven minutes of the Super bowl!
I’m excited to serve as the Executive Pastor at Mandarin Presbyterian Church and serve alongside the staff and Session to help MPC live out our mission to love people to love Jesus Christ. As second chair leaders, XP’s strive to live out Paul’s counsel to the Corinthians, “But be sure that everything is done properly and in order. (1 Corinthians 14:40) I’m passionate about the local church and developing leaders to live out their callings to the fullest. I’m a pastor’s kid originally from East Tennessee. I’ve been married to Kelly for over 30 years and we have two adult children, Kylie and Blaine, who live in the Midwest. I’m known for my bad puns and also enjoy spending time with family, reading, traveling to new places, and watching sports with family and friends – especially the Baltimore Ravens and the Tennessee Volunteers!!
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)!
Jessica Lee Konker
Associate Pastor for Small Groups
It is a privilege and joy to serve as the Associate Pastor for Small Groups at Mandarin Presbyterian Church. I love helping to start new groups, and helping people find Christ- centered community. In a world that can be isolating and lonely small groups are a great place where people can connect to others, study and apply God’s word, pray and serve together. It is a blessing to work with my husband Chris Konker in ministry. We love spending time with our kids Charlie and Gracie. I enjoy being in nature, creating art, hiking, and spending time with friends and family.
Associate Pastor for Teaching and Discipleship
I am thrilled to serve as the Associate Pastor of Teaching and Adult Discipleship. We are mysterious people who live in a mysterious world. The Bible witnesses to all the moments of joy and sorrow, contentedness and disorientation, that we encounter from the cradle to the grave. It is my privilege to help people move deeper into the Bible, and in doing so, find that they are moving deeper into the world. I love people and I love books, and I have a well-trod pathway between one and the other. I edit two periodicals for the church, The Meeting House, and the Third Place, which exhibit my love for the arts – for painting, poetry, and music. I am blessed to serve alongside my wife Jessica, and I am the proud father of Charlie and Gracie. In my spare time, I love running, tennis, basketball, singing and playing guitar.
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…
Middle School Ministries Director
Born and raised in Southern California, I spent the year prior to my move to Florida in Colorado and am happy to be back on the coast! My love for the local church began as a sophomore in high school and my adoration for middle school ministry shortly followed. It’s a privilege to be a consistent loving presence in the ever-changing world of a middle school student and their families—it’s also really fun! I’m honored to be part of the staff here at MPC and so grateful I get to pour my heart into loving middle school students to love Jesus. In my free time I like to be in nature, spend time with those I love, make art, and eat burritos at the beach.
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.
Administrative Assistant (Students)
I love overseeing the “behind the scenes” side of weekly middle school and high school programming and working with students and their 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 ago when my husband Bill and I moved to Jacksonville. We are proud parents of two active teenagers, Jack and Annie. 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.
As the Director of MPC’s weekday Preschool (MPP), it’s my joy to oversee a staff of very dedicated women who seek to educate over 160 preschoolers in all sorts of ways and shapes. It delights me to witness the growth of the children in many ways and shapes and to minister to the families of these children. Isaiah 61:3 says, “We are planted by God to display His glory.” Seeing God’s glory displayed at MPP makes my heart sing. My husband, Craig and I have been married for over 30 years and are proud parents of two married daughters. A recent joy included the birth of our fourth grandchild! I also love college football – especially the Seminoles. Go FSU!
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.
My responsibilities at MPC as an administrative assistant include providing support for the Pastoral Staff, Care Connections Ministry and our Small Group Ministries. My first “love” is church music and I have been involved in the music ministry for over 44 years. My husband Mike and I have two grown sons, Mark and Matt, and we have five grandchildren. When not working, we love spending time with our family, going to Disney and cruising with our friends!
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.
I have been the Accountant here at Mandarin Presbyterian Church and Preschool for over ten years! I feel fortunate to work with such a great group of people! My duties include financial statement preparation, account analysis, budgeting and payroll. I work here a few days a week and round out my week doing similar work for a local real estate investor.
I was raised in Wheaton, Illinois and have lived in either Florida or California since 1979. When not at work you will find me walking my two Labrador retrievers, Bella and Hope. They are great substitutes for my kids who left Florida for college and chose to stay in Chicago and New York City. Great places to visit but I am happy to call Jacksonville my home!
As the Communications Director, my responsibility is to ensure that everything that represents Mandarin Presbyterian Church and its ministries is communicated in a clear and concise message, that it looks professional and adheres to the ‘brand’ of MPC. This includes all print, web, video, and social medias. I am excited about finding new ways to communicate, declare, and promote ‘The Greatest Story Ever Told’ and I feel blessed to be working in a profession that I love doing. I have three very active boys, Greyson, Parker, and Davison. I’m a huge Pittsburgh Steelers fan! In my spare time, I’m at the ball fields with my boys or looking for something in need of repair or improvement.
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, Theresa, and I have been married for almost 56 years and have been members of MPC for over 40 years. We have two children and six grandchildren. My primary interest outside of church, work and family is my involvement with the MUGS Ministry at the church.
My responsibility as technical director is to provide quality audio and video for all MPC events. When I’m not providing live support, I’m ensuring that all of MPC’s audio and video equipment is maintained and in working order. My other duties include maintaining MPC’s website and leading the middle and high school music programs. My wife Marissa and I have three children Owen, Jude, and Coralie. In my spare time I enjoy playing music, watching the Florida Gators, and watching the Philadelphia Flyers.
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 2020: Bob Gillander, Kim Harris, Craig Henderson, Al Watson
Class of 2021: Rob Mickler, Maribeth Niager, Claudine Owen, Ted Pratchios
Class of 2022: Zan Frick, Wayne Gaff, Bobby Schrader, Tami Shepler
Craig Henderson, Maribeth Niager, Joe Perry
Congregational Nominating Committee:
Chris Davis, Marc Elmore, Bob Gillander, Craig Henderson, Lauren Perkins, Jeff Rait, Margaret Schrader
Bob Gillander, Van Hogan, Bill Murphy, Joe Perry
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 2020: Matt Balanky, Earl Bittner, Danielle Caplin, Sally Griner, Dell James, Mike Kash, Adrienne Peacock, Richard Ramsey, Mary Rockwell, Mary Smith, Brian Vosteen, Jan Watts, Steve Watts, Luke Wood
Class of 2021: Kim Bott, Scott Cooper, Chris Davis, Danielle Davis, Christina Elmore, Patty Heard, Paula Hirsch, Faith Hipp, Karl Holger, Barry Jackson, Keith Johnston, Glenda Kelsey, Kelley Rhodes, Heath Schopp, Ron Shamlaty, Jim Yarbrough, Carol Yelinek
Class of 2022: Lynn Abbott, Kini Bowers, Allen Carrel, Verna Carrel, Heather Castillo, Melanie Ellis, Asa Ghaemi, Bob Hathaway, Kay Hathaway, Sharon Horst, George Momberg, Steve Pauly, Brandon Perkins, Amy Rait, Mike Sharrit, Mike Winkles
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 furtherance of the ministry plan of the church, i.e, building funds.
Current Trustees Classes:
Class of 2020: Mike Moore, Frank Talbot
Class of 2021: Pat Sullivan, Phil white
Class of 2022: Dennis Frick, Mike Horst, Greig Moyer