Lead Pastor – Greg Johnston has served as senior pastor of five Mississippi churches during the last twenty-seven years. His latest place of service, prior to leaving to start The Grove Church, was FBC Batesville, MS. Greg is a graduate of William Carey University and also earned both a Master of Divinity degree in Pastoral Ministry and a Doctor of Ministry degree in Evangelistic Church Growth from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Greg and Vicki celebrated thirty-four years of marriage in May, 2011. Vicki is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing. In addition to being a registered nurse, Vicki is an outstanding Bible teacher. She has taught Young Married Adults and College and Career students in Sunday School and has taught many Beth Moore studies to ladies’ groups.
Associate Pastor – Britt Johnston came on staff at The Grove Church in February of 2009, before the church officially launched. He is a graduate of William Carey University (2004) with a B.A. in Religion. He attended New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in pursuit of a M.Div. in Missions. His favorite thing about ministry is seeing people come to know Christ and develop their relationship with Jesus over time. Britt married Michaela in 2007, and they have one daughter named Caelyn that was born in 2011. Britt was a part of several summer missions’ trips to Brazil, appointed summer missionary by the International Mission Board to Teresina, Brazil in 2004, Youth Pastor at Barton Baptist Church (2004-2006), and Living Unit Coordinator to at risk youth at Happy Hill Farm in Texas before becoming the Associate Pastor at The Grove Church. Britt’s hobbies include: fishing, camping, shooting guns, and any other outdoors activity you can think about. The thing he likes most about the location of the church is the convenience of talking to people about the church and Jesus. Since he enjoys cooking and grilling out, his favorite type of food would be grilled steak or smoked brisket. Since Britt’s favorite desert is banana pudding, it would be safe to say that his favorite ice cream would be Blue Bell’s banana pudding ice cream.
Outreach Pastor – Charles Parker came on staff in July 2013. He is an active duty Air Force member who enlisted in 1996. Charles is a graduate of Wayland Baptist University (2002) with a B.S. in Occupational Education, specializing in Architectural Studies and Business. He surrendered his life to ministry in July 2008. While on a military deployment he began preaching and teaching in Afghanistan (Kandahar, Bagram, Kabul) and in 2009 returned to begin his theological studies. In 2010, Charles became a licensed minister of the Gospel and served as an associate minister at Union Baptist Church, VA. He graduated from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary in 2013 with a Master of Divinity degree, specializing in Chaplaincy. His desire is to lead the lost to Christ Jesus while ministering in the pluralistic military environment. Charles and his wife, Anitra, met at Tuskegee University. They have been married since 1996. They have two girls, Caryn and Alaina, and a boy, Charles William. Charles’ hobbies include reading Christian literature, writing poetry, and he is learning to play the piano. He is honored to be a steward of God’s word and takes seriously his call to ministry. Therefore, his favorite verse in scripture is: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)
Worship Facilitator – Michaela Johnston began leading worship at The Grove Church in 2010 when the need presented itself. She has a true passion for music and how music reaches people. Music has been a part of Michaela’s life for a while and she has been singing to glorify God and reach others for Christ since Junior High. Michaela graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2008 with a Bachelors of Business Administration with a focus in Management. Her favorite thing about ministry is seeing others open their hearts to Jesus and worship Him freely through prayer and song. After meeting Britt, it didn’t take long before the two became married. Four years after they married, they had Caelyn (2011) and life only became sweeter. Michaela has worked on summer mission trips, youth camp retreats and served alongside her husband at Happy Hill Farm as a Living Unit Coordinator to at risk youth before moving to Hattiesburg to serve at The Grove Church. Since Michaela is a Texan through and through, her favorite food is none other than Tex-Mex. Michaela’s favorite sport is baseball, and therefore her favorite team is the Texas Rangers. Michaela’s favorite thing about The Grove Church is the tight community between its members and regular attenders.
Youth Minister – Caleb Crabtree started attending The Grove Church around 3 years ago. He has a heart for youth and is dedicated to teaching them about things that they will encounter in a world that suppresses the Bible more and more. He tries to teach his youth the things that he would consider the important things they should know as a Christ follower. He received his Bachelors of Arts in Religious Studies and Psychology. He started his professional career as a youth intern at Main Street Baptist Hattiesburg. He has helped with two hands full of camps and weekend retreats. He enjoys playing video games as well as many outdoor activities. When he has time to read, it is usually something dealing with God, the workings of the Church, and Christian self-improvement books. He spends forty hours a week at William Carey University as the Administrative Assistant of Admissions. 1 Corinthians 13 is one of his favorite Bible chapters. This specific verse gives Christians, insight to how they should love one another. They learn what love is, how it acts, and what to do with it. It also gives insight on what God is characterized as. Most Christians would agree that God is Love, and Love there in that chapter is described as what it is and what it is not. Love never fails is the one that sticks out the most from all the others. BECAUSE GOD NEVER FAILS, AND NEVER GIVES UP.
Children’s Ministers – Grant and Jessica Douglas began attending The Grove Church in early 2009 when it was just a few families meeting in Dr. Johnston’s home. They took up the responsibility of the Children’s Ministry during The Grove’s preview services to help the church get on its feet and later accepted their roles as Children’s Ministers. Grant and Jessica were married in December 2005 and moved to Hattiesburg in 2007 for Jessica to continue her education at USM. They have two dogs, Hoss and Squirt. Grant has a BA in Christian Education with a minor in Social Work from Mississippi College and Jessica is finishing her MS in Environmental Biology with a minor in Geology this year at the University of Southern Mississippi. Along with working at the church, Grant works at The University of Southern Mississippi as the Manager of The Department of Receiving and Surplus and Jessica works at the University as a Research Assistant for the Department of Biological Sciences. Grant has worked as a Youth Minister in several Baptist Churches and both he and Jessica have volunteered as youth and children’s leaders for many years. Grant also spent 6 years with Gulfshore Baptist Assembly as summer and part-time staff during college. Their favorite thing about the Children’s Ministry is seeing the children’s smiling faces eagerly awaiting the teaching of God’s Word.