OUR TEAM

JOHN BRATTON - SENIOR PASTOR

JARED OLINGER - YOUTH PASTOR

 

Mike and his wife, Lynn, have been married for 34 years and have two adult children, Nathanael and Abigail, as well as a beautiful granddaughter, Aleah.

Mike is a firm believer that to accomplish big things, it’s better to train others to do the same work you’re doing and let them help you - rather than doing it all by yourself.  Fulfilling the Great Commission is a “big thing” that cannot be accomplished by any one person - it must be a team effort.

Mike’s life verse is 2 Corinthians 5:20-21: “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

 Prior to coming to Grace, John served as a Pastor on the staff of Covenant Life Church in Cadillac, MI, Lifelink Church in Lakeland, TN and Grace Church in Arlington, TN.

John and Robin have been married for 24 years and have four wonderful kids that keep them busy - Josiah, Zachary, Trenna and Asher. Since 2007, they have owned Party Connection, a wedding and event rental company in Memphis, TN. John enjoys coaching the Memphis Nighthawks Junior High football team, playing pickup basketball, cheering obsessively for Mississippi State athletics, reading theology, history and John Grisham novels and stealing away to the beach. He enjoys Kroger brand coffee and uses an Android phone.

John's greatest joy and passion is helping others discover the all-forgiving love of Christ, who will go to the darkest places to find the greatest sinners and give them the most victorious lives imaginable.

An inspirational verse for John is Acts 20:24 "But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God."

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John and his wife Robin met and fell in love at Rhodes College, where they earned their respective degrees in International Studies and Anthropology/Sociology. After working for several years as a Product Manager for an orthopaedics company, he and Robin moved to Coventry, England to pursue theological studies at Covenant College, where John graduated in 1998.

MIKE PACKARD - EQUIPPING & DISCIPLESHIP PASTOR

Mike Packard joined the staff at Grace Church in October 2012 to serve as the Discipleship andEquipping Pastor.  He holds a Master of Divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and an M.S. from Mississippi State University. Mike has served in a variety of ministries domestically and internationally since 1977, including 19 years working in Africa with Campus Crusade for Christ and as a Church Planter with the International Mission Board of the SBC.

Jared is the husband of the wonderful and talented Stephanie Olinger, and father of three spunky kiddos. He felt the call of God into ministry as a high school senior and has been serving in one capacity or another since then. He loves the next generation  and seeks to help equip them to take the gospel forward for God’s Kingdom in whatever they find themselves doing in life. He works as a Site Manager for an industrial sanitation company in the Midsouth. He’s a bit of goofball too, FYI.

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