Meet the staff

MArk lindstrom, senior pastor

Mark was raised in a small town in western Kentucky. He responded to the call to preach at eighteen years of age and attended Trevecca Nazarene University, graduating in 1996 with a degree in Pastoral Ministries. After graduation from college, he attended Nazarene Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri, graduating in 1999 with a Master of Divinity degree. A few years after graduating from seminary, he began a Doctor of Ministry degree at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky, graduating in 2006.


Mark has been the Senior Pastor of Grace Church since 2010. He has also pastored churches in Missouri (student pastorate while in seminary), Arkansas, and Tennessee. He loves being a pastor, working with a gifted staff team to discover new ways to extend the Kingdom of God to their community in missional ways; preaching, leading, and watching people become fully devoted to Jesus and the Church.


Mark is married to Kelly, and they have four children: Ivan, Peter, Norah, and William. 


BJ bolton , executive pastor

Pastor BJ has been on staff at Grace Church in the Executive Pastor role since 2014. Before that, he served as the Discipleship Pastor for 2 years.


He has been a part of the Church of the Nazarene his whole life and believes strongly in its core values – to be a Christian people, a holy people, and a missional people. In 2014, he graduated from the ministerial preparation program at Nazarene Bible College.

Pastor BJ is gifted in the areas of leadership, management, and administration. His passion and goal is to help Grace Church family and staff have all they need – physically, spiritually, and emotionally – to love and serve Jesus.


He loves spending time with his wife, Amber (Ber), and their two girls, Ava and Emily. He also enjoys puzzles, fishing, sports, and home-cooking.


sue purvis, discipleship pastor

Sue has served at Grace Church in various roles since 1997 and was named Discipleship Pastor in 2014. She and her husband Larry have been married for 43 years and they have four grown children; Will, Nick, Tim (Carrie) and Kim. They are blessed with a granddaughter, Emma. Sue became a Christian as a young adult and responded to God’s call into pastoral ministry in 2008. Her passion is teaching God’s Word and she willingly shares His work in her life to lead other to an intimate, joy-filled walk with Christ, embracing His grace, truth, forgiveness and healing. For continued growth in life and ministry, Sue is pursuing coursework toward ordination in the Church of the Nazarene. For fun she enjoys reading, scrapbooking, nature walks, swimming and being with her family. Relaxing on the beach with a good book underneath an umbrella, coupled with visiting historical sites, is her idea of vacation.


derek whitten, student pastor

Derek grew up in a Christian home with both of his parents as educators in the public school system in Hendersonville. He and his younger sister are big fans of movies and music. He received Jesus’ forgiveness and entered into the Kingdom as a nine-year old on the very last pew at Goodlettsville Nazarene Church. Not long after that, he felt God calling him to do mission work. Like many before him, he ran from the calling God had for him and decided to try his own path. A degree in digital animation from MTSU and no animation jobs later, God brought him to a critical point in his life. Working three jobs just to stay busy, he was miserable until one night as a counselor at a high school summer camp, he felt the call of God come to him: “Derek, I want you to be a youth pastor, are you in or out?” God’s grace had led him to this point and helped him to finally say yes to God’s will. That led to an internship in Lakeland, Florida where he met his out-of-his-league wife Kristy. They married in December of 2000, and in the years since they have been blessed with two biological children and two adopted children. Their ministry has taken them to Ohio, Georgia, Texas, and back home to Tennessee. Derek has been on staff as Student Ministries Pastor at Grace for seven years.


• First movie watched in a theater: Star Wars (original)

• Likes to play guitar, mountain bike and work out with his wife

• Likes to vacation at the beach with his family


Tonya marks, children's pastor

Pastor Tonya loves helping children grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus and she and husband, Tracy, have been a part of the lives of the families at Grace Church since 1999. Tonya believes the key to raising people of God is encouraging the church and the family to partner together. She grew up in a loving Christian home in South Carolina and was taught and shown how to live for Jesus from an early age. 

Over the years, God has provided Pastor Tonya with many opportunities to lead children through camps, childcare jobs, earning an Education degree at Trevecca Nazarene university, being a public school teacher, and - best of all - being a momma to Jay, Jeana and Levi.

Pastor Tonya loves sweet tea, hanging out with friends, and reading in her PJs.


Michelle noel, worship leader

Michelle has a passion for music and felt a call into worship ministry during her time at Trevecca Nazarene University.  Though graduating with a degree in Classical Voice, Michelle spent a large majority of her college career traveling with the worship band, Awaken, which cultivated a passion for leading others in worship.  She traveled for three years leading camps, retreats, churches, and special events. During that time, she became best friends with the bass player who happens to be her husband now! Together, they started filling in at Grace Church in October of 2014. By June of the following year, Michelle became the full-time worship leader at the church and feels extremely blessed to be a part of such a supportive fellowship of believers.

Michelle was born and raised in a small town in western Kentucky (Mayfield) where a large part of her family still lives. She has one brother who lives in Elizabethtown, Kentucky with his wife. Michelle is a land-locked beach bum who enjoys being with friends, traveling, all things Christmas, watching any sporting event and binge watching Netflix.


ray brawner, administrative assistant

Ray has been on full time staff at Grace Church since April of 2015. Before that he served as Student Ministries Coordinator. Ray grew up in a Christian home in Maury County, TN. He accepted Christ at 10 years of age. Before coming to Grace Church he served as a Youth Leader in Mt. Pleasant, Tn for 7 years. Ray has a love for missions and has participated in 20 mission trips.  

Ray has recently felt the call to full time ministry and is pursuing a ministerial preparation certificate from Nazarene Bible College and plans on seeking a Christian Ministry degree from Trevecca Nazarene University starting in the Spring of 2016.

Ray is married to his high school sweetheart, Tiffany. Ray and Tiffany live in Hampshire and have three children Amy Carson, Jancin, and Isaac.

Ray loves spending time with his family, he loves to fish a cold creek, and enjoys attending athletic events of any sport. He also loves Notre Dame football and is a Green Bay Packer fan.