Elder Candidate Spotlight
Check back here each week as we highlight each of the four elder candidates.
- What is your hometown? Jackson, Mississippi
- How long have you been in Oxford? I was in Oxford for undergraduate and graduate school from 1997-2003. Jessica and I returned to Oxford in 2008 for law school. We moved away in 2011 and moved back in 2014.
- What is your spouses name and how long have you been married? Kids? Grandkids? Jessica and I have been married for 19 years. We have five children: Lily (almost 15), George (11), Betty Gene (8), Grace (6) and Pippa (just turned 5).
- What do you do for a living? I am an Assistant United States Attorney (federal prosecutor). I have also been an Adjunct Professor at the University of Mississippi Law School for the last five years.
- What is your favorite hobby or pastime? My hobbies seem to change every year. I have recently gotten into Pickleball, which is my new obsession. I also enjoy playing "fantasy soccer," which is just like fantasy football but for the English Premier League. (There are a number of church members who are in the fantasy soccer league.)
- Who was the most recent person you met through CPC? Lately, I feel like I meet new people every week at Christ Pres. Jessica and I have enjoyed visiting with Tim and Katie Ragland over the last couple of months. Also, a few weeks ago, I met John Adams, a recent Ole Miss graduate whom I randomly played Pickleball with and then saw walking out of the sanctuary the next week. Apparently he had been going to Christ Pres the last four years, and I had no idea. Last night I met John Walker Webb, an Ole Miss law student who has volunteered to help with the fifth and sixth grade boys M&M class. Also a Pickleballer. John Walker has also been attending Christ Pres for years. I could go on, but I'll stop there.
- What is one fact about you that you think the congregation should know as they vote? I joined Christ Pres in 1997 or 1998. Since that time, Christ Pres has gone from worshiping in an inconspicuous skating rink (where the kids would actually skate in the "sanctuary" on Sunday night) to worshiping in a beautiful, new building in the heart of a developing area. By God's grace, Christ Pres has grown tremendously and continues to grow. When I look around during worship, I am thankful to see so many familiar faces from the "old days" and equally encouraged to see all the new faces, so many that it is difficult to know every member, much less individually greet every visitor (as Curt probably still tries to do). During the elder process, Les asked me what I would be "about" as an elder. My response was that during this time of change and growth I pray that the gospel of Christ continues to work into the DNA of Christ Pres. That is, whether new or old, rich or poor, beautiful or rough-around-the-edges, we continuously remind ourselves that we are all sinful in the sight of God but have been redeemed by a great Savior, whose mercy we do not deserve. A few weeks ago, when welcoming new members, Brian said something like, "The church is the only organization that the only requirement for membership is that you don't deserve to be a member." This quote reflects a truth I hope we all grow to better understand.
- What is your hometown? Brandon, MS
- How long have you been in Oxford? Twenty years, minus some years abroad.
- What is your spouses name and how long have you been married? Kids? Grandkids? Lisa and I are going on 16 years of marriage. We have Oliver (11), Simon (9), Tempe (7), and Barnabas (4).
- What do you do for a living? For the past five years I have been a nursing instructor at Holmes Community College in Grenada.
- What is your favorite hobby or pastime? Inexact farm experimentation (a.k.a. failed hobby farming).
- Who was the most recent person you met through CPC? I recently met Ray Smith of Tula. In addition to sharing an appreciation for country living, we have both spent time living in far off places. Mr. Smith has an interesting story of living in Alaska, while I spent several years in Asia.
- What is one fact about you that you think the congregation should know as they vote? The story of sin in my life often traces back to heart issues of insecurity and feelings of inadequacy. Patterned along with my shortcomings has been the beautiful picture of God's faithfulness in correcting, protecting, teaching, supporting, and loving me. I have loved seeing this same faithfulness carry CPC through daunting transitions, and it is the reliance on this faithfulness that allows me to enjoy participating in the life and community of CPC.
- What is your hometown? I was born in Canton.
- How long have you been in Oxford? 31 years.
- What is your spouses name and how long have you been married? Kids? Grandkids? My wife, Sue Castens, runs the office at First Baptist Abbeville. We have a son, Patrick McKeage; a daughter, Frances Pierce, who is married to Thomas; and four grandkids who are growing up way too fast.
- What do you do for a living? I’m a paralegal.
- What is your favorite hobby or pastime? Two passions – prison ministry and reading books I wish I had read decades ago.
- Who was the most recent person you met through CPC? I met Randy Smith on his first visit to Christ Pres; now we’re in the same Friday morning Bible study.
- What is one fact about you that you think the congregation should know as they vote? "Severe mercies" have taught me to trust God far more than I ever could have without them.
- What is your hometown? It is easiest to just say Kalamazoo, MI, although I’ve lived in four states growing up.
- How long have you been in Oxford? We moved to Oxford in the summer of 2016.
- What is your spouses name and how long have you been married? Kids? Grandkids? Megan and I have been married 15 years this summer. We have Shepherd (12), Ingrid (10), Fisher (7) and Thatcher (7).
- What do you do for a living? I’m an executive at CoreLogic (formerly Next Gear Solutions, acquired in September 2021).
- What is your favorite hobby or pastime? Playing with my kids (in water whenever possible), jogging all around Oxford and debating the merit of true crime podcasts with Megan.
- Who was the most recent person you met through CPC? It feels like we’re meeting new people every week which is so encouraging, but I’ve really enjoyed getting to meet new faces within the worship team. Someone that I have recently gotten to really "meet" even though we’ve both been attending CPC for years is Philipp Maynard. I’ve so enjoyed his commitment to bringing excellence (and a bass line) to our music each week. It’s been a good example to me of the benefits of getting involved in a ministry opportunity at CPC and getting the pleasure of getting to meet people that you otherwise hadn’t yet had the pleasure of crossing paths with.
- What is one fact about you that you think the congregation should know as they vote? I love Christ Pres not for the building or the music or even the preaching. I love Christ Pres because I see God at work at 901 Sisk. We talk a lot about God’s work in saving us, but God is so good to give us the Holy Spirit and see to it that we are not on our own when it comes to our sanctification. We are a body of saved sinners who are making progress toward holiness only by His work in us. Oh, that we would continue to grow in reliance on God’s grace for our continued spiritual formation. I am so excited to be a part of a community like Christ Pres and can’t wait to see how God will continue to work in us and in Oxford through us.