The vision at Grace Coastal Church is “Gospel Transformation in Us and Through Us.” Our church is united around the reality that we live in a deeply broken world and that a true encounter with Jesus is the only thing that can deeply transform both our brokenness and our world’s brokenness. It is our prayer that we might all know the power of this gospel of grace, see it change things “in us” that we never thought possible, and see it change things “through us” in our community and world that we never thought possible.
My wife, Druid, and I have four children and two grandchildren. Samuel and Ruthie and their two children live in Charleston where he is a Navy dentist. Thomas and Rebecca live in Hilton Head and he is the director of HH/Bluffton Young Life. Our daughter Meriwether is in her third year of teaching high school English in an inner-city charter school in Nashville. Mia, our youngest, began her freshman year at Winthrop University in the fall of 2016. We are happily enjoying our empty nest!
After seminary, my first ministry position was as a campus minister with Reformed University Fellowship at Winthrop University. I stayed there for ten years. Such a wonderful time ministering to college students! After that, I was called to be the senior pastor at Eastbridge church in Mt. Pleasant and was there for thirteen years. After a short interim pastorate in Hawaii, I accepted the call to be the senior pastor here at Grace Coastal and I am in my fifth year of ministry here. It is truly a place of grace.
Minister of Family Counseling and Community Outreach
Upon first glance my job title is extremely long. I can shorten it very quickly. I talk to people about the difficulties of their lives and this world. I also have the responsibility to get out in the community connecting people to our church and our church people to our community. I’ve enjoyed serving in this capacity over the past 11 years. It’s been so enjoyable the time has flown by.
Upon first glance, it looks like we have a lot of programs at Grace Coastal Church. Our philosophy is not to create new programs but to connect with existing programs throughout the greater Bluffton to Hardeeville area. Being a participant with the Beaufort Alliance of Human Services and the Community Services Organization, we as believers in Jesus Christ don’t have to recreate the world. We believe we get out in the world and serve our Lord as the Apostle Paul did in the establishment of the early church.
Currently, we are working on developing The James Project and the mentoring opportunity with Real Champions. We constantly look for collaborative efforts to place the gifts and talents within our church out in the surrounding neighborhoods. As Jesus said, “We are in the world…” No better way to reach our world for Christ than to be engaging it on a regular basis.
My wife, Janice and I are from Baltimore, Maryland. I served at Chaplelgate Presbyterian Church as youth and college director while Janice was the children’s director. After receiving a BA in Education from Cedarville University I received a M.Ed. from Loyola College. Upon returning to ministry in 2001 I was certified in marriage counseling from Cornerstone Institute and have a basic certificate of counseling from the Christian Counseling Foundation in Philadelphia, PA.
My recent focus involves serving as a volunteer chaplain for the Bluffton Police Department and the Bluffton Township Fire District. Serving over seven years in this capacity I recently received certification as Senior Chaplain from the North Carolina Sheriffs Chaplain Association and appointed to the Billy Graham Rapid Response Chaplain Team.
As a Bluffton resident, I enjoy the Low Country every opportunity that arises either in a kayak or walking the great outdoors. Hopefully, my camera is close by. I remain a diehard Baltimore Orioles and Dallas Cowboys fan. While I love golf, I’m not sure it loves me. I do like a good movie and am trying to read 4 books a month.
It has been a blessing to have my children (John Jr. and Jennifer Jansen) and their spouses nearby. It is pure joy to have our grandchildren Kylee and Benjamin living within a stone’s throw. Bluffton is home to our family. God has provided a great opportunity to be involved and engaged in the greater Bluffton community.
Janice was born and raised in Catonsville, Maryland. She was always interested in elementary education and attended Cedarville University. Janice and John were married between her sophomore and junior years. Later she attended Arlington Bible College, earning her B.A. degree in Christian Education.
Janice has always been involved in education, having run a day-care out of her home for many years as her children (John Jr. and Jenny) grew to school age. Her ability to relate to children has earned her the nickname “The Child Whisperer.” It doesn’t matter where she is or what she is doing; children flock to her and she has this uncanny ability to quiet the troubled heart of any child.
Janice became Children’s Director for 10 years at Chapelgate Presbyterian Church (pca) in Marriottsville, Maryland. After moving to the Lowcountry and attending Grace Coastal Church, she agreed to oversee the Children’s Ministry. She brought years of experience with her seeking to “assist the parents in the nurturing and development of our covenant children.”
If anyone sees her on Sunday, she is seldom at rest as she seeks to serve families with young children. Janice has a special place in her heart for children with disabilities. She desires for all children to be a vital part of the church body.
Janice loves being with her grandchildren. She also enjoys reading a good book. Occasionally she has been in a kayak with John but will tell you John tends to choose the worst days to take her out on the water. For her, there is nothing better than watching the dolphins swim by on a sunny day. Her vacation destination is always Walt Disney World. The fact that Bluffton is only 4 hours away from WDW makes living here a big plus.
Director of Worship Arts
The theme of my life has been God’s faithfulness in Jesus. He brought me to himself at an early age, he held me fast during my parent’s divorce, and he brought them back together on the day I graduated from Tennessee Tech with my BM in guitar performance, and gave me man after godly man to be my mentors during the time my father left our family. I am most indebted to my youth pastor, Robert Row, and my RUF pastor, Scott Phillips for my growth and learning how to do life and love the church. I completed my MDiv at Covenant Seminary where God was faithful to provide good friends, teachers, and mentors.
I have the bizarre calling to bring old and new things together for God’s glory. I am a worship nerd, I love guitar, I love music as a language of soulful expression, I love kilts, board games, video games, woodwork and various other random things. I am married to my lovely wife, Katie, and I have three kids, Kara Adele, Elena Rebecca, and Rhys Hesed. And we are learning over and over again about God and his faithfulness to us and to his people.
The Qualls have been serving as assistants in our youth program for some time now. With a strong relationship with our current youth kids, the couple is enjoying a positive impact in the church.
Brandon and Llana are currently on family leave as they get to know the newest member of their family.
Kathy Hall is our church administrator, handling the secretarial, administrative, and day-to-day financial work for Grace Coastal. Kathy worked in corporate finance for many years and has previously been involved in volunteer activities involving her church, library, and a non-profit theater group.
Kathy and her husband, Jack, are both from the Hudson River Valley of New York. They moved to Bluffton in 2016 from the Lake Norman area north of Charlotte, NC. They have two sons and five grandchildren.
Grace Coastal Church Officers
“To watch diligently over the flock”
“Take oversight of the church”
- Jim Rowland
- Michael Moore
- John Greaves
- Dave McGee
- Tim Greenway
- Mike Slay
- Larry Helms
- Dave Shakelton
- Steven Kreider
- Chris Davis
- Mark Zip