Michael Parise, Lead Pastor
Originally from Miami, Florida, I have been the lead pastor at Grace Community since 2008. I love Grace because it is a church for imperfect people, just like me. My passion as a local church pastor is to help lead imperfect people to become fully devoted followers of Jesus and to show and tell others of the same amazing grace God has freely shown me. I am a graduate of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and Graduate School. My wife, GiGi, and I have two children, Caleb and Kara. Additionally, we have three grandchildren, Zachary, Allison, Wyatt, and their dog CoCo.
I spent much of my younger years looking for love in all the wrong places. When I was 24, I was introduced to the overwhelming, unconditional, everlasting love of Jesus. Because of Jesus, I now know what true love really feels like. My life’s purpose is to know the love of Jesus and to make His love known to others.
My life verse is Galatians 2:20. It reads, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."
I enjoy cycling, traveling, reading, and spending time with my family. My favorite bands are “King and Country,” “Need to Breathe,” and most anything jazz. I love the San Antonio Spurs, (Go Spurs Go!), Dallas Cowboys, (don’t judge!), and the Miami Dolphins, (please pray!).
Cody Jackson, Worship Pastor
Kenzie Talbert, Kids Ministry
I grew up in South East Texas, just down the road in Winnie. Upon graduating high school from East Chambers, I attended East Texas Baptist University where I met and married my husband, Taylor, and graduated with an education degree. We have one daughter, Hazel Ann. As a family of three, we began attending Grace Community in February of 2019.
I was raised in a Christian home and do not recall a time in my life where Jesus wasn’t a part of my family lifestyle. I personally invited Christ in my heart as a young girl, and I know my love for Him and salvation was real at that young age. It wasn’t until I was in jr. high that I began taking my relationship with Jesus more seriously as an individual believer, not just as a member of a family of believers. Like most people, throughout high school and early adulthood I began choosing myself over Christ more and more often. I never left the faith or church, and God was still present in my life; however, my faith was weak and hadn’t grown much in several years.
By the grace of God and leadership of my husband and other Christian mentors, I began to take steps back toward putting Christ at the forefront of my life. I continue to grow in Him daily. My life verse has been Galatians 5:13 - “Brothers and Sisters, I’ve called you to be free, but do not use that as an excuse to please your sinful selves; serve each other with love.” This verse has always guided me because it reminds me that God has called me to freedom in Him, is stronger than my desire for sin, and calls me to serve others.
I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and traveling. I enjoy my career as a school teacher and serving kids and their families in our Children’s Ministry.