Music, family, and a desire to minister to people, were shared values that brought Bruce and Brenda Jackson together as teenagers. Brenda and her family were hosted in evangelistic ministry by Bruce’s father at his church in Dayton, OH. Early friendship turned into romance and then, a marriage partnership, which became the foundation for everything that God has produced through their lives. Bruce asked Brenda to marry him at the top of a skyscraper in downtown Chicago and was literally “walking on the clouds” when she said, “yes.” They were married in 1982, after university and Bible School training at Grace College and Moody Bible Institute. From the beginning, Bruce and Brenda saw the need for their family to be used in any way possible to lift up a high standard and share the answer of Jesus Christ for people’s troubled lives.
After Pastoral leadership in three churches, Bruce developed an acute awareness and understanding of the breakdown in today’s families. This couple has been a strong voice of vision, inspiration, and motivation in communication of Scriptural truth for the family. Bruce is an accomplished keyboard artist and vocalist in addition to being a gifted evangelist and pastor while Brenda is a capable cellist and vocalist. Their musical collaboration has produced numerous recordings. They see music and media as an effective and powerful tool to communicate God’s standard about all aspects of family issues and values.
Bruce and Brenda Jackson feel as though Christian discipleship begins at home with their own children. They have four beautiful children who have displayed exceptional giftedness in music, composition and performance as well as communication of the family’s signature subject matter. Bruce serves as leader and co-founder of FamilySong Ministries and is currently Lead Pastor at First Grace where he has served since 2011. His entire family continues to be an integral part of both ministry organizations.
Discipleship and College Ministries
With humble beginnings working to disciple other college students on the campus of University of Rio Grande, Tim Divens has been impassioned to serve in discipleship and college ministries. Since then, Tim has served in the armed forces, worked in finance, international community development and church planting while continuing to disciple and train young men and women to serve the Lord with a deeper passion.
Tim and Erin recently plugged into 1st Grace and have begun a great work within and around the many different Universities in the Dayton area. Tim now leads Advance Young Adults and teaches multiple Bible studies throughout the week with an emphasis on discipleship and going beyond the shallowness that so often characterizes those who profess Christ.
Youth and Young Marrieds
Having started both groups, Brent Jackson, along with his wife Brittany, serves as youth director and teaches young couples within the church. Brent grew up on the road singing and doing evangelistic ministry with the Jackson Family. Having now graduated with a degree in Management and Marketing from Cedarville University, Brent owns his own investing and financial firm called Harvest Financial.
Brent and Brittany were married at 1st Grace and have had a desire to see the various opportunities for development within the church grow. Since then, they have seen tremendous growth within all the ministries they have plugged into and continue to serve in.