DUSTIN KANADY

I came to Christianity through the grace of God one cold day in February 2015. Having considered myself a Christian for most of my life, on that night I realized I was what I now term at best an “Intellectual Christian”. I knew the Bible, but I didn’t live the Bible. I realized that for 51 years I had wrestled with the same sins and made the same mistakes repeatedly because I was living life on my own terms more in love with my sins than with Christ. At the time, I was living up in Northern Virginia due to a job change. I was residing in a basement apartment and living away from my wife, Kimberli, who was tied to the St. Augustine area because of her commitment to her terminally ill parents. It was in this dark and lonely basement where I was living that I met Jesus and He changed my life in an instant. And I haven’t been the same since.

I have been very active in the church since my conversion. I have directly been involved with the Prayer Ministry, The Treasured Friends Ministry, The Upward Basketball Ministry, and the Encouragers Ministry. In addition, I was ordained as a deacon. I currently function as the Secretary and Vice-chairman of the deacons. I am also coming up on my third-year anniversary of teaching a Connect Group called Feeding Your Faith. I love to teach and serve through my Connect Group. We support a local mission, Dining with Dignity (feeding the homeless in St. Augustine), and an International mission, the Guatemala Mission.

The desire to serve and be a spiritual leader is Heaven sent. It led me to accept the nomination to be on the Transition Team back in November 2020 and led me to volunteer to be the Chairman of the Transition Team at our first meeting. As chairman of the Transition Team I have a singular focus – to find the best possible, most qualified pastor that can continue the good works begun by Pastor Tim and his staff for the next 30 years. I will use the leadership and professional skills I have gained in the military and in the marketplace to bring about the best possible outcome for this church, our next senior pastor and Pastor Tim. My skills are in leadership, written and oral communication, public speaking, project management, organization of teams, and leading teams of volunteers. I ask for your continuous prayers for the wisdom we need as a group to make good decisions to bring this transition about in the most efficient and smooth manner. God bless one and all.

Dustin Kanady
JEFF CRICK

As a native of Jacksonville I grew up in a typical “cultural” Christian home. In fact, my dad was a preachers kid and my faith hero became my Grandfather Rev. TN Crick. Grandpa was an actual carpenter and church planter who is responsible for starting several churches in homes throughout the Southeast then building their church buildings, many that still stand today. My personal faith journey, however, began in the 10th grade on the baseball field at Sandalwood High-school where one of best friends shared the gospel (Gospel track showing the Bridge Illustration) with me and I finally realized my sin and need for a savior, and began following Jesus as my Lord!

My journey since that day has taken me down several paths of growth and service for the Kingdom of God. My first servant roles in churches started with teaching 5th grade boys here in Jacksonville at Ft. Caroline Christian Church and then leading bible studies in homes for singles at FBC Ft. Lauderdale, where I eventually met my wife Michelle. Over time, I found myself serving as a deacon at FBC FTL and then as a Deacon and eventual Elder at Covenant Fellowship Baptist Church in Stuart FL where we moved after finishing my medical training as a Family Physician in Columbus, GA. During our days in Stuart, Michelle and I helped launch an intensive bible study group called Community Bible Study which is still going strong today. After moving back to Jacksonville in 2014, I became involved in Evangelism and Discipleship training with the #NoPlaceLeft Movement Network and now also serve as a Connect Group leader for Young Families here at FCBC.

My family, who includes two wonderful daughters (Abby and Ashley), have been members here at FCBC for the past 4 years. I was honored to get the call from a Nominating Committee member late last year to help transition this church from our current lead pastor to a new lead pastor. As a Catalytic Leader for the #NoPlaceLeft movement I have been coordinating teams and working with church leaders for the past 4 years developing intentional processes for reproducing disciples, leaders and churches. My profession as a Family Physician allows me the great privilege of knowing individuals very personally and investing in there lives to find balance to a healthy life experience. My own experience as a Mayo Clinic Consultant and Instructor has afforded me many opportunities to train students and residents as well as be part of many teams and committees pursuing what’s best for our patients and the overall organization. I hope these life experiences will aid me as I assist with serving on this Transition Team. My desire is to prayerfully help develop and lead a smooth and healthy transition of leadership that ensures a place for our current and future generations to call home and continue to be equipped as Disciples of Christ and Disciple Makers until all have heard the Good News. He is worthy!

Jeff Crick
Meghan Blood

I grew up in a small town in south Mississippi where I was raised and very active in the Baptist church.  I became a Christian at the age of 12 after attending a summer camp with my church youth group.

At my home church in MS I worked in our nursery, directed and taught VBS.

In 2005 I moved to Starkville, MS, where I attended Mississippi State University, got a degree in Risk Management, Insurance and Financial Planning, and met my husband, Robert.

We married in 2007 and moved to Birmingham, AL, where we lived for two years. We moved back to Mississippi in 2009 and welcomed our first child, Kylee in 2010. Our son, Barrett, was born in 2012 and in 2013 we moved to Atlanta.  During the two years we lived in Atlanta we attended FBC Alpharetta where I worked as the Assistant Preschool Director.

We left Atlanta in 2015 to move to Bloomington, IL, where we lived for 3 years and welcomed our third child, Marion Ruth in 2017.

In 2018 we moved to Jacksonville and shortly after we joined FCBC.  I quickly jumped into the children’s ministry to help where I was needed and now you see me every Sunday and Wednesday checking your children in for their classes.

I feel very honored and am excited about being part of the Transition Team.

KELLY GATES

I was born and raised in Jacksonville and came to know Christ at the age of 7. My parents had recently given me a new bible with a question and answer portion located in the back.  For each faith question, there was a scripture reference where the answer could be found in the Word.  I spent a long time reading through all of the questions and answers and began asking my own questions about salvation.  Being raised in a Godly home, Jesus had been part of my life since I was born but from that point on he became my personal Lord and Savior. 

I have been a member of Fruit Cove Baptist since I was in the fourth grade.  I met my husband Barrett on our church campus while we were in high school.  Barrett and I were married in 2009.  Our son Jack was born in 2018 and we welcomed our daughter Margaret in February 2021.  Over the years I have served as an adult Sunday school leader, children’s ministry volunteer and have worked with both the women’s and In His Image ministries. 

I am honored to serve on the Pastoral Transition Team. I bring more than 14 years of experience in both nonprofit and ministry.  While I am currently spending this season at home with my young children, most recently I served as the director of donor engagement and stewardship for the University of North Florida Foundation.  It is my goal to humbly serve the Lord and this church that I love dearly through the pastoral transition process.

Sunil Kuchipudi
Sunil Kuchipudi

Growing up in India, I was surrounded by Hindu and Muslim friends who are still some of my closest friends. It was understood at that time that religion is what you are born into and tied to family, birth, and nationality. Sometimes, my friends would ask me questions such as, “Who is Jesus?” and “Why would you follow a Western God when we have a number of gods and gurus of our own?” At that time, I had no idea, so I would blurt something out and change the topic. During my college years, I joined a Bible study led by the Navigators at the university dorm. I came across the verse in John 14:6 where Jesus clearly answered “I am the Way and the Truth and Life. No one comes to the Father except through me”. 

It was rather a jarring feeling to see why Jesus’ claim would be so exclusive. As I continued to study the words of our Lord in the Gospels, it became clear to me that He is the only One who shed His blood for me and you. He died for my sins and not only for mine, but also the sins of the entire world! He is the resurrected Savior who overcame the curse of death and gives all hope and eternal life. On an Easter Sunday morning, at 18 years of age, I personally accepted Jesus Christ into my life and was baptized in a small Brethren Fellowship in India.

I started helping lead bible studies in the university dorms. I did evangelism on the streets, this entailed presenting the gospel, clarifying the questions that people asked, and pointing them to Christ. In 1993, I came to the US to pursue my graduate studies at the University of Central Florida (UCF). I joined Intervarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF) and helped lead the bible studies on the UCF campus.

In 2010 our family moved to Jacksonville to join FCBC and I started serving in various ministries such as Upward Sports ministry. I also have the privilege of uplifting ministry work in Haiti. 

When the Nominating Committee selected me, I prayerfully accepted. I am honored and humbled to serve on this journey.  I have around 20 years in the technology industry, experience in financial, government and advisory industries, and executing strategic and transformational projects for global organizations.  It will be a privilege to serve and apply my leadership and organizational skills to support a successful pastoral transition. I can only do this with your support and prayers and earnestly seek them during this journey.

ROSS NELSON

I grew up in Houston Texas where our family attended a methodist church.  As a child I recall participating in all the various plays and musicals that the children’s ministry put on.  We moved to Louisville, Kentucky in 1999 and shortly thereafter began attending a local baptist church.  It was there at age 16 that I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior; I had heard the word of God all my life but only in that moment did I feel compelled to follow in obedience.

While attending school in Kentucky my family moved to Fruit Cove in 2003, and in 2006 I followed suit.  For the last 14 years as a member of Fruit Cove I have served faithfully in the music ministry playing in the orchestra on Sundays.  It is through serving in this ministry that I feel the fulfillment of my desire to be used by God.  For the past 2 years I have also served in the Wednesday Children’s Ministry.  It is such a joy to support the growth of faith in the children of FCBC. While serving in the music ministry I met my wife Larisa, we were married in 2012.  After many years of trying to have a child, we prayed and felt led by God to start the adoption process.  We are currently in the waiting period of the process.

The Nominating Committee reached out about being a part of the Transition Team in November 2020.  After prayerful consideration, I accepted the privilege to serve on this team.  As the team begins the process we ask for your continued prayers that we bring honor and glory to God.

Michael Osborne

I came to know Christ in March of 1974 at 6 years of age.  At the time, my father pastored a church in California, and we were having a youth revival that was led by a student/college group.  After one of the services, my father and mother were in a meeting and one of the young ladies from the lead group saw me sitting outside.  She approached me and asked if I knew about Jesus.  I said yes (duh – my dad is the preacher).  However, she started talking with me in a way that hadn’t happened before and discussed how Jesus died for me.  It made me think about Jesus not as a “biblical figure” but as MY SAVIOR.  Sitting on the steps of the church, I prayed with this young lady and accepted Christ right there.  Afterwards, I raced to tell my parents and excitedly interrupted their meeting.  Later, my parents talked with me about my experience and felt confident that I had a real experience with Christ.  The impact of that decision at that time made a huge difference for me in my formative years of school and college.  Although I was and am a sinner, my early life was framed by a belief that Christ is my guide, and I usually made key decisions by asking the Lord to lead me.

My first adult experience in serving the church came when I was living in Hattiesburg, MS at Temple Baptist Church.  I started in choir and later as part of our worship team.  Choir and worship team were my longest service opportunities, but this was my inroad into other church service.  I also taught (with my future wife) classes in our Singles Group and later became an ordained deacon at Temple in 2005.  I was also a member and Chairperson of our Church Personnel Committee for 4 years.  In 2011 we left Hattiesburg and moved to Panama City, FL.  We became part of First Baptist Church Panama City and got involved in the Children’s Ministry (our daughters were 6 and 5 years old at the time).  To be honest, we loved the pastor and many members of the church but did not get as “plugged in” as we wanted to be there.  When we came to Fruit Cove in 2017, we had a desire to be more missional and more relational.  With our daughters, we have taken part in several mission experiences including the Romanian Mission Team, the Harvest City Church Mission, and the Mission Miami Project with the Middle School Ministry.  Also, we have had several local mission opportunities including City Rescue Mission, Dream Church, and the Fruit Cove Car Show.  I am currently one of the teachers for the “Parents of Middle School & High School” class and assist my wife with the Middle School Ministry food service as needed. 

In November of 2020, the Church Nominating Committee asked me if I would consider being a part of the Transition Team.  I requested a week to provide my answer – this was because I understood the gravity of what this team will work on for the church.  It is an important task that will shape our church for years to come.  I accepted the opportunity to be a part of this team and want to assist in the ways necessary to help us get to the “Lord’s Outcome”.  I encourage all of us to pray without ceasing for God’s will to be done in this endeavor. 

Married to Debra for 18 years – daughters Gracen (15) and Samantha (13) 

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