Dr. Thomas Messer
B.A., D.D., Maranatha Baptist Bible College
M.Min., Trinity Baptist College
At TBC since 1982
A native of Northfield, Massachusetts, Dr. Messer graduated from Maranatha Baptist Bible College where he earned his undergraduate degree in 1982 and was later awarded a Doctor of Divinity. In 1982, he began his association with Trinity Ministries as a basketball coach and teacher at Trinity Baptist College, where he earned his Master’s degree in Ministry. In 1991, he was appointed Executive Vice President of the college. On December 6, 1992, he became the pastor of Trinity Baptist Church and president of Trinity Baptist College. In 1998, he was named Chancellor of Trinity Baptist College. Pastor Messer and his wife Lisa have four children: Drew, Christie, Michael, and Jacob.
Dr. Messer enjoys spending time with his family, studying the Bible, reading books on the Christian life or church growth, eating barbecue or seafood, and playing golf. He’s also a fan of basketball, football and baseball.
Mac Heavener, Jr.
B.S., University of Florida
M.S., Business Intelligence from Full Sail University
At TBC since 2010
President Heavener (better known at TBC as “Mac”) is a Jacksonville, FL native, and earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Florida. He has been connected with Trinity Baptist College since its inception in 1974, as he formerly served as a member of the Board of Trustees.
President Heavener brings vast leadership and operational experience to Trinity Baptist College. He has over 40 years of experience in real estate, including 20 years at ERA, an international corporation where he served as the President and Co-CEO. His contributions at ERA helped the company grow to over 3,000 offices operating in 23 countries. Mac has served as the President of Trinity Baptist College since 2010.
During his recreational time, Mac enjoys hugging his bride of 45 years and spending time with his grandchildren, singing in the choir, flying (he is an instrument rated private pilot), traveling, watching college sports and playing golf.
Dr. Jeremiah Stanley
Vice President of Student Affairs
B.S., Trinity Baptist College
M.A., Liberty University
M.Div., Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary
D.Min., The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
At TBC since 2006
Jeremiah was raised near Branson, MO, where he developed a love for the outdoors while living in the beautiful Ozark Mountains.
He has been married to his wife Jennifer since 2001, and they have three sons: Trent, Braeden, and Grayson.
Jeremiah is an alumnus of Trinity Baptist College (2003) and completed the M.A. and M.Div. through Liberty University and Liberty Theological Seminary. He also holds a Doctor of Ministry degree in Leadership from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Jeremiah’s goal is to be an advocate for the students of Trinity Baptist College and to encourage them to grow in their love and understanding of God and His eternal truth.
Vice President of Enrollment Management and Development
B.S. & MBA, Liberty University
At TBC since 2015
Matthew Heavener is the Vice President of Enrollment Management and Development for Trinity Baptist College. He is responsible for coordinating activities for enrollment management, athletics, development, student life, and financial aid.
As a native of Jacksonville, Matthew has a diverse background that includes military service in the United States Army where he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for contributions to Military Intelligence, a career as the broker and manager of ERA Heavener Realty, Co. from 1996 through 2008, as the Director of Development for all Trinity Ministries from 2008-2015, and as an adjunct professor of business for Trinity Baptist College from 2013 to the present. Matthew has been married to his wife, Deborah, for 20 years, and has four sons (Matthew Jr., Joseph, Andrew, and Edward) that keep him busy and on his toes. In his free time, he likes to dabble in real estate, hike, travel and read.
Dr. Adam Christmas
Chief Academic Officer
Professor of Biblical Studies
B.A., M.Min., Trinity Baptist College
Ph. D., Carolina University
At TBC since 2007
Dr. Adam Christmas was appointed Chief Academic Officer of TBC in 2022.
Dr. Christmas is the husband of Kirsten, an elementary teacher at Trinity Christian Academy, and father of two children: Emily and Ethan
While attending Trinity Baptist College, Dr. Christmas served in the bus ministry and in Student Body Government as a society chaplain, Student Body Vice President, and Student Body President.
He went on to earn his master’s degree and subsequently his Ph.D. from Carolina University. In the fall of 2011, Dr. Christmas accepted a full-time teaching position at Trinity Baptist College.
He has served as the Faculty Dean and Professor of Biblical Studies at Trinity where he continues to teach resident and online courses covering the Old Testament, New Testament, and theology in both the undergraduate and graduate schools. Dr. Christmas’ teaching method in the classroom and rapport with the students outside the classroom earned him the honor of receiving the ‘Teaching Excellence Award’ in 2013 and 2018. Dr. Christmas also serves on dissertation committees, and has taught at a university in the Middle East.
In his leisure, Dr. Christmas enjoys spending time with his family, CrossFit/weightlifting, reading, and Mississippi State athletics.
AA and an AS degree from Florida College Jacksonville, (formally FCCJ)
Business Management degree from Nova Southeastern University
At TBC since 2010
I have been married to my wife Janet for 46 years. I retired from BellSouth in 1998 and from EDS in 2000 as a Senior Technical Manager. We have two adult sons, one is a Florida State Trooper Lieutenant, the other a comptroller for a car dealership.
I am active in local ministries of Trinity including being a TCA Board member, Trinity Deacon, adult Bible Fellowship teacher, active with the Rescue Mission, and on the TCA Discipline committee. I enjoy computers, bike riding and recreational target shooting.
Dr. James Buckner
Professor of Counseling
B.S., B.S., Middle Tennessee State University
M.A., University of Central Oklahoma
M.A., M.Div., Liberty University
Ed. D., Argosy University
At TBC since 2004
Dr. Buckner earned his B.S. at Middle Tennessee State University in 1980, his M.A. from Central Oklahoma in 1987, his M.A. and M.Div. from Liberty University in 2006 and 2007 respectively, and his Ed.D. from Argosy University. For 21 years prior to joining the staff at Trinity, Dr. Buckner served in the United States Army. Dr. Buckner works as a counselor in a variety of contexts, while teaching behavioral studies at TBC.
In addition to his professional activities, Dr. Buckner is heavily involved in church ministries and has experience in Sunday School ministries, youth ministries, singles, couples, and media ministry. He and his wife Carol have two children. In his free time, Dr. Buckner enjoys reading and watching sports.
Professor of Communications
Mr. Luke Collier joins TBC faculty this January! Mr. Collier hold degrees in Performance Studies and Curriculum and Instruction in addition to several years of experience as a Speech Instructor and Academic Advisor. He will be teaching communications courses on our campus starting this spring. Please join us in welcoming Mr. Collier to the TBC family!
Dr. Mark Crawford
Professor of Music
B.A., M.A., Pensacola Christian College
D.M.A., University of South Carolina
At TBC since 2010
Dr. Crawford has over 20 years of classroom experience in the undergraduate through graduate levels. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Pedagogy from the University of South Carolina.
Dr. Crawford is an exceptional pianist, arranger and master teacher. He is a member of the Music Teachers National Association. He has experience as a church pianist in both small and large churches and has been featured as a performer on national television.
Dr. Teresa Dustman
Director of Online Learning
B.S. in Spanish Education, Pensacola Christian College
M.Ed in Education Leadership, TBC
Ed. S. in Curriculum and Instruction, Liberty
Ed. D. in Curriculum and Instruction, Liberty (2018)
At TBC since 2016
Dr. Dustman grew up in Kansas and is a big fan of the Chiefs, Royals and Jayhawks! She and her husband, Nick, met at college and were married in 1991. Her undergraduate degree was Spanish education, and she has taught Spanish to students in every grade from K5 to college. She also homeschooled two daughters all the way through their schooling. She earned her MEd from Trinity in 2014 before earning her specialist and doctoral degrees in Curriculum and Instruction from Liberty University. She teaches undergraduate Spanish and graduate education courses at TBC and also serves as our Director of Online Learning.
Assistant Professor of Business
Bachelor's degree in Church Ministries, Trinity Baptist College
Master's degree in Management, Regent University
At TBC since 1990
Gary moved to Jacksonville, Florida in 1986 to attend Trinity Baptist College. He has been on staff at Trinity since 1990, where he has been employed with both the college and church ministries. He served as Director of Operations and then CFO from 1990 – 2006, where he oversaw the entire business area of Trinity Baptist Church, Trinity Baptist College and Trinity Christian Academy. In 2006, Gary became an Executive Pastor and continues to serve in that role today.
He and his wife, Erika, were married in 1991. They have three sons, Austin, Colby and Curtis.
Associate Professor of Music
B.S., Trinity Baptist College
M.C.M., Pensacola Theological Seminary
At TBC since 2006
Mr. Jacob Leporacci is from Rhode Island and is a graduate of Trinity Baptist College. He has taught at TBC since 2006 and holds a Master’s degree in Church Music from Pensacola Theological Seminary.
As Assistant Professor of Music his responsibilities include teaching Piano, Voice, Theory, and Church Music. Additionally, he directs several campus ensembles. Mr. Leporacci also trains LifeSong, the premiere ministry team of Trinity Baptist College.
Professor Leporacci is an accomplished pianist, gifted singer, and talented arranger. He has served as a worship leader and has conducted choir clinics and piano workshops in several cities throughout the United States, including New York, San Diego, and Washington D.C.
Jacob and his wife Maylynn are proud parents of three children. They also own Leporacci Music Ministries (www.leporaccimusic.com), travel extensively as performers, and are in frequent demand in various venues and churches throughout the country.
In his free time, Mr. Leporacci enjoys reading, swimming, and following politics.
Assistant Professor of Music
Bachelor’s degree in Music from West Coast Baptist College, Master’s Degree in Church Music from Pensacola Theological Seminary
At TBC since 2009
I am involved in the Florida Vocal Association and The North Florida Chapter for the National Association for Teachers of Singing. I also serve in the music ministry with my husband, Jacob Leporacci. Through music, I have been given the opportunity to enrich lives and encourage others in 48 states and 5 countries. I am also the mother of three beautiful boys: Landon, Lincoln and Lawson.
Dr. Samuel Lopez, Jr.
Associate Professor of Business
D.B.A., Doctorate in Business Administration, University of Florida
M.B.A., University of Florida
B.S., Business Administration, University of North Florida
B.S., Electronics Engineering Technology, Florida A&M University
Dr. Samuel Lopez, Jr. is an Associate Professor of Business . He is experienced as a Program Manager in New Product Development with successful launches of multiple products for a leading Medical Device Company.
He completed an extensive 24-year Naval Career leading men and women in meeting objectives at the team and organizational level. He received his Doctorate from University of Florida with dual focus in Finance & Management. He is currently conducting applied research on Leading Effective Teams and Managing Projects.
Dr. Lopez is a certified Project Manager Professional and a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.
Dr. John Lucy
B.B.A., University of North Florida
M.L.S., Florida State University
Ed. D., University of North Florida
At TBC Since 2011
Dr. Lucy is a native of Jacksonville, FL. He holds a Master of Library Science degree from Florida State University and a Doctor of Education degree from the University of North Florida in Educational Leadership. He has extensive library experience on both the collegiate and private school level. In addition to his love of books, he is an avid runner.
Associate Professor of Missions
B.A., Trinity Baptist College
M.A.R., Liberty University
M.A.E., Liberty University
M.Div., Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary
At TBC since 2010
Mr. Mann is an alumnus of Trinity Baptist College, and has earned a Master of Arts in Religion, a Master of Religious Education and a Master of Divinity from Liberty University. Greg’s real-life experience as a church planter, pastor, missionary and educator greatly enhances his instruction in the classroom.
God has used him to plant eight churches and to start a Bible institute in Guyana, South America. He was also used to reach a previously unreached people group in South America. He remains very involved in mission work, and serves as the field coordinator for unreached people groups for the Global Faith Mission Agency.
Dr. Andy Pietrylo
Professor of Biblical Studies
Assistant Professor of Counseling
B.S. in Psychology, Liberty University
M.A. in Professional Counseling, Liberty University
I am originally from Malaysia and in 1996 my family and I moved to Lynchburg, Virginia for me to start off studying at Liberty University where I graduated with a BS in Psychology and an MA in Professional Counseling. I went on to become a US citizen and a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Virginia, National Certified Counselor (NCC), Certified Substance Abuse Counselor (CSAC), Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS), Licensed Mental Health Clinician (LMHC-Florida). I am also certified as LMHC and LMFT registered supervisor through Florida Board of Social Workers, Marriage & Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling Licensing Board.
Apart from teaching at TBC, I primarily work as a Licensed Clinical Counselor at NAS-JAX – Naval Air Station – Jacksonville. This is a place where I provide assessment and short-term, solution-focused counseling services to the individual sailors, their family members, their intimate partners, families and/or groups. As time permits, I also work as an independent private counselor seeing private clients.
My passion is to teach aspiring Christian students and train Christian counselors to be fruit-bearing Christ-followers in His ways and manners by which He reached, counseled and touched people. Jesus is the Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6). Jesus is the go-to model for all my counseling classes that I teach at TBC as I emphasize His ways, manners and Godly-compassion. Jesus was anointed (Luke 4:18-19) to heal the brokenhearted, preach deliverance to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, set at liberty those who are oppressed and to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. Then, He told us to go and do likewise (John 14:12).
Dr. Valerie Riley
Professor of Education
B.A., Moody Bible Institute
B.A., Cedarville College
M.A., Ph.D., University of Minnesota
At TBC since 2002
Dr. Valerie Riley began her education by receiving a B.A. in Jewish Studies from Moody Bible Institute. Following graduation, she worked as a missionary to Jewish people in Minneapolis/St. Paul for three years. Dr. Riley was raised in a Christian home, attended Christian school from seventh through twelfth grade, graduated from a Bible college and worked as a missionary. However, in December of 1977, she realized that she had never truly accepted Christ as her Savior. Once that had been settled, other decisions remained. She determined that God had not called her into Jewish missions and she resigned from her mission board.
After working at First Baptist School of Rosemount, MN for several years, she felt led to pursue a master’s degree in special education, which required completing an accredited B.A. degree at Cedarville College in Cedarville, Ohio. As she was working on her M. A. at the University of Minnesota, she felt God leading her to obtain a Ph.D. She had been working for several years as a learning disabilities tutor and began developing a learning disabilities program at the school. She saw the need for Christian teachers to work with children with learning disabilities and felt that obtaining a Ph.D. was the first step in that process. She worked at First Baptist School for 25 years before coming to Trinity.
The demand for qualified people to work in Christian schools with learning disabled children is increasing, and she is excited about the opportunity to assist teachers in obtaining the training they need.
Dr. Kyle Tadlock
Associate Professor of History
Dr. Kyle Tadlock is originally from Hattiesburg, Mississippi. He earned his B.A. in History and Classics from the University of Mississippi in 2006, a Master’s in History from North Carolina State University in 2012, and a Ph.D. in Ancient History from The Ohio State University in 2018. His next goal is to earn a knighthood, although he is hazy on the details of how to accomplish that.
Although he loves learning about all periods and areas of history, his main focus is ancient Greek and Roman history. More particularly, he enjoys examining mercenaries and the dynamics between warfare, politics, and culture which they tended to disrupt. Mercenaries are an interesting and timeless phenomenon and focusing on them permits him to follow his historical interests across a wide chronological and geographic range, including the ancient Near East and medieval Europe.
Dr. Tadlock is married to a very patient and loving wife and has three children. When he is not working or spending time with his family, he enjoys reading and playing video games. Dr. Tadlock generally does not like talking about himself, unless it is in the third person.
Dr. David Thompson
Professor of Biblical Studies
B.A. in Bible from Clearwater Christian College
M. Div. from Biblical Theological Seminary
D. Min from Dallas Theological Seminary
At TBC since 2003
Dr. David Thompson earned his B.A. at Clearwater Christian College from 1971-75, but he didn't stop there! Dr. Thompson went on to earn an M.Div. from Biblical Theological Seminary and a D.Min. from Dallas Theological Seminary. While completing his graduate studies, Dr. Thompson served as a pastor in New York. He later took a position as a missionary pastor of a church in the Cayman Islands where he worked for 14 years. Combined, Dr. Thompson has over 25 years of pastoral ministry experience. In 1997 he took a position as Adjunct Professor at Practical Bible College. Then in 2003, Dr. Thompson joined the faculty at TBC as Professor of Bible and Missions where he remains today teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Dr. Thompson was married in 1975 to Judith and they have 5 children. He has been the pastor of the following churches:
North Shore Baptist Church in Bayside, New York City, Stake Bay Baptist Church in Stake Bay, Cayman Brac of the Cayman Islands, and South Appalachian Baptist Church in Appalachian, New York. His hobbies include reading, working in the yard, and sports.
Assistant Professor of Christian Education
Bachelor of Science in Music Education - Bob Jones University
Master of Arts in Religion - Liberty University
Master of Religious Education - Liberty University
Master of Divinity - Liberty University
At TBC since 2002
Married to Melissa since 1993, they have four children - Trey, Trenton, Colton and Devan. Both Daniel and Melissa grew up here at Trinity and have been involved in many different areas of the ministry. Daniel enjoys reading, playing the trumpet and rooting for the Jaguars.
Assistant Professor of English
Second Year Diploma of Completion from Word of Life Bible Institute in Schroon Lake, NY
Bachelors of Science in Biblical Studies: Christian Counseling Concentration from Trinity Baptist College in Jacksonville, FL
Masters of Education in Teaching and Learning English from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA
At TBC since 2014
Mrs. Whitley grew up on the mission field of Zambia with her parents. She moved back to the US in 2010 to attend college at Word of Life Bible Institute and later on Trinity Baptist College. After graduation, she immediately began teaching composition as Trinity while going on to complete her Masters of Education in English through Liberty University. Her passions include teaching English both here and abroad and discipling college girls.
Dr. John Williams III
Professor of Biblical Studies
B.M., Jacksonville University
Th.M., Dallas Theological Seminary
Ph. D., Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary
At TBC since 2010
Dr. Williams brings practical, local church ministry experience to his teaching. Dr. Williams earned an undergraduate degree in Music from Jacksonville University. He then earned a Master of Theology in Church Ministry and Historical Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Philosophy in Historical and Theological Studies from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Williams' research covers a variety of disciplines, including history, music, and theology and their interaction with modern day culture. He also serves as a reserve chaplain (Major) in the Florida Air National Guard. He strives to use every resource at his disposal to help students and believers deepen their walk with God.
Dr. Patricia Youmans
Professor of English
Dr. Youmans brings to TBC more than 20 years of experience in education. In addition to teaching English, Language Arts, and writing at both the secondary and collegiate level, she also has been involved in ESL/ESOL programs for over a decade. With many years of experience in program management and leadership development, we anticipate Dr. Youmans to be an excellent addition to our faculty and look forward to having her teaching on campus in January!
Head Women's Basketball Coach
Coach Judy Allen has over 13 years of experience coaching highly competitive High School and AAU basketball. During her second year as Head Coach at Duval Charter H.S achieved in having a successful season winning over 60% of their games from the previous season. During her seven years coaching at Andrew Jackson High School they held titles for Gateway Conference, District and Regional Champions including a trip to Florida High School Basketball State playoffs. Coach Allen attended Minot State College, also had the opportunity to travel and play on the women’s team at Minot Air Force Base.
Coach Allen Co-Founded and Co-Director of Triple Threat Y.E.S, was founded on the vision of developing scholastic aptitude, athleticism, social skills, talent, character, and dreams of at-risk youth. A concentrated effort is placed on instilling the values of spirituality, education, leadership, discipline, diligence, commitment teamwork and sportsmanship.
In Coach Allen first two season, the Lady Eagles were contenders in the Regional Championship, in 2019 they won the Bible College WNIT. Coach Allen mission is to create a culture of success both on and off the court.
Coach is married to retired Air Force MSgt McKennis Allen
Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Information
Head Women's Soccer Coach
Prior to joining the Eagles' coaching staff, Calder served as the women's soccer head coach for Boca Raton Christian School. His teams qualified for the state playoffs in thirteen of the sixteen years that he led the team. Along the way, Boca Christian garnered eight district trophies and advanced to the state "Sweet 16" on six occasions. The years of excellence were highlighted in 2016 when the team advanced to the FHSAA Region 3 Championship. In that same span, Calder helped to develop more than 40 players who earned All-County honors for their accomplishments on the soccer pitch.
Other coaching experiences include numerous positions on staff with competitive soccer clubs such as AC Delray, Amelia Island SC, and, most notably, the FC Barcelona Escola-Academy in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
"I believe that God has led a uniquely gifted coach in Greg Calder to our campus to continue this tradition of success," Jones continued. "His outstanding track record of on-field performance coupled with his passion for discipling young people through the platform of athletics made him a perfect fit for TBC. This is a great day for women's soccer at Trinity Baptist College!"
As a player, Calder competed collegiately at Palm Beach Atlantic University. While there, he set the PBAU record for assists in a season by a freshman (17). By the end of his sophomore year, he had accumulated 13 goals and 28 assists while helping lead the team to a NCCAA Regional Championship and a spot in the National Tournament. He finished his last two years at PBAU with his teams making it to the NCCAA Regional Championship matches, and he was selected to the All-Region team both years. As a senior, Calder was also chosen by his teammates to be a team captain.
"I would like to thank the members of the TBC search committee, President Heavener, and Athletics Director John D. Jones for giving me this opportunity," said Coach Calder. "I am grateful for inheriting a women's soccer program that has a history of being one of the top NCCAA teams in the nation. My goal is for Trinity Baptist College to be one of the best places to play in the nation and for all of our student-athletes on our women's soccer team to be inspired to pursue excellence in the classroom, on the field, and in every aspect of life."
Head Men's Baseball Coach
Jon Copeland begins his sixth season at the helm of the TBC Eagles Baseball program. In 2019, the Eagles continued their strong postseason tradition with a 3rd-place finish in the NCCAA South Regional and the young program’s first invitation to the NCCAA College World Series.
In 2014, Coach Copeland was given the honor of starting and building the new Trinity Baptist College Eagles baseball program. The program’s first season in 2015 proved to be a very successful one as the Eagles more than doubled the average number of wins for a first-year program. In the process, TBC was a semi-finalist in the NCCAA South Region, defeated multiple NCAA DII and NAIA programs, including the eventual Sun Conference Champions and the Sun Conference Pitcher of the Year, all while completing one of the toughest schedules in the NCCAA.
In the short time since then, the Eagles have collected two more postseason regional semi-finalist finishes, a regional runner-up finish, and three 20+ win seasons.
The 2014 season was not the first time that Coach Copeland has been given the privilege of starting a new college baseball program. In 2011, Copeland started the program at Florida Christian College (now Johnson University-Florida), and in their first two seasons, the Suns enjoyed one of the best program starts in college baseball history. In Copeland’s first year at FCC, the Suns ended their inaugural 2012 season with a winning record (including a regular season filled primarily with NCAA DII and NAIA opponents), a #2 national ranking, and a runner-up finish at the NCCAA College World Series. The 2012 Suns also produced the South Region Player of the Year, four All-Americans, six All-South Region players, and two All-National Tournament selections from the College World Series. In 2013, the Suns racked up an impressive season, once again, building a winning record while finishing the season ranked #2 in the country and making it to their second consecutive regional final, and finishing in third place at the NCCAA College World Series. FCC placed five players on the All-South region squad and had four players named All-American, with one selection to the All-National Tournament Team.
A native of Southern California, Jon played four years of collegiate baseball at Biola University in La Mirada, California where he graduated with degrees in English and physical education. Upon graduation, and after his playing career had ended with stints in Texas and California — and in Europe with Athletes in Action — Jon spent the next eight seasons coaching in southern California at the high school level, five of them as a head coach — with three trips to the postseason.
Jon’s next stop was as an assistant coach/assistant head coach at his alma mater, Biola University, where he helped lead the Eagles to four consecutive GSAC Conference Championships, a #4 final NAIA ranking during the 2001 season, and a sixth-place finish at the NAIA World Series.
After Biola, Copeland spent one year at NCAA DI University of California-Irvine under the leadership of 2013 NCAA Div. I National Champion and UCLA Head Coach John Savage. In 2006, Copeland was named head coach at NCAA DII Nyack College in New York, where he turned a perennial losing program into a national contender in only three seasons. Copeland compiled an impressive list of accomplishments while at Nyack, most notably a semi-final finish at the NCAA DII CACC Championship Tournament, consecutive NCCAA Regional appearances, a #4 national ranking, and an invitation to the NCCAA College World Series. He also produced a CACC Player of the Year, a CACC Pitcher of the Year, nine All-CACC players, six NCAA Division II All-Region players, 10 NCCAA All-Region players, and a NCAA DII All-American — all during the most honored three seasons in Nyack College baseball history. Jon was then given the opportunity of spending the ‘09-‘10 season as an intern assistant coach at NCAA DI powerhouse Vanderbilt University (D1 National Champions in 2014 and 2019) under the tutelage of legendary coach Tim Corbin.
Jon is closing in on coaching win no. 700 and head-coaching win no. 400; he carries a .618 winning percentage. He has 24 winning seasons in 30 years of coaching high school and college baseball. Coach Copeland has seventeen former players who have been drafted or have signed to professional baseball contracts, including three who have reached the Triple A level.
Jon and his wife, the former Stephanie Nickel, have a son, Joshua, and a daughter, Sydney. Stephanie is Director of the Lifesong traveling worship team at TBC, a voice teacher, and a professional vocalist.
John D. Jones
Head Men's Basketball Coach
B.S. from Liberty University
M. A. Counseling and Human Relations from Liberty University
John D. Jones was appointed Athletic Director at Trinity Baptist College in August of 2011. Jones is no stranger to the world of intercollegiate athletics, having worked for 19 years as an assistant and head coach at every competitive level of men’s college basketball, including NCAA Division 1. He has also served in various administrative capacities, specifically in the areas of development, and game & facility management. The diversity of his experiences combined with his longstanding commitment to Christian higher education made him a great choice to lead the TBC Athletics program forward.
Jones has been formally recognized for his efforts. In 1999, Dr. Anthony DiGiorgio, President of Winthrop University, awarded him the Presidential Citation for outstanding contributions to the University. In 2004, Jones was honored by Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher as a member of the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, for outstanding service to the game of college basketball. He is an active member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and is highly regarded by his peers as a great competitor and student of the game.
Coach Jones has a master’s degree in counseling and human relations from Liberty University. He also received a B.S. degree from Liberty in 1989, where he was selected “Student of the Year” during his senior year. He worked in his hometown, Washington D.C. for several years before getting into coaching in 1994.
Head Men's Soccer Coach
Coach Robertson brings a variety of successful experiences at multiple levels of competitive soccer, including NCAA Div. 1. He started his college coaching career in 2008 at Brewton-Parker College, where he was the women's soccer head coach for three seasons before moving on to Div. 1 Georgia Southern as a volunteer goalkeeper's coach from 2011-2012. Dan returned to Brewton-Parker as an assistant coach from 2015-2018. He also currently serves as Robert Toombs Christian Academy's boys and girls varsity head coach, which he began in 2013.
"I am truly excited to welcome Dan Robertson to TBC as our new men's soccer coach. I worked with Dan for three years at BPC and was a personal witness to his tireless work ethic and impeccable integrity," said Trinity AD John D. Jones. "He is a strong family man who cares deeply about his players success, both on and off the field. I believe God led the right man here to help us carry on the tradition of excellence at TBC."
Robertson first began coaching at Maranatha Christian High School, serving as the boys varsity head coach from 1999-2004. He then went to become Central Fellowship Christian Academy's boys head coach from 2004-2008.
While at Maranatha, Coach Robertson led his team to the ACSI Ohio region Final Four and earned the honor of Mid-Ohio Christian Athletic League Coach of the Year in 2003. That success followed him to his next stop at Central Fellowship where he was able to turn around a failing program and make the GISA playoffs. Robertson was named GISA Region 2 Coach of the year in 2006. Along the way, he also earned the USSF National C license, the United Soccer Coaches Advanced National Diploma, and the level 3 GK license.
Coach Robertson is a graduate of Clarks Summit University, where he was a three-time NCCAA National Champion and four-time NCCAA All-American cross-country runner with a personal best time of 26:14 for an 8K race. He did not play soccer in college, but his instincts and athletic knowledge helped him learn the game and develop a very successful coaching career.
"I am grateful for the confidence placed in me by President Heavener and Athletics Director Jones in extending this opportunity to my family and me," said Robertson. "I chose to accept because it is an environment in which I can train the whole athlete Spiritually, emotionally, academically and physically. I think of coaching as my ministry, and Trinity gives me this platform to disciple and develop my players."
His plans for TBC men's soccer include developing a program based on Biblical principles of discipline and discipleship for his players to carry throughout their lives, long after they finish playing soccer. "The program, "he says, "will seek to build up the individual player's character through team gatherings and Scriptural teachings. When a player graduates from my program, I hope he is prepared to go out into the world and make an impact."
Dan is married to his wife Holly, who is a school teacher. They will celebrate their 21st anniversary in July. They are the proud parents of three children: Jarod (19), Jadon (17), and Olivia (15). Trinity is pleased to welcome the Robertson Family to Jacksonville.
Enrollment Management Assistant
Financial Aid Officer
B.S. Christian Counseling from Trinity Baptist College
M.A. Bible from Trinity Baptist College
At TBC since 2017
Brittany came to Trinity as a Freshman in 2014. A native to Jacksonville, Florida, God has given her a passion for military and counseling. Lord willing, she desires to counsel military and help move homeless veterans off of the streets and back into their homes with their families. Brittany thoroughly enjoys outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, and horseback riding.
At TBC since 2011
Shelby Downing has been a part of Trinity Ministries since 2008. She is married with two children, who currently attend Trinity Christian Academy. Shelby joined the Trinity Baptist College team in July 2011. In 2020, Shelby was appointed Registrar at Trinity Baptist College.
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Bob Jones University
At TBC since 2010
Mark enjoys the outdoors and likes to travel. He is married to Toni, the Dean of Women. They have a son named Tristan and a daughter named Claire.
Director of Student Success and Placement
B.S. in Education from Bob Jones University
At TBC since 2006
Mrs. Toni Elkins has been an educator for over 30 years. She has a passion for helping students be successful in college and in life. She is married with two children. They enjoy spending time together playing games and trying out new restaurants.
Dean of Admissions
B.S. from Trinity Baptist College
M.A. from Liberty University
At TBC since 2015
Seth Gray is a native of Florida and an alumnus of Trinity Baptist College. After a time in the United States Army, Seth came to TBC in 2011.
Since graduating, he has transitioned to the college admissions office where he serves as Dean of Admissions. Seth is passionate about serving students and their families in the college admissions process and considers it a privilege to help students connect to where God is calling them.
Director of Development
M-Div, Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary
M.A., Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary
B.A., The Citadel
Michael is married with two children. He is a former Army Officer (Medical Service Corp) who led Soldiers in combat deployments to Iraq (’04,’06-’07). He served in TBC’s Enrollment department from 2010-2015, where he maintained oversight as the Director of Recruiting. From 2015-2019, Michael once again served Army Medicine, this time as a Civilian Analyst and Manpower Program Manager for Army clinics in southern Germany. During his time in Germany, Michael also served in church leadership as an elder for the Evangelische Frei Kirchliche Gemeinde- Hersbruck, while his wife oversaw their Children’s ministry. Upon completion of his Army contract, Michael returned to TBC where he now oversees the college’s Development and Advancement program. Michael loves helping students in their pursuit of Christ. He enjoys spending time with his family and is also an avid college football and Florida Gators fan.
Content Creation Manager
B.S. in Office Administration from Trinity Baptist College
At Trinity Ministries since 2006
Originally from California but raised in Mexico as a missionary kid, Mary is bilingual and bicultural. She moved to Florida in 2003 and earned her degree from TBC in 2006.
After 10 years in office administration, Mary accepted a position as TBC's Content Creation Manager. Mary uses her creative writing skills and artistic eye to support the college and encourage alumni.
She enjoys the arts, and is an avid reader and creator. Married to Jonathan Norman and mother of two energetic boys, her life is full of sports, superheroes, and general loudness.
Director of Recruiting
Master of Theological Studies - Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Matthew has been married to his high school sweetheart, Kristie Page, for 15 years and has two beautiful daughters. He served in many roles while in the United States Army, including team leader, squad leader, combative Instructor, and recruiting center commander. Matthew also served a tour in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
After retiring in 2016, he became the Assistant Director for Nova Southeastern Universities Jacksonville Campus. It was during this time when he felt God’s call to full-time ministry. This led him to complete a Master of Theological Studies from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and serve in various ministry roles.
In 2020, he released the first issue of his Christian graphic novel, Fleeing Darkness. Matthew also has the passion of teaching self-defense tactics and Jiu Jitsu through the ministry of North Florida Self-Defense.
Assistant Director of Recruiting
Director of Enrollment Management
Dean of Students
B.S., Trinity Baptist College
Greenhouse Leader Development Institute - Pastoral Residency Completion
At Trinity Ministries since 2016
A third-generation preacher, Pastor Vaughn stepped into fulltime ministry vocation after 10 years of working for Merrill Lynch. After planting a church in Northwest Jacksonville, FL and successfully completing his pastoral residency, Pastor Vaughn began to pursue his degree in Biblical Studies at TBC, while pastoring the new church plant. In 2017, Pastor Vaughn was asked to join the Student Life team at TBC as Dean of Men, later transitioning into the role of Dean of Student Affairs, Spring of 2022. In addition to serving as Dean, Pastor Vaughn serves on the Pastoral staff at Trinity Ministries as Student Pastor of the Oakleaf campus.
Pastor Vaughn enjoys traveling with his two loves. He and his wife Angela have been married since 2002. They are the proud parents of Teighlor. Pastor Vaughn is a veteran of the United States Navy. He is also an avid sports fan and enjoys celebrating his hometown Jacksonville Jaguars.
Dean of Women
B.S., Church Ministries, TBC ('07)
At TBC since 2022
Autumn grew up in a military family and is as patriotic as they come. She has lived in Jacksonville for twenty-two years and is a graduate of TBC with a degree in Women’s Ministry. She has been in education for fourteen years, teaching high school English and then Fine Arts. She studies, speaks, and advocates for women’s health, with a focus on addressing all aspects of the woman: Spirit, mind, body. She is an artist and athlete who loves spending time outdoor and with her family.
Dean of Men
At TBC since 2022
Jason Lynch joins the Student Life team from Westside Baptist Church. He has accepted the
position of Dean of Men and we are excited to see God use his influence to guide a new generation of male students at TBC!
Student Life Office Manager
Kristie joins the Student Life team as Office Manager this semester. She will help coordinate the many moving parts of our Student Life staff.
Adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice
Adjunct Professor of Biblical Studies
Adjunct Professor of Business
M.B.A., University of North Florida
M.S.A., Universidad Rey Juan Carlos
At TBC since 2021