Grace Point Church Staff
Pastor Tom Nelson
Tom Nelson was born in Omaha, Nebraska and lived for seven years with his family in the San Francisco Bay Area before the family relocated to Orlando, Florida. He graduated from West Orange High School near Orlando in 1981 while earning a varsity letter on the golf team, the same year he was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout by the Boy Scouts of America. He attended the University of Central Florida, and completed a BA in Radio-Television at UCF in 1985. Sensing a call to ministry, he began studies at Reformed Theological Seminary near Orlando, and completed a Master of Divinity degree at RTS in 2012.
Tom served as Director of Admissions at RTS from 2009 through 2012. He served as the interim pastor at Lucaya Presbyterian Church in Freeport, The Bahamas from 2014 through 2016. He has served as the pastor of Grace Point Church since his ordination to ministry in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in 2016.
It was on a sunny February Sunday during his senior year of high school when Tom met a beautiful girl named Nancy at church. They were married at that same church in 1987. They have been blessed with three children. Their oldest daughter Juila and her husband, Michael Pezold, have one child, a darling curly-haired 4-year-old named McKenzie. Tom & Nancy’s younger daughter Laura and her husband, Nicky Newsome, are expecting their first child, a little boy they have named Luke, in 2022. Tom & Nancy’s son David serves as a freshmen member of the Alaska House of Representatives and as a 1st Lieutenant in the Alaska Army National Guard.
Tom & Nancy have made their home in a Nappanee fixer-upper. Tom’s mom Donna lives with them, along with their chihuahua named Callie and a terrier/guard dog named Barkley. Tom can often be found at Nappanee’s downtown coffee shop or at the city golf course…weather permitting. To locate Tom, look for his 1994 F-150 pickup parked nearby, a rusty old red truck affectionately named Bubba.
Tom’s favorite Bible verse is Jonah 3:1…”And the Lord called Jonah the second time.”
Grace Point Church Session
In Presbyterian churches the Session is the ruling body, and this is true at Grace Point Church. The Ruling Elders are nominated by the congregation and voted into office by the congregation at regular intervals. The current Ruling Elders are (left to right) Mike Cleveland, Terry Dermott, Bonnie Borger, and Carl Snyder. Pastor Tom Nelson as the Teaching Elder sits at the far right.
Grace Point Church Deacons
Grace Point Church Deacons are responsible for assisting those in need and carry out many duties that are critical to church operations. Current Grace Point Church Deacons are (left to right) Pat Duncan, Anne Williams, and Karen Clipp with Pastor Tom Nelson at right.
Grace Point Church
Leanne Heckaman serves as the Grace Point Church Office Administrator. She is vital to maintaining records, seeing to correspondence, and keeping order to all the Grace Point Church records.