Pastor Brones has been ordained for 35 years and has joyfully served the congregation of Bethlehem Lutheran Church and Preschool for over 18 years. He has a broad and varied history of service. His first vicarage was in Guatemala from 1980 to 1982. His first call for service was to Venezuala from 1983 to 1992 where by God's grace he founded Fuente De Vida Lutheran Church in Puerto Ordaz. By appointment of the LCMS World Mission, he also served as Mission Co-ordinator Counselor from 1987 to 1992. Upon return to the United States, he became Director of Pastoral Care at Muhlenberg Hospital in Bethlehem, PA from 1994 to 2000. He also served as called Assistant Pastor at Concordia Lutheran Church, Bethlehem, PA from 1994 to 2000. He has served Bethlehem Lutheran Church & Preschool at Jacksonville Beach, Florida, since 2000.
Pastor Brones currently holds the office of Circuit Visitor (First Coast Region 2), the Circuit Counselor of the Jacksonville Outreach Circuit, JOC as well as Honorary Chaplain for the Jacksonville Beach Police Department.
LCMS Mission Coordinator/Counselor, Venezuala 1987-1992
FL/GA Board For Parish Education, Florida 2005-2007
Circuit Visitor (First Coast Region 2), Florida 2011-Present
Pastor Brones is married to Diane who is his greatest helpmate and support. They have six children, Richard, Justin, Joel, Jonathan, Paul and Magdalena, who have brought inordinate happiness and blessings to them.
Year of Ordination: 1983 in the Missouri Synod
B.A., Social Work: M. Div, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO, 1983
Undergraduate Degrees in Natural Resource Mgmt. (CO Mtn. College) and Social Work (Concordia, Seward, NE
Four Units (2 years) of Clinical Pastoral Education
President Muhlenberg Hospital Credit Union, 1987-2000
President American Heart Association (Local Chapter), 1996-2000
Honorary Chaplain Jacksonville Beach Police Dep't., 2004- Present
Certified Interim Pastor through NALIP (National Association of Interim Lutheran Pastors)
Nathan McCarty was born on September 29, 1988, to Chris and Leeann McCarty in McCook, NE. Homeschooled through the twelfth grade, Nathan enjoyed a flexibility that allowed him to pursue his many and varied interests: baseball, piano, theatre, constant church activities, and disk-golf. He still likes these things.
While he was a regular employee at his family’s diner, it was employment as a young high school student at a local Lutheran radio station that would help to propel him toward his current vocation. Once introduced to Lutheran doctrine, he found it hard to shake and eventually moved from the non-denominational church into the LCMS. Helpful in this transition was a very pretty young lady turned friend turned wife who provided great encouragement and incentive. In 2010 Nathan married Erica Leigh Boleen and became the luckiest man in the world.
In 2011, the young couple welcomed the birth of their daughter Joy, now age 7. Then, in 2012, Nathan graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with his Bachelors of Arts in Theatre. Upon graduation, the couple settled in Chattanooga, TN, where they lived for three years. While there, Nathan worked in Hospital Security and began studying Greek under the tutelage of his pastor. Finally, in 2015, prompted both by his pastor and Erica, his persistent and lovely wife, Nathan gave in to their wise counsel and began preparation for the pastoral ministry at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis.
After two years of study and preparation, Nathan was placed as a Vicar at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Jacksonville Beach, FL. It was a year of growth. Certainly he grew (at least, one hopes!) in his pastoral abilities. More visibly, though, his family grew as they welcomed the twins, Amelia Rose and Hilton Christopher, into the world on April 14, 2018. Since that date, Erica has slept a total of six hours. They have welcomed another baby girl, Maggie in 2020.
After returning to the Seminary for a final year of formation, (receiving his Masters of Divinity on May 17, 2019,) Nathan received a Call to serve as Associate Pastor at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Jacksonville Beach. He was ordained at Cross of Christ Lutheran Church in Chattanooga, TN on June 16th, and installed at Bethlehem Lutheran in Jax Beach on June 30th. He (and his family) are thrilled to be called into service in Christ’s church at a location, and among a people, so special to them.
Kenneth “Ken” Estes was born on October 8, 1986, to Kenneth and Deborah Estes in North Plainfield, New Jersey.
He moved to Titusville, Florida with his parents a month before beginning high school. Throughout his childhood, he has fond memories of growing up in the Boy Scouts and the Order of the Arrow, eventually earning the rank of Eagle Scout. During high school, he participated in band (playing the oboe, clarinet, and marimba), various clubs, and spent hundreds of hours volunteering. His volunteer work led him to being selected as the first teenager to receive the Titusville Community Service Award.
In 2009, Ken graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioral Psychology. During his college years, he was involved in Student Government; spent two years volunteering as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT); was involved with church’s ministries; and spent two summers doing medical and evangelism mission work in the Amazon region of Brazil.
He then attended medical school for two years before taking a leave of absence to help family. It was during this time in which God called him to become a pastor to His people. For the next several years he worked with Alzheimer’s patients as he patiently waited for the timing to finally be right to move from Florida to St. Louis to begin his studies at Concordia Seminary. It has been two years of joyfully learning about God and how to best serve His people; and he has loved every minute of it. Ken is thrilled to be part of Bethlehem Lutheran Church and is excited to serve God and the saints of Jacksonville Beach!
In his spare time, Ken enjoys developing fitness and nutrition plans. He loves any and every adventure outside in nature and is a ‘human factbook’ when it comes to animals. Ken also enjoys staying up to date on the latest news in medicine, science, and space exploration.
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