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.
Jonathan Sharp was born on June 21st, 1990 to Mike and Missy Sharp in Angleton, Texas. (How do you tell if someone is from Texas? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you). He was two weeks old when his parents first brought him to church and instilled a love of Christ in him from this early age. He grew up in Angleton, where his parents attended First Baptist Church and where he was baptized in 1997 and regularly attended Sunday School, Sunday Worship, and Wednesday Night Youth Group. His Bonus-Mom, Michelle, married his father Mike in 2005. Though officially an only child, he has two bonus-siblings and numerous cousins he was raised with. After graduating high school in 2008, he moved to the Kansas City Metro to live with Mike and Michelle while he was attending college. He graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor’s in Education, with an emphasis in Social Studies, and completed graduate school with a Master’s in History, both from University of Central Missouri – Warrensburg. However, that was not the end of Jonathan’s educational career. In September 2013, he met his future wife, Bridgette, who was preparing to attend Concordia Seminary – St. Louis in order to become a deaconess. One of her requirements for dating, was that they attend church together, and so Jonathan began attending services at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Warrensburg. Since he was already interested in the Reformation, he was drawn to the richness of the theology of the Lutheran Church and began to study more deeply the Confessions of the Lutheran Church and was confirmed in 2014. Jonathan and Bridgette were married on November 1, 2014 (All Saints Day). They are eagerly anticipating the birth of their firstborn child, David, who should be arriving any day now.
When they moved to St. Louis for Bridgette’s seminary education, Jonathan was already starting to feel the growth of the seeds planted by his pastor and campus ministry pastor, but it was while he was substitute teaching in the St. Louis public school system that he realized he was being drawn to study for the pastoral ministry. After making friends with many of Bridgette’s classmates and meeting her teachers, he was encouraged to apply to the seminary, but waited until after Bridgette’s internship was completed to begin his studies. He and Bridgette moved to Fort Worth, Texas for her internship, where she served at Holy Shepherd Lutheran Church in Haslet, TX and the two of them learned much about ministry and one another during this year. Jonathan’s first seminary class was Elementary Greek in the Summer of 2019 and has now been assigned as Vicar of Bethlehem Lutheran Church and Preschool in Jax Beach! Bridgette was especially excited to be near the ocean and Jonathan is excited to learn and serve the saints of Bethlehem and they can’t wait to immerse themselves in the life of the congregation.
In his spare time, Jonathan enjoys watching films, both as entertainment and analyzing them for their literary and Christian themes. He is an avid reader, particularly historical non-fiction, historical fiction, sci-fi and fantasy, and the occasional comic book/graphic novel and can’t wait to share that love of reading/storytelling with David. Jonathan also enjoys gaming – board games, card games, and role-playing games mostly, but also video games on occasion, especially those with engaging stories. He’s not much of a sports guy, but does enjoy a good football game or baseball game (Go Chiefs! Go Royals!), especially at the end of the season; Jonathan likes to cook and loves the outdoors when studies don’t take up all his time, and isn’t a half-bad singer (you might find him singing along to the radio or humming a song or hymn that has gotten stuck in his head!)
They welcomed their firstborn son David Michael Brent Sharp into their family on July 28, 2021 at 10:00 pm. With 10 fingers and 10 toes, and a full head of hair, he has brought such joy into their lives as they adjust to being new parents. Hopefully they will get a good night’s sleep by this time next decade.
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