Staff & Leadership

Lead Pastor

 

Andrew Clever

Pastor of Ministries

Andrew was raised in Illinois—the part that’s not in Chicago—and even graduated from the University of Illinois.  He has since strayed far and wide from his home state, most notably spending several years in the Middle East, where he learned to speak Arabic.  (He currently teaches Arabic language at Florida Southern College.)  His wife Kari is a locally grown Florida girl, and the couple have called Lakeland home since 2012.

Over the years, Andrew has worn many hats: middle school teacher, gym trainer, orchestral trombonist, sports camp coordinator, seminary student, math tutor, ditch digger (seriously), and more.  Nevertheless, he has regularly found opportunities to serve in ministry, especially with youth. He has a heart for discipleship, namely, in helping people know peace and joy in the goodness, wisdom, and power of Christ.

Christian Edmiston

Music Ministry Director

Christian grew up in Brandon, Florida.  He has also lived in Georgia and Pennsylvania.  Christian married Katie in 2007 and together the couple have two children, Hannah and Luke.  They also have an English Cocker Spaniel named Lady.  Christian began learning to play guitar when he was sixteen and he also dabbles on the piano.

Christian has worked as an Emergency Medical Technician since 2016.  In 2021, Christian obtained his bachelor’s degree in Biblical and Theological Studies from Liberty University.  In 2022, Christian began work on a Master of Divinity in Christian Ministries, also at Liberty.  In his spare time, Christian loves history, theology, Star Wars, and rooting for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers!

 

Elizabeth Goodier

Administrative Assistant

Our administrative assistant is in the office every Tues.—Thurs., 9:00 am – 1:00 pm and is eager to assist you with church-related needs. You can contact the church office via phone at (863) 686-5919 or via email at contactus@lakemortoncommunitychurch.org.

 

Elders

Lake Morton Community Church is an elder-led church.  We believe the scriptural precedent for church leadership is that of a plurality of elders (Acts 11:30; 15:2,4; 21:18).  Biblically, the pastor is one of the elders who is called to lead in the area of preaching and teaching (1 Timothy 5:17).  While he is called to a unique role of leadership and influence, the pastor holds no more authority than any of the elders.  The leadership of the church is carried out by the plurality of elders, as they together seek the Lord’s wisdom and direction.

Elders are men whom the Lord raises up in accordance with the qualifications of 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9.  They are men who exhibit the three essential qualities of faithful elders:

  • Character – They are men who reflect a love for Christ, a love for people, an earnest pursuit of holiness, and spiritual maturity.  Their lives are grounded in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • Competency – They are men who demonstrate an ability to shepherd and care for others.  They know the Scriptures and basic doctrines of the Christian faith, and are capable of applying them to people’s lives.
  • Chemistry – They are men committed to preserving the unity and peace of the church.  They are willing to lay aside personal agendas and work as part of a team of leaders.  They love the glory of God, the integrity of the Gospel, and the good of the church more than their own preferences.

Our Current Elders:

Ed Matthews

Kyle Jensen

Andrew Clever

 

Deacons

The office of deacon was established in the early church to oversee ministries of mercy in the church, and to free the elders to focus on the ministry of the Word and prayer (Acts 6:1-7).  Deacons are called to exhibit all the same character qualities as elders, but are not required to be gifted in the area of teaching (1 Timothy 3:8-13).  These are faithful men of godly character who show Christ’s compassion through tangible acts of mercy.

Our Current Deacons:

Roger Reese

Michael Mansfield

Deaconesses

In the New Testament, there were women described as deaconesses of the church (Romans 16:1).  While this was not an authoritative office in the church, it indicates that women who were gifted in this area were raised up to serve the needs of the church through unique works of mercy and care. In our church, the deaconesses oversee several ministries of bereavement, hospitality, fellowship, and care.

Our Current Deaconesses:

Judy King (Deaconess Chair)