By Michelle Colesanti

Full-time Worship Leader, Johnny Herbet, was recently welcomed to Grace United Methodist Church.

Originally from Fort Benning, Georgia, Herbet grew up in West Monroe, Louisiana and attended Louisiana Tech University. Unsure of God’s call on his life, he enlisted in the armed forces prior to sensing a call to ministry. He enrolled at Oral Roberts University to study music full-time and also sang with the ORU singers on the daily TV program alongside Richard and Oral Roberts, and served as music minister in a local church. He graduated with a B.A. in Music, and a minor in Theology.

Pastor Matt Wallace said, “We are really glad to have Johnny joining our team, and we are excited about what God is going to do in his ministry at Grace.”

Herbet’s ministry has taken him around the world on mission trips. He and wife, Carol, have three grown children, Paige, Michelle and Jeremy.

Greg Rush is the new Director of Youth Ministries. Juggling a full-time engineering job, his family and his numerous roles with the student ministry at Grace, Rush added a two-year seminary course to his schedule as well. His heart and passion has always called him to play an integral role with the youth ministry at Grace.

A new Director of Children and Family Ministries, Mark Hoogerhyde, began his new position on Monday, July 1.  A native of Michigan, he is married to wife Sara for 28 years and has two children.

Hoogerhyde said, “I have been involved in the lives of children and their families for 25 years and still love every minute of it.”  Beginning Sunday, August 4, Grace will offer multiple styles of worship. Their Sunday 9:30 am service will be a blended-traditional service and the 11 a.m. service will be contemporary.

Grace will also host a special VBS this year, Kidshine Performing Arts Summer Camp, for children entering grades 3-6, where the focus is on discovering new gifts, experiencing God’s love, being cared for, challenged and encouraged. VBS will take place Monday-Friday, August 12-16, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. with a final performance at Grace on Friday, August 16 at 7 p.m.  Space is limited so call the church office at 661-8858 or email Becky Cossum at .

Grace United Methodist Church is located at 5708 Lithia Pinecrest Rd., in Lithia. For more information, visit


Previous articleWok Chi Grand Opening Raises Funds To Send 40 Kids To Camp at BSAC
Next articleTampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina Is The Destination For A Summer Getaway
Michelle has been with the Osprey Observer for almost nine years, and her current position is Assignment Editor. She resides in Bloomingdale with her husband Phil, two sons, Philip and Matthew, and Tigger the cat.