The Groves Family

June 18, 2020

From Mark:

Beloved Deermeadows,

Several months ago, Sarah, Lily, Gracie and I began talking about our ministry among you and whether God might be up to something brand new for our family - moving us in the future to ministry and life in a different part of the country. After much prayer and thoughtful consideration, I want to let you know that I’ve been called to serve as Pastor of Worship & the Arts with Central Bearden Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. I am confident and filled with faith that God has His hand in this change.

Our family loves Deermeadows, we have invested a large piece of life with you, the girls have grown-up Floridians, and we have cherished the near 12-year journey in Jacksonville - serving, growing and living alongside you. We have seen many changes in these years, and we’ve experienced incredible times of worship, growth, learning and devotion among you – we are so grateful that you trusted us, allowed us to flourish, and be ourselves with you. In the midst of excitement about a new chapter ahead of us, there is certainly a sense of grief in the loss, although we will absolutely love keeping up with you and all that continues to happen around Deermeadows. Even in the midst of these extraordinary days of 2020, the church is the Lord’s and we are all in His strong hands.

My last Sunday with you will be July 5, 2020. You will be held in our family’s hearts for the rest of our days. We look forward to sharing time with the church in the weeks ahead. We love you all.

Through Christ,

Mark Groves

From Sarah: 

Thank you Deermeadows, for almost 12 years for our family and 10 years and 5 months, as your Minister to Young and Median Families. I will be moving with Mark and our family to Knoxville,TN as he begins ministry as Associate Pastor for Worship and the Arts at Central Bearden church.

We moved to Jacksonville, FL in 2008 and our daughters were 7 and 3. It was exciting to tell them they would live only 2 ½ hours from Cinderella’s castle! In 2010, upon Pastor Michael Riley’s invitation, I joined the staff as part-time interim Minister to Young and Median Families, although it was a new position. He needed more help, specifically with young families. Later that became “more part-time” and not on an interim basis.  It has been my joy to minister and serve with the young and median adults who have grown up here, as well as those who God has brought to our church during this time. I have loved being a part of seeing you grow as Christ-followers, as new parents to more seasoned parents, to share in excitement in babies born and grieve with those who experienced loss. It has been a high privilege to journey with God together as we have sought to understand more of who God is and how we are to live in this world. It has been a special joy of mine to be part of a church family that values diversity and represents many parts of our world. I love worshipping with you.

Thank you to the many group leaders I have worked with, for your servant’s hearts, for your commitment to being ready and prepared to share God’s truth and hope through Bible study and other groups.

Thank you, Pastor Larry, whom I have known since we were in our teens. It has been a gift for our paths to cross at this stage in life and to serve together.

Thank you to all those who have invested their lives in our daughters and us.

To all of you- Mark and I, as well as our girls, will miss you but will forever be grateful for this time in our lives, for what we have learned, for your patience and support, for your pursuit of God and love for one another, and for the ministry with others that we have experienced together. Deermeadows future is bright and we will continue to support you, just in a different role.


Sarah Groves

CATEGORIES: Churchwide