Jonathan Olsen
Lead Pastor

I’m Jonathan Olsen.  People often call me Pastor Jonathan, Pastor Jon, or PJ (which will be more than sufficient when we meet).  I’m the lead pastor of Grace and Peace, but my primary congregation is my beautiful wife Rachel and our eight children: Annamaria, Gabriel, Christabella, Angelina, Elianna, Emmanuel, Rosanna, and Nathaniel.  I didn’t grow up in a Christian family so I didn’t hear about Jesus and His life, death, and resurrection for me.  But through a friend God graciously converted me to faith in Jesus when I was 19, and He’s been working on my faith, my heart, and my life ever since.  I love sports, especially baseball; I love food of all kinds (I like to enjoy “edible glory” as a good friend says); and I love spending time with my wonderful (and often loud) family no matter what we’re doing.

Jonathan Olsen
Lead Pastor

I’m Jonathan Olsen.  People often call me Pastor Jonathan, Pastor Jon, or PJ (which will be more than sufficient when we meet).  I’m the lead pastor of Grace and Peace, but my primary congregation is my beautiful wife Rachel and our eight children: Annamaria, Gabriel, Christabella, Angelina, Elianna, Emmanuel, Rosanna, and Nathaniel.  I didn’t grow up in a Christian family so I didn’t hear about Jesus and His life, death, and resurrection for me.  But through a friend God graciously converted me to faith in Jesus when I was 19, and He’s been working on my faith, my heart, and my life ever since.  I love sports, especially baseball; I love food of all kinds (I like to enjoy “edible glory” as a good friend says); and I love spending time with my wonderful (and often loud) family no matter what we’re doing.

Sherwin Kwon
Associate Pastor

Hi!  My name is Sherwin, and I’m an associate pastor here at Grace and Peace.  I grew up in a Christian home, but it wasn’t until my high school years that God, my sin before him, and Jesus’ forgiveness of me became the most important realities in my life.  I grew in my faith, met my college-sweetheart and now-wife Judy, and sensed God was calling me to be a pastor.  We’re from New York, but moved to Philadelphia years ago, have four kids (Nathan, Noah, Nico, and Carrie), and love being here.  In my spare time I love reading and watching all kinds of TV and movies.  Grace and Peace is our family, and I’m grateful I get to be one of her pastors, and part of her mission.

Sherwin Kwon
Associate Pastor

Hi!  My name is Sherwin, and I’m an associate pastor here at Grace and Peace.  I grew up in a Christian home, but it wasn’t until my high school years that God, my sin before him, and Jesus’ forgiveness of me became the most important realities in my life.  I grew in my faith, met my college-sweetheart and now-wife Judy, and sensed God was calling me to be a pastor.  We’re from New York, but moved to Philadelphia years ago, have four kids (Nathan, Noah, Nico, and Carrie), and love being here.  In my spare time I love reading and watching all kinds of TV and movies.  Grace and Peace is our family, and I’m grateful I get to be one of her pastors, and part of her mission.

Ben Shackleton
Youth Group Leader

My name is Ben Shackleton.  I got connected to Grace and Peace several years ago, and over time the people here have become like family.  I love this neighborhood, especially the people and the pickup basketball games and food.  I believe that God loves us and that he tells us to love one another, and I’m honored to play a small part in spreading the good news of his love in South Philadelphia and beyond.

Ben Shackleton
Youth Group Leader

My name is Ben Shackleton.  I got connected to Grace and Peace several years ago, and over time the people here have become like family.  I love this neighborhood, especially the people and the pickup basketball games and food.  I believe that God loves us and that he tells us to love one another, and I’m honored to play a small part in spreading the good news of his love in South Philadelphia and beyond.

Elders

Ji Kim

I was born into a Christian home and spent the first four years of my life in Seoul, South Korea before moving to New York City in 1981. I spent a lot of time at church while growing up, but it mainly consisted of playing with friends, singing in the choir, and memorizing Bible verses. Then, in my teenage years, I finally started to understand who Jesus was and what He had done for me. The years that followed were an amazing but often challenging period of learning to surrender my life to Him. My sometimes wandering journey eventually brought me to Grace and Peace in early 2015, where I help lead the church’s music ministry. My wife, Meridith, and I live in South Philly and we enjoy singing together as I play the piano, watching thought-provoking movies, and learning to cook new dishes, especially Korean ones.

Mike Miller

In 2008, I moved to California and had a neighbor invite me to church. When I arrived, the people around me surprised me – instead of filling the pews because “that’s what good people do,” they actually seemed like they wanted to worship Jesus. As I heard the good news of Jesus over the next couple years, God gradually led me to believe that Jesus really rose from the dead, and that I really should follow him instead of myself. I have been slowly following Christ more and more ever since. I live in South Philadelphia with my wife Linda, my son Isaiah, and our dog Pookie, work as an attorney, and am the Chairperson of the Philadelphia Classical School, a local Christian school. I am honored and humbled to help care for God’s people by serving as an elder at Grace and Peace.

Andy Owens

I grew up with two Christian parents who shared the gospel with me.  And even though I always believed in God and His Gospel, it didn’t penetrate into my whole life.  I was the classic compartmentalized Christian, one life to live on Sunday and another one to live the rest of the week.  It wasn’t until I was in college that God stripped away, one by one, all the things I had relied on as acceptable expressions of my faith.  And when I was finally at the end of myself, I truly realized that God is all we have in this life, and He is the one who satisfies us and redeems all that we do or have done.  I live in South Philly with my wife and four children, and I help lead the music ministry at Grace and Peace.  We believe God called us here so He could continue to work on us, sanctifying us so that we can be a witness to an urban community that so desperately needs him, and doesn’t even know it.

Griff Price

I’m Griff, and I live in South Philadelphia with my wife Michelle, daughter Hosanna, and son Ben.  I’m a huge Eagles fan, I love to read, and collecting vinyl records is a favorite hobby of mine. I grew up in a family that loved Jesus and told me that Jesus loved me! I had no problem believing that Jesus loved me, I just hoped that he was real. Careful study of the Old and New Testaments continually brings me to the most profound conclusion – the Jesus who loves is the Jesus who lives, and reigns today. I try to live my life for King Jesus, but often fail. But he has plenty of grace for me, and for you too!

Dan Salazar

I grew up in Colombia, South America, in a nominally Catholic environment. However, I came to have a personal faith in Christ in college in the United States and have been growing in my faith ever since! It’s been a life-changing journey, one that has opened my eyes to the deep need I have for a Savior and to the incredible grace that God has extended to us in his son Jesus Christ. Day by day, I am continuing to learn to put my trust in Christ alone. I have lived in Philly since 2011, the same year I met the amazing woman who I’m now humbled to call my wife, Betsy. For leisure, I enjoy traveling, playing tennis and puns.

Wasyl Semkiw

Hi, my name is Wasyl Semkiw, and I’ve lived in South Philly with my wife, Gloria, for 31 years. We are known as “Uncle” and “Aunt” to many dear families at Grace and Peace where we have been going since its inception 10 years ago. I was brought up in the Ukrainian Catholic faith with my parents and siblings. There was one question that no one cold answer for me: “How do I get to heaven when I die?” So I left the Catholic faith searching for the answer. I started attending a Christian church and after learning what the Bible says about Jesus Christ, living and dying for me, I came to receive the Lord into my life. Now, based on God’s Word and having a personal relationship with Jesus, I know that one day I will be with Him forever.

Ben Shackleton

My name is Ben Shackleton. I got connected to Grace and Peace several years ago, and over time the people here have become like family. I love this neighborhood, especially the people and the pickup basketball games and food. I believe that God loves us and that he tells us to love one another, and I’m honored to play a small part in spreading the good news of his love in South Philadelphia and beyond.

Joey Sinagra

My name is Joe Sinagra and I’m one of the Elders at Grace and Peace Community Church.  Calling myself “Elder” may sound like I’m something special – like I’m “extra holy” –  but I’m just a regular guy with a regular life outside of church.  I have a wife (Jessica) and six kids (Rosemary, Carmellina, Joseph, Peter, David and Penelope).  I teach at a local high school and I rent a row home in South Philly – there’s nothing particularly holy about that!  I did not grow up in a Christian home.  I was led to faith in Christ when I was in college.  I spent most of my life growing up feeling like I “didn’t belong.”  After learning about the deep love of Christ and His acceptance of me despite my shortcomings I was convinced that this was what I had been waiting for all my life.  I gave my life to Him and have never regretted it.

Steve Williamson

Originally from Kingston, Jamaica, I spent my childhood years in a northern suburb of Chicago before moving to Philadelphia in the 1990s. While I did grow up in a home where I went to church every Sunday with my parents and siblings, I did not experience a true conversion until I was 17. After my conversion, I realized living a traditional Christian life didn’t save me. God saved me through the person and work of Jesus Christ alone.  I am extremely blessed to be married to my wife, Amy. Together we have four awesome children, Jedidiah, Isabelle, Leah, and Malachi. We live in South Philly where we welcome any opportunity to serve God through the help of the Holy Spirit. Outside of spending time with family, I enjoy cycling, traveling, and watching a TV series on Netflix.

Deacons

Chris Capelli

I am a South Philadelphian and a Philly sports fan.  I am a husband to my wife Mary.  I am a father to my two daughters (Gianna and Evelina) and my son (Anthony).   These things are very special to me, and I truly struggle with the temptation of finding my identity in them.  Ultimately, the things in my life that I hold dear are earthly provisions given to me by God, and it is Jesus Christ where my identity is found and to whom I am thankful.  This would not have been my ‘bio’ ten years ago, but God graciously intervened in my life during a very difficult time when I became a single father to my daughter who was two years old at the time.  He called me to himself, rescued me from one of the darkest personal periods of my life, protected me, and provided me with a loving family and a church home in Grace and Peace, of which I have been a member since day one.  I am humbled and honored to serve through my role as a deacon.

Phil Gilliam

I’m a lifelong Christian, who began to spiritually grow at the age of 35!

Eric Jones

I grew up very active in church life, but I was very aware that something was missing.    After drifting away during my college years, God used the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 to draw me to back himself.  The horrors of that day deeply troubled me and revealed that I did not have a vital connection with my Creator.  When I began attending a church where the Bible was clearly proclaimed and started reading it myself, I could no longer deny the bad news: my sin against God is NOT OK.  But I also began to understand the GREAT NEWS: Jesus has personally paid the debt of my sin so that I can have life-giving fellowship with God Himself.   “I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.  And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20). I live in South Philadelphia with my wife Christine and our two sons, David and Andrew.

Will Swyer

I grew up in a Christian home and came to Christ early in my life, but because of a introverted nature remained isolated in my faith.  My family went to a large church and it was easy to stay lost in the crowd until I joined a Christian theater group, where I had fellowship with other Christians and met my wife, Lisa.  At GPCC we continue to grow in our relationships with Jesus and our neighbors as we raise our children, Addison and Liam.

Marcel Witmer

My name is Marcel. I’m married to my best friend, Krista, and we have two sons – Judah and Liam. We live in South Philly and enjoy a myriad of activities including spending time outdoors, biking, reading, eating, and hanging out with friends – old and new. I believe God wants me to love and serve those around me – whether it’s my family or neighborhood or church. This can be hard for me since I am often selfish with my time and energy. But I believe Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection give me the ability to follow His example in loving and serving others with humility.