Meet our Team
Brad Epperson grew up in Lakewood and would like to formally apologize to any teacher in the Clover Park School District who is reading this bio. He’s sorry, especially if you were a sub.
Brad graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary in 2008 and was ordained in 2011. He loves Jesus and is also the Associate Pastor at The Little Church on the Prairie. Prior to his ministry at LCOP and Lakewoodgrace Brad was a chaplain resident at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Tacoma, a ministry he is still passionate about to this day.
Brad is happily married to Heather and is daddy to two really fun and exhausting kids; Ava, and Luke. He has no hobbies because he has small kids, but if he had more time he would like to play in a metal band, brew his own beer (he’s a beer snob!), surf more, and take up welding.
James has been a pastor at the Little Church on the Prairie since February of 2010. Prior to that he was a pastor in the suburbs of Dallas, TX for 15 years.
James is married to Helen and they have four children Karis, Kaitlin, Kailey, and Kaleb. Besides being a pastor, James loves to get out on his motorcycle to enjoy the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. James enjoys a good cup of coffee, good conversations, a good book, and a good round of golf … the bad rounds, well … not so much.
Director of Student Ministries
Richard Grutas is a Lakewood native and graduated from Clover Park High School in 2010. After graduation, Richard spent time as a church intern, middle school leader, and Youth Pastor along with many other roles within the church.
In 2017, Richard started working toward his degree and graduated cum laude from Faith International University with BA in Business in the Fall of 2020.
Richard and his wife Amanda have been together since 2013 and were married in December of 2018. They both coach at Clover Park High School where Richard is the Head Baseball Coach, and Amanda is the Head Girls Swim and Dive Coach.
Richard and Amanda's Dream is to open a sports facility in Lakewood that builds the physical body during the week and then is rented out churches on the weekend.
In his role as director of student ministries, Richard is looking forward to building a ministry that will bring young people closer to Jesus.
Mary Mannering’s favorite kinds of people are kids, a good thing since she’s been teaching Pre-K at Little Church on the Prairie for nine years. Her husband, Scott, and teenage daughters, Halla, and Luci, have always been supportive of her passion for preschool, and they are excited to be part of the children’s team at Lakewoodgrace. Mary prays that Lakewoodgrace will be a place where kids and their families feel valued, have fun, learn together, and fall in love with Jesus.
Molly serves the church as the Worship Leader for Lakewoodgrace. She began her music career at the age of 12. She started taking classical voice lessons and later went on to earn her Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance at Western Washington University. She currently teaches voice lessons out of her home studio in Lakewood, and at The Tuned In Academy in Olympia. As a member of the Little Church on the Prairie and a Chancel Choir soprano, she feels blessed and excited to explore this experience of modern worship music through Lakewoodgrace. She is grateful to God for pushing her out of her comfort zone to lead others in worship and for granting her the opportunity to be a part of something far greater than she could ever have imagined. She lives in Lakewood with her husband Alex, two cats (Loki and Athena), and her dog (Freya). In her free time, Molly is learning to play the piano and the guitar, which she hopes will aid in her new position. She also enjoys traveling and has seen 14 of the 50 states and 11 different countries. It is a dream of hers to visit as many states and countries as possible (if not all!!) in her lifetime.