George Mason has been senior pastor at Wilshire since August 1989. His long tenure as pastor follows the pattern of his predecessor, Bruce McIver, who was pastor at Wilshire 30 vibrant years. George is a nationally recognized leader among Baptists, serving the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, New Baptist Covenant, Duke Divinity School, along with other local and global ecumenical and interfaith endeavors. He is a frequent op-ed contributor to the Dallas Morning News on subjects of public interest that intersect religion, such as public education, race relations and predatory lending. He writes a monthly column on public theology for the Lakewood/East Dallas and Lake Highlands editions of the community news magazine The Advocate. At Wilshire, he birthed and directs the pastoral residency program that has become a model for other congregations nationwide. His book, Preparing the Pastors We Need: Reclaiming the Congregation’s Role in Training Clergy, was published in 2012 by Alban Press. One of his passions is encouraging those whom God has called into vocational ministry. George earned a bachelor of business administration degree in 1978 from the University of Miami (Florida), where he was a quarterback on the football team. He holds both the master of divinity (1982) and doctor of philosophy (1987) degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. His doctoral field of study was systematic theology, with a minor in philosophy of religion. His dissertation was God's Freedom as Faithfulness: A Critique of Juergen Moltmann's Social Trinitarianism. A native of New York City, George has been married to his wife, Kim, since 1979. They have three children: daughter Cameron is married to Garrett Vickrey, a pastor in San Antonio, and they have three daughters; son Rhett is married to Callie and is manager of the real estate division of the Dr Pepper Snapple company in Plano, and they have one son; daughter Jillian is married to Chris Shannon and is an actress in New York City.
Mark joined the Wilshire staff as associate pastor in January 2004. He came to Wilshire after a 21-year career in denominational journalism. In addition to giving leadership to the ministerial staff and coordinating the ministry and mission of the church, Mark has specific responsibilities for communications and outreach and works closely with the strategic planning process and oversees church committees. From 1998 to 2003, he served as managing editor of the Baptist Standard, weekly newspaper of Texas Baptists. Previously, he served as news director and then editor of the Western Recorder, weekly newspaper of Kentucky Baptists. He also was associate director of news and information for the Southern Baptist Home Mission Board and director of news and information for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He earned the bachelor of arts degree in journalism (1984) from the University of New Mexico and completed extensive graduate studies in theology at Southwestern Seminary while working there. In the community, he previously served as assistant Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 473, previously served on the board of the Lake Highlands YMCA, is a former president of Lake Highlands Area Band Club, was a founding board member of Healing Hands Ministries, a charity clinic based in Lake Highlands, and currently serves as vice chairman of the board of Gaston Christian Center, a new local mission and ministry center. He also serves on the board of Baptist News Global, a national news service, and on the Missions Council of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. He is a regular columnist for Baptist News Global and in November 2016 was invited to give a TED Talk at TEDxCharlottesville. Mark and his wife, Alison, have been married since 1985 and have twin boys, Luke and Garrett, who are professional jazz musicians.
Minister of Music
Doug joined Wilshire’s staff as minister of music in July 2004. He came to Wilshire from Providence Baptist Church in Charlotte , North Carolina, where he was minister of music. At Wilshire, he directs the choral program and supervises the church-wide music ministry, with major responsibilities for worship. Wilshire’s 80-voice Sanctuary Choir has recorded three CDs under Doug’s leadership: “Carols We Love”; “The Journey Home” with Cynthia Clawson; and "Prayers We Love." He has led the 60-voice Youth Choir on annual mission choir tours, with recent destinations including the Dominican Republic, Boston, Memphis, New Mexico, Chicago, New Orleans and Albuquerque. His previous experience includes roles as minister of music at First Baptist Church of Meridian, Mississippi; Hillcrest Baptist Church of Mobile, Alabama; and First Baptist Church of Buford, Georgia. He earned the bachelor of music degree (1980) from Georgia State University and the master of music degree (1983) from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Doug’s passions include excellence in conducting and music ministry with youth. He is a gifted pianist and soloist as well as conductor. He also is a lifelong learner, with a particular interest in the life of ministry. Doug and his wife, Lori, have been married since 1980 and have two adult children and two grandsons.
Minister of Missions
Heather joined Wilshire's staff in the summer of 2013, just after graduating from Baylor University with a master of social work degree and a master of divinity degree from Truett Seminary. She previously earned a bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She and her husband, Chad, have extensive global missions experience, having worked in Ghana, South Africa, Jamaica and Philadelphia. At Baylor, they led missions experiences for undergraduate students and provided pastoral care to students living on campus. Heather has written on issues of social work in the local church and has been a presenter at the National Association of Christian Social Workers and at Baylor conferences. At Wilshire, her responsibilities include engaging congregants in missions experiences both in Dallas and internationally, while also educating the congregation about the intersection of faith and service. Heather and Chad have a daughter, Jimmie Kathleen, born in 2015.
Minister for Care Ministries
Tiffany became minister for care ministries in 2009, having previously served Wilshire as minister to single adults since August 2000. Her responsibilities include the following care ministries: Stephen Ministry, Support Team Ministry, Hospitality Ministry, Welcome Center, new member assimilation, church-wide social events, Encouragement Ministry, Women's Ministry, Singles Ministry, Cooking Ministry, Prayer Team Ministry and Usher Team Ministry. Prior to answering a call to vocational ministry, she was in television and radio commercial sales. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in mass communication from Southwest Texas State University and a master of divinity degree from George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University. She was ordained to the ministry in 2003 and is trained as a premarital counselor through Life Innovations. Tiffany is a national trainer for Stephen Ministry and active in a local ecumenical women-in-ministry group. She serves as a resource and leader in numerous capacities for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening and gourmet cooking. She is married to Alan Wright, who is an oncology chaplain at Baylor Hospital in Dallas. They have been married since 2003 and have one daughter, Cayton, born in 2007.
Associate Minister of Music
Sarah joined the Wilshire staff in 2005 and has responsibilities for children’s choirs, handbells and New Song, the senior adult choir, in addition to general responsibilities on the pastoral staff. Sarah is a veteran leader of children’s choirs, handbell choirs and senior adult choirs and has led both domestic and international mission trips with musical groups. New Song sings monthly for Sunday worship at Wilshire and at Dallas community mission opportunities. She produced and directed a premier of Sticky Notes and Bible Quotes at Glorieta Conference Center, N.M., and, since 1988, has directed annual one-week music camps and musicals for children. Sarah directed a Christmas choral group at the White House, has led conferences for the Baptist General Convention of Texas, Dallas Baptist Association, Chorister’s Guild and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. She has chaired the older children’s worship retreat for Dallas Baptist Association and has served on the editorial board of the Chorister’s Guild. Sarah is an academic mentor with Kids Hope USA at Stonewall Jackson Elementary. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in education from Hardin-Simmons University and a master of arts in worship leadership degree from Dallas Baptist University. She has completed a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth. She and her husband, Allan, an attorney, live in Garland. They have two adult children: Judson and Elizabeth.
Christian advocacy specialist
Katie Murray joined the Wilshire staff as Christian advocacy specialist in June 2014. She's no stranger to Wilshire, having previously served as an intern here and as coordinator of the YourCall vocational discernment program for youth. Katie earned both the master of divinity degree and the master of social work degree from Baylor University. She has experience in Clinical Pastoral Education. At Wilshire, Katie is breaking new ground in a unique partnership with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship in a partnership that seeks to determine how best to engage a congregation in justice and advocacy issues from a Christian perspective. Her current focus is on the intersection of hunger and education, supporting the work of Wilshire's Vision 20/20 strategic plan. Katie and her husband Steven have one son, Drew, born in 2016.
Minister to Senior Adults
Jessica Capps is minister to senior adults at Wilshire. She assumed this role in January 2009, after serving several years as coordinator for member assimilation and as a senior adult Sunday school coordinator. She previously served as minister to senior adults at First Baptist Church of Garland and has experience as a classroom teacher in home economics. Jessica has done graduate study at Brite Divinity School and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and holds a master of science degree in management of special needs populations from the University of North Texas. She also earned a specialist certificate in aging from UNT. Her undergraduate degree is in home economics from Texas Tech University. She is married to Mike, and they have two adult children, Drew and Taylor.
Minister to students
Darren has served on staff at Wilshire since 1996 and as minister to students since 1998. At Wilshire, he ministers directly with youth in grades seven through 12, leading them in worship experiences, Bible study, spiritual formation and special programs. He provides resourcing for lay volunteers who teach Bible study classes. A native of Louisiana , Darren earned a bachelor of arts degree in history from Louisiana State University and a master of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Joannah, have been married since 1999 and are the parents of Virginia and Elias.
Minister to Children
Julie Girards is minister to children at Wilshire. She joined the staff on a permanent basis in June 2007 after serving a year in an interim capacity. Prior to joining the staff, Julie was a lay leader in the congregation for many years, serving as a deacon and teacher and one of the founders of Wilshire’s Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) program. She holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Baylor University and has several years of experience as a classroom teacher. Julie completed her master's degree in school counseling in 2012. She is the mother of three children—James, Jason and Jessica.
Minister to Preschoolers
Joan joined the Wilsihre staff in July 2007, coming from Gambrell Street Baptist Church in Fort Worth, where she had been minister to preschoolers and children. She previously served as coordinator of multi-housing ministry and director of storefront ministries with Greater New Orleans Baptist Association. She also has been a social worker and youth worker. Joan earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa and a master of religious education degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. She and her husband, David, are the parents of three adult children--Michael, James and Lydia.
Timothy Peoples came to Wilshire in August 2015 from Yale Divinity School, where he earned a Master of Divinity degree. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Adrian College (Adrian, Michigan), where he majored in Religious Studies. During his time at Yale, he served as Children’s Minister in Residence at Wilton Baptist Church in Wilton, Connecticut, and as Interim Associate Minister for the Congregational Church of New Canaan, Connecticut. Timothy also spent each summer from 2012 to 2015 as an intern at South Main Baptist Church in Houston.
Kevin Sinclair came to Wilshire in August of 2016 after serving for eight years as the Minister to Youth and Missions at South Main Baptist Church in Houston, Texas. A Metroplex native, Kevin was born in Garland and grew up in Richardson. He studied at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas where he double majored in Biblical Studies and History earning a Bachelor of Arts in 2005. Then he attended Wake Forest Divinity School in North Carolina earning a Master of Divinity in 2008. Kevin has served at Royal Lane Baptist in Dallas, Emerywood Baptist in High Point, NC, and Wilshire for a summer.
Jakob Topper came to Wilshire in August 2016 from Second Baptist Church in Lubbock, TX, where he served as youth pastor for three years. In May of 2011, he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Bible and Biblical Languages from Hardin-Simmons University. He proceeded to earn a Master of Divinity degree in 2014 from Logsdon Seminary where he was awarded the Aubrey W. Smith Medal for excellence in scholarship, character, personal development and commitment to ministry. The Smith Medal is only awarded in years in which a fitting candidate is found. While at Logsdon, Jakob served as the interim pastor of First Baptist Church Rule, TX. Jakob married his wife, Alyssa, in 2013.
Aaron Coyle-Carr came to Wilshire in August of 2017 after serving as the pastor of New Bessemer Baptist Church in McLeansville, North Carolina. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Classics at Samford University, where he also met his wife Leanna. Following Samford, Aaron attended Candler School of Theology at Emory University, earning both a Master of Divinity degree and the John Owen Smith Award for Excellence in Preaching. He is also deeply passionate about ecumenical engagement, and has served in Mennonite and Episcopal – as well as other Baptist – congregations.
Matt Dodrill came to Wilshire in August 2017 from First Baptist Church in Martinsville, VA, where he served as Associate Pastor for Family Ministries and Education. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Calvin College, where he majored in philosophy and religion while playing on the baseball team. He then earned his Master of Divinity degree from Duke Divinity School, where he also received a certificate in Baptist studies. While at Duke, he served as Youth Minister at First Baptist Church in South Boston, VA, and was active in prison ministry. He’s married to Abigail, with whom he shares the privilege of caring for their identical twin daughters, Paisley and Adeline. Their third child is due in November of 2017.