Our Staff Bios
Pastor Greg Schmidt
Greg is the founding Pastor of Calvary Chapel of Jacksonville and has lived in Jacksonville for
more than 30 years.
Leaving family and friends behind to start a new life, Greg joined the United States Marine Corps
in 1980. Anticipating that he would someday face combat he hid a measure of evil in his heart.
He believed he could control the evil in his heart, but before long it controlled every aspect of
his life. While he was professionally succeeding, his life was out of control and he found himself
despondent and broken.
In the spring of 1990, during Operation Sharp Edge off the coast of Liberia aboard the USS
Saipan, Greg turned to Jesus Christ and was saved by God’s grace. With new life through the
power of the resurrection, God’s word began ordering the steps of his life and he began to grow
spiritually. Greg now had a new heart and a desire for others to know the salvation of Jesus
Christ and to be equipped to live a Godly life inside and outside the military. Encouraged to
start a Bible Study in 1994, he has sought to fulfill this desire by teaching the Word of God
through the leading of the Holy Spirit; verse by verse, with genuineness, sincerity, and simplicity.
Cory’s childhood involved a family life entrenched in psychology, eastern mysticism, and a hatred of
Christ and all things Christian. Because of the difficulties at home, and because God has placed eternity
in the human heart, Cory knew that there had to be “more”, and that there had to be answers to life’s
questions. She longed for truth and goodness, and she desperately knew her need for a Savior! In John
16:8-10a Jesus said, “And when the Advocate (Holy Spirit) comes, He will convict the world of its sin, and
of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgement. The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me.
Righteousness is available because I (Jesus) go to the Father…”
On her mile long walks to the school bus stop, her Advocate would meet her. Without church or a
knowledge of the existence of God, God was revealing Himself to this desperate girl. She of course didn’t
fully understand what was happening, but she definitely knew that she was in the presence of love and
safety, absolute truth, and someone who was far greater than anything she could imagine! God would
begin answering her questions through two Christian families that loved her and invited her into a
relationship with Jesus Christ. They would also show her that the answers to all of life’s questions could
be found in God’s Holy Word.
Cory’s life has been so beautifully, radically, and miraculously changed through relationship with Jesus
Christ, that she wants everyone to experience His love and salvation! One of her favorite pastimes is
going through the Word with other women, she thrives on watching God meet women in truth and
“For the message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it
is the very power of God” 1 Corinthians 1:18
Pastor Bob Semrad
1984 was my “life turning point”. After arrests and time spent in the California penal
system I was desperate. In my mind running away was the answer, but God had a
different answer. In a very “real” encounter with God, taking responsibility for my
actions became a life command and with it…a desire to serve Jesus.
The opportunity to learn about God’s character through His Word came in 1995 at
Horizon Christian Fellowship in San Diego, CA. The “School of Evangelism” at Horizon
gave me the incredible opportunity to get training in God’s Word, in counseling (using
God’s Word) and in relating within a Christian community. After graduation I was able
to serve in many ways in both the United States and Mexico. These were opportunities
to help Pastors as they planted new churches in Mexico and in the South Bay San
Diego as well as other locations in the United States.
My role in ministry has always been to serve God in filling necessary needs that
effectively stand in the way of the presentation of God’s Word in “Spirit and in Truth”.
To assist Pastors and staff in accomplishing “the minutiae” of ministry, the things that
take them away from what is important, the study and teaching of God’s Word.
I am very encouraged by what God is doing through the ministry of Calvary Chapel in
Jacksonville, NC. We have the incredible challenge and opportunity to serve God and
the local Community of Jacksonville. That includes an ever changing group of Marine
and Navy personnel. It also includes the Local Support Community that exists to provide
services for the military community. Finally, and most importantly, those that have made
Jacksonville their choice as a home. Yes, Jacksonville is a revolving door, but it gives
Calvary Chapel Jacksonville the opportunity to disciple and then send maturing
Christians out into the entire world to live and carry the Banner of Christ wherever they go!
Every day brings us closer to the return of our Lord Jesus the Christ. So every day is
incredibly significant in our lives. I encourage you to join with me and with the Body of
Christ here in Jacksonville in the adventure of serving the Lord. There is no greater joy!
Joseph Magnusson - Deacon
Joseph mostly grew up in South-West Missouri where he spent time in and out of church during
his childhood and had heard of God but never knew Him. Right out of high school he joined the United
States Marine Corps where he had an appointment with God. After a terrible deployment to Iraq, he
struggled with anger and depression, but God met him in his time of great need. Joseph reached out to
God and God healed his mind and subsequently his relationships with others, including his wife. Joseph
spent time in Okinawa and learned how to teach the Bible with the expository method while at the bible
college. Joseph has been faithfully serving the Lord ever since.
Nate Wilson - Deacon
After retiring from the Army in 2016 I moved to Jacksonville as a broken and tired man who just wanted to have a good relationship with my ex-wife and make up for lost time with my adolescent children. Shortly after arriving, the Lord moved in a marvelous and miraculous way in my heart and revealed to me his heart as a Father. Over the last 3 years, Gods Love and Gods Word have completely transformed my life, healing me from years of heartache and pain. In October 2017 my ex-wife and I remarried and the Lord restored my broken family and has not stopped blessing us with His amazing Love and Grace. From the bottom of my heart I want to lead my family in righteousness, serve my Church in faithfulness, and declare the Truth of Gods Word to whomever will listen.
Danielle Weaver - Deaconess
My parents' love for Christ, and the teaching I grew up under, created a foundation for a life I did not know I would have.
I never imagined I'd be married to a Marine and do so much moving across the country in my life. Nor did I know what a solid foundation in Christ would come to mean in being a Marine Corps wife and mother.
My family and I came out to North Carolina in April, 2010. My husband retired from the Marine Corps in 2013. We stayed here in Jacksonville because this is where God wanted us!
Who would have thought ( definitely not me) a Southern California girl would love being a Southern "gal" in Jacksonville, North Carolina. While I still can't drink the sweet tea, I absolutely love where the Lord has brought us, and I love this church where God has grown us as a family the last nine years. Like the mighty oak, I feel that each year God has grown our roots together as a family and in the body of Christ to be rooted deeper and deeper in Himself.
Tara Roberts - Financial Secretary
I was born and raised in Kentucky. With a father who suffered from bi-polar disorder, an alcoholic mother, and a brother addicted to alcohol and drugs, I longed for a safe place. I had a wonderful aunt who took me to church and introduced me to Jesus. I knew from a young age, He was the answer to all the questions and problems in my life, I just didn’t understand how to have a real, fulfilling relationship with him that would enable that healing to take place.
I met my husband at fifteen. He joined the Marine Corps after high school and I went off to college. We reconnected and married. We moved to 29 Palms, where our oldest son was born. My husband left the Marines briefly and we moved back to Kentucky where our middle son was born. James re-entered the Marines and we were again transferred to California, this time to Miramar, San Diego. It was at this time I became pregnant with our third son. James was deployed during the latter part of my pregnancy and God placed within James a need to know Him. James had a Christian roommate and when he came home from that deployment, his NCOIC introduced us to Horizon Christian Fellowship. We started attending and within a year James was saved and I followed a year later.
I had known most of my adult life that I needed Jesus, I just couldn’t find him. I tried reading my bible and doing it on my own, but that never worked. I was such an angry, ugly, broken, hurting woman, trying to control every aspect of my life and those around me in an effort to keep my pain at functional level, not knowing God wanted to heal me. That all changed as I delved into God’s word. The teaching of each scripture expositorally changed me. I was stunned and amazed to learn of God’s healing word and how it pertained to me personally.
We were transferred to Jacksonville in January 2002 and began attending Calvary Chapel. It was much smaller and more personal than we were used to, but the way Greg and Cory taught the word, the personal interest they took in the body, and the heart they have for the truth of God’s word was a breath of fresh air and life for us. This body of believers was a family in a way I had never known.
Over the course of the next sixteen years, we have been through James getting injured in Iraq and a serious illness on my part, the ups and downs of raising a troubled teen, and in the midst of the drama and affliction, God met us in this wonderful place and grew us, gave us peace, and blessed us with the richness of a relationship we could never have truly dreamed of having or even imagine we’d wanted.
My desire is that all would know of the saving grace of our Lord Jesus and the freedom that comes from His love. That they would grow in the word and knowledge of God and have the peace and joy that comes from a personal relationship with a savior that died on a cross that we all may have life.
Marion Plocica - Children's Ministry
Originally from Kentucky, North Carolina has been home for more than 25 years now due to being a Marine Corps family. I am the mother of two and grandmother of three and the wife of my Junior High sweetheart for 32 years. I was a certified home daycare provider for nine years while we lived aboard the base at Camp Lejeune and volunteered and served as a board member of the PTO at my children's schools during those years. I also volunteered and coached for their various youth sports until they reached high school.
Although I knew God from my childhood it wasn't until 6 years ago that I truly desired to know God as my Savior. It was through the tragic loss of a friend, who was also the business owner where I worked, that God revealed Himself to me. He provided the means to purchase the company and has surrounded me with all the right people at just the right time. This journey is not easy but God is faithful, everyday.
It was also during this time that He brought us to Calvary Chapel. He placed a hunger to know His Word and to be part of something more than myself. My husband and I now attend together for first time in our married lives. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve a mighty God with the talents and abilities He has blessed me with. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6