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About Us



The primary responsibility of this group is to provide leadership and oversight for The Church at Trace Crossing by...

  • Teaching and preaching the Word
  • Guarding the theology and doctrines of the church
  • Exhorting and admonishing the saints in sound doctrine
  • Equipping the saints of Trace Crossing for the work of ministry
  • Caring for our members through visitation and prayer
  • Trace Crossing Elders’ Commitments

    Learn more about elders in the church here:

  • ELECTING ELDERS by Burk Parsons
  • WHO ARE THE ELDERS? by Dr. John Piper
  • ELDERSHIP by Matt Chandler

  • Landon Dowden | LEAD PASTOR

    With the firm belief that the Gospel is the only hope for aligning our lives with God's Word, Landon Dowden is firmly committed to verse by verse exposition of the Bible, because "nothing is better for God’s people than God’s Word." Landon yielded his own life to Christ at the age of eight while growing up in Louisiana. After finishing with a Bachelor's degree from Louisiana State University, Landon furthered his studies with three graduate-level degrees (Master of Divinity, Master of Theology & Doctorate of Philosophy) at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in New Orleans, LA.

    He is married to Tara and father to Arabella, Adalaide, Adoniram & Alastair. Leading and shepherding his family is a great priority to Landon, as is making disciples through preaching, mentoring, biblical counseling, and through living life together in the power of the Gospel.

    Some of Landon's hidden talents are humming and beatboxing simultaneously, rapping part of Psalm 23 in Hebrew, being a national record holder for Jump Rope for Heart, and still being able to remember the “cheat code” to Contra on Nintendo.

    Gary Waters | CHAIRMAN

    At a young age God the Father drew me to God the Son, Jesus Christ. I am very humbled by His grace and forgiveness and righteousness, which I most definitely do not deserve. I am encouraged that He has been directing my path and growing me in grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ ever since.

    I am thankful that God directed my path to my godly wife, Sandy, and that the Lord has blessed us with three lovely daughters.

    A verse of Scripture that has been most life-altering for me is a single sentence Jesus Christ said, which is recorded in John 14:1 and with which He graciously commanded me in 1984: "Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me."

    I believe in God and in His Son, Jesus Christ. I trust Him to be faithful to complete the good work that He began in me. I trust that good work includes His sanctifying work of conforming me to the image of His Son according to His word, continually sculpting and fashioning me into a a vessel pleasing to Him, for which He alone is to be praised. I desire to be a holy and righteous soldier of Jesus Christ, loyal, faithful, and completely focused on the work He has prepared for me. When it is my time to stand before my Lord Jesus Christ, I long just to hear Him say "Well done, good and faithful servant". I am persuaded that He will keep that which I have committed to Him against that day.

    Jim Bush

    I was born into a large, very poor family in Simpson County, Mississippi. My mother was only 15, living with her parents, 3 brothers and 6 sisters. We lived in a small two bedroom house - one bedroom and a kitchen.

    Mom married Archibald Bush, who adopted me. He was in the construction business, so we moved a lot - ten times by my 18th birthday.

    My parents never took us to church. I did what was right in my own heart which was devoted to sin. By age 23, I was sick and tired of sin. I somehow knew in my heart that I was doomed to hell without hope. I was disgusted to see the sin in me and all around me. I didn't believe in God, I fell for the lie of evolution.

    In February 1972 as I walked to work Jesus came into my life and I was born again. He took my sins away, filled me with His Holy Spirit and gave me a love for His word. He has been faithful to lift me up everytime I fall.

    He has blessed me with 3 sons, 6 grandchildren and a church family who loves me, a sinner saved by grace.

    Mathew Gilbert

    Mathew Gilbert serves as Associate Pastor for Children and Preschool at The Church at Trace Crossing. Mathew is a graduate of Boyce College and an M.Div student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Before coming to Trace, Mathew served as Children’s Pastor at First Baptist Church in East Bernstadt, KY. Mathew has a desire to equip parents to disciple their children in the gospel of Christ. He finds joy in serving Trace families and visitors through building relationships with parents and children. Nothing thrills him more than seeing children and families growing in the likeness of Christ. Mathew is married to his high school sweetheart, Erica. Mathew and Erica have two sons, Jude & Jack.

    Mitchell Shoumaker

    Mitchell was born in Shreveport, LA, July 21, 1986. At the age of seven, he was rescued by the King. He felt God calling him to full-time ministry when he was a senior in high school. It was then that he publicly surrendered to that calling at Jefferson Baptist Church (Baton Rouge, LA). He pursued a music business degree in 2004 at Louisiana State University. In the fall of 2006, he transferred to Leavell College at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry. Mitchell is currently pursuing a Master of Arts through Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has served as a worship leader for corporate, college and youth gatherings since 2005, as well as serving at Jefferson Baptist as a student minister and young adult minister.

    On June 5, 2010, Mitchell married his best friend, Dustin. Not only does she support Mitch's calling, but she also feels a personal call to serve alongside him wherever God leads. God has given Mitchell and Dustin a heart for the nations, and they enjoy serving overseas as often as possible.

    On October 2, 2011, Mitchell was ordained into the gospel ministry by Jefferson Baptist Church. He desires that his life, as well as the music and worship he is a part of, will point people of all ages to the glory of Jesus Christ.

    In November of 2015, Mitchell & Dustin adopted their children Maisy, Olivia & Gabe from Poland. They are in the process of adopting their sibling, Evangeline.

    Matt Wilburn

    Jesus saved Matt at FBC Columbia, TN age 12 at a week long VBS on that old faithful Thursday gospel presentation. He spent most of youth moving around but settled in Tupelo, Mississippi. He attended college at Mississippi College in Clinton, MS and surrendered to ministry is 2001. Matt attended Mid America Theological Seminary; once he completed his M.Div he served as pastor for seven years in Booneville, Mississippi. Then he helped plant a church in Kansas City, Kansas. Currently, Matt serves in local ministry as a biblical counselor in Tupelo, Mississippi for Hope Family Ministries.

    Matt married Natalie in 2003; they have one daughter, Allie, 12 years old and one son, Nathaneal, 10 years old. The Wilburns came to The Church at Trace Crossing in 2015.

    Matt coaches locally for TFC Academy and here are a few things he loves: solid classic country gold music, BBQ, cabins, camping and the woods. He hopes one day to live lavishly off the grid in the middle of nowhere. His childhood dream was to be farmer/rancher/woodworker…seriously.

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