Church of the City is led and governed by a board of Elders. By relying on consensual agreement of the Elders selected from the congregation, the church creates healthy checks-and-balances of leadership direction, financial accountability, spiritual guidance, and ministry implementation.

The Church of the City Elders are:

Chairman: Jon Maxson
Darren Whitehead (Senior Pastor)
Jon Tyson (Lead Pastor NYC)
Omar Mance
Jeff Jackson
Dan Pitts
Rudy Leal
Gabe Lyons
Grant Garner

New Elders

Omar Mance

Omar is originally from Atlanta, GA. He played basketball one year at LSU before playing and earning a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Rice in 2003. The son of a high school coach, Omar has now coached and mentored young people’s lives through basketball for Christ for over 15 years. Omar has coached at his alma mater, Rice University, as well as Vanderbilt, and Liberty. He also spent three years coaching in NY at West Point (Army) as well as in Chicago, where he was an administrator, coach and helped found a youth company that provided basketball and mentoring services to youth in the North Shore of Chicago. Omar and his family came to the Nashville area in 2016 and he is now the Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville. He is involved in the church and with a number of leaders in the COTC family consistently, he and his wife, Rebecca, have advocated for the church throughout their time in Nashville and have been Stakeholders since 2016. Rebecca currently serves on the Coffee Ministry Team. Omar and Rebecca have one son, Zion (5).

Jeff Jackson

Jeff Jackson spent the majority of his childhood in central Florida, with the exception of a few high school years in Brussels, Belgium when his family decided to become missionaries. Shortly after college, he moved to Nashville, TN to begin work in the Christian music industry. He spent over 16 years at Gotee Records and his own management company, but made the decision to leave the music industry to begin working in the non-profit world at CURE International. CURE operates charitable hospitals and programs in 14 developing countries, providing surgical healing for kids with conditions like clubfoot, cleft lips, untreated burns and hydrocephalus, while sharing the good news of God’s love. Jeff and his wife, Elizabeth, live in Franklin with their 4 children, Owen (15), Lukas (13), Avery (11) and Eliot (8).

Policy Governance

The Elders provide spiritual oversight, direction, and leadership for the overall church, entrusting the implementation of that direction to ministry leaders and staff, under the leadership of Senior Pastor Darren Whitehead. Senior staff leadership is held accountable for fulfilling the Elder board’s direction. This system of organizational leadership, known as Policy Governance, allows the Elders to focus their gifts and time on their biblical mandate to lead and shepherd the church, while allowing ministry leaders (staff) the opportunity to maximize their gifts and talents as they lead their ministries and make practical decisions on how to implement and carry out the direction provided by the Elders.

How are Elders Selected?

The Elders, who serve as representatives of the church, are nominated by the church Stakeholders and undergo a prayerful screening, interview, and approval process. Approved candidates are then presented to those who call Church of the City their church home, who have a 14-day opportunity to express any concerns directly to a nominated Elder candidate, utilizing the principles for conflict resolution that Jesus taught in Matthew 18. Once approved, Elders serve a four-year term. Elders are not paid staff; they serve as volunteers. The completed Elder board consists of 8 Elders plus the senior pastor (Darren Whitehead) who provides a key link between the Elder board and the staff. Each member of the Elder board has equal voice to the system of consensual agreement on the team.

What do the Elders do?

The tasks and responsibilities of the Elders vary greatly and require discernment as the board strives to keep the church on its biblical course. The Elder board tackles key issues facing the church. These include:


  • Determining the overall vision and future direction of the church.
  • Creating policies to define clearly church values and biblical operating procedures.
  • Ensuring the church’s teachings and practices reflect accurate biblical theology.
  • Providing avenues for pastoral care, conflict resolution, discipline, and restoration.
  • Providing direction on financial or risk-management issues.
  • Providing accountability to the senior pastor, to ensure the vision and values determined by the Elders are being carried out.
Elder Nominations

If you are a Stakeholder and feel prompted to nominate a congregant for the Elder role, please review the following resources:

  • Read overview of the Elder Qualifications.
  • Speak to the potential nominee before you submit his nomination.
  • Contact an existing Elder in person or through email.