Dr. Charles Blackstock
In 1979, our Pastor, Charles Blackstock, was attending Georgia Tech where he was studying for a degree in engineering.In 1992 he received his Bachelor’s degree in Biblical Education. In 1993 he finished his studies toward a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Counseling. Finally, in 2000 he was walking the aisle for a Doctorate in Pastoral Theology. God laid on his heart to start a church in Dawsonville, GA. On October 10th, 1999, Lighthouse Baptist Church had its first meeting in a restaurant called The Fisherman’s Net. Despite the unusual location, the church began to grow and God again blessed our Pastor’s faithfulness.
Lynn Brennan graduated from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio in 2002 with a B.S. of Science in Education, with concentrations in Social Studies, Science and Reading. She has worked both secularly and ministerially since then. For 10 years, she worked with her husband in Reformers Unanimous Recovery Programs, and jail ministries in Ohio. She has a passion for discipling hurting and broken people, and those suffering with addiction. She has been involved in the jail ministry in Dawson County and has a clergy license to minister to the inmates. She was the Principal of Crossroads Christian Academy in Streetsboro, Ohio for 5 years before moving to Georgia, and has worked in Dawson and Forsyth schools before accepting the Principal position at Lighthouse Christian Academy in 2018. She is the owner of House Blend Photography, and also works with Go Media on occasion for corporate events. Her hobbies include storm chasing and weather photography, for which she is Skywarn Certified, being a local coffee connoisseur, and long walks on any beach. She is married to Timothy Brennan, and has four children, and two Brussels Griffons.
Jamie Reynolds grew up in Greenwood, SC, and graduated from Eastside Christian School. While attending there he developed a love for sports, specifically basketball, which has led him to become the head coach for the high school boys team at LCA. Jamie attended The Crown College in Knoxville, TN where he graduated with a degree in Pastoral Studies. He has served as the Student Pastor at LBC since 2015. He and his wife, Kristin, lead all youth ministries at the church, and enjoy working together with the many different ages to help them grow closer to God. Jamie’s favorite pastimes include reading and playing basketball.
After graduating from Hyles-Anderson College in 2011 with a Bachelor’s in Assistant Pastoral Theology, Matthew Blackstock took his love for media to the next level by immersing himself in the field. While still in the Chicagoland area, he began working on a local TV broadcast and helped take it to a national outreach. In 2012, Matthew returned home to Dawsonville where he began leading a small media team that has taken the local church services and studio recordings at Lighthouse Baptist Church, to millions across the world through Lighthouse Global Studios.
In the past several years, Matthew has also worked for ESPN, SEC Network, TV Forsyth, and a few other local tv and radio stations. More recently, he has helped start up GO Media while also volunteering for Christian Media International. Matthew has made it his goal to learn all he can in the ever-changing world of media, and use that knowledge to reach people with the Gospel. He is passionate about the importance of teaching the next generation how to use media, and taking media to the next level. Matthew is also passionate about spending time with his wife Hailey boating on Lake Lanier, hunting and fishing, and traveling the country and world, both for leisure and for promoting the Gospel on mission trips. Matthew will be teaching Middle and High School media elective courses.
Genna Harmon graduated from Covenant College in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management. She spent several years in the corporate world until having her first child. After the birth of her oldest, she stayed home and ran an in-home daycare for the next 5 years. She made the decision to homeschool at the time her oldest would have gone to Pre-K and did that for three years until her youngest was ready for Kindergarten. At that time she joined them in public school at Blackburn Elementary and spent two years as a Paraprofessional, working in Kindergarten and Special Education. In early 2018 she passed the Early Childhood Education tests allowing her to earn her teaching certification. She has spent time in each grade of elementary school, but has a heart for early learners and a passion to teach children to read and develop a love for learning. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Brandon Harmon, and loves to hike, camp, read, and spend as much time outdoors as possible with her husband and two girls, Gracie and Annabelle.
Gina Van Vliet was born and raised in South Florida. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Florida Atlantic University, and taught in the public schools for 13 years. Gina moved to Georgia 8 years ago to be near her family. God closed many doors in Georgia until he brought her to a Christian school in Dawson where she taught for 4 years. During this time, she grew as a Christian and now has a personal relationship with God and was baptized last year. Gina has a son who works and lives in Arizona. She also has 2 step-children (her late husband’s kids). Gina’s faithful companion is her dog Benji, who never leaves her side. In her free time, you will probably find Gina in her “craft cave” making greeting cards, scrapbooking and art journaling in her Bible. She is very excited to start this next chapter in her career at LCA. Gina will be teaching Middle and High School Math courses.
Heather Cole graduated from Hyles Anderson College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education, with concentrations in English and Music Theory. In addition to elementary teaching experience previously at Crossroads Christian Academy, Heather is a private piano instructor. She learned to love reading at a young age, especially classic literature, and strives to pass on a passion of reading to her students. Fun facts: she is often mistaken for Kelly Harp, who you may have seen on “Fixer Upper” or “Wood Work” on HGTV or DIY channels, respectively. She enjoys the simple things in life; relaxing at the water, reading, and spending family time with her two children and her husband. Heather enjoys a good cup of coffee, which is a wonderful thing, since her husband Doug Cole will be building a local coffee roasting business here in Dawsonville beginning in August. We are blessed and excited that she will be joining our staff!
Kristin Marie Reynolds grew up in Cumming in a loving Christian home. She attended Lighthouse Baptist Church, where she worked in a variety of ministries with her family. Kristin graduated from The Crown College of the Bible in Knoxville, TN with a Bachelor’s in Secondary Education with an emphasis in English and Physical Education. She is married to Jamie, who is the Student Pastor at Lighthouse, and works alongside him with the youth. In her free time, she enjoys reading, the great outdoors and spending time with her awesome husband. Kristin has a heart for young people and deeply desires to influence them to grow more like Christ every day. Although she is a true Georgia peach and the South is her home, her goal is to one day travel the world, one coffee shop at a time. We are excited she will be teaching English to LCA’s Middle and High School students!
Sonya Atkins graduated from the University of North Georgia with a Bachelor of Science in Special Education. In 2009, Sonya graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Phoenix with a Master of Arts in Education. She has many years of public education experience in neighboring Hall County and the Jackson County School System. Most recently at Blackburn Elementary, Sonya was the 21st Century Afterschool Administrator and a Certified Substitute Teacher. She is excited be teaching Middle and High School History and Specials, such as Drama and real-life application classes. Her Special Education background and passion for teaching helps Sonya connect with her students to create a more personalized learning experience. She believes integrating all the senses in the learning process comprise a rich experience that can last a lifetime. Fun facts about Sonya:
She loves life and the beauty of God’s abundance all around in nature, gorgeous sunrises, majestic mountain views, & lakeside walks. There are many activities Sonya enjoys; sharing her passion for a healthy lifestyle, writing books, reading, sewing, and the performing arts. Her priceless treasure is spending time with family and friends.
Some favorite scriptures: Numbers 6:24-26, Jeremiah 29:11, Esther 4:14, Proverbs 18:21
Sonya’s favorite classic books: The Shack by William P. Young, Anne of Greene Gables Collection by L. M. Montgomery, Christie by Catherine Marshall, When Calls the Heart by Janette Oke, and Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austin. Favorite Time Periods: Victorian, Pioneer, Present Day
Meet Maria, our K-1 teacher! Maria Duck is a career Christian education professional with over twenty-five years of experience in early childhood and elementary education. Maria is passionate about demonstrating God’s love to students, ensuring that they understand God’s Word, and they receive a quality academic education.
Maria received her BS in elementary education from Pensacola Christian College.
High school Science/Spansih
Meet April Joines- LCA’s newest Science teacher! April grew up on the West Coast in Seattle, Washington and the San Francisco Bay area of California but was originally from the great state of Alabama. She attended Southeastern College in Raleigh, North Carolina with a degree in Business Administration and Accounting. After graduation she worked for a CPA firm, and soon after decided to pursue teaching. April taught preschool for many years, and more recently has taught middle and high school English. She is a wife, mom of four, and is also furthering her degree with Liberty University. She loves coffee, Alabama football, music, and all things Disney!
Middle and High School Math
Dexter and his wife have been married for almost 20 years and have a 15 year old son named Walker. His family is very active in their church with local ministries, and especially their youth group. He loves everything involving The Georgia Bulldogs, and is also a Jeep enthusiast. Dexter earned his Masters of Arts in Teaching Mathematics and Special Education at Brenau University, his BBA in Finance at North Georgia College in Dahlonega and his Associates of Science in Business Administration at Young Harris College.
1st And 2nd Grades
She previously worked in the Lumpkin County School System for 16 years, and has also has taught ABeka in private schools for 12 years. Penny has been married to her husband Thomas for 35 years, and they share one daughter, Katie.