I am a native Texan born in Dallas in 1971. I have lived in Oak Cliff, Duncanville, Plano, McKinney, and finally in Anna. I spent most of my childhood in Plano from second grade to my senior year.
I became a Christian at age 15, right before my 16th birthday. I was baptized by Ron Goodwyn at Pitman Creek Church of Christ. I realized that as I was about to start my adulting years, that I would not be able to get through it alone. I have always gone to church, ever since I can remember and my mother and grandparents took me at every opportunity.
My wife Elizabeth Paige McDonald (Paige) has been my love for 29 years so far. She has been a dental hygienist for all of those years. We were married on August 6th, 1994. About 7 years later, we decided to put our faith in God and have a child. Luke was born to us in January of 2001, then our daughter in April of 2004. All three of my family members are tremendous blessings and I am so proud of each of them.
I attended Plano Senior High School, graduating in 1989, then went to Texas A&M in College Station TX for about 2 years. I then took a couple of semesters off, attended Collin County Community College for 2 semesters, then resumed and finished my bachelor degree back at Texas A&M. I have a bachelor’s degree in Business Analysis, which is a fancy way of saying I solve business problems using computers and programming.
I have worked for the same company for 29 years starting in May of 1994. It was originally my parents company called “Mirus” but then they were bought out around 2001. I have maintained my employment with “Anchor Software” ever since. I am a senior developer and I am solely responsible for several million lines of code. Our software is centered around direct marketing through the mail… basically what you would call junk mail. We prefer targeted marketing but either is accurate.
I love being an elder because I get to know people on a personal level. Typically, people do not open up about stuff, but as a trusted friend who will keep things confidential if desired, it gives them an incentive to share more. I love helping people through difficult times and watching a person grow in Christ. When I leave this Earth, I want to be know as a trusted friend and a person who helped them on their spiritual journey.
My goals for the Van Alstyne Church are simple. To have a spiritually mature body of believers who are well read in the Bible and that seek the lost. Numerical numbers are ok but spiritual growth is my number one goal.
Tom and I have been elders since the Summer of 2019. And though we don’t have specific areas of responsibility, we try and share the workload of the weekly tasks. Fortunately, we have a great minister who does a lion share of the daily work and serves as our point of contact to all things related to our church.
I remember first visiting at around Thanksgiving in 2016. We were attending the Church of Christ on McDermott Road in Plano, but it was a 35-40 minute drive. Since my oldest was reaching driving age, I wanted to minimize the travel for him to youth group events. We found Van Alstyne Church of Christ and loved it. For the first time, our kids were asking if we were going to church and if we could go to the one in Van Alstyne. Their faith took off, and ours, and that’s when we knew we were home. So as of this writing, it has been about 6.5 years.
My whole family did TaeKwonDo for about 7 years, each of us receiving our black belts. Luke and Paige actually achieved their 2nd Dan. Since then, my hobbies have dwindled down to yardwork. I do like to golf every now and then and I do enjoy home projects.
I grew up in a town of 160 people called Bristol, Texas, which is an approximate 20 miles
SE of Dallas, Texas. I was into the farm life and spent a lot of time showing calves at the State
Fair in Dallas and was President of the FFA at Ferris High School, where I attended school.
I grew up in the Church of Christ in this small town where there were only 3 churches:
The Church of Christ, The Baptist Church and the Methodist Church. I was baptized there and
they immediately had me leading singing in church.
I married the love of my life, Sandra Stein, who I met in High School and we have a
daughter (Mary Jac Witherspoon) and her husband, Paul O’Daniel who has been a wonderful
addition to the family. We also adopted a son, Stephen Thomas Witherspoon, who is Choctaw,
Cherokee and Sui Indian. They all attend with us on Sundays and are a joy we don’t take for
granted. Sandra and I have been married for now 52 years and she is still the love of my life.
I was a pole vaulter in High School and competed in this event at Southern Methodist
University in Dallas. I still compete in Masters Weightlifting and train with weights 3 times a
I work as a consulting engineer and work this profession full time, even at age 74.
Because of my experience, I do a lot of expert witness work, even though it is many times
I feel an enormous amount of pressure being an elder because this congregation is
special to me and when I can fill in preaching I feel even more pressure because it has to be
straight from the bible.
I am excited for our church and think the best is yet to come as we try to be the first
I love working with Bart McDonald because I know his heart and he is a great example
and he is a joy to be around. He and his family are wonderful and a joy to do this church work.
Sandy and I have been attending the Van Alstyne Church of Christ for now 27 years and
it has been a wonderful experience. We have watched Shannon Jackson grow as a minister and
a pulpit preacher and his growth has been amazing.
Our Son, Stephen, was baptized here so this is still a special place to worship and be a
part of this church family.