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Say hello to the leadership team at Compassion Dickson.

Meet our leadership

Got questions for the lead team at Compassion Dickson? Contact us here.

Jamie Grisham - Lead Pastor

Jamie Grisham was born and raised on a rural farm right outside of Kennett, MO. His dream was to follow in his Grandfathers footsteps and become a farmer. He followed and fulfilled that dream until he felt the Lord calling him to the ministry. In 2003, Jamie became a Youth Pastor of a church in Kennett, MO and the rest is history. He later felt called to be the Lead Pastor of that same church in 2005. He has been in full-time ministry ever since. Jamie came to Compassion Church in 2007 and has served as a Connections Director, Associate Pastor, Campus Pastor, CFO and now the Lead Pastor of our Dickson Location. Jamie is the husband of his beautiful wife Jill, and a father to Kaley (19), Abby (16) and River (2). Jamie also has a passion for helping other Pastors and churches. He is a Regional Director for Compassion Church and oversees 12 of the current 23 churches within the Compassion Network. He also serves as a leadership coach for Compassion Network | EVUSA and travels across the US helping Pastors, Leaders and Churches reach their fullest potential.

"A great leaders courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position." - John Maxwell


"Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes." - Peter Drucker

April McEwen - Kids Director

April McEwen is native of Dickson County. She is the wife of Jonathan and mother of Zak, Bailee, and Jon Thomas. Her husband and children also serve in the church. She is a graduate of Austin Peay State University where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. After working as a nurse for 6 years, she felt something was missing. April started serving in our children’s department, fell in love with the children’s ministry, and later felt called to lead it. So, she hung up her scrubs and is now the director of what she calls, “not just a children’s ministry, but a family ministry”. She says her goal is to see as many children as possible praising the Lord in our church!

April McEwen.jpeg

“We worry what a child will become tomorrow, Yet we forget that he is someone today”

– Statia Tauscher

David Lopez -  Student Director

David Lopez was born in Los Angeles, and raised in Southern California. The son of a pastor, he fell in love with ministry at a very early age and dreamed of becoming a youth pastor and at the age of 18. That dream came true. David made the move to Compassion Church in 2014, where he began working with the Student and Worship Departments at the Waverly Location. In 2016, he met his beautiful wife Megan at Compassion Waverly, who now serves as the Student Worship Coordinator and also lends her amazing talents to the Worship Team on Sunday morning. As of March of 2018, David serves as the Student Director for the Dickson Location, where he devotes his life to teaching, coaching and developing students and student leaders. David is a father to 2 handsome boys, Judah and Avid, and a beautiful daughter, Aubri. He is a passionate sports enthusiast(go Dodgers!), musician, cook, artist, adventurer and jack of all trades. 

“I’m ready to face any challenge that might be foolish enough to face me.” - Dwight Schrute

Doug and Lynn Varner - Connections Director

Doug and Lynn Varner were born and raised in the Chattanooga, TN area. They both

accepted Christ in 1988 and were married in 1989 and began to serve in their local church. In 2005 Doug had a career change that moved their family to Waverly, TN and that is where they were first connected to Compassion Church. They attended the Compassion Church in Waverly, TN until his job moved their family to another city. They have come full circle and are now back in the Dickson, TN area. They have always  dreamed of doing something together in the ministry as a couple and their greatest passion is to see people grow and take the Next Step in their walk with Christ. Doug and Lynn are proud parents of Zac, Alex and Abby and their daughter-in-law Tricia. They are excited to serve on this team and to be a part of what God is doing at Compassion Dickson.


Jimmy Mattio - Pastoral Care

Jimmy Mattio has the heart of a Pastor, Mentor, and a Coach. Compassion Care Ministries teams oversee Meal Train meals and Benevolence Aid. Our Prayer Dream Team does home & hospital visits. Calls are made to love on, pray for and to encourage the hurting and broken. Jimmy and his Pastoral Team provides Pre-Marital Coaching, Marriage Mentoring, Family Life Coaching, Weddings,and Funerals. Jimmy and his wife Linda, of 40 years, have worked in ministry since 1972. They have 5 children and 8 grandchildren. Known as Pasta J as Compassion's in-house Italian and enjoys drinking expresso coffee!

"I’m convinced that there are no irreconcilable differences, only people who refuse to reconcile!” - Jimmy Mattio

Calvin Whitehead - Operations Director

Calvin Whitehead is the youngest of 4 siblings. His mother is and has always been a hard-worker and taught her children to have a strong work ethic and to help people even if they can't help you back. Calvin didn’t grow up in church but after an invitation from a family member, he came to Compassion in March 2017. He quickly fell in love with Jesus and it changed his life. He began to seek God’s will for his life and that led him to volunteer on the Dream Team. Calvin served faithfully wherever he was needed. In February 2018, he joined the staff as the Facilities Director.

“Managers make you do, Leaders make you want to!” - Calvin Whitehead

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