Staff and Board

J. Oliver Jones, Jr.


Jim was the Founder and first Director of Light of Life Ministry, Inc. A 1981 graduate of Free Will Baptist Bible College (now Welsh College), he was an ordained elder in the Southern Methodist Church and served in the position of Christian Education Director. His greatest ministry love was that of teaching, and he devoted most of his adult life to the study of God’s Word and teaching the truths found there. He and his wife Barbara were married in  April 1982, and together they have three adult children and seven grandchildren.

Barbara D. Jones

Barbara Jones (wife of Jim) is a retired elementary school teacher with 32 years experience. She serves as the secretary/treasurer of the Board, and desires to help develop the Children’s Ministry area of Light of Life Ministry. Her love for and experience with children make her an excellent choice to work in this crucial area. She has taught both children and adults in Sunday School and served as a youth camp counselor. She also serves as Administrative Assistant to the ministry and serves as both proofreader of submitted materials and helps with formatting of our study materials.

Jack W. Davis
Board Chairman / Pastoral Counselor

Jack serves as the Board Chairman of LOLM. Ordained in the Southern Methodist Church, he is the Pastor of First Southern Methodist Church in Nashville, TN with some 35 years of service in that position. A 1981 graduate of Free Will Baptist Bible College, he and Jim have been close friends since their college years. He is the Pastoral Counselor to the LOLM Board and staff, as well as to any others who call on him. Jack is married to his wife Joyce since June 1972) and they have two adult children and two grandchildren.


David Shumate

Small Group Ministry

By profession David is a Communication and Data specialist, and is founder and owner of Covenant Communication in Hendersonville, TN.  He has served in several ministry capacities in his local church, worked with youth in the church and as a counselor in many Summer Camps, has served as Lay Leader for the Mid-South Conference of the SMC for several years, and serves on the SMC General Conference Board of Administration.  David’s desire is to help with the ministry of LOLM, especially in the areas of evangelism and small group discipleship. He has been married to Pam (Jack’s sister) since June 1992. Together they have four adult children, and at last count twelve grandchildren (that was yesterday!).


Staff Writer and Teacher

Lanny joined Light of Life Ministry as a writer and teacher in August 2007, and joined our Board in June 2009. This is currently a part-time volunteer position as he is also Pastor of the Pee Dee Southern Methodist Church in South Carolina. At some point in our future we hope to have Lanny as a full time staff member. He is a 1981 graduate of Southern Methodist College, and received his Masters of Biblical Studies from there in 2014. He is ordained in the Southern Methodist Church, and has served twenty-three years as a pastor and also served thirteen years as a Bible teacher for Dillon Christian School. He and his wife Sandy married in 1981 and have six children.

Eric Morrison

Pastor and Teacher

Eric is a young man who has recently accepted the call to ministry. He is currently employed full time as well as pastoring West Nashville Southern Methodist Church. Having sat under the ministry and teaching of Jack Davis (LOLM Chairman) and Jim Jones (LOLM Director) for several years, he has expressed a desire to work with LOLM when possible as he pursues his education through the Wesley Institute program, and if the Lord wills, continue to work with LOLM as a Bible teacher in the years to come. He is married to Renee, his wife of 19 years, and they have two children.

Dan Shapley
Current Director of LOLM and Staff Writer and Teacher

Dan joined our Board in January 2009 with a desire to help in both the writing and teaching of the LOLM materials. An ordained elder in the Southern Methodist Church, he is the Pastor of New Beginnings Southern Methodist Church in Bellevue, TN. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Southern Methodist College and is currently pursuing a doctor of Biblical counseling degree with Andersonville Seminary. His experience includes serving as the President of Southern Methodist College in Orangeburg, SC, Director of Administration and Finance for the Southern Methodist denomination, and the headmaster of a Christian School. He is married to Sheila, his wife of 42 years, and they have four grown children and nine grandchildren.

Gary Briden

Institute Advisor and Teacher

Rev. Gary Briden is the newest member of the LOLM Board of Directors, having been elected to that position in 2012. Gary is currently the Executive Director of the Association of Independent Methodist churches (AIM) headquartered in Jackson, MS.  Prior to accepting that call, he served as the President of Southern Methodist College in Orangeburg, SC for seven years. Rev. Briden’s experience also includes nine years as a Christian school administrator, serving for some twenty years in pastoral ministry, leading numerous mission trips to various countries, and being involved in Summer Youth Camps and other youth programs. And, relative to the Wesley Institute program, Gary and Jim worked together to establish it as a part of Southern Methodist College prior to his leaving his position with the college. Gary has been married to his wife, Debi, since May 1974, and they have three adult children and three grandchildren.