Pastoral Staff

Meet the Palmetto Street Church of God Pastoral Staff

Pastor John Mark Calhoun Youth Pastor

Pastor John Mark Calhoun

Pastor John Mark began serving the Palmetto Street Church of God as a volunteer youth worker in 2002 and became part-time Youth Pastor in 2007. At that time he was employed as the Lieutenant in charge of the Narcotics and Gang Unit for the Florence Police Department. He was a police officer since 1988 and retired in 2013 to become the full time youth pastor at Palmetto Street. Pastor John Mark graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1987 with a Criminal Justice degree and completed his training to become an Ordained Minister in the Church of God in 2013. He is active in many programs in the Florence school system and often speaks about the dangers of drugs and gangs at school events. Pastor John Mark, has been married to Shannon since 1989 and they have one daughter, Carrie. Pastor John Mark and Shannon stay connected with our students and they enjoy implementing ministry opportunities to develop and grow them in their relationship with Christ.

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Pastor G. Donald Freeman Discipleship Pastor

Pastor G. Donald Freeman

Donald Freeman is the Discipleship and Evangelism Pastor at Palmetto Street Church of God. He  oversees the church’s discipleship ministry as well as the visitation and benevolence ministries which supplies food, financial assistance, and prayer support to the members of Palmetto Street and the surrounding community. Donald answered the call to preach the gospel in 2000 and has since achieved the highest rank of ministerial credentials as an Ordained Bishop in the Church of God. Donald earned a Certificate in Biblical Studies from The Church of God School of Ministry and is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s in Pastoral Leadership through Lee University. In 2002, Donald met and married his wife Candace and together, God has used them to carry the passion of the cross of Jesus Christ and to bring a message of hope and enduring freedom to His people. Donald has served the kingdom as a church planter, Youth Pastor, Associate Pastor, Outreach and Evangelism Pastor and has served as an Interim Senior Pastor. Going forward, it is their heart’s desire to humbly serve the church in a capacity to fulfill God’s perfect will in their lives.

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Becky Starling Worship Leader

Worship Leader Becky Starling

Worship Leader, Becky Starling, has been a part of Palmetto Street Church of God since 1994, when she began attending with her family. As Becky began high school in the Florence community, she quickly connected with the youth group and stood out as someone who had a passion for, and could lead others into worship. In 2010, Becky married Stephen Starling; they enjoy spending time at the lake with friends and family, especially nieces and nephews. Also in 2010, Becky began as the volunteer Worship Leader for the youth group at Palmetto Street. She began leading worship at special youth events and prayer rallies across the state of SC. Becky earned respect from various music ministers across the state and was asked to serve on the Music Committee for the South Carolina Church’s of God in 2016. In that same year, Becky accepted the interim Worship Leader position at Palmetto Street. In 2017, Becky became the full-time Worship Leader at Palmetto Street and has plans to pursue her Exhorters License through the Church of God. Becky has a strong belief that being the worship leader is more than a career choice — it’s a calling!

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Eric Cole Children’s Pastor

Eric Cole Children's PastorChildren’s Pastor Eric Cole

Pastor Eric Cole is the Children’s Pastor at Palmetto Street Church of God. Eric comes to Palmetto Street with twelve years of experience in Kids Ministry serving in both bi-vocational and full time rolls. Before entering into full time ministry, he was a teacher and a math coach in the School District of Oconee County for eight years. Eric graduated from Southern Wesleyan University in 2008 with a double major in Early Childhood and Elementary Education with a minor in Christian Education/Ministries. In 2016, Eric became an Exhorter in the Church of God. Pastor Eric has been married to Teka since 2010. They have two children, a daughter named Ryann and a son named Knox. It is his mission to see Jesus Christ become irresistible to our kids throughout the community while building their foundation of faith in safe, fun, and age appropriate environments where they can grow in their relationship with Christ.

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