Meet the staff


Brandon Candee (Lead Pastor)

  I’m a sinner who has been saved by the grace of God through the death and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ. In regards to life, 

I don’t always get it right. I don’t always perfectly love people. 

You will find in me an incomplete man, but you will likewise find 

in me a passion for God, for people, for prayer, for the Bible, 

and for my family and friends. Thank God for His mercies which are new every morning.
I’ve served in pastoral ministry since 2010 in both Kentucky and South Carolina, and volunteered with youth groups for several years before that. Besides being the pastor of Grace Community Church, I am an Army National Guard Chaplain. Prior to arriving at Grace in August 2018, I was deployed to Afghanistan for a year 

and have had the privilege of serving in the military since 1992.
I am a graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary (M. Div.) and of the University of South Carolina. Before finally surrendering to God’s call upon my life to ordained pastoral ministry in the UMC, I was a US Secret Service Agent in Miami and West Palm Beach, FL. My first career, beginning in 1999, was as a full-time Training Officer with the SC Army National Guard (similar to a project manager). My wife, Angela, is a Keller Williams realtor who previously served as the Associate Director of Youth Ministries for the SC Baptist Convention. We’ve been very happily married since 2004. We have three children: Colton (2005), Cade (2006) and Caroline (2011). My wife and children are my favorite and add joy to my life every day. 

I love them passionately.
Gamecock football, golf, oyster roasts at my house and trips to the mountains for hiking and camping are near to my heart. Additionally, I’m a part of F3 (Fitness, Faith and Fellowship) a men’s morning fitness group that meets early each morning.

Favorite Bible Verses:

The first is a promise from Jesus: “In this world you will 

have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world.” 

(John 16:33).

Next has to do with God’s direction for my life: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” 

(Proverbs 3:5–6).

Finally, it is another hope of God in the midst of our pain: “The Light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5).

Please check out our “About Us” page if you’re interested 

in some of my core beliefs. 


Shaun Hernandez (Youth Pastor)

 I have the privilege and honor to be the Youth and Young Adult Pastor at Grace Community Church.

Let me take a minute to tell you a little about myself. I was born and raised in Phoenix, AZ and lived there until I joined the Navy in 2002 where I served 10 years as a diesel mechanic. During my time in the military I dedicated my life to Christ in 2009 and became very involved in my local Church. In 2012 I got out to pursue a college degree in ministry through Liberty University. I graduated in 2017 with two bachelor’s degrees, one in Pastoral Leadership with an emphasis in Youth Ministry and the other in Christian Counseling.

God brought me out to the Carolinas for a very special purpose and I am slowly seeing the picture as he takes me on my journey. One of those reasons was to meet my soon to be wife and family. I am currently engaged to Bree Ferguson who has three beautiful daughters, Skyler (age 18), Kadence (age 13) and Courtley Rae (age 6). We enjoy doing many activities together especially anything dealing with water, from tubing down the river or spending time on the lake.

I have a passion for Youth Ministry as I believe God allowed me to grow through my life experiences and build a strong testimony to share with our youth of today. I truly believe in the power of restoration, forgiveness and grace and the power it has when we put our all in Him. 

My life verse: “This means that anyone who belongs to 

Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; 

a new life has begun!”  2 Corinthians 5:17 

I want to let God’s love show through me and my life to shine and flow into our youth. Everyday no matter what age or stage of life we are in we are given the chance through the Blood of Christ to be made new and leave our old ways behind us.


Cindy Hopper (Children's Pastor)

 I am pleased to say I have been affiliated with Grace Community Church since the summer of 2007. The first week I visited, I was asked if I would be interested in working with the children and I have been working with them ever since! Children are my passion and God has blessed me by allowing me to work with them for more years than I can remember.

Church and my relationship with God guide my life, my decisions and my thoughts. I cannot remember a time I was not in church either as a child, a youth, or an adult and I have worked with children all this time.

I have been blessed with three grown sons: Toby, Colbey (with wife, Katie), and Joey (with wife, Stephanie). I have been further blessed with two granddaughters—Olivia Katherine (age 6) and Winnie Mae (age 5), and two grandsons—Graydon Malcolm (age 3) and William Maddox (age 4). They keep me busy, but they also remind me of what is important in life! I was married to a wonderful Christian man who was a great husband and father. He died as a result of cancer in 1997.

Education has played a huge role in my life. I have been an educator for more years than not. I earned my Bachelor’s degree from UNC Greensboro. Later, I earned my Master’s degree in Education from UNC Charlotte. In addition, in May, 2016, I earned my Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Urban Literacy. I have taught in public education, have served as an administrator and have worked on the university level.

As I hope is evident, my passions revolve around children. My first passion is my relationship with my Savior. My second passion is my family. Then, my passions become meshed between children … education … sharing the Word with children … watching growth in all areas.

My favorite verse: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)


Jacob Hare (Worship Pastor)

   I was born in Baltimore, Maryland and have lived in the Charlotte area since 2004. I was raised in church and answered the call that Christ put on my life in 2005. 

Since that time, I have been leading worship and playing music professionally, since 2006. 

It was during a worship internship that I met my wife Lauren, who was volunteering during a children’s ministry event. We have been married since 2012 and she continues to be the love of my life, constant support, and a reminder of the gracious blessings that God has given to me. 

Throughout my music career, I have performed in many churches, written and recorded songs and shared the stage with award-winning artists and musicians. Because of these opportunities and relationships that the Lord has blessed me with, I have been able to share the love and hope of Jesus Christ to many people, 

not just locally, but around the world! 

Favorite verse: 

"The Lord is good, a stronghold in the time of trouble; and he knows them that trust in him."

Nahum 1:7