Staff and Board

We are passionate about bringing the Gospel to public school students! We are here to serve, encourage & provide the resources you need.

Mark Robbins

Executive Director

Mark serves as our Visionary and Organizational Director. He spends most of his day working with the business side of the ministry ensuring that there are effective systems in place throughout. He was the initiator and director of our third most successful city network, First Priority Tri-States in Middlesboro, KY. Under his leadership, First Priority Tri-States has grown to 14 counties and 81 middle and high schools in rural Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia since 1996. Mark manages his own small business and adds years of experience in business management to First Priority of America. Mark resides in eastern Kentucky with his wife, Michelle, and his three children Mikaela, Morgan, and Micah. Mark’s family attends Pump Springs Church in Harrogate, TN.

Mark Roberts

Associate Director

Mark Roberts serves as our City Trainer and Ministry Director for First Priority of America. He spends most of his day working with the team that serves the local communities across the country. He was part of the team that developed the first major FP local city over 25 years ago in Birmingham, AL. He has an extensive background in student leadership training through organizations like; Student Leadership University, N.A.M.B., and Northpoint Community Church. He has  spoken to thousands of teenagers over the years, sharing the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the call to be a missionary on their school campus. Mark currently resides in Tampa, Florida with his wife Tonya. They have two sons, Hayden and Cole. Mark and Tonya attend Relevant Church in Tampa.

Brad Schelling

Director of Ministry

Brad serves as our Director of Expansion. He spends most of his day working with the new FP coordinators, alongside Mark Roberts. Brad’s goal is to help local communities take the appropriate steps to create a spiritual movement around their middle and high schools. He has been in student ministry since 1997, served as a First Priority campus coach starting in 2001, and joined staff with FPOA in 2008. He helped get FP of the Great Plains (SD/IA) off the ground before moving his family to Nashville, TN to be strategic in his work with First Priority. Brad, with his wife Erika and four children attend Church of the City in Spring Hill.


Kristina Zirschky

Systems and Communications

Kristina serves as our Admin of Systems and Communications. She spends her day working within the various systems we use such as Smart Sheets, Infusionsoft, Highrise, etc. to make sure our club lists are updated. She also updates the FP blog weekly and is in charge of sending out weekly and monthly emails and newsletters. Kristina has served as a volunteer in youth ministry for over 10 years and lives in the Nashville area with her two children.

janiceJanice Blanchett

Office and Event Manager

Janice recently joined our FP staff in November 2016 and is excited about this new adventure. She has worked in Children’s Ministry for over 16 years and provided administrative support, planned annual events and coordinated volunteers. Janice is a graduate of Oral Roberts University, earning a Bachelors of Science degree in Telecommunications with an emphasis in journalism in 1985. She is married to Mark Blanchett and has five grown children. In her spare time, she enjoys making vinyl creations for her Etsy shop and also spending time with her grandchildren.

Vanessa Pillion

Budget & Finance Director

Vanessa Pillion founded Pillion Accounting & Tax Service, Inc. in 2005 and serves as its Chief Executive Officer. “We’re Here For You” is the motto of the company. Vanessa believes that positioning her business as a servant is operating in line with the Kingdom of God. (Matthew 20:26-28).

Vanessa Pillion graduated from Carson-Newman College with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Management. She is also licensed as an Enrolled Agent by the Internal Revenue Service. Vanessa is a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals. She has over 30 years experience in individual, corporate and church finances. Before forming her own business, Vanessa was the general manager of a franchise income tax business, overseeing 14 offices in Southeast Ky.

Vanessa Pillion currently serves on several boards: First Priority Tri States, Inc., Outdoor Truths, Inc., Cornerstone Christian Counseling, Inc.

Vanessa Pillion is married to Ray for 31 years and they live in Harrogate, Tn.

Board Members

Mark Mansour, Chairman – Ft Lauderdale, FL
Cary Brown, Vice Chairman – Midland, TX
Leon Drennan, – Nashville, TN
JB Collingsworth – Newnan, GA
Jerry Meadows – Nashville, TN
Dan Price – Colorado Springs, CO
Mike Roberts – Greeneville, TN
JD Simpson – Hattiesburg, MS
Jeff Roschman – Ft Lauderdale, FL


Advisory Board

Chris Lane, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Joel Rowland, Clayton, NC
Adam Robertson, Harrogate, TN


Auxiliary Board

Dr. Jay Strack, Student Leadership University
David Nasser, Liberty University

Regional Coordinators

Tim Bargo – FP Tri-County, KY
John Carruth – FP Arklatex, LA
Steve Cherrico – FP Nashville, TN
Chris Lane – FP South Florida
Shane Kenney – FP Permian Basin
JD Simpson – FP Hattiesburg, MS
Larry Franks – FP Greater Decatur, AL