Talsi Christian School Foundation
Talsi Christian School Foundation completed an external audit in 2018. If you require the audit results, you may request them by filling out this form.
Talsi Christian School Foundation seeks to expand its role in helping the school achieve even greater results through an intentional fundraising program aimed at doubling the school’s enrollment capacity and establishing an endowment fund to ensure its sustainability and future
Talsi Christian School Foundation manages and disburses charitable donations received in support of the school and its several ministries. Distributions to the school are earmarked for:
• SCHOLARSHIPS for graduating seniors who are committed to
the gospel and who wish to pursue their education at the college or
university level. Separate scholarships for Latvian seminary
students who are being trained to meet a shortage of pastors
that currently exists in the country;
• FUNDING for the school’s capital construction, general operating,
student scholarship and endowment needs;
• CAMP MINISTRIES - orphan, youth, sports and other summer camps
that are attended by children and teens from throughout Latvia.
• FUNDING for the school’s
capital construction, general
operating, student scholarship
and endowment needs;
• CAMP MINISTRIES - orphan,
youth, sports and other summer
camps that are attended by
children and teens from
Director of Talsi Christian School Foundation
Mark has 30 years of experience in accounting, finance and operations. The fist 12 years of his career he served as Director and Managing Director in the tax practices of PwC and KPMG, respectively. The next 10 years of his career he served as the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of various investment fund complexes. In 2009, Mark Co-founded Blue River Partners which provides back office support to the alternative asset industry. He has served as the Chief Executive Officer of Blue River Partners since founding the firm. Mark has been involved with Talsi Christian School Foundation for approximately 20 years and has served on the Board of Directors for 9 years. He has a passion for reaching people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and has seen God work in miraculous ways through Inguna and TCS.
Mr. Cummins was involved with commercial banking for 8 years before joining the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) in 1982. He served in many mid and senior level management positions with the FDIC. Additionally, he was on the Boards of Director for over 200 corporations related to various banking functions. He has supported TCS since 2001 and worked with Brent Cooper in establishing Talsi Christian School Foundation. He retired from the FDIC in 2012, relocated to Talsi, Latvia and works directly with TCS in various ministries.
Mrs. Cummins was involved in church administration and Christian ministries for over 25 years in Georgia; prior to relocating to Texas with her husband, Mike. Since 2000 she served in various volunteer ministry positions in Lamar Baptist Church. Since moving to Talsi in 2017 with her husband, Mike, she has stayed busy teaching ESL in their home to senior, working with the youth in their local church, tutoring English at TCS during the school year and other various ministries at TCS.
Board Member and Secretary
Karen Cooper has her degree in education. She has been a passionate supporter of TCS since before it actually began. On the board, she functions as secretary and go-to person for 4:13 Ministries. In addition, Karen and her husband, Brent, organize the Sekoman Youth Camp held each summer at TCS.
Joel has worked for over 15 years as a Senior Manufacturing Engineer with Triumph Aerostructures. Joel and his wife, Lisa, were first introduced to Latvia and the amazing story behind Talsi Christian School in 2013 at Lamar Baptist Church, where they felt a calling to serve and partner with the school. After participating in multiple camps at the school, Joel and Lisa were asked to join the Board in 2016. Outside of work, Joel enjoys spending time with his family and dog, "Pumpkin", as well as serving as a small group leader for Bible Study Fellowship in Arlington Texas
Lisa works as Senior Manager of Distribution Fulfillment at Lennox Residential. She has more than 18 year of experience in industrial engineering and process improvement including a Master Black Belt in Six Sigma. Lisa, with her husband, Joel, recently bought a franchise in Galibelle which sells all types of unique sandals. In their personal time, Lisa enjoys working with teenagers and young adults from both Latvia and USA as well as spending time with family and her dog, Pumpkin.
Advisor to the Talsi Christian School Foundation Board
Founder and Principal of Talsi Christian School
The Board & Leadership
4:13 Ministries dba Talsi Christian School Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in Arlington, Texas in 2005, for the primary purpose of providing financial support to Talsi Christian School and other Christian-focused youth programs the school offers in Talsi, Latvia.
Mrs. Gruznina founded Talsi Christian School in Latvia in 1995 with the help and support of American Christians. Under her leadership the school has grown from 37 students to 290 students, grades K-12. Mrs. Gruznina has a passion to reach the younger generation and their families evidenced by TCS strategic goal alignment to provide a competitive curriculum in a Christian environment while enabling youth to step into leadership roles in the different ministries taking place throughout the school year and summer. Mrs. Gruznina visits the United States for fundraising and speaking engagements twice a year
Since its founding Talsi Christian School Foundation has operated as a solely volunteer-run operation, with only minimal overhead expenses.
• SCHOLARSHIPS for graduating
seniors who are committed to
the gospel and who wish to
pursue their education at the
college or university level.
Separate scholarships for
Latvian seminary students
who are being trained to
meet a shortage of
pastors that currently exists
in the country;
R. BRENT COOPER
Mr. Cooper is the founder and named shareholder in the law firm of Cooper & Scully , PC. He has been a supporter of TCS since the beginning and started 4:13 Ministries (now Talsi Christian School Foundation) in 2005 to specifically support TCS. As Director of the Board he provides legal and financial guidance. He and his wife Karen have directed Sekoman Youth Camp at TCS since 2007
Leadership (non-board members)
Treasurer of Talsi Christian School Foundation
Reverend Eric Dennis is Sr. Pastor of Crossroads Baptist Church in Madill Oklahoma and a small business owner in the state. Rev. Dennis has pastored this small rural church for the past twenty-seven years leading it to develop a vision for Christ-centered Bible teaching, discipleship groups and missions.
He has been married to his wife Lea Ann for thirty three years and has two sons Steven Chase and Dakota Dennis. For the past twelve years Eric and his family have been involved with the ministries of Talsi Christian School participating in various camps and fundraising projects. He has been instrumental In emphasizing Latvian missions throughout the state of Oklahoma and North Texas. Pastor Dennis was educated at Northeastern Agricultural and Mechanical College, Miami Oklahoma, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Durant Oklahoma and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary , Ft Worth Tx.
Zane is a graduate of Talsi Christian School and currently employed by Cameron, a Schlumberger Company. She recently moved to Norway to head the Projects Organization in Kristiansand. She received her undergraduate degree from East Texas Baptist University and further pursued a dual JD/MBA from Texas A&M and South Texas College of Law. In her free time she volunteers at the TCS Camps, events and manages the TCS Newsletter. She enjoys staying active while playing tennis and spending time with family.