God has placed elders as leaders over his church. When the Bible speaks of pastors, elders, and overseers in the church, the same office is being described. The task of these men is to shepherd (i.e., pastor), oversee, and teach the church (1 Peter 5:1-2). The elders are the qualified (1 Tim 3:1-13, Titus 1:6-9), exemplary (1 Peter 5:3), Spirit-appointed (Acts 20:28), leaders in the church. The pastors/elders at Grace Bible Church share leadership responsibility; all elder decisions are made with unanimity.
Tom was born in 1954 in San Francisco and moved with his family to Phoenix in 1960. He and his wife, Ann, married in 1976 and were graciously saved by God within weeks of each other in 1983. They have two married daughters, Krista Pratchard and Lisa McInturf, four grandsons and one granddaughter. Tom is a biblical counselor certified by Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC formerly NANC), a board member and instructor at Biblical Counseling of the East Valley, and a Chaplain with City of Tempe Police Department. He has been serving at Grace Bible Church since March of 2003 and is the chairman of the elder board.
Born to missionaries in Nigeria. Scott spent his childhood years in Africa and England before moving to the US in 1975 to attend the University of Colorado to study Electrical Engineering. Scott came to Christ in repentance and faith in 1981 and moved to Phoenix in 1991 to work in the software industry. He has attended Grace since November 2003. He provides oversight to missions from our church and leads Parenting With a Purpose classes. Scott and his wife Sarah have been married since 1990 and are blessed with three children.
Jacob was saved in 1999 after his first semester at Arizona State University where he graduated with degrees in biomedical engineering and nursing. A founding member and deacon of East Valley Bible Church Tempe (now Grace Bible Church) in 2001. Shortly afterward, he married Kiki, and they have led their smallgroup since the founding of the church. Jacob has served in missions (Mexico among Huichol people), Next Generation, campus, cleaning, BUILD leadership training, and web ministries. Jacob works for Arizona Heart Anesthesia as a nurse anesthetist. He currently serves as secretary of the elder board. Jacob and Kiki have three children, Elianna, David, and Andrew. Jacob’s parents, Jeff and Lorie, are members Grace Bible Church.
Founding members of East Valley Bible Church Tempe (now Grace Bible Church), Josh and his family find great joy serving the body of Christ at Grace Bible. Over the years, they have served in various capacities including student ministries, the music ministry, set-up and tear-down, and BUILD leadership development. God saved Josh bringing him to repentance of sins and faith in Him at a young age. In 2002, Josh and his wife Julie married while both attending ASU. Josh graduated with a bachelors degree in Supply Chain Management and Julie with a bachelors in Accounting. Josh completed a Masters of Divinity at Grace Bible Institute and completed the program in December 2012. Josh and Julie have four children: Asher, Elijah, Kyla, and Caleb. Currently, Josh leads the Music Ministry, Student Ministries and a small group at Grace Bible Church.
Born and raised in Ohio, Eric graduated from the Ohio State University in 1996 and then moved to Arizona to work as an engineer in the software industry for a defense contractor. In April 1, 2000, his heart was radically transformed by God and he turned from his sins to follow Jesus Christ. He immediately started attending East Valley Bible Church in Gilbert and was a founding member of the church plant in 2001 that became Grace Bible Church. He has served GBC as a teacher in the Next Generation Ministry, small group leader, deacon over the elementary ministry, and co-lead of the parenting class. He currently serves in the BUILD leadership development ministry and is the Elder with oversight of the Elementary ministry. He and his wife Sarah have been married since 2003 and God has blessed them with three precious children, Isaiah, Nathan, and Gabrielle.
Denny was born in South Dakota in 1949 and remained in the midwest until 1993 when he and his wife Barb moved their family to Gilbert, AZ. They have been married since 1982 and were radically transformed by God’s amazing grace in June of 1993. They have been blessed with five children, two daughters-in-law, one son-in-law and four grandchildren, all of whom attend Grace Bible Church. They have been at Grace Bible Church since December of 2008. Denny and Barb are currently involved in Next Generation Ministries, leading a smallgroup, and facilitating pre-marital classes.
After graduating from the University of Nebraska with a degree in education, Scott taught public school in southern California for two years. Scott and his wife Kim married during that time and soon attended and graduated from The Master’s Seminary in 1995 with a Masters of Divinity degree. Scott then served on the pastoral staff at Camelback Bible Church in Paradise Valley over eight years until late 2003. He has been serving with the pastoral leadership at GBC since December of 2003. Scott graduated with a Doctorate of Ministry in Expository Preaching at The Master’s Seminary in 2009. Scott and Kim live in Tempe with their three children, Elisa, Sidney, and Jayce.
Smedly came to Grace Bible Church as an elder in March of 2008. Smedly, his wife Janet, and their kids moved to Arizona from Nashville, Tennessee, where he served as pastor of student ministries at Community Bible Church. Smedly and Janet were married in May of 2000 while in graduate school in California. They have five children: Evi, Zoe, Emet, Grace, & Madeline. Smedly graduated from The Master’s Seminary, and Janet earned a master’s degree in Biblical Counseling from The Master’s College. Both Smedly and Janet graduated from the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago.
Pastor/ Elder Intern
Matt was born in Michigan, moved to South Carolina at an early age, and has been in Arizona since 1987. God saved Matt at a young age while he was in South Carolina. He met his wife Jenna at their high school youth group in Tempe AZ and they were married during college when they were 18 & 19. Matt graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering. Matt & Jenna were both founding members of East Valley Bible Church Tempe (GBC) and have served in various capacities since the beginning. Matt has worked for Spencer’s TV & Appliances since 2005 and owns a coffee roasting business (Sagebrush Coffee). Matt & Jenna have three kids Jonathan (2001), Noah (2005), & Eden (2007).
Recent Blog Posts
Omri Miles wrote this as an outworking of what he has been shepherding his own heart with as he and Emily trust God through the pain of a third miscarriage. He offered to allow me to post it on the elder blog. If you are in the midst of a trial now, Omri's words will...
The Lord has taken Jon Kempiak home as he suddenly and unexpectedly passed away while in California. As we come alongside to support Kymberly and family, Grace Bible Church has created a line item in the budget to help Kymberly with expenses. You can give money to...
June's book of the month is Family Worship by Donald S. Whitney ($7). In less than 70 pages, this book describes the importance of practicing Scripture reading, praying, and singing together as a family. See the BookTable servants for the accompanying reading guide...