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, later obtaining a Masters degree in nurse anesthesia. Jacob was a founding member and deacon of East Valley Bible Church Tempe (now Grace Bible Church) in 2001. Shortly afterward, he married Kiki, with whom he he has served in a variety ways in the church including missions (Mexico among Huichol people and Missionary Support Team leader), Next Generation Ministries, smallgroups, discipleship, counseling, and is secretary on the elder board. He currently leads the booktable & coffeetable ministries, sick visitation and support, as well as our internet presence. Jacob works for Arizona Anesthesia Solutions as a nurse anesthesiologist. He has been a pastor/elder since 2008. Jacob and Kiki have three children, Elianna, David, and Andrew. Much of Jacob’s time lately has been focused on caring for his family as his son, David, has been fighting multiple relapses of leukemia since 2013, while God safely brought Jacob through life-threatening Burkitt lymphoma in 2018.
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 smallgroup at Grace Bible Church.
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).
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, smallgroup 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, three daughters-in-law, one son-in-law and eleven 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.
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.
Ashley was born in Kansas and grew up on a farm in east central Kansas. At the age of sixteen he came to faith in the the Lord Jesus Christ. He attended Moody Bible Institute from 1958-1962; then after graduation from Tabor College he became a public school teacher in Kansas. During that time he married a Christian lady who became the mother of their two children, Janet and Jonathan. He received a Master of Science degree in educational administration from Kansas State University in 1981 and became a public school administrator. He served for fifteen years in that capacity in Kansas and for three more years in Colorado. During the time in Colorado his wife died of cancer. He worked one more year and moved to California, where he attended The Master’s Seminary. While there he met Janet who had lost her husband to cancer; they were married in 2005. They have the shared goal of serving the Lord in a more full-time capacity during retirement years. After his graduation from seminary in 2007 they moved to central California where he served as pastor of a small church for over six years. After retiring from there he and Janet moved to Chandler, AZ in 2014. They joined Grace Bible Church where Janet serves in Next Generation ministries and Ashley serves as a smallgroup leader.
Omri was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. God saved him in February 2008 and he began attending Grace Bible Church four months later, after graduating from college. He completed the Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling program at The Master’s University in 2016 and has been a certified biblical counselor with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors since 2018. In order to be further equipped to shepherd in pastoral ministry, Omri pursued seminary training from 2014-2019, acquiring a Master of Divinity degree from Grace Bible Institute at GBC. He continues to pursue training at The Expositors Seminary and expects to complete their M.Div program in the Spring of 2020. Omri loves to study, counsel, preach, and teach God’s word as he helps oversee the booktable, 414, a smallgroup, and our counseling training ministry, BCEV, as one of its board members. He lives in Gilbert, AZ with his wife, Emily, and their four children (Chloe, Obadiah, Jonah, and Ezekiel).
Recent Blog Posts
Our Smallgroup has been studying the “one another” commands of the New Testament. We recently discussed First Thessalonians 5:13, “Live in peace with one another.” Since Christ’s death reconciled us with God and other Christians, maintaining peaceful, loving...
My family's daily devotionals during the month of December have perhaps become our spiritual highlight of the year. Christmastime with the ubiquitous music, decorations, and busyness can either serve as a distraction from the Lord or as a break from the norms of the...
Last week's blog post highlighted what Omri Miles & Josh Kellso are going through with our young adults in 414, Preparing to Receive Correction. This post is the followup to that one. Receiving correction in the moment is oftentimes very difficult. We don’t get to...