The Elders are elected leaders who serve and shepherd the church. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chuck Hembree (Chair)
I am an elder because… God gifts people to accomplish His mission in the Church. My desire to serve as an Elder is because God has wired me as a “service” person with a deep desire to preserve Ministry. Serving as an Elder stretches those desires to the “max”. Combining those desires with the Holy Spirit’s promptings, with prayer, and with the Lord’s wisdom provides me a front row seat to see His faithfulness and work as few other areas of ministry can provide. Thank you for the opportunity.
Rich Keffer (Vice Chair)
I am an elder because… I was called. Paul describes being an elder as a noble task and I cannot imagine a better call to answer than that of serving a body of believers striving to follow Jesus’s final instructions to his followers to go and make disciples. Seeing God at work among the people of First Free, then being able to lend a hand in any way I can has been and continues to be one of the greatest honors and privileges of my life.
Todd Crippin (Secretary)
I am an elder because… God saw fit to draw me into this position after serving in various roles at First Free and the church we attended in Kansas City. Prayerful consideration with my wife, Renee, and discussions with my two daughters led me to believe it was time for me to serve on the “inside” of the church. This role has shown me the burdens and blessings that face First Free and Christ’s church throughout the world. God is impacting and growing me in ways I didn’t think possible. Thank you for letting me serve you.
I am an elder because… I knew God was calling me to this position. Previously I wondered why I was not called to serve but realize that my motivation was one of pride. Over the year before being called, God broke down areas in my life preventing me from taking the call with the right attitude. I humbly serve as an elder, using the gifts He has given me, and recognize His control over my life and our church. I am trying to serve as described in Joshua 22:5 – “Love the Lord your God, walk in all his ways, obey his commands, hold firmly to him, and serve him with all your heart and all your soul”. My prayer for our church is that we follow Christ’s leading in our lives and show His love to the world around us.
I am an elder because… God has called me to use my gifts to help shepherd and oversee our congregation (1 Peter 5:1-4). I love the people here, and I appreciate how so many godly people here have poured their lives into me and my family over the last 25+ years. I am weak and broken (2 Corinthians 12:9), but God gives me strength and wisdom to serve with other godly elders and staff as together we make, mature, and multiply fully devoted followers of Christ (2 Timothy 2:2).
I am an elder because… I am thankful for how God has faithfully blessed my life and I feel he has called me to serve as an elder at this time. I love our church and desire to help lead it to be a loving and growing encouragement to our members, and the strong witness that God wants it to be to this community and the world.
Bill Jones (Senior Pastor)
I am an elder because…in my freshman year in college I sensed God calling me to serve His people as my life vocation. These God-given instructions to a pastor in the early church have guided me along the way: Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Timothy 4:15-16 NIV)
I am an elder because… I believe this is where God wants me to serve at this time. I desire to serve this church that has walked beside our family for more than 20 years encouraging us, helping us grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ and supporting us in raising our kids to know the Lord. It is also the place where we have met great lifelong friends.
I am an elder because… I see it as an act of Joyful Obedience to the Lord, serving Him by serving His Church. He has gifted me, as well as all of us, with unfathomable riches and desires that we use those gifts to serve Him and each other. “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.” Acts 20:27-28
I am an elder because… since becoming a Christian 34 years ago, God has used my gifts of service, evangelism and administration to grow me and in turn be used for His purpose. I desire to continually bear fruit through the gifts I’ve been given (John 15:8) and to serve others. I am committed to the body of Christ here. It is an honor to serve as Elder (1 Timothy 3:1) and be a part of what God is doing at First Free Church.
I am an elder because… I have a heart desire to serve like Paul the Elder extraordinaire who totally embraced making, maturing and multiplying disciples: “He (Christ) is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.” (Colossians 1:28-29).
Hebrews 12:1-2: And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
In the body of Christ, Deacons are considered the helping hands.
Kathy Atwater – Hospitality, Volunteers, Holly Hearts
Leonard Bowers – Chair, Finance
Jan Grove – Secretary, Benevolence
Jon Holt – Finance/Audit
Kent Howard – Facilities & Grounds
Jonathan Huynh – Finance/Audit
Kelly Loebs – Benevolence
Craig Martin – Widows
Bill Menchak – Facilities & Grounds
Chris Rojewski – Benevolence
David Stark – Wheels of Hope
Terry Tolliver – Finance/Audit