2020 Annual Meeting

Our 2020 Annual Meeting will be Sunday, February 9, after second service (12:15 pm) in the Activity Center.
During the Annual Meeting, we will introduce new church members, elect new leaders (see the candidates below), and vote on the 2019 budget. Anyone may attend the meeting, but only members may vote. Lunch will be available for $2/person or $10/family. Childcare will be available with reservation; please click below to register.
If you would like detailed budget information, we will be having a budget meeting on January 26 at 12:15 pm in Room 341.  Questions? Contact Heather Wright at hwright@efree.org.
What is an elder?
In Acts 14:23 the Apostle Paul commanded the church to appoint elders as the spiritual leaders of the church. At First Free, the elders are the elected representatives of the congregation under the Lordship of Christ and the guidance of the Holy Spirit and they ensure that the people who attend First Free have ample opportunity to be spiritually rescued, fed, led, protected, comforted, and encouraged.
An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. – Titus 1:6-9
Wil Glidewell (2nd term)
Wil has been married to Teri for twenty-five years and has attended First Free for the past twelve plus
years. He has one daughter, Abby, who is a Junior at Taylor University in Upland IN. Wil has been
actively involved in several small groups, Heritage Builders, he led Wednesday night Men’s Fraternity, he
was active in Men’s Community Bible Study and as a leader in Teen Community Bible Study.
I was not raised in a Christian home, but came to know Christ around the age of fourteen. I remained
strong in my faith throughout high school, however, I completely walked away after starting college.
Once Teri and I were married, we started attending church out of obligation and chose a church out of
convenience. Unfortunately, it was not a bible based church and we were not hearing God’s true word.
Several years after moving to the county, a neighbor, who was a Christian and near our age, suddenly died. Because of her death and her witness, Teri and I started attending Community Bible Study. Upon hearing the true word of God, we realized our lives needed a new direction and this led us to First Free and more importantly, down the right path and a true relationship with Jesus Christ. My desire is to fulfill God’s will for my life. Romans 12:1-2. Two areas that I feel called would be men’s ministry and preparing Seniors in high school for the spiritual battles that occur after leaving home for the first time.
Greg Snapp (2nd Term)
I grew up in a family that attended church. The problem was that our church did not believe nor
follows God’s Word. I received Christ at a youth camp when I was presented the gospel. I
received no follow-up or discipleship and was challenged by the church I had grown up in.
When I was in high school, I was invited to an FCA meeting and that’s when things started to
click as I was discipled. By the grace of our Lord, my life began to align with the Scripture.
The experience of my upbringing and conversion have impacted my convictions around biblical
accuracy as well as the value of youth ministry. My wife, Marian, and I have had the opportunity to serve in ministry and church leadership.
I am thankful that God has allowed me to serve in children’s ministry and youth ministry at this church and several others. We were originally attracted to First Free in 2000 due to the teaching and the children’s ministry. When our children were young, we served in Kids’
Connection. We later taught in the junior high ministry. I have also served on various committees at First Free.
What is a deacon?
The biblical precedent for deacons comes from Acts 6, where the disciples sought godly men to assist in the daily operation of ministry. At First Free, deacons are men and women who serve and provide oversight in various ministries as directed by the Elder Board and Senior Pastor. Some of their duties include administrative oversight over the church finances, benevolence, the volunteer ministry, and other congregational and community ministries.
Alan Heisel
Alan and Leighanne were married in 2000 and will celebrate their 20th anniversary this year. They
officially became members of the church in 2018 and have two children, Joshua and Alysia. Alan is
currently an usher and has volunteered and supported a variety of church-sponsored events. He is a
regular member of the Men’s Bible Study group and his spiritual gifts include mercy, shepherding, and
I was Christened as an infant and attended a Methodist church as a youth and as an adolescent. My
experiences there remain the foundation of my relationship with Christ. The rituals of that church
brought me closer to God and helped to ensure that I reflected and prayed deeply before I consciously
and fully submitted to Christ. Sometimes ceremony can overshadow the posture and intent of one’s
heart but, in my case, it only reinforced an already deep and established conviction. It was the public expression of a private commitment.
Growing into my later teens and early twenties, the lure of humanism and the pursuit of knowledge led me away from the truth of God’s word. Although I rebelled, scrutinized, and questioned everything, God stayed with me though it all. In my mid-twenties, my relationship with Christ was reignited. In a profound and life-altering ceremony, I underwent a believer’s baptism one summer day in the waters of Lake Erie. I was immersed in water and when I emerged to see the yellow sun and a cloudless blue sky, I knew with certainty that the Holy Spirit had touched me. I had been reborn. For the first time in many years, the accuser in my mind was silenced. While submission to Christ as an adolescent is the keystone of my faith, my baptism as a young adult is undoubtedly the mortar.
The ebb and flow of life allowed the accuser to eventually return, but in that baptism ceremony, God had given me new strength.  Therefore, put on the whole armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground and, after you have done everything, stand” (Ephesians 6:13). The seemingly endless cycles of rebellion and repentance in life make the promise of salvation
seem elusive but as Jesus said, “with man this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
I knew there was something special about First Free from our initial experiences as visitors. We were warmly greeted and welcomed as members of the church family. My daughter went on a retreat a few months later and knew we had found our home. My family and I made it a priority to not only attend services regularly but to become formal members of the church and to be actively involved in its
missions and groups. I have attended services at numerous churches of various denominations throughout my life but I have only been a member of two: First Free, and the Methodist Church of my youth. I like to think I was just waiting for the right one but truly, God is always directing our steps. By faith I know that doors are opened and closed for a reason. I trust God because His timing is always impeccable.
Robert Stark
Robert Stark has been attending First Free since 2001. Over the years he has volunteered in Kid Connection, the nursery, ELL (English Language Learners), and spent the last 6 years as a small group leader in junior and senior high. Robert and his family have also participated in the Ironton Family Mission Trip the last 10 years ministering to kids in that region of Missouri. Robert sees the opportunity to serve on the Nominating Committee as another opportunity to serve at First Free.