We currently have six men who serve as elders for the congregation here. These men exercise oversight of the congregation which meets here (1 Peter 5:2) and watch over our souls (Hebrews 13:17). These men all love the Lord, His church, and those whom they seek to shepherd. We are blessed to have such men serving the Lord here.
Why do we have men called "elders" who oversee the congregation?
The Bible shows the New Testament church to be organized with each individual congregation being "overseen" by a group of men called elders (Titus 1:5), pastors (Eph 4:11) or overseers (Acts 20:28). These are all terms used for the same group of men who seek to watch over the souls of the congregation (Hebrews 13:17). This group is always seen in the plural (Titus 1:5, Philippians 1:1) and they are commanded to "shepherd" the flock among them (Acts 20:28, 1 Peter 5:2). This means that these men cannot oversee more than one congregation. They are to work with the Christians "among them" at the local congregation to watch over their souls (Hebrews 13:17). Note the preacher is not the pastor, but a group of men are to serve in that role.
Neal Pollard - Evangelist
Married to the former Kathleen Gillaspie, with whom he has three sons (Gary, Dale, and Carl). Began preaching in 1987. Educated at Faulkner, Freed-Hardeman, and BVBID (BA, MBS). Local work in Livingston, AL and Mechanicsville, VA, before coming to Bear Valley in July, 2006. Serves as part-time instructor at Bear Valley Bible Institute. Author of Rise Up And Build. Has preached in 25 states and 7 foreign countries. Directs Future Preachers Training Camp in Denver the 3rd week of June. Directs the Bear Valley Lectures and is editor of the lectureship book.
Brett Petrillo - Youth & Family Minister
Brett and his wife, Julie, have three children (Ashlyn, Easton, & Brelyn). Studied Youth & Family Ministry at Harding University before attending the Bear Valley Bible Institute and graduating with a Bachelors of Theology and later with a Master’s degree in Biblical Studies. Has worked as the youth & family minister since 2009. He has worked with Bear Valley's Future Preachers Training Camp as a camper, counselor, and now most recently as co-director. Has spoken at various camps, youth rallies, summer series', and other forums. Writes for Bear Valley's Daily Bread and other publications.
Richard Brant - Senior's Minister/Director of Military Outreach
Richard Brant holds a Bachelor of Theology (BTh) degree from the Bear Valley Bible Institute and after graduation joined the staff as a full-time teacher and directed campaigns for over ten years. In 1991, Brant became part of a mission team in Prince Rupert, British Columba, Canada, where he served for the next twenty-one years. Returning to Denver, Colorado, in 2012 he again became a part of the Bear Valley staff now serving as the Senior's Minister and Director of Military Outreach. For details about the Military Outreach program please check out the website at 1militaryoutreach1.com.
HIGHER GROUND GIRL'S ENCAMPMENT
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL
Corey Sawyers - Education/Involvement Minister
Corey Sawyers and his wife, Melody, have three sons: Garrett, Gordon, and Gannon. Graduate of the Bear Valley Bible Institute. Works each year with Bear Valley's Future Preachers’ Training Camp. Is currently in the B.V. Master's Degree program. Began preaching at the age of 15, and has been in full-time ministry since 1995, serving churches in Tennessee and Colorado. Has been blessed with opportunities to preach and speak in lectureships and meetings in 18 states. Is also the Director of Development and part-time instructor at the Bear Valley Bible Institute.