The Bible appoints two distinct offices to serve the spiritual and physical well-being of the local church.
Elders provide spiritual oversight and teaching ministry of the church. Our elders must meet the qualifications laid out in Scripture:
1 Timothy 3:1-7
Deacons minister to the physical needs of the church. Our deacons must meet the qualifications laid out in Scripture:
1 Timothy 3:8-13
Grace Fellowship Church also appointed three trustees who faithfully maintain the buildings and grounds.
The Lord called Josef to pastor Grace Fellowship in July 2022. Josef was converted as a teenager and spent his early years as a believer doing inner city outreach and open-air preaching. He has experience in church planting, spent ten years as a missionary in Latin America, and has served in pastoral ministry since 2010. He holds a Master of Theological Studies from Reformed Baptist Seminary and a Master of Divinity from Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids. He continues to pursue doctoral studies in Reformed experiential homiletics with a view to serving the church and training men for the work of the ministry.
Josef and Lina were married in 2007 and the Lord has blessed them with three children. He enjoys biblical exegesis, studying theology, Puritan literature, spending quality time with family and friends, and enjoying the great outdoors. His personal website is josefurban.org.
Brad was born and raised in Gladwin and is grateful for his 34-year law enforcement career in Gladwin County. You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone in the county that Brad hasn’t met. Brad and his wife, Jill, began attending Grace Fellowship in 2009. He was saved by God’s grace as a teenager, and has since actively served in various local churches where needed. Brad and Jill married in 1972, raised 3 girls, and are blessed with 9 grandchildren (6 of whom live right next door!).
Jason was introduced to Grace Fellowship in 1999 while working at a nearby summer camp ministry (The Springs). He first learned the Doctrines of Grace at GFC and was overwhelmed with the sovereignty of God revealed in Scripture.
Jason and his wife, Jaime, reside in Harrison. They have been blessed with 3 children. He enjoys golfing, boating, and spending time with family and friends.
Craig and his wife, Teri Paradise, have been part of Grace Fellowship since 1997. He serves on the deacon board, grateful where God would have him.
Craig and Teri married in August, 1987. They are blessed with 3 children (all of whom graduated from Skeels Christian School) and 8 grandchildren. He works for Brown Machine Group in Beaverton; when he has any leisure time, Craig likes to deer hunt, fish, golf, and play board games.
Dave began attending Grace Fellowship in 1951. He has been married to his bride, Debby, since 1981. He and Debby have 5 adult children, 8 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren (one, Elena, is with the Lord). Although he retired from Clare County Road Commission, he still actively serves the community as Township Supervisor. He enjoys spending time with his family and siblings, and serving neighbors and friends when needed.
Frank grew up in Gladwin County and has attended Grace Fellowship since 1997. Upon retirement, he sold his plumbing and heating business. Retirement lends him more time toward his car restoration hobby and keeping the water and heat going at GFC.
Frank and his wife, Barbara, have been married since 1961. They have two children, 5 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren.
Erv has been actively involved at Grace Fellowship since 2002. He married his better half, Donna, in 1971, and retired from the medical field many years ago. Erv and Donna have 2 children, 4 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. Although he is no longer in the medical profession, Erv and his wife continue to use their medical experience as hospice volunteers.
When possible, Erv likes to golf, help where needed at the church, watch Hallmark movies with Donna, and fellowship with the body of Christ.
Don and his wife, Melissa, have been part of Grace Fellowship since 2010. They have a full quiver of 7 kids and 13 grandkids; they love hosting everyone when they come back home to enjoy an afternoon of grilling and eating in the backyard. His job as a self-employed mechanic keeps him more busy than he would like to be, and when he has any occasional free time, he is probably working on one of his kids’ cars (at no charge, of course!).