Each of these men meets the biblical qualifications for elder. At the same time, they each have a unique set of gifts that will complement one another greatly. First and foremost is the need for giftedness in teaching the Word of God. God has greatly blessed Oak Crest with men who can rightly divide the word of truth.
Israel has been serving faithfully as our music minister for over three years now. Biblically speaking the responsibility of planning and execution of the corporate worship of the church falls to the elders. So it makes good sense that Israel would have an even more intimate relationship with the elders than he has up to this point. Each of us will give input to the planning of worship at Oak Crest. Additionally, Israel is a gifted teacher. This is a gift that has been underutilized because of the obvious focus on the music ministry of the church. Certainly he will continue to lead in that way while serving also in the role of pastor. Israel is currently serving as a chaplain with Market Place Ministries and attending seminary with plans to graduate within a couple of years. He is also an ordained minister. In addition to all of this, Israel has a pastor’s heart. He genuinely loves people and will serve us well.
Mike Holt is a faithful and steadfast charter member of Oak Crest. He has served in virtually every capacity at the church at one time or another. While he is not currently teaching a class, for most of the past three decades he has taught God’s word. He is currently the chairman of the deacons, but has also served on almost every committee and team. He is also a member of the choir. Mike has a hunger for theology and is always willing to learn, even as he teaches others. I greatly admire his wisdom and love for the church. He is like a father to me offering counsel and help in many circumstances. We can all rest assured he will always act in the best interest of the church and according to the Bible.
Stuart Pendrich has been a blessing to me and Oak Crest from the first day of his arrival from England. I admire him and look to him as a personal mentor in the ministry. He has double my experience as a pastor and has consistently filled our pulpit in my absence. I have 100% confidence in the preaching Stuart brings. He will be an invaluable asset to the kingdom work at Oak Crest as an elder. Stuart is committed to seeing Oak Crest become more and more healthy as a church. We are all lifting both he and Jean up in prayer as she continues her long recovery from her stem cell/ bone marrow transplant.
Randy Tate is also a blessing to Oak Crest. He has come to us having served as pastor in other churches. Most often he has served as administrator at various private Christian schools. He is active in our new prison ministry working closely with the Bill Glass organization. If you are a Facebook user you will certainly want to read his daily devotionals that he posts on Lyndia’s page. He is a brilliant student of Scripture as well as teacher of the Word. He has a heart for the lost and evangelism that will be a perfect complement to the other elders.
I hope that you all will take time to get to know each of these men better. Each of them is a compassionate servant-leader with sound doctrine, agreeing with our Confession of Faith. Elders are truly gifts to the church, and I consider each of these to be just that, a gift to Oak Crest. I am also asking that we lovingly engage in the process of affirmation over the next couple of months. None of us are perfect. That is precisely why we need not only Christ but each other. Let’s strive for unity in the spirit, and maintain the bond of peace with one another. The affirmation of elder in the local church should be a celebration of God’s grace in giving us gifted men to teach all of us the Bible and to model a Christ-Centered life. More details will follow regarding the process we will follow over the next couple of months. In the meantime, devote yourself to prayer for these men and their families.