Elder Leadership. We believe that God has set up a clear structure in his word on how he desires his church to be led. Christ wills that the church be led by a plurality of qualified men who shepherd the local church by leading, feeding, and overseeing the flock (1 Timothy 3:1-7; 5:17; Titus 1).
Dr. Matt Shackelford
Senior Pastor, Elder
Pastor Matt grew up in the church and was saved early in life only by God’s grace (Ephesiana 2:1-10). It was his father who led him to understand sin’s penalty and Christ’s payment while sitting on the back porch one starry night. In the years following salvation, the Lord was faithful to open many doors for ministry, both locally and internationally, from inner city church planting to pastor training in Africa.Through nearly two decades of church life and ministry experiences, Pastor Matt ultimately felt a call to a preaching and teaching ministry. After graduating from Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M) and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (D.Min), Pastor Matt came to Grace Bible Church. His ministry emphasis at Grace is pastoral care, leadership, and the clear and careful expositional preaching of God’s Word.
Matt’s purpose in life is “… to spread a passion for the glory of God to all people in every place. The chief end of man and most noble goal of all creation is the magnification of God’s glory. The most passionate heart for the magnification of God’s glory is God’s heart. Therefore, because it is God’s ultimate goal to exalt and glorify Himself, this is my goal and my joy. In my preaching and in my practice I hope to proclaim that Jesus Christ is the greatest treasure and greatest pleasure in all of life!”
Youth Pastor, Elder
Pastor Mark Thieret is a graduate of Baptist Bible College in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania and holds MDiv. and ThM. degrees from Grace Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, Indiana.
Pastor Mark has an amazing wife, Wendy, two sons, and one daughter-in-law. The Thieret family came to Grace Bible Church in March of 1997.
The goal of the youth ministry is to see young people become fully-devoted followers of Jesus Christ. We encourage teens to Connect with other Christians, Grow in their personal faith, Serve others, Honor God with their choices, and Share Christ with their friends who don’t know Him.
Ed and his wife, Karen, have five daughters, three sons-in-laws, and four grandchildren.
God has richly blessed our family as we have strived to give honor and glory to Him in the past fifteen years we have been members of Grace Bible Church. I thank God each day for the opportunity to be his minister of reconciliation as it states in 2 Corinthians 5:18. God reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the solemn charge to be his ambassador. This is a charge given to all of us who have repented of our sins and put our faith in Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Here at Grace Bible Church we are truly thankful for the godly ordained pastors that God has blessed us with, but we hold that same standard of service to God for all who join our congregation. This desire to hear God’s Word and obey it has created a body of Christ here that is far from perfect, but is striving to grow in sanctification to reflect Christ to our families, our church, and to the lost community all around us. I grew up as a devout churchgoer, but trusted in my good deeds to save me. When I was a kid I made some foolish decisions that resulted in the tragic death of my best friend. It was then that God humbled me and started to draw me to himself. Depressed and deeply convicted of my sin, four years later I heard the gospel for the first time and responded in repentance and faith. My life has never been the same. I work as a Pharmacist, but take very seriously the word of Christ in scripture and desire it to indwell and infuse every part of my being. Scripture says that he who has been forgiven much loves much. I know what a wretched sinner I am, and this has motivated me to love my Lord all the more as I serve Him.
Matt & Tammy have 2 daughters, 5 sons, 3 daughter-in-laws, and 1 son-in-law. Below is Matt’s Testimony of Faith in Jesus Christ:
When I was in seventh grade, my family began to attend a new church. It was at that time I first realized that my good deeds would not get me into heaven. Even worse, I further understood that I was a sinner destined for a place called Hell. While watching the Billy Graham movie “Time to Run”, I placed my faith in Jesus Christ and became a follower of Him. By God’s grace I have been saved and I earnestly desire to grow in my relationship with Him.
God has blessed me with a wonderful wife, Tammy. We have been married 26 years and I know she is God’s perfect provision for my life. Together we have 7 children and we have been attending Grace Bible Church for 20 years.
Tom joined the elder team at Grace in 2015 after completing his seminary pastoral internship. His passion is preaching, teaching, and equipping believers unto maturity (cf. Eph. 4:11-16). He was saved as a child when his mom led him to the Lord in the living room of their home. During his sophomore year in college, Tom and Sylvia met. The two were married the summer after Tom’s graduation and now have four fun-filled children.
Along with his undergraduate degree in English from Pensacola Christian College, Tom also earned a M.B.A. from the University of Dayton (Go Flyers!) and a M.Div. from Summit University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Jeff Billingsley
Jeff received a B.A. in Bible, Bob Jones University (1980), a Th. M. in New Testament, Dallas Theological Seminary (1989), and a D. Min. in New Testament Interpretation and Exposition from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (2004). Jeff has developed a special interest in Lukan writings and regularly teaches the book of Acts abroad to undergraduate Bible students. Most recently Jeff has taught in Brazil, South Korea, and Hungary.
Jeff has been truly blessed with a lifelong partner in his wife, Brenda who has always had a heart for family ministry and missions. During the school year she teaches middle school students and for the past six summers she has used English as a second language to evangelize young people in the Eastern European country of Montenegro. Jeff and Brenda have two adult sons, one daughter in-law, and three granddaughters.
Jeff directly oversees three ongoing church ministries. He organizes and teaches our Starting Point class which is designed to introduce newcomers to Grace Bible Church, its beliefs and ministries with a view to church membership. He also oversees the Young Adult life group. This is an exciting group of young adults who desire to grow in grace in both their season and station in life. Finally, Jeff serves as our elder liaison to our missions committee. The missions committee oversees the day-to-day needs of our missions program that includes our regularly supported missionaries as well as church mission trips and outreaches.
Heith and his wife, Pam have two daughters, Hayley and Hannah, and one son, Blaze.
Todd and his wife, Vicky, have 2 grown children.
John and his wife, Vicki, have children Matthew and Mitchell.