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Leadership

City Church Melissa is led by a plurality of Elders. This is relatively uncommon in American evangelicalism, but it is the New Testament model. Wherever Paul set up new churches, he instructed them to install Elders (plural) as mature and qualified believers became available for such a calling.  You can find more about this in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1.

The greek word for Elder (“overseer”) is the same word from which we get our term for Pastor. So rather than being something like a board of directors (and distinct from Deacons), Elders are primarily pastors, shepherds watching over the spiritual sheep God has entrusted to our care.

 

Current City Church Melissa Elders

Ryan Ross

Ryan Ross

Vocational Elder

I grew up in the church. From a young age I was taught the stories of the Bible and told about Jesus. While I knew lots about Jesus, I never knew him personally until my older brother started encouraging me to consider what I believed when I was seventeen years old. It was through his prompting that I began to open my bible and consider what I believed about God. The Holy Spirit brought the scriptures to life in a way I had never experienced and I was convinced that my only hope was Jesus Christ. I learned that I was a sinner, like all the world, and it was only by Christ sacrifice on my behalf that I could be made new.

While I attended church throughout my youth, I was nothing more than a frequent attender. I wasn’t connected to the body of Christ. After my conversion I began to really plug into the local church. I was baptized and then began a discipleship journey. I learned first hand the beauty of being deeply connected to the body of Christ. We weren’t meant to walk through this life alone and the church is God’s gift to the world. This is why I love the church. My prayer is that City Church would be an undeniable testimony to the goodness of God to everyone we encounter and be a place that we can spur one another on to faith and good works.

Kyle Hendrickson

Kyle Hendrickson

Vocational Elder

“I was blessed to have Christian parents who spoke about and demonstrated the Gospel regularly while I was a child. I invited Jesus into my life as my Lord and Savior and accepted His free gift of grace and mercy at eight years old. Jesus was pursuing me and through conversations with my Pastor in New Mexico, my parents, and the Holy Spirit I knew I was a sinner and that I needed God’s love and forgiveness to save me from an eternity in Hell. Though, it was not until my late teen years that I started really understanding my faith and how real and important it was. I began to realize that a relationship with Jesus was personal and took time, effort, and dedication. This is when I truly began pursuing Christ with my life and began to seek after His will for me.

God has given me a love for the church since I was in High School. It was through that love that He called me into vocational ministry and ever since my Junior year in college that’s what I have done. Serving the church, the bride of Christ, is one of the biggest joys in my life. Seeing God- given gifts used by my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and seeing the church function beautifully as one body with many parts is so rewarding. My prayer for City Church is that we would be a community of people, united by the Gospel, using our specific, Spiritual gifts to serve
God together and see the Kingdom of God expand in Melissa and beyond.”

Matt Nix

Matt Nix

Vocational Elder

I grew up in church and came to faith at an early age. What was amazing is His grace did not end at salvation. I really did not start walking with Him until I was a junior in High School and through other students he put in my life and a very persistent choir teacher I really began a relationship with the Lord. He blessed me with my best friend in life and used Him to help me understand what Christ really did for me. I wasn’t just getting out of Hell but I was free to live a life that was obedient to God and made much of Him in everything I did. The love and grace God had for me was not just for the day of salvation but for my whole life. I’m grateful every day that God has that kind of love for me.

The local church is one of God’s greatest gifts to the people of God. I say this because I have seen it be a place of great conflict but even greater grace and redemption. God humbles us and molds us into His image through the faithful witness and encouragement of other believers. Through the work of the Spirit in the Church we cannot help but be reminded that we are to put God first, others next and let the Lord be the one to sustain us and renew our energies. My hope for City Church is that we could be a group of people that are awake to the things of God. and that we would willingly and willfully lay down our lives so that a greater community of people would come to know the hope we have in Christ.

Heath Gallimore

Heath Gallimore

Lay Elder

My parents split shortly after I was born. I struggled to find my place in family and in church for years. Jesus first called me at a big tent revival when I was eleven. Even though I trusted Jesus as savior I struggled with assurance of salvation for years but he kept pursuing me through various trials until I finally surrendered my life over to his lordship right after my first year of college.

I love the church because it’s become a true family for me. Only here, in gospel community, am I accepted, challenged and fully loved as God intended. I have a small part in a big story here. We work together, shoulder to shoulder, in one heart and purpose, to advance the eternal kingdom. I also love our church because it’s no-nonsense and we do things by the book!

Kent Davis

Kent Davis

Lay Elder

I was raised in a home where I learned of Christ at a very early age, and it was at the young age of six that I began a relationship with Him. It was in my teen years though that I truly developed that relationship and grew in genuine intimacy with Christ. During those formative years, my relationship with God became something very real to me. Despite a natural inclination to continually try to earn God’s favor, my eyes were opened to the amazing grace of God. He came for me, even when I was dead in my sin. A love like that, how could I not live for Him? He is so clearly worthy of my life.

While I grew up going to church just about every time the doors were open, I don’t believe I had an accurate understanding of the significance or the value of the local church. But, through the years of growing in my relationship with Christ, the more I have seen the obvious love He has for His bride, and the important role He gives to the church. We are the means by which the message of Jesus will go to the entire world. It’s both a privilege and a great responsibility.

My hope for City Church is to see the Spirit of God supernaturally poured out on our body in such a way that it is undeniable it is the Holy Spirit who is moving. When the Spirit of God stirs hearts among us, our love for Him and His Word increases, tolerance for sin diminishes, boldness for Him becomes second nature, generosity abounds, and lives around us are completely and radically transformed. I long for and pray for God to fill us with His Spirit.

Pat Knight

Pat Knight

Lay Elder

I grew up in a Christian family which was very involved with the church. If the doors were open, there was a good chance we were there. With my upbringing I came to a fairly good knowledge of scripture. What seemed to resonate most with me was the consequences of sin, specifically eternity in hell. I didn’t want any part of that and as a young child made a profession of faith. What I came to find, at the age of 30, was that profession was not authentic. While I had plenty of head knowledge, my heart was empty. On May 28, 2000 I fell in love with Jesus. While I wanted Him as a young child, just to save me from hell; on that day, He revealed His love for me and I couldn’t resist loving Him in return.

My view of the church is that it is God’s ordained institution. As God does with so many things, he takes the broken and makes it beautiful. That’s how I see the church. A gathering of broken sinners, redeemed by Christ, made beautiful. It is the means in which God has chosen to spread his truth with the world. We are called together in this mission, but to also have relationship with one another. We are to encourage, hold up, exhort, and even admonish one another. I love City Church Melissa because I believe it does all these things very well. While not perfect, City Church Melissa acts with purposeful intent to share the gospel to our city and beyond, to be a beacon of light to those far off, and to build meaningful relationships with one another for the purpose of advancing God’s Kingdom.”

Frank Barnett

Frank Barnett

Lay Elder

I don’t remember a time where I wasn’t being worked on by God. I wasn’t always saved, of course, and even when I was little, I knew it. But God was pursuing me, and wouldn’t let me get too far from thinking about Him. I remember once in elementary school, I was home sick. Some people rang the doorbell and asked me “if you died today, are you certain you’d go to heaven?” I told them I wasn’t sure.

God was after me, but it would take a while longer.

We stopped going to church, and that took its toll. My parents’ marriage crumbled and my Dad moved out. A week later, still pretty confused and numb, I caught a plane to Atlanta for an FCA basketball camp. God had set up His pieces, stripped away anything I had to fight with. And it was summer in Atlanta in a bunch of gyms with no air conditioning, making the call to be saved from everlasting judgment apart from Christ in Hell felt a little more urgent. It was there that I was adopted into God’s family.

I love the church (and this church in particular). It is the body of Christ, the redeemed. The thing that unites us is not demographic stuff or common interests, but that we’ve been adopted by the King. Like any family, it has its flaws, and City Church is no perfect place – but we are being made more Christlike, and that has impacted our city in so many ways.

My prayer for City Church is that we would love Jesus and encounter Him daily in His word because when we genuinely experience Jesus there’s no way that we remain unchanged. By digging into His word and continuing to be part of His family in the local church, He will transform us in ways that impact not only our immediate families but our city and world.

Fall 2021 Elder Candidates

Ben Wilkins

I was born and raised in Lubbock, Tx in a Baptist home, attending Baptist church. Stability characterized my childhood, despite what was actually happening in my family’s life (job loss, financial struggles, addictions, pain and loss). My parents shielded me from the stress of ‘real life’ at an early age, something I appreciate tremendously as I look back. God used my childhood to characterize my adult life. I have a foundational belief that everything will work together for good (Romans 8:28). As various events have occurred in my life, I have been able to continually rely on the Lord to comfort and provide for me and my family (Matthew 6:25).

As a youth, I attended church at Calvary Baptist Church in Lubbock. My youth pastor did a great job every week of explaining who Jesus was and what the Gospel was about. At 14, I finally decided, after months of the Holy Spirit softening my heart, to believe the truth about Christ – that He was and is fully God, became fully man, earthly present for a time and sinless. He died on the cross for me. Then thankfully and most importantly (1 Corinthians 15), He rose from the dead to show his power over death. Christ proved that He is God and that we can be forgiven of all our sins if we do what He said – believe.
Since my first steps into belief, I have had seasons of walking in pride and self-reliance, sometimes for years at a time. I have given into anger, selfishness, passivity, and apathy. However, God has been faithful to pursue me in my brokenness, just as he did Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. Thanks be to Christ that He only sees me through the blood that was shed on my behalf at the cross.

God has blessed me tremendously with a believing wife, Amy, who has a firm foundation in Christ. She constantly encourages, challenges, helps, and strengthens me in my walk with the Lord. We also have the joy and responsibility of raising 6 of God’s arrows (Psalm 127:4) – 1 boy and 5 girls. God directed us to Melissa 2 years ago (from the far south… McKinney) to build a home, be near family and invest in a new community. I am joyfully thankful for where we are today. God is good.

All Christians are part of the universal church which is Christ’s body. The church is God’s chosen vessel to deliver the message of salvation and to be His hands and feet in the world (Ephesians2:10). The glory of God is revealed to mankind through the works of the church (Matthew 5:14-16). What a privilege and honor to be a part of God’s story! At City Church, I see a commitment to discipleship (John 8:31-32), encouragement to fight the good fight (2 Timothy 4:7), corporate worship of a holy God who loves us (Hebrews 12:28), and a community of individuals doing God’s work (Acts 2:46-47). My hope for City Church is that we would be a place of rest (Matthew 11:28) from this broken and weary world (John 16:33). My prayer is that City Church would be a place for growth and healing from the hurt and pain of our pasts (Isaiah 53:4-5); that we would walk humbly with our God full of joy and peace knowing that He cares deeply for each one of us.

Adam Stone

I grew up an only child in Los Angeles CA, Medford OR and Allen TX. My mother was from a Catholic up bringing but we never attended church as a family. I considered myself a believer in God but was not sure what Jesus had to do with it all. Throughout my youth I encountered God and His church through close friends’ families and saw God honoring marriages and households modeled before me. Its during these times God was showing me his love and grace that would ultimately lead me to knowing Him for myself later in life.

My Senior year in High School I met Ashley and we dated and were married 2 years later is 91’. Our church attendance in Texas was sparse due to a lot of hypocrisy and pretense we encountered in the few churches we tried. We agreed that when we started having kids, we wanted to leave Texas and raise them in the mountains so in 93’ we moved to Idaho. The sudden loss of my mother in 98’ left me feeling a large void in my life. Another agreement Ashley and I had was that we would raise our kids to know God and His church, and this led me to surrendering my life to Jesus in 99’.
My trade as a Meat Cutter has allowed us to raise 4 wonderful kids that are now adults and provided opportunities to live in some of the most beautiful of places the west has to offer. After swearing that we would never move back to Texas, God opened doors that would bring us from the San Juan Islands in Washington St to Melissa TX in 2014. I’ve been attending City Church Melissa since 2015 and have been seen God do an amazing work in people’s lives through the ministry here. My wife and I serve on the Worship Team and co-direct the Re|engage marriage ministry.

My Hope For City Church Melissa:
I hope to continue to see lives transformed through hearing and living out the gospel. I pray that we would together love God, love others and make disciples of Jesus that spend time with Him and become more like Him and do the things He did.”