Pastor Ben Lovelady, came to our church back in 1987 at 8 years of age and attended our church until graduation, where he then attended and graduated from Baptist Bible College in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania. There he met his wife Becki, whose father is a career Bible professor at Word of Life Bible Institute. Upon graduation in 2001, they were married and began their ministry here at First Baptist as Associate Pastor. In February 2014, Pastor Ben became the Senior Pastor after his father retired. Ben has a sincere heart for God, a great appetite for His Word, and a love for ministering to God's people. Our congregation, both young and old, love his enthusiasm for both the study and teaching of God's Word, as well as his love for God's people. Pastor Ben can be reached by email at email@example.com.
Becki so completes her husband in her love for life, and ministering to those around her. A year spent in the Philippines helped broaden her vision of God's work in the world, and the many days of seeing God minister through her father confirmed her love of ministry. Growing up, she spent many summers serving in the Word of Life's camp ministries which have facilitated in her a love for camping ministry, as well. After graduating from Word of Life's one year Bible program, she went on to Baptist Bible College, where she completed her B.A. with an emphasis Secondary Education, and minoring in Bible. At BBC is where she and Pastor Ben met . . . and continued to meet . . . until they were married on June 2nd, 2001. Their love, by God's grace, has grown to six, with the birth of their four sons. They now, more than ever, appreciate the need of attempting to follow a course of parenting that is God honoring-which is the very heartbeat of other young parents in our church. Together, she and Pastor Ben, throughout these past several years have thoroughly enjoyed all of the aspects of Pastoring in our beloved church.
Alex has been attending First Baptist of Silvis with his family since he was 4 years old. Upon graduation of high school he attended and graduated from Northland International University in 2014. Upon graduation he returned to First Baptist to begin his apprenticeship and began furthering his education by attending Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Alex met his wife Carley at First Baptist and they were married in 2011. Alex was ordained in August of 2013. He has a sincere love of studying the Bible and teaching it to those around him. His passions are to make the Word of God as clear as he possibly can and to be used by God to spread the truth. He has an interest in learning the original languages of the Bible and has studied Koine Greek throughout his college career. Alex can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carley is a wonderful support for her husband, Alex. She enjoys the art of homemaking and loves motherhood. Alex and Carley have a 1 year old son, and are looking forward to the birth of their second son in November. Carley brings a strong music background to the church, ministering on the worship team with her voice and viola. She has a heart for service and enjoys working with the youth of our church. She is strongly grounded in the Bible and has a gift for counseling and loves to encourage other women in the ways of Biblical womanhood.
Steve Lovelady accepted the call to Pastor our church on October 4th, 1987. Since then, Pastor and his wife, Harriet, have exhibited a deep love for His church these past twenty some years. Pastor Lovelady demonstrates weekly, both his scholarly understanding of Scripture as well as a passionate desire for its application to our hearts. His familiarity with the Old Testament yields treasure for us that very few are blessed to see. Pastor holds a B.A. from Grand Rapids Baptist College, an M.A. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity Seminary, and has worked partially through a doctorate at Marquette University. Pastor can be reached by email at email@example.com.
His wife Harriet is also a very rare commodity. She, having raised four children-working to put each through college, is retired from being an English teacher at our local United Township High School. She has been a counseling resource for many of the women in our church. Her encouraging spirit is a blessing to us all, and she stands gracefully as a wonderful matriarch of His church here in Silvis. How blessed we are to have them here!
Pastor Stephen Lovelady retired as the senior pastor in January of 2014. He is now a Pastor Emeritus and serves by teaching, counseling, and visiting the sick as he is able.
The term "deacon" is a transliteration of the Greek word, diakonos, which means "servant." Our deacons, then, seek to serve in any capacity needed in order to alleviate any strain on our pastors-in order that they might devote more time to studying of the Word and to prayer. In doing this, we seek to follow the precedent set by the Apostles and the first deacons in Acts 6. We presently have a deacon board of nine men, whom our church has deemed qualified, according to the qualifications given I Timothy 3, to carry out and fulfill this high calling of service. They are, by God's grace, solid men who have served well in this area of servanthood.
James McGlaughlin, the chairman of our Deacons, serves the church in a variety of ways. He assists in areas such as finance, teaching, leading worship, and practical wisdom. His steadfast consistency serves as a great example of Godly faithfulness and we are grateful to have him among us. James is employed at John Deere, serving there as a Systems Analyst. His expertise in this field has enabled him to be used mightily by God in the technical areas of our church. He and his wife Rhonda have four children and are intimately involved with the public school system, seeking to be salt and light in that arena. Rhonda, also, serves in many different capacities here at the church, such as pianist & choir director, and offers help, assistance, and wisdom in innumerable other areas.
Milt Willcox brings a gentle demeanor as well as a firm grasp and understanding of the Word of God to our church. His faithful attendance and willingness to serve is an inspiration to many. Like a shepherd for our missionaries, he watches over their affairs and keeps our church attuned to their progress and needs. He has worked at John Deere for the last 30 years, functioning as a Business Analyst. He and his wife, Lisa, are blessed with five sons, four of whom attend the church with their families. Their fourth son, Stephen, has finished school at Moody Bible Institute and is an associate pastor in South Dakota. Lisa is faithful in prayer and hospitably serves in many different capacities, especially as homemaker-enabling her sons and daughters-in-law to participate in the work and ministry of the church through her caring for their children while they're away.
John Mills has been a wonderful asset to our church on many levels. He and his wife Patty, are faithful prayer warriors and excellent students of the Word. John, who has retired from the Internal Revenue Service, has served well assisting the church in the area of finance. He and Patty have two grown children, Teresa and Dan. Teresa is serving alongside her husband, Joel, who pastors in Alberta, Canada. We are also pleased to have their son Dan, who continues to live in the area, among us as well. John has offered a consistently balanced approach in the handling of difficulties, and has demonstrated a Godly compassion for those in need. His wife Patty stands as a wonderful example of one with a deep spiritual appetite. One will often find her feasting on such spiritual delicacies as a treatise by Jonathan Edwards or John Owen.
Bruce and Chris Barker offer an encouraging spirit, servantís heart, and humble presence to our church family. In addition to serving as a Deacon, Bruce serves the church in the area of building and groundsóhelping to keep the grounds presentable. Bruce is now using his freedom afforded by retirement to serve in whatever capacity is needed at our facility, after having worked for Ericksonís Chevrolet for the past 40-some years. God has blessed He and Chris with two children. His balanced, slow-to-speak and quick-to-listen approach is a blessing to have within our leadership. Chris has been a great blessing in the service to the women at our church. When we gather together as a church family Chris offers warm, engaging, and loving care to all around. Together they offer a wonderful example of a kingdom-centered enthusiasm that is willing to serve in whatever context is needed.
Chuck & Emily Burdick have been a wonderful asset to our church for many years. Their love for youth has filled in the gaps numerous times while the church was in need of teachers and leaders. Chuck has an insatiable appetite for Godís Word and its teaching. Emily serves as a gracious, helpful, and hospitable helpmeet to Chuck as they serve together in whatever venue is needed. In the parenting of their three girls they have utilized a mixture of home and public schooling. Chuck has worked as a faithful and dedicated employee for Parr Instruments for the past 30-some years. Emily serves as a stay-at-home Mom and contributes regularly to the service of the ministry here at First Baptist through her service in youth ministries, choir, and by utilizing her gifts in photography for the glory of God.
Dan Freeman has held leadership positions in the secular workplace for many years. He possesses a keen, as well as practical insight into many different areas. His hardworking and diligent spirit sets out to complete well, all that has been given to him. God has also blessed him with an evangelistic zeal that has led to many hearing the proclamation of the Gospel. He is employed at IC&E Railroad, functioning as a Manager of Train Operations. He and his wife Jenny have been blessed with six children and utilize a mixture of home and Christian schooling. Jenny brings a joyful and Christ-honoring spirit to the church as well as a beautiful voice that escorts many into a worshipful spirit. She assists in organizing and leading worship for the church, as well as serving in other children-oriented ministries.
Jerrin Holland is a great blessing to our church body. He is an adept craftsman who has a servant's heart. He also has served the church diligently as head of our building and grounds committee, being selected for this task because of his vast experience and expertise in this field. He offers a beautiful humility in his service as deacon as well as a prayerful spirit, and we are grateful to have him among us. Jerrin and his wife Cindy have two children, Josh and Jessica. They are dedicated home schoolers who have diligently tended to their children in both academic and spiritual formation. Jerrin works at Exelon in the maintenance department. Jerrin's wife, Cindy, has been a trusted and beneficial friend to many women in the church, and carry's a deep zeal for God and His Word.
Mike Holloman affords us with valuable insight, an even-mindedness, and a missionaryís viewpoint. Mike and his wife Ginny served in Indonesia with New Tribes Missions for sixteen years. We are very grateful, however, to now have Mike and Ginny back with us. As we endeavor to care for our missionaries and their families, Mike brings fresh thoughts to the table. He is a faithful student at our church, continually engaging with the messages and Bible studies. He also teaches our Senior Saints class on Sunday mornings. Ginny is a faithful student of Godís Word as well as a proficient pianist and teacher of our ladies. She assists during our Sunday worship, playing both the organ and piano, and teaches at our Tuesday night ladies Bible study. Together, they make a very beneficial team in our church body and we are very grateful to have them among us.
John Willcox has been blessed with an entrepreneurial and disciplined spirit. He has also kindled within John an insatiable appetite for His Word and its teaching, as well as a benevolent and generous heart. John started his own insurance business and has witnessed Godís blessing in its growth. He seeks to bring each thought captive to Christ, and we are grateful for the insight he brings to the leadership. Johnís wife, Anita, is a stay-at-home mom with three young ones. God has gifted Anita with a humble and hospitable spirit that has blessed many in our church. Together, they have recently joined arms with Daniel and DeAnna Willcox and Pastor Ben and Becki as high school Youth Sponsors. We look forward to see how God continues to bless their growing family and ministry here at First Baptist.