In 1 Peter 5:1-3, the apostle Peter told the elders to shepherd the local church for which they had oversight. Elders (also known as shepherds or pastors) are older men who meet the required qualifications found in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. These qualified men are chosen by the congregation to lead and guide the local church. We are blessed to have four shepherds at Eastland who love us and follow God.
Reggie preached for many years at Eastland and other churches in the region. He now spends most of his time caring for the members of the Eastland church. He and his wife, Janice, have been a dependable part of our church family almost since the beginning of this congregation. Reggie is a devoted Bible student with a gift for memorization, which helps him teach a great many people both inside and out of the church.
When asked what he loves about Eastland, Reggie said, "I cherish the golden cord of love that binds us together in a fellowship with each other and with God. As a family when one suffers we are quick to respond, and when one has cause of rejoicing we share in their rejoicing. We share a mutual respect for God and the authority of His Word. May it ever be so."
Phil has been one of our shepherds since October of 2016. He has a natural gift for authentic connection, and he has spoken many times of his lifelong desire to watch over saints’ souls and encourage us closer to God. Phil has a particular passion for sharing the Bible’s teachings on marriage and family. He and his wife, Shannie, are therefore a particularly helpful asset to our teenagers and young families.
When asked what he loves about Eastland, Phil said, "I am continually overwhelmed by the warmth and sincere love exhibited by the family at Eastland. Our members help create an atmosphere where anyone is welcome to come learn about God and how we can serve Him with our whole heart. I am humbled by the blessing of both working and worshipping with such a fine group of Christians who simply want to go to heaven."
Scott has been a member of the Eastland church for a long time, and even before he was a shepherd, our members know him well as an influence for unity and spirituality in the church. Scott and his wife, Heather, are generous, encouraging, hospitable, and defined by the joy that comes with knowing Christ.
When asked what he loves about Eastland, Scott said, "What I love about Eastland is our biggest asset: our people. Young and old, there is synergy that makes us better. It’s great to worship with those who are truly family."
In his time as a member of this church, Jon and his family have solidified their place as diligent servants. He and his wife, Bethany, have been great examples of hospitality. He is also very enthusiastic about evangelism, conducting frequent one-on-one Bible studies with church members or unchurched friends.
When asked what he loves about Eastland, Jon said, "I love the encouragement that comes from being part of the Eastland family. The members here have such a wide range of backgrounds, experiences and abilities... yet we build each other up through our common bond in our Lord. As each one does his or her part out of love for the whole, we stir each other up to greater faith and service. We are one in Him - and our unity blesses our walk in Him."