Meet our Team

Matt Friend

Senior Pastor

Matt Friend was born in Charleston and grew up in the Kanawha Valley. He attended Hayes Middle School and Cross Lanes Christian School. After receiving his undergraduate degree in Bible, he and his wife, Sarah, traveled the country for five years in itinerant evangelistic ministry.  From 2007-2010, he served as Pastor of Outreach and Pastor of Student Ministries at Bible Center. He is a 2016 graduate of Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Prior to returning to Bible Center in 2016, he served as the Executive Pastor of the East Campus of Sojourn Community Church in Louisville.

  • Serves as the primary voice of the pulpit
  • Develops and leads the Pastoral Team
  • Cares for and shepherds the congregation
  • Provides vision and direction for the church
  • Works directly with the Elders to enrich and protect the spiritual health of the church

John King

Executive Pastor

John King grew up in West Virginia, attended Bible Center School, Cross Lanes Christian School, and was a whitewater rafting guide on the New River through college. After graduating from Appalachian Bible College, he served on church staffs in Florida and Ohio, and most recently on the Executive Team as the Family Ministries/Worship Arts Pastor at Calvary Community Church in Westlake Village, California. John and his wife, Emily, have three daughters: Allison, Alana, and Abigail.

  • Develops and leads the Staff Ministry Team
  • Responsible for the day-to-day operations of the church
  • Responsible for ministry design/philosophy
  • Creates alignment and attunement within the church departments
  • Works to implement vision

Jessica Backus

Director of Early Childhood Ministries


  • Oversees all church Preschool Ministries, including Nurseries and Sunday School, as well as Awana Cubbies and Puggles
  • Recruits, manages and trains over 400 ministry volunteers
  • Visits our newborns and their families, and coordinates Child Dedication Services

Robert Ballard

Pastor of Worship Ministries

Pastor Robert Ballard graduated from Liberty University with a Master of Worship Studies after earning a Bachelor’s in Music Education from West Virginia State University.  He previously served as the Worship Pastor of Cross Lanes Baptist Church. He and his wife, Erin, have three children:  Landon, Luke, and Liam.

  • Oversees all music and worship-related ministries
  • Recruits, trains, and prepares musicians for worship
  • Prepares and plans worship services

Christy Corbin

Worship Ministry Coordinator

Christy has a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics Education from Bob Jones University. She previously served as a math teacher at a Christian school in South Florida before moving to the Charleston area to teach.  She taught at Bible Center School for three years before transitioning onto the church staff.

Chad Cowan

Pastor of Care Ministries

Pastor Chad Cowan joined the Pastoral Team in May of 2013.  Chad has local roots, having grown up in Dunbar and graduating from Cross Lanes Christian School.  After receiving a degree in electrical engineering from WV Tech, he spent the early part of his career working for a defense contractor in Maryland where he met his wife, Melissa.  After answering God’s call into ministry, he moved to Texas where both he and Melissa graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary.  Chad holds a Master's of Theology and believes God has truly prepared them and brought them to West Virginia for ministry at Bible Center. Chad and Melissa are the parents of one son, Landry.

  •  Oversees spiritual care for those who are hospitalized and/or are chronically ill
  • Seeks to provide godly counsel and comfort to those experiencing the loss of a loved one
  • Engages seniors in ministry to assist them with fellowship and service

Roslyn June G. Dy

Graphic Artist

Roslyn grew up in Charleston, WV and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Advertising from the University of Kentucky. Afterwards, she pursued further study in Graphic Design and Advertising-Art Direction at the Portfolio Center in Atlanta, GA, where she also graduated.

  • Serves all ministries by helping them to effectively and creatively communicate their messages
  • Serves as the primary designer for church bulletins, sermon graphics and event graphics
  • Designs materials for the church and school, such as signage, ads, ephemera, and internal documents

Matt Garrison

Pastor of Family Ministries

Pastor Matt Garrison holds a B.S. in Youth Ministry from Liberty University and a Master of Arts and Religion from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He previously served for nine years as the Youth Pastor at New Life Baptist Church in Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Andrea, are the parents of Sydney, Tyler, Sierra and Troy.

  • Oversees and facilitates the Student Ministry, 6th-12th grades
  • Co-leads college ministries
  • Provides counsel to students and their families

Mike Graham

Pastor of Group Life

Pastor Mike Graham has a Master of Divinity from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and has served as an international missionary, church planter, and pastor over the past 20 years.  Mike brings years of discipleship, outreach and small group ministry experience.  He and his wife, Jennifer, are the parents of Luke and Lexi.

  • Oversees groups and community life
  • Recruits and trains leaders
  • Leads the charge in discipleship and spiritual development

Jane Jackson-Fowler

Executive Asst. to the Sr. Pastor & Executive Pastor

Jane was born and has lived in the Charleston area all her life. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education from West Virginia State University. After working in the financial planning industry for twenty-eight years, Jane felt the Lord was calling her to a greater purpose. Passionate about serving Him, moving to Bible Center Church was a natural fit.  After much prayer, she joined the staff in 2016.

  • Serves as the Administrative lead for the Senior and Executive Pastors' offices
  • Represents the Senior Pastor when communicating with members of the congregation, other churches and the community
  • Takes initiative for new and special projects, as requested by the Senior Pastor

Emily King

Director of Special Needs Ministries




Caleb Korth

Pastor of Worship Arts

Caleb is a graduate of Appalachian Bible College with a B.A. in Bible and Theology. He has previously served as a Youth Pastor in Virginia. He and his wife, Tiffany, have one daughter and reside in Charleston.

  • Oversees and leads Adult Worship Team
  • Oversees and leads Youth Praise Band
  • Co-leads worship on Sundays

Ted Tanzey

Pastor of Counseling Ministries

Ted has been a professional counselor for over 25 years. He is a Nationally Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and a Qualified Rehabilitation Professional. He is a graduate of both West Virginia University and Marshall University with a Master's Degree in Counseling and specializes in relationship, marriage, addiction, grief, rehabilitation and life counseling. From June 2006 through June 2017, Ted served as a part time contractual Counselor at Bible Center Counseling Ministries. On July 1, 2017, he joined the Pastoral staff at Bible Center Church as the Pastor of Counseling Ministries. He is a former Pastor at River Ridge Church in Charleston. Ted has been married to his wife, Beth, for 24 years and they have three children (Mike, Leanna, and Jayden). Ted has a passion for counseling and helping those in need and for missions and has led 17 short term mission teams to the former Soviet Union countries in the last 10 years.

  • Oversees Counseling Ministry
  • Offers Counsel and Care for those in need
  • Assists the Global Outreach Committee


Michelle Thompson

Director of City Ministries

Michelle has a Bachelor's degree in Christian Education from Andersonville Bible College and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree at Southwest Bible College and Seminary. She previously served as the Physical Education teacher at Bible Center School and as the Early Childhood Director. She and her husband, Richard, have five children.

Richard Thompson

Pastor of Children's Ministries

Pastor Thompson has received training from Moody Bible Institute and Liberty University and holds a B.S. in Church Ministry from Andersonville Baptist Seminary. He previously served as Assistant Pastor and Children's Minister at Lyona Bible Church in Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Michelle, are the parents of five children.

  • Oversees and facilitates the children’s ministries, including Base Camp and children's summer camp
  • Recruits and trains a children’s ministries volunteer staff of over 500
  • Provides counsel and input to children and their parents

Paula Toney

Director of Hospitality/Assimilation

Paula is a graduate of Appalachian Bible College, where she previously served for 10 years as Secretary to the President. She grew up in the Beckley, WV area, but her family now resides in Richmond, VA.

  • Oversees the First Impressions Ministry with over a 100 volunteers
  • Serves as the church Wedding Coordinator and host for special events
  • Schedules facility use for the Church Campus

Steven VanHorn

Director of Technical Arts

Steven grew up in Charleston and holds a Bachelor’s degree from Marshall University. With a wide and diverse background of live production and touring, Steven brings a versatile set of skills and experience to the team.  He’s passionate about seeing creatives empowered and creating environments where people feel loved and welcomed, and where they can experience God in a new way. Outside of Bible Center, Steven enjoys traveling and spending time outdoors.

Jessica VonCrist

Director of Communications

After studying aviation, Jessica completed a Bachelor's degree at Piedmont Bible College and a Master of Arts degree at Liberty University. She first joined the Bible Center team in 2001, and has previously worked in desktop publishing and IT. Jessica and her husband, Carl, have one daughter. They love traveling and having fun together.

  • Serves all ministries by helping them to effectively and creatively communicate their messages
  • Manages projects for all creative and communication processes
  • Leads the communications team and volunteers in publications, web, app and social media development for the church and school
  • Leads staff in using software for communication and ministry management

Lee Walker

Director of Development
Interim Principal/Administrator, BCS

Lee Walker is a graduate of Appalachian Bible College and has an MBA from Marshall University.  He previously served for 29 years at ABC, working mainly in administrative areas including Development and Business.  For 16 years he was Executive Vice-President of the College.  Pastor Walker began his service at Bible Center in 1998 and served as Executive Pastor until 2017.  He is married to Marty, has two children, three step-children and 17 grandchildren.

Josh Willetts

Pastor of Middle School Ministries

Pastor Josh Willetts received a B.S. in Youth Ministry and Christian Education from Cedarville University and a Master of Divinity from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary.  He previously served as a youth pastor for four years in Michigan and has taught at Bible Center School for four years as the middle school Bible teacher.  He and his wife, Kate, are the parents of Karis, Judah, and Hudson.

  • Oversees and facilitates the Element ministry (Grades 6-8)
  • Provides counsel to students and their families