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 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
Director of Early Childhood
Jess Backus was born in Baltimore, Maryland, but spent much of her youth in the Kanawha Valley. The daughter and granddaughter of missionaries, Jess grew up traveling West Virginia with her parents and grandparents. Her travels continued throughout high school, as she assisted her parents in raising support for their mission to Poland. While in college, Jess spent time serving at Word of Life, Poland. From 2011-2013, Jess served with her husband, Andy, at National Community Church in Washington, DC. She has spoken at parenting and women’s events around the country. Jess and Andy have six beautiful children: Drew, Reagan, Lincoln, Jefferson, Ford, and Hayes.
- Oversees all Early Childhood Ministries: Nurseries and Sunday School, as well as AWANA Cubbies and Puggles
- Recruits, develops, and leads Early Childhood Ministry Leaders
- Casts and implements vision for Early Childhood Ministries
- Engages and shepherds Early Childhood families
Roslyn June G. Dy
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 providing creative designs to help 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
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 Family Ministry, Birth-12th grade
- Leads the High School Ministry (9th-12th Grades)
- Co-leads college ministries
- Provides counsel to students and their families
Pastor of Community 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
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
Director of Special Needs Ministries
Emily grew up in Columbus, Ohio. She attended Word of Life Bible Institute and then graduated from Appalachian Bible College where she met her husband, John. They have served with ministries in Argentina, Florida, Ohio, and California. It was during their 5 years in California that Emily fell in love with the Special Needs Ministry. While there, she was able to serve as the volunteer coordinator/administrative assistant for the ministry. At Bible Center, Emily serves as the administrative assistant for Family Ministries and as the Director of our Special Needs Ministry. Emily and John have 3 girls: Allison, Alana, and Abigail.
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 two children and reside in Charleston.
- Oversees and leads Adult Worship Team
- Oversees and leads Youth Praise Band
- Co-leads worship on Sundays
Pastor of Children’s Ministries
My greatest passion is not only to see girls and boys come to know Jesus Christ but also to be a life coach for moms and dads, assisting them in navigating these different phases of their children’s lives. Each phase of shaping these creative young minds to live and love like Jesus has its own set of tools and questions to be answered. I desire greatly to encourage parents, and to teach children to have a passion to love others, to love God, and to discover what it means to live a full life in Jesus.
- Oversees and facilitates the children’s ministries, including Base Camp and children’s summer camp
- Recruits and trains a children’s ministries volunteer staff
- Provides counsel and input to children and their parents
Pastor of Senior Life
Pastor Richard Riffe (or Dickie, as he’s affectionately known to most of us) has been attending Bible Center since 1965. In the early years, he taught Sunday School and worked in AWANA, each for 18 years. In addition, he has served as a Deacon, Elder, and Maintenance Chairman. Pastor Richard, also known as “Coach” to many, has lead church-league sports and currently coaches Bible Center School basketball. He has assisted with the Care Ministry for many years. A graduate of Liberty University (Biblical Studies), Pastor Richard is licensed in the state of West Virginia. He currently serves as the Recreation Director of Bible Center Church & School. He and his wife, Anna, have been married for 47 years and have two grown children. As our Senior Life Pastor, Richard oversees the leadership and care of our senior saints
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
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 seven children.
Pastor of Care 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 seven children.
- 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
Director of Hospitality
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
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.
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 Carl have one daughter and 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 and trains staff in using software for communication and ministry management
Director of Business & Development
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.
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 Middle School ministries (Grades 6-8)
- Provides counsel to students and their families
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Bible Center School
A ministry of Bible Center Church, Bible Center School is a fully accredited preschool, lower, and middle school program providing an exceptional educational experience in preparation for the secondary school level and college.