Providence Church recognizes the two offices of “elder” and “deacon”. We are led by a group of elders, but ultimate authority resides with the congregation under Christ. As such the congregation elects elders and empowers them with the governing of the church in its normal functions. But the elders are accountable to the congregation with regard to (re)election, approving a budget, approving new members, and other such “big” issues. The elders are in charge of the spiritual needs of the church. This would entail the direction of the church, guarding doctrine through ensuring biblical teaching, and general oversight. The deacons are in charge of taking care of the physical needs of the church. For example, they look after the building, run our fellowship meals, and oversee our benevolence ministry.
Gunny has a BA & MS from Texas A&M University, a ThM from Dallas Theological Seminary, a MSt from Oxford University, and has completed coursework for a PhD in Rhetoric from the University of Texas at Arlington. He has served as an adjunct professor at Dallas Theological Seminary and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, teaching church history & preaching. Gunny and Mary Ellen were married in 1993 and have been blessed with four children. He’s an avid sports fan, especially the Cardinals, Cowboys, and Lakers. You’re welcome to follow him on Twitter or read his personal blog: SEMPER REFORMANDA.
Jay earned a BBA in Accounting and Finance with honors at East Texas State University where he later received a MS in Economics. Jay has been in the commercial real estate business in Dallas for over ten years. Jay grew up in a small Baptist church in East Texas, where this grandson of a preacher began participating in the music ministry of the church at an early age. He began teaching Sunday school as a teenager and became an ordained minister in 2000, which helped prepare him for his present role as an adult Sunday school teacher. Jay and Amber (his college sweetheart) have been married since 1996 and have three children (Castleton, McCleary and Noelle). The Porterfields have lived in Murphy since 2001. As for hobbies, Jay was a good golfer… before having children.
Bob Helmick was born in Pennsylvania and graduated from Indiana Tech University in 1950, after having his studies interrupted by serving with the Army in the Pacific during World War II. He has had experience in various vocations, though is presently retired. But as he’ll tell you, he hasn’t retired from living, nor from serving the Lord. Among other things, he has been a Sunday school teacher, a deacon, and men’s Bible study leader. Bob was married 64 years to his bride, Barbara, who went to be with the Lord Jesus in October 2013. Bob has 2 children, 3 grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren.
Ted holds a BA from Oklahoma Baptist University, and a MDiv and DMin from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. His doctoral concentration was evangelism, with a dissertation dealing with assessment of genuine conversion using interviews in light of 1 John. Ted has served as senior pastor of 3 churches in Texas and Missouri in addition to serving in an interim position in Fort Worth. He also served for 5 years on staff of Wheeler Mission Ministries in Indianapolis, which helps the economically disadvantaged. Ted is passionate about evangelism and has sought to share the message of Jesus Christ with thousands in open-air sermons, public venues, festivals, and college campuses. Through RevivalSermon.org, Ted seeks to provide evangelism training for churches and youth groups. Ted & Linde were married in 1985.