Downtown Deacons

New to Bethel

Find out where we are located, what we believe, how to get involved, how to stay connected and how to become a member.


Catch the Livestream of a Sunday worship service, or access the video sermon archive.


God’s Word says we are designed for community. At Bethel, we want to create opportunities for people to be known and to know others..


Giving financially is a personal way to worship. It’s convenient, immediate, and most importantly, SECURE.

Our Deacons

Deacons are the hands and feet of Jesus at Bethel. Whether it’s ensuring Sunday mornings run smoothly or reaching out to meet needs throughout the week, our deacons serve with open eyes and willing hearts. Bethel believes in the scriptural qualifications of deacons (1 Timothy 3) and involve the body in the vetting and election of this group each year.

Brian Barnett

Downtown Deacon

Brian was born in Tyler and spent his grade school years living farm life near Lindale.  He attended TJC before obtaining an MBA from UT Tyler.  A few years after school, he moved to Austin as a land appraiser, and that’s where he met his wife, Michelle.  They soon married, drove around the US in a motorhome for a couple of years, and moved to Tyler to start their family.  The Barnetts love living near downtown Tyler and are grateful to have Bethel Bible as their community hub. Fun Fact: Brian has been to a country that doesn’t exist.

dan Black

Downtown Deacon

Dan was born in West Texas, raised in Central Texas, and married his lovely wife Emma in East Texas. They have one child, Evelynn, and one more on the way! Both Dan and Emma serve with the Missions Committee, volunteer with the youth ministry, and are active with their Life Group. The preaching of the gospel and the centrality of scripture have grown and blessed their family beyond measure. He counts it a privilege to serve the church by helping set up and most importantly, keeping the coffee flowing.

Joe Carlyle

Downtown Deacon

43 years ago in July of 1980 Joe married his best friend, Debbie (Russell) Carlyle. Debbie and Joe quickly started expanding their family, having 3 children, Elizabeth Bolin born in August of 1981, Rebecca Ellspermann born in November of 1982, and Drew Carlyle born in May of 1984. All of the Carlyle kids were at Bethel from middle through high school. They have 6 incredible grandchildren now and spend countless hours entertaining and being entertained by them and sharing stories about how Jesus lived, died, and lives again just for them.  

Joe grew up in Troup (raised in the Methodist Church) and Debbie grew up in Fredericksburg (raised in the Catholic Church), however, they both came to know Christ as their Savior and Lord in the early 90’s after God revealed Himself to Joe and Debbie through the Holy Spirt and loving fiends. In 1989 Joe began building custom homes and doing renovations (Carlyle Homes) in Tyler and the surrounding areas and after 34 years he is still blessed to be able to continue this work today in partnership with his son, Drew. Joe has served his community over years as a volunteer firefighter, and Emt/Paramedic, as a city council person and Mayor, serving on many civic organizations in Troup, Tyler, and Smith county. In the home building industry joe was elected to serve as the president of the Tyler Area Builders Association in 1999 and later in 2014, served as the president or the Texas Association of Builders in Austin representing over 10,000 business serving the Texas housing industry.

After Bethel moved to the current location on South Broadway, Joe taught junior high boys Sunday school for 7 years and Debbie served in the nursery.  Some years later they both assisted teaching the 5th grade kids and often filled in for the preschool teachers when help was needed.

Joe and Debbie began attending the downtown campus soon after it opened and have been there for more than 10 years.

Dash Connell, Downtown Deacon, Bethel Bible Church, Tyler, TX

Dash Connell

Downtown Deacon

Dash Connell grew up in Katy but has called Tyler home since 2009. Dash married his wife, Shae, in 2006 and they have three sons: Mason, Emerson, and Elijah. As head coach of the men’s and women’s tennis teams at Tyler Junior College, their family mixes work with the ministry, intentionally developing relationships with their college athletes and showing them what a Christian family looks like in reality of highs and lows. God brought Dash and his family to Bethel in 2015 and they quickly plugged into children’s ministry, serving elementary students and living real life with their Bethel Life Group. Dash roots loudly for the Apaches, Aggies, and Astros!

Joshua DeGraffenried

Downtown Deacon

Josh DeGraffenried grew up in Kilgore, Texas, and has always had a love for the city and community life. He married his wife Sarah in 2013 and they are loving raising their three kiddos, Elizabeth, Luke, and Liam. Josh practices as a dentist here in Tyler and enjoys investing in his team to make it a great workplace culture. He loves seeing patients move towards health in their lives. In his spare time, you might find him traveling, reading, listening to podcasts, running, and hanging out with friends. He loves Drew Holcomb’s music, space rocket history, chocolate pie, and a quality capsule wardrobe. He mostly wants to create experiences where God is known in an everyday shared life.

Chris Foreman

Downtown Deacon

Chris and his wife, Darla, were married in August 2010. They have three children: Claire, Lucy and Charles. Chris and Darla have been members of Bethel Bible Church since 2011, and on any given Sunday, you might find Chris playing music and Darla working with the children. It is difficult to pinpoint what precisely drew them to Bethel, but God has undoubtedly used Bethel to impact Chris and his family — through the community of Bethel, serving and being served by the body, Life Groups, and the teaching of the Word. God has proved Himself faithful time and time again in his life, and it is his pleasure to serve as a deacon for His bride, which is the Church.

Sam Johnson

Downtown Deacon

Sam along with his wife Stephanie, have attended the Downtown campus since 2017. They were married in 2003 and have two children, Molly and Clive, who are both active in the student ministry. Sam came to know Christ at an early age and is still constantly amazed how God has shown Himself faithful in even the most minuscule details.  Sam designs and manufactures aerospace products and enjoys cooking, working out, and going to concerts.

Andrew Lindstrom

Downtown Deacon

Andrew has been in Tyler for 7 years. He is not married, and works for a local software company called Knackforge. He is involved in the Downtown worship team (keyboard) and also leads a weekly Friday morning Bible study at the Foundry. He enjoys playing music with a few different local bands and spends much of his time reading, playing music, and exercising.

Leigh Wade

Downtown Deacon

Leigh was born in 1950 and raised in Upstate New York. After a tour in the Marine Corps (1970-1073) he wound up in Texas working in commercial construction. During a long motorcycle trip he met Sally and they married in 1976 then began their family with three sons – Jon, Ben, and Morgan who are all married to loving wives. In 1986 he read the Bible and became a believer at 36. He has been a student of the Bible for 37 years now. Leigh and Sally are blessed with eight grandchildren. His lifetime verse is Ephesians 2:8-10.

Clay Nichols, Downtown Deacon, Bethel Bible Church, Tyler, TX

Clay Nichols

Downtown Deacon

Clay is married to his wonderful wife, Amber. They have one child, Coleman. Clay and Amber both grew up in East Texas and moved to Austin for four years, where they learned a lot about their faith and relationship with Christ and the church. Clay knew Bethel had solid doctrine and theology and seeing the pastoral staff teach, they knew they wanted to be part of Bethel. When he looks at Bethel he thinks of the word intentional. Clay and Amber feel blessed to be part of a church family and a church who loves on people.

Mark Odom

Downtown Deacon

Mark grew up in East Texas (Chapel Hill Bulldog class of 1985). He married his wife, Terri, in 1990 and they have been blessed with two incredible kids, Tanner and Erin, and one awesome daughter-in-law, Mackenzie. Terri and Mark both work in a family-owned small business that his dad started in Tyler in 1969. They have been attending Bethel since Arbor Bible merged with Bethel in 2011. Most Sundays you will find Mark in the back projecting lyrics and scripture on the screens during the worship service. Mark considers it a privilege to serve God and His church at Bethel. He also enjoys music, the lake, football and anything relating to his family.

James Van Dyke, Downtown Campus Deacon, Bethel Bible Church, Tyler TX

James Van Dyke

Downtown Deacon

James is originally from central Texas then attended and graduated from Texas A&M, where he met his wonderful wife, Anna. They have two great kids, Laurel and Vincent (Vin) who make life fun! When visiting Bethel Downtown, he immediately observed the genuine heart-set of a body of believers who seek Truth, acknowledge their brokenness and proclaim God’s provision through Christ’s perfect work. James and Anna have a heart for ministry with youth and young families.