2023 Elder Nominees

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What is a Bethel Elder?

Wisdom and unity, leadership and humility – the elders of Bethel strive to lead and serve with love.  Our Shepherding Elders care for the ongoing and emergent needs of the body. Our Trustee Elders prayerfully set the vision of the church and oversee its governance. Elders at Bethel are appointed for a three year term. Bethel believes aspiring to this office is a noble task (1 Timothy 3) and involve the body in the vetting and affirmation of this group each year.

We are thankful for the men who have been nominated for these important roles. Each nominee has been interviewed and examined by the Elders of Bethel Bible Church. Our church-wide affirmation of the nominees will be Sunday, July 30, 2023.

Downtown Campus Nominees


Ken Kummerfeld*

Downtown Elder Nominee

Ken and his wife Sue have three children and two grandchildren, and have been members of Bethel since 1984. Ken is a cardiologist in Tyler and loves to serve and love God’s people. Ken has served as an elder for the past six years. Bethel has always been a vital source of community for Ken and his family. Ken is an avid reader, and enjoys playing cello periodically with the worship team. In the last year, the Lord has taught Ken to relinquish our pseudo control and relax in God’s sovereignty.

Doug McSwane

Downtown Elder Nominee

Doug and his wife Mo moved to Tyler in 1980 where he joined the Potter Minton law firm. He practiced law with the same firm for 40 years. Doug and Mo were one of the founding couples of Bethel Bible Church. Bethel has a special place in their hearts and lives. He has served as an elder and deacon over the years and has made the Downtown church their home. Mo is very involved in Women’s ministry both in Bethel and Bible Study Fellowship. They have also been heavily involved in Mental Health reform. They were one of the Founders of the conference on mental health known as Peace of Mind. They have also led Young Life clubs and their son, Ryan, is working to reach college students through Young Life Manhattan. He is looking forward to returning to the Elder Board. He accepted the Lord as his Saviour at an early age but began to focus on what God has designed him to when in High School.

Nathan Akinson

downtown Elder Nominee

Nathan has been married to his wife, Sunni, for longer than he hasn’t. They have three children, Ethan, Seth, and Georgia. Nathan works in IT, and when he’s not coding for Baylor University, Nathan spends most of his time with his family. His hobbies include: being a marching band/drumline fanboy, timing at middle school swim meets, and training for the occasional hometown fun run. He likes to travel, snow ski, mountain bike, trail run, and take long walks with Sunni and sometimes his dog.

Henderson Campus Nominees

Mike Adams*

Henderson Elder Nominee

Mike has been married to a great lady, Pam, for 44 years. They have three adult children – Michael Anne married to Price and are blessed with two sons, Parks and Cannon; Travis married to Mandi and are blessed with three sons, Barrett, John Brooks, and Westley; and Austin married to Neesh and are blessed with two sons, Noah and Hunter. They have been part of Bethel Henderson since its formation in 2020. In the last year, the Lord has taught Mike about His high regard for humility.

Neil Foster

Henderson Elder Nominee

Neil and his wife were both raised in the Henderson, TX area.  He was in the Marine Corps for 10 years.  He has been back in Henderson for the last 10 years.  They have been at Bethel in Henderson since March 2022.  He is retired from the Marine Corps. and works at Eastex Telephone in Henderson, TX. His wife stays really busy with farm animals, home school kids, teaching silver sneakers at Pro Fitness in Henderson, TX, and she is the Administrative Coordinator for Bethel Bible in Henderson. He likes to spend as much time with my family and his Life Group as possible. He likes to practice shooting and  go to the gym three or four days per week (both of those hobbies are mainly done with the guys in my Life Group) Neil serves as part of the security team pretty regularly.  When his schedule permits, he volunteers to help with the youth group.  His wife and daughters volunteer to serve in the nursery a couple times per month.  She also cooks for the church or goes to get food quite a bit.

Kalon Reynolds*

Henderson Elder Nominee

Kalon and his wife Jennifer have been married since 2012. They have a daughter, Mary-Faith, and a son, Judah. They have been members of Bethel Bible-Henderson since its inception. Kalon was born and raised in Henderson, and Jennifer was willing to move from her hometown of Lufkin! God placed a call of ministry on Kalon’s life at a young age, and it wasn’t until 2013 that he completely understood that God meant to use him in many different ways. Kalon and Jenn have a great desire to follow the Lord’s guidance in every way. God has used Bethel Bible in many ways in their lives and the lives of their children. God allows Kalon to follow his calling in many different passions: worship, teaching, football and BBQ!

Dyllon Sandford

Henderson Elder Nominee

Dyllon grew up in Orange, Texas, and later attended Texas A&M University where he met his wife, Bekah. After living in Midland and Junction, Dyllon and Bekah have made it back to East Texas and are loving Henderson. Dyllon is a PA at Henderson Family Medicine and Bekah is now a stay-at-home mom to their son, Turner. They visited Bethel Bible shortly after moving to Henderson and have found an amazing community there. They enjoy serving as worship leaders on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings and have loved being involved with the Life Group leadership team. In Dyllon’s free time, you can find him working in the garden, playing his guitar, or hunting with his family.

Hope Campus Nominees


Jerry Putman*

Hope Elder Nominee

Jerry has attended Bethel Bible Church since 1988. He went to medical school at The University of Texas Medical School in Galveston and did his training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Baylor Medical Center in Houston. Jerry recently retired from practicing for over 30 years. He and his wife Marty lived in Sierra Leone, West Africa from 2004 to 2008 as medical missionaries. He continued to do surgeries for several weeks per year in several African countries until 2018, serving as the Women’s Health Consultant for Mercy Ships from 2014 through 2018. Jerry completed his MA/BS from Dallas Theological Seminary in 2017 and was ordained by Bethel Bible Church that year. The following year he completed a one-year chaplaincy training program at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Hospital. Marty and Jerry have three married children. They enjoy spending their free time at a tiny cabin in the woods near Tyler where they enjoy the deer, birds and learning to catch bass.

Samuel Hudson*

Hope elder nominee

Samuel and his wife Candace have been married for over 30 years. Born and raised in Mississippi, they uprooted to Texas and had three beautiful children. They also are the proud grandparents of one. Unity, multi-culturalism, diversity, and a passion for Christ’s mission to the nation were a few key factors that led their hearts to Bethel Hope. In 2019, by divine guidance, Samuel and Candace became official members of Bethel Hope. Candace is a Registered Nurse, author, and poet for Christ. She is a member of Bible Study Fellowship and loves teaching the word of God to children. Before attending Bethel, he served as a deacon for over 25 years, he was the chairman on the deacon board, and was a Praise and Worship leader for many years. Samuel served in the US Army as a Commission Officer and now currently works for the United States Postal Service. He is also a diehard Raiders fan! Samuel and Candace are excited about the purpose and vision at Bethel Hope and look forward to being a part of the leadership team.

Nate Hill

Hope Elder Nominee

Nate and his Lakenya have been married for 19 1/2 years with their children Nakayla, Kaniyah, Nathan, and Lily, who have called East Texas their home for the last 11 years. Nate is a former Youth Pastor of New Holy Trinity Church in Compton, CA, and studied Christian Leadership at Southwestern Christian University in Bethany, OK. Nate currently serves as the Associate Regional Director for Young Life in Northeast Texas and gives leadership to communities from South Oak Cliff – Longview, TX. Nate Hill is a cultural intelligence facilitator and youth advocate who values service, unity, and empowering communities. Nate’s life mission is to equip, impact, and influence the next generation.

South Campus Nominees


Ryan Locker

South elder nominee

Ryan and his wife, Mandy, have been married for nearly 17 years, and have been members of Bethel since 2017, shortly after they moved to Tyler. Ryan and Mandy met in law school; Ryan now serves the community by prosecuting criminals in federal court, but Mandy is now a “recovering attorney” and serves their family at home. They have three children: Jackson, Reagan, and Madison. Ryan and Mandy both serve in Bethel Kids Ministry teaching the next generation about God’s truth and love. They both believe that serving others through the church is a privilege and are grateful for the opportunities Bethel has provided to serve and the scripturally intensive teaching that is such an essential component of the church’s identity.

Chuck Colley*

South Elder Nominee

Chuck is a retired home builder. He has been married to his high school sweetheart, Inez, for over 50 years. They have three children — Jennifer, Jana, and Jared, who are all married and have children of their own. Chuck and Inez have been attending Bethel since it was started in 1982. Chuck has been involved in leadership at Bethel from the beginning. Except for his relationship with Jesus Christ and his wife, nothing else has had a greater impact on his life than Bethel and the relationships he has developed here. This is what Chuck loves about Bethel — the relationships, the support, and the grace he has received over the years.

Jason Ellis*

South Elder Nominee

Jason has been married to his wife Andrea for 13 years. They have two children, Natalie and Audrey. Jason is a judge for Smith County. Andrea practices Family Medicine at Christus. They have attended Bethel for 12 years. This pas year, Jason has been struck by the sovereignty of God in all things.

Jacob Putman*

South elder nominee

Jacob and his wife, Rachael, have been at Bethel for six years. Jacob grew up at Bethel, and became a member after he and Rachael moved back to Tyler. What they love about Bethel is the honest and sincere people they have connected with. Through Sunday mornings, Life Groups, and Bible studies, Jacob and Rachael are surrounded by Christians who are actively trying to live out the love of Christ. They are excited to attend, serve, and raise their children at Bethel.

Paul Tanner*

South Elder Nominee

Paul and his wife Linda have been married for over 45 years and have two adult children. They have been career missionaries, having lived in the Philippines, Singapore, and Amman, Jordan. Paul holds a ThM and Ph.D. in Hebrew and Old Testament studies and has served as a professor at five different seminaries worldwide. He is the Vice President and Academic Dean for the Arab Center for Biblical Studies and writes curriculum material for use in the Arab world. Linda has a master’s in pastoral counseling and enjoys working with and helping women. Paul and Linda’s association with Bethel began in the late 1980s as missionaries of Bethel, and they have been living in the Tyler area for over 17 years.

Steve Reason*

South elder nominee

Stephen and his wife Jamie have been married since June 1980. Stephen and Jamie have three adult children, Sarah, Andrea, whom is married to Nathaniel Claytor, and Benjamin. Andrea and Nathaniel have blessed Stephen and Jamie with two granddaughters. Stephen’s family began attending Bethel Bible Church in October 1988. Stephen and his five siblings were brought up by Christian parents. In May 1973, Stephen surrendered his life to Jesus Christ and has been following Him ever since. Professionally, Stephen retired from State Farm Insurance in March 2014 after serving over 28 years. Besides serving on the Shepherding Elder board, Stephen is actively engaged in two weekly Bible studies, a life group and serves as a greeter along with Jamie on the South campus. Stephen is constantly growing in his faith and knowledge of the Lord Jesus. Over the past year the Spirit has impressed upon Stephen the sovereignty of God and His great, great love for those whom He called before the foundation of the world. Stephen longs for the return of Jesus and that great resurrection day. In the meantime, until that day comes, Stephen desires to share the good news of Christ Jesus and to build up others in the faith.

Whitehouse Campus Nominees


steve Hudson*

Whitehouse Elder Nominee

Steve has been married to his best friend, Karen, since 1978. They have two grown children, Yvonne and Eric, and two teenage grandchildren, Javan and Eden. Steve and Karen have been a part of Bethel since 2011 and part of the Whitehouse Campus since its inception in 2014. Bethel Whitehouse has become home to he and Karen, and the people are like family. Steve is humbled to serve as a elder of Bethel.

Paul Kiel*

Whitehouse elder nominee

Paul has been married to his wife, Patty, since 1974. They have three married children, and eight wonderful grandchildren. Paul has worked in Criminal Justice for over 40 years —and is currently a Parole Commissioner in Palestine. Patty is a retired teacher turned full-time Marme. They have been blessed to be part of Bethel from the beginning, and it continues to be exciting to see all that God has done in and through His church!