2024 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.

Downtown Campus Nominees


Dan George*

Downtown Elder Nominee

Dan grew up in Baytown, Texas and met his wife, Susan, at the University of Texas at Austin. They have been married since 1985. With God’s help, they have raised three outstanding children: Ben, Caroline, and Libby. Dan is in the Oil and Gas business and has been a member of Bethel since 2008. Bethel is a special place for Dan and he is honored to serve in any way he can. Dan enjoys anything to do with the outdoors, growing plumeria and spending time with his family and animals.

Henderson Campus Nominees

Judson Knight*

Henderson Elder Nominee

Judson and his wife, the incomparable Sarah, were both raised in Henderson and found themselves post college back in their hometown. They were married in 2014 and have two daughters: Ella Bess and Anna. Judson was raised by God-loving parents and accepted Christ at a young age. In August 2019, he and Sarah began fervently praying about joining the Henderson Launch Team. After many conversations, they made the leap of faith to walk alongside Bethel Bible Henderson. He has been blessed in the few short months by living in biblical community. Any opportunity to serve the Bride has drawn him closer to the Father and he he is excited and encouraged about the path laid before him.

Jackson Toon

Henderson Elder Nominee

Jackson has been a member of Bethel Henderson for about a year. He and his wife Jordan have two daughters, Sage and Sloane. Jackson works for Weatherford International Oil & Gas. He enjoys spending time with his family, reading, working out, fishing, and traveling with his family. Jackson and Jordan are very passionate about discipleship. 

Hope Campus Nominees


Rick Rogers*

Hope Elder Nominee

Rick met Jesus at a young age and accepted Him as savior between six and 16 years of age (happy to explain, just ask). He and his wife Jane have been married for 40+ mostly wonderful years. They moved to Tyler from training in Dallas and after working in a hospital in Benin, W Africa. They have five great kids, a daughter-in-law and son-in-law, and two amazing grandsons. Their family is scattered all over the place. Rick and Jane have been members of Bethel since 1984, but have moved north to Bethel Hope, where they believe God has called them. They love traveling and hiking. Rick is a pediatrician; Jane is a retired nurse/homemaker. They are both involved in missions: Living Alternatives, Young Life Africa and Mentoring Alliance. They love the fellowship at Hope and are thankful to be a part of this body. Rick has served as an elder at Bethel South and is thankful to be serving again as a Shepherding Elder at Bethel Hope.

South Campus Nominees


Jason Chandler*

South elder nominee

Jayson and his wife, Bev, have been members of Bethel since 2004. They have two adult children – Taylor and Natalie.  Jayson has served in various capacities at Bethel and was a deacon prior to serving as an elder. Bev has faithfully served in youth specifically with the high school girls since 2007.  For Jayson and Bev, Bethel Bible Church is home. They feel Bethel is a place of support, encouragement, and most importantly, Biblical teaching.

Taylor Heaton Student Ministry Director- South

Taylor Heaton

South Elder Nominee

Taylor and his wife Olivia have been married for 13 years. They have three children, Brandt, Emilie and Collin. Taylor is an attorney for Smith County. He has been a member at Bethel since 2008 and serves with the high school students in the South Student Ministry. He is blessed to serve in the student ministry and read through the Bible with the students on Sunday mornings. He is constantly learning from the students and treasures the relationships and connections made.

Andy Lehr

South Elder Nominee

My wife, Allison, and I have been married 33 years and have two daughters, one son, and one granddaughter.  By God’s grace, Allison and I both became followers of Jesus Christ as children and have both benefitted immeasurably in our lives from the care of Christian homes and biblically faithful churches.  We joined the Bethel south campus in the spring of 2018. Both of us have been blessed in our walk  by the teaching, fellowship, and encouragement of the pastoral staff, elders, and many brothers and sisters in Christ at Bethel.  I am humbled to be considered as an  elder and by the Lord’s enabling and provision, I look forward to serving in this role.

John Murphy

South elder nominee

John grew up in Tyler and came to Christ in high school at Marvin Methodist Church. It was then off to Texas A&M and a degree in Landscape Architecture. He married the amazing Elizabeth Cartwright in 1990 and together they raised two baby girls on a ranch near Bastrop, TX before coming to Tyler in 2000. John had a 40 year career as a Landscape Architect and has volunteered in Scouting both in East Texas and at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. John and Elizabeth have been members at Bethel South for 7 years. John’s passions: Scripture, climbing mountains, cooking on the smoker and travel.

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.

Johnny Russell*

South elder nominee

Johnny has been married to his wife, Taylor, since December 2007. They have four children: Finley, Gideon, Canaan and Judah and they fill up the majority of their free time. Johnny has been on the Young Life staff since 1999 and serves as the Campaign Director for Young Life Texas. When Johnny and Taylor arrived in Tyler, they were going to ‘church shop.’ The first church they visited was Bethel and they’ve been here ever since. The theologically sound preaching, friendly atmosphere, and opportunities to serve have kept them from leaving. Johnny and Taylor feel they are blessed to get to be able to be the hands and feet of Jesus to a hurting world.