South Elders

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our elders

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. Bethel believes aspiring to this office is a noble task (1 Timothy 3) and involve the body in the vetting and election of this group each year.

Jayson Chandler

South Elder

Jayson and his wife, Bev, have been members of Bethel since 2004. They have two children — Taylor and Natalie. Jayson assists the music pastor in leading the audio/visual team and Bev teaches a girls Sunday School class. For Jayson and Bev, Bethel Bible Church is home. They feel Bethel is a place of support, encouragement, and most importantly, Biblical teaching.

Chuck Colley

South Elder

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

Jason has been married to his wife Andrea for 12 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 11 years. This pas year, Jason has been struck by the sovereignty of God in all things.

Don Gaynier

South Elder

Don and his wife Tracey have been connected with Bethel since 1986. Married in 1981, they are blessed with three adult children who grew up at Bethel, but are currently relocated around the country! They have a growing tribe of grandchildren that they love dearly! Don and Tracey love sharing their faith in word and deed. Both are glad to be in a community of believers who love the Lord and each other. They greatly enjoy pouring into lives and watching them grow in their relationship with God through His word.

Vance Hendrix

South Elder

Vance Hendrix has been married to his wife, Jenifer, since 1997. They have two children, Caden and Marin. Professionally, Vance is an estate planning and probate attorney serving Tyler. Since 2014, Vance has been a member of the Deacon Board at Bethel South, serving as chair of the board for two of those years. Vance has taught middle school boys in the Student ministry, and he and Jenifer previously taught in the Bethel Kids ministry. Jenifer and Vance are thankful to have been a part of Bethel for several years where they have grown as believers and servants. Vance is excited about Bethel’s future and looks forward to continued service at Bethel.

Winfred Hodges

South Elder

Winfred married his college sweetheart, Carole, in 1982. Winfred and Carole have attended Bethel Bible Church since 2006. They enjoy spending time with their family, especially their two grand-daughters. Winfred is the CEO of Hodges Benefits, LLC in Tyler, and is the 5th Generation from Palestine, Texas. He enjoys upland game hunting and clay target shooting with his son, Taylor. Winfred is enthusiastic and passionate about meeting new people and connecting them to the body of Christ. He enjoys serving alongside strong Bethel leaders who are sold out for Christ.

Kim Juillerat

South Elder

God has blessed Kim with a Godly wife, Julia, three grown children who know and love Him, and six grandchildren. Kim was born in New York but got to Texas and Bethel Bible Church as fast as he could in 1998. God has truly blessed he and his family in their time at Bethel. “From Him the whole body joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”

Robb Miller

South Elder

Robb was born and raised in California. However, owing to a career in the Military and the airlines, he has called many places home. Robb and Shirley have been married 39 years and have two children, Shelly and Ryan. Upon retirement, Robb and Shirley moved to Flint and started attending and became members of Bethel South. Robb’s passion is teaching Scripture and he has a special place in his heart for the people at the churches Bethel supports in Sierra Leone. In his spare time, Robb enjoys being a Grandpa and photography.

Jacob Putman

South Elder

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.

Steve Reason

South Elder

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.

Lee Ridenour

South Elder

Lee and his truly better half, Donna, moved to Tyler as a young doctor and wife with a one-year-old, Jonathan In 1981, and were involved in starting Bethel in 1982. Lee still works as an internist (a doctor for adults) at Christus Trinity Mother Francis and has the privilege of taking care of some of the same patients for over 35 years in both his office and at the hospital. Lee loves the Lord and being a disciple of Jesus and a discipler of men. He loves being a doctor, a husband to probably the best wife in the world for 40 years, a father of four (Jonathan, Jeff, Jenny, and Jeremy) and a Pawpaw to 11 grandkids. Lee loves missions and being a world Christian, and has had the privilege of traveling all over the world!  Lee feels it is a joy to see all the changes that God has done at Bethel. The Ridenour’s have stayed in the boat of the SS Bethel through tough times but also years—as it has been recently—of wonder and grace!

Johnny Russell

South Elder

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 Associate Regional Director of the Northeast Texas Region. 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.

Paul Tanner

South Elder

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.

Jim Tarter

South Elder

Jim and his wife, Ann, were married as they finished their degrees at Oklahoma State University. After military service for Jim and graduate degrees for both of them, they moved to Texas. Jim and Ann have two children, Allison and James, who have provided them with three grandchildren to love. Jim has been an Administrator and Professor in the College of Business and Technology at the University of Texas at Tyler since 1995. They have been a part of Bethel since 1996. What they love most about Bethel is being a part of helping implement its God-given vision with so many great fellow believers who lead and serve the Lord Jesus Christ.

Ross Strader

Senior Pastor / Elder

Ross and his family love being a part of Bethel Bible Church. Ross has served as senior pastor of Bethel since they moved to Tyler in 2006. He and his wife, Leslie, grew up in the same West Texas town but didn’t meet until a “blind date” in graduate school. They’ve been married since 1995 and still look forward to their weekly breakfast date together. Ross graduated from Hardin-Simmons with a Masters in Family Psychology and, after serving 10 years on Young Life staff, attended Dallas Theological Seminary where he earned his Masters of Theology in Pastoral Leadership. Ross is currently working on his Doctor of Ministry in Biblical Exegesis from Knox Theological Seminary. He and Leslie have three kids – Maggie, Jay, and Katherine. Ross loves pie, Apple computers, good coffee, talking theology and spending time doing just about anything with his family.