pastors and elders intro

  • pastor mike burt

    Michael Burt has been Lead Pastor for Grace Bible since 1985. He is a graduate of Calvary Bible College in Kansas City, MO with a Bachelors degree in Biblical Languages, a Master's degree in Christian Ministry, and many graduate courses in Counseling. Mike and his wife, Mary, have been married for over 30 years, they have three grown children and four grandchildren. 

  • pastor andy kline

    Andy and his wife, Fonda, met at New Tribes Mission in 1980 and got married 2 years later. They have 3 grown children and enjoy spending time with their grandchildren. 

    "You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus"  2 Timothy 2

    Lewis Sperry Chafer (Founder & first president of Dallas Theological Seminary) defines and describes biblical grace in this way: “The word grace discloses not only the boundless goodness and kindness of God toward man, but reaches far beyond and indicates the supreme motive which actuated God in the creation, preservation, and consummation of the universe. 

    What greater fact could be expressed by one word? The meaning of the word grace, as used in the NT, is not unlike its meaning as employed in common speech—but for one important exception, namely, in the Bible the word often represents that which is limitless, since it represents realities which are infinite and eternal. It is nothing less than the unlimited love of God expressing itself in measureless grace.

    2 Timothy 2:2-3 lists three vital principles for grace-based discipleship:

    1.    The grace of Christ Jesus is our source of strength for discipleship.

    2.    Grace-sourced discipleship is exponential. 

    3.    Grace-sourced discipleship is difficult.

    The limitless goodness and kindness of God, lavished on us through Jesus, is our motivation and our strength. Grace always moves us toward God and others. Grace is our message and our means. “Growing in Christ to grow others” is more than a catchy phrase. It is a biblical mandate for every child of God and it cannot be accomplished in isolation or in our own strength. 

    How have you seen practical growth in your life that is rooted in the grace of Christ Jesus?

    How can we help you disciple others in the grace of Christ Jesus?

    Andy Kline

  • pastor conrad hake

    Conrad Hake has served at Grace since 2002. He and Debi have been married 15 years and have 3 children, Josiah, MacKenzie, and Oliver.

    "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness" James 1:2-4

    We often view the circumstances that break us, challenge us, and lead us to a place of dependence on Christ as the primary tool God uses to mature us and refine our character. Thankfully, those can be few and far between. What if we look at our relationships as means of suffering and refinement? Some may intend physical or verbal harm. Those are times of obvious suffering, but what about our daily interactions with people? We want people to like us. 

    Conflict makes us uncomfortable. We think we deserve to be treated a certain way. Those ideals are not wrong, but what happens when we are treated unfairly, overlooked, taken for granted, or have to be around someone hard to get along with? I like to convince myself that I'm in the right, mope about being misunderstood, and pick apart what that person is doing wrong. I become selfishly absorbed in the unfairness of it all.

    Much of what God desires for us would be impossible if we achieved a comfortable life with people that are always nice to us. Somewhere along the way I believe that I could be more like Jesus if life were easier. That’s true: MY ability to be like Jesus is only possible when it's easy. But God uses trying times and people in our lives to shape us like Christ. Jesus set aside His rights to serve, love, and die for us. What rights or expectations do I need to set aside so that God can shape me through difficult people? Who has God given me to love today?

    Conrad Hake

  • pastor denis garijo

    Denis Garijo joined our pastor team in March 2016. He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge in discipleship and small groups from his home church in Mogi das Cruzes, SP, Brazil. He and Erika have been married 10 years and have 1 child, Tomás.

     “… Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain” Psalms 127.1,2

    Psalms 127 is one of the songs that the Jews used to sing during their travel to Jerusalem. It is a song that should give us a sense of thankfulness and surrender.

    Something to consider: 

          Build the house… A lot of times we take the responsibility to ourselves to provide a better school for our kids, a better car or a better house and all because we want to build a good structure for our family. But we need to consider the sovereignty of God. At the end, God is the One who builds, sustain and care for the house, we need to trust in Him. 

          We live in a crazy world, you turn the news on and start to see terrible and violent stories. Some people start to live in fear because of these situations. I remember when I was in the Amazon area in Brazil, and I asked my wife to stay home that night, because I was fearing for the security of my family. It was a Sunday night and my wife called me to say that she wanted to go to church, so I started praying and asking God to keep my family safe, after all, I was 2.300 miles from home. 

    At the moment that I was praying and talking, since I was not there in order to protect my family, this verse came to my mind “…Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain”. So I rested in Him. At that moment I understood that it is not about me, but about HIM, I could have the C.I.A. taking care of my family, but at end of the day, ONLY GOD can save and care for my family.  

    During our time here in this world, we are like in a pilgrimage towards the Holy Land, our Celestial Home. In these times we need to remember Psalms like this, because they will help us remember who GOD is and who we are, completely dependent on Him.

    Denis Garijo

  • elder randy raw

    Randy and his wife Kathy, have attended Grace for the past 12 years and they have three married children. He is currently the chair of our elders.

    If you have attended Grace for any length of time you have heard us say that we are “Growing in Christ to Grow Others”. The most important relationship is that of our relationship to Jesus Christ as Savior. 

    I want to focus on the other important relationship, Others. In Genesis 1:27, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” God created all of mankind in His own image. Every time you look at anyone you are looking at the image of God. Have you ever thought you were looking at God when you looked at your spouse? How about your children? Your neighbor? How about your boss? That person with whom you just had a disagreement? 

    Those are some pretty tough questions, but there are a few that are just as difficult, maybe harder.

    If you were the only representative of God that someone met, would they want to know more about your Heavenly Father? 

    Do you represent His values or do you substitute your own? 

    Galatians 5:22 tells us “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” How do you display the fruit of the Spirit?

    One way that we can demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit in our interactions with others is to demonstrate God’s love toward them. As you go throughout this week, ask yourself the question, “How am I loving others?” 

    When others look at you, do they see God and His attributes, or do they see something else?

  • elder Brad Russell

    Brad and Ann Russell have lived in Columbia for the last 28 years, and have attended Grace Bible Church 25 of those years. They have 5 children, all who now live out of state. Brad is an elder, and has served in that capacity for most of those years. He has taught classes, and poured himself into encouraging and educating throughout that time.

    Though there are many facets of Christianity that capture my attention, an area that has been at the forefront of my thoughts over the past several years is that of what God calls men to do and to be. I have had the opportunity to coach young men most of my adult life, and to teach young men and older men alike.

    Being a Biblical man can be a hard thing to do in our culture. I have had the benefit of 9 or 10 men over the past 50 years who have sacrificed time and expense to mentor me. They loved me when I didn’t have much of anything to give back, except attention, or hard work. They have taught me about being humble before God, they have encouraged me to study, to meditate on, and to memorize Bible verses. 

    Emery and Jim were farmers and employers of mine, they taught me the value of hard work, but also that Scripture calls men to honor God through their work (Col 3:23-24). Donnie, with the help of his wife, Dorothy, taught me how to entertain and set an example for younger believers (Heb. 10:23-24). Dan taught me to teach with conviction the truths of God’s Word (2 Tim. 3:16-17, and Heb 4:12). Allen and Bob, along with their wives emphasized the Truth in God’s Word, and how it is reliable (Psalms 119:160). Ben focused on the perfection of the Scriptures, and how they could be applied throughout time, much like Jesus, the Words are the same yesterday, today, yes and forever (Heb 13:8). Dave and Floyd pushed me to be purposeful, to be consistent, and to be a self-starter, not becoming dependent on others to grow in my spiritual life, and to take up my talents and gifts and pass truth along (Mat. 28:19-20, 2 Tim. 2:2).

    Men in our culture often get mixed messages as to how they are to act, and what they should be doing with their lives. From my Grandfathers down through my Father, the men I have mentioned, and the way I understand Scripture, my role as a Biblical husband is to be a provider and protector of my wife, and to love her in a sacrificial way (Eph. 5:25). With my children, I wanted them to understand authority, humbleness, and the foundational truth Scripture provides, while at the same time, being sacrificial myself to provide for their welfare (Psalms 127: 1-4). 

  • elder brett barrier

  • elder Glenn Davis

    Glenn have been attending Grace Bible for 19 years since coming to Columbia. His wife (Kathy) and him were attracted by the solid biblical teaching and the warm fellowship they enjoyed. Shortly after their arrival here they completed a long adoption process that brought them their daughter, Janna, and their son Benjamin two years later. Kathy passed away causing them—of course—indescribable sadness and loss, but Kathy established a wonderful foundation of love and instruction for their kids. Glenn says he is forever grateful that the Lord brought them together.

    Grace Bible has emphasized discipleship over the last few years. This should not be a surprise—discipleship leaps off the pages of scripture in the Old and New Testaments. Jesus was the Great Discipler but Paul the Apostle taught more than any other author on the topic. Paul did not describe techniques, but spoke eloquently about the “heart” of the disciple.

    "Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us. For you recall, brethren, our labor and hardship, how working night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you, we proclaimed to you the gospel of God" I Thessalonians 2: 8-9

    For Paul, the people he ministered to were not projects but like his own children to whom he imparted the greatest gifts he possessed—the Gospel and his own life. He worked hard on their behalf because he loved them. Let’s pray for the Lord of the Harvest to give us a heart for His people!

  • elder jim noble

  • elder jim peregoy

    Jim and Angie have attended Grace Bible for over 30 years. They started attending Grace while they were going to Columbia College. They have three daughters who have grown up, come to faith in Christ, been baptized and have been impacted spiritually by their time at Grace, Rachel, Ashley and Caitlin. They are thankful for all the Pastors, Sunday school teachers, youth leaders and others who have invested in and showed Christ’s love to their family. 

    “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another" John 13:35

    This is a simple yet challenging verse that instructs us to love one another. And not only are we to love one another but we are to be known as followers of Christ by how we love, interact with and treat one other. As we all know, this can be difficult at times. We look to Christ for strength and as our example. As Paul shares with us in Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” A question we should ask of ourselves is how are we showing and sharing Christ’s love?

  • elder mark jones

  • elder Rob Murray

    Rob Murray and his wife Debbie, together with children Emily and Caleb, have attended Grace Bible Church since 1994. 

    Debbie and I first came to Grace Bible Church (GBC) in 1994 at the invitation of some dear friends. I had grown up Catholic but had never really learned that knowing of God meant something different than knowing God. I became a Christian through an organization called Young Life while in high school and began knowing God through a personal relationship with Him. While at GBC we have been challenged to immerse ourselves in God’s word; Grace actually puts a very strong emphasis on the Bible (hence the incorporation in the name) and we learn and study the Bible as it relates to both our faith and our everyday lives.

    Of particular importance to me these days as Deb and I begin to be “empty nesters” is the concept of intentionality. Scripture is filled with admonishing us to be intentional in how we live, speak and conduct our lives. As we look around we see the world and society fitting more and more into an apathetic pattern. I believe God calls us to be proactive – to live life in a way that is worthy of the calling with which we have been called. This means being an example to those around us – a witness of what Christ has paid for (and done through) us. This provides us with both assurance and (as it’s written in I Cor 1:18) power to conduct ourselves. This also means that we put a higher emphasis on the Bible (God’s inspired word) than what world calls it (another literary work).

    One thing that I’m continually impressed by at Grace is the longevity of relationships and the quality of the people that attend there. Many churches these days almost have a front door and a back door for people coming and going. Grace Bible, on the other hand, has many people that have attended for a long time. This gives the GBC family a sense of experience, wisdom and longevity that many churches do not (and will not) ever attain.

    My prayer is that Grace Bible will be a positive influence of the Gospel to our city, our society and our world while remaining a safe haven for its members.   

    My prayer for those attending our church is that they have rock solid teaching from leadership, a safe place to worship and learn, and to feel a part of a giant family that is committed to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.    

  • elder scott poock