Delegates at Vision Conference 2016 | Margins will elect three new members of the Fellowship Council. Nominees are Adam Copenhaver, Jeff Patton, Doug Black, Jeff Martin, and Doug Courter.
The Fellowship Council is the board of directors of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, Inc. It is composed of 15 members elected from three regions; five from Region A, five from Region B, and five from Region C. (Click here to see each of the regions and who currently represents those areas.)
Nominated to represent Region A is Jeff Patton and Adam Copenhaver.
Jeff has been lead pastor at Norwalk, Calif., Grace Brethren Church, since 2008. He has a BA from Grace College, 1989, and is near completion of a Masters in Biblical Counseling from The Masters College. Jeff and Lisa have been married for 28 years and have three adult children. Jeff and Lisa’s home church is Peru, Ind., Grace Brethren Church. Jeff’s ministry at Norwalk focuses on teaching, counseling, and evangelism/church planting. Norwalk is currently attempting a church plant in the Boyle Heights section of downtown Los Angeles. To relax, Jeff loves history, tennis, is a huge foodie, and loves to travel all over beautiful California seeing the sites.
Adam is pastor of the Grace Brethren Church in Mabton,Wash. He holds a Ph.D. in New Testament from the University of Aberdeen and he moonlights in scholarly research and writing.
Nominated to represent Region B is Doug Black and Jeff Martin
Doug grew up in western Pennsylvania, graduated from Grace College (1996), and served as a Resident Director at the school for five years while pursuing his Masters Degree at Grace Seminary. He also was part of four Operation Barnabas teams, with CE National, as a student and leader. Currently, he is the lead pastor at Liberty Grace, a Grace Brethren congregation in Johnstown, Pa. (12 years). Serving as the District Missions chairman and a Regional Representative for Vision USA, he has a passion for seeing churches planted and revitalized. In the community, Doug serves the on the campus ministry board at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, the five-year academic planning team for the school district, and the local Fellowship of Christian Athletes huddle. He enjoys being a high school football coach and an avid outdoorsman for relaxation. Doug is husband of 19 years to Kaye and father of Allyson, Jonathan, and Madlyn.
Jeff is pastor of adult ministries at Grace Church in Powell, Ohio. He has been on staff there for the last 18 years, serving in a variety of positions as the church grew from a congregation meeting in a school to now having a campus with two worship services. He currently oversees men’s and women’s ministries, as well as ministries caring for the congregation and singles. His passions include discipling men and raising up next-generation leaders, as well as ministering to those who have gone through divorce. He has been married to his wife, Sherry, for 40 years and they have two married sons and two grandchildren. Prior to coming on staff at Grace, Jeff worked for Ashland Chemical for over 20 years in a variety of technical positions.
Jeff has ministered in a variety of ways with the Coordinating Team of the North Central Ohio District; leading pastors’ small groups, coordinating activities, working with the licensure and ordination committee to update process and procedures, and currently serving as vice-moderator.
Nominated to represent Region C is Douglas Courter
Doug was born outside of Toledo Ohio, and grew up with two older sisters and a younger brother. He received his B. A. degree from the University of Toledo and his Th.M from Grace Theological Seminary. He is currently finishing up his D. Min. degree from Grace. Doug is married to Barb and they have four children: Karen, David, Kellyann, and Benjamin and two grand-children, Josiah and Harper. Doug served as an associate pastor for 14 years and a senior pastor for 14 years prior to joining the staff atValley Grace Brethren Church, Hagerstown, Md., in 2011 as their administrative pastor. Doug has many interests, but travel, golf, and computers are his main hobbies. He also teaches at Hagerstown Community College. He has held, and continues to hold, many national and district positions. He is currently the National Bible Quiz Director for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches.
Why only one name from Region C? Districts have the privilege of nominating names to the Fellowship Council. This year, Doug Courter was the only person nominated by the Mid-Atlantic District. The FGBC nominating committee can add names but they felt that there was sufficient representation from other districts in Region C.
Vision Conference 2016 | Margins is the national conference of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches. It will be held at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel on July 22-25. Click here for more information about the conference, including registration, housing, and program.