We understand the Bible to use the terms “pastor,” “elder,” and “bishop” interchangeably. Scripture is clear that it is the job of elders to lead, shepherd, and teach the church and to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. Qualifications for elders can be found in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9.
Justin was born in Newport News, VA, but grew up in Asheville, NC. He graduated from T. C. Roberson High School in 2001 and went on to Furman University, where he got a B.A. in Business Administration and played football for four years. Though he had been a Christian from a fairly young age, the Lord brought Justin to a fresh appreciation and understanding of his gospel and his word beginning in 2007. For the better part of three years, Justin served as a deacon and lay leader at Arden First Baptist Church. At the end of 2011, Justin moved to Washington, D. C. to begin the pastoral internship program at Capitol Hill Baptist Church. During that time, he met his wife, Michelle. They were married in December of 2012. He began studies at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2012 and continues to pursue the Master of Divinity degree. In 2013, Justin took a position as Mark Dever’s pastoral assistant at CHBC and served in that capacity until he and his family moved back to the Asheville/Hendersonville area. Justin has served as lead pastor of Covenant Baptist Church since it was constituted in August of 2015. He and Michelle have three children: Josiah, Noelle, and Titus.
Branton was born in Andrews, NC, but grew up in Bat Cave, NC where he was nurtured in the gospel for 20 years through Bat Cave Baptist Church and served as a Minister to Children and Youth. He is a graduate of North Henderson High School, Fruitland Baptist Bible College, North Greenville University, and Reformed Theological Seminary. He is nearing completion of the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. In addition to serving as a pastor for Covenant Baptist Church, Branton is a professor at Fruitland Baptist Bible College. He has taught NT Survey (on-campus), Gospels and Pauline Epistles (online and on-campus), and currently teaches Hermeneutics (online and on-campus). He has substitute taught many other subjects. Branton is a past Vice President of the Henderson County Ministerial Association and former Board Member for Blue Ridge Prison and Jail Ministries. Additionally, he actively serves the Carolina Baptist Association in various capacities and has served on the board of the Baptist State Convention of NC. Branton has been married to Jessica since July, 2005 and the Lord has blessed them with four children, Abigail and Isabel (twins), Ruth, and Luke.
Ron was born in Miami, FL, but grew up Saluda, NC during his teenage years. He attended Polk County High School and graduated from Isothermal Community College. He joined the United States Marine Corps in 2000 and served at duty stations located in Okinawa, Japan and San Diego, CA. During his military service, Ron met his wife Leisha, and married in January of 2004. He and his wife then moved to Poinciana, FL where the Lord saved both them while they attended Poinciana First Baptist Church. Ron and his family then relocated to Saluda, NC as he pursued a career in law enforcement. He served Saluda Baptist Church as a Sunday school teacher for youth and announced his call to the ministry in 2011. He later went on to study at Fruitland Baptist Bible College where his passion for the gospel and zeal for evangelism continued to grow. Ron has worked in law enforcement since 2011 and currently serves as a pastor for Covenant Baptist Church. Ron and Leisha have two children, Kadin and Amaya; and are presently providing foster care for a third child, Alex.
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