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 a pastor of Covenant Baptist Church since May of 2015. He and Michelle have two children, Josiah and Noelle.
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 currently pursuing 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 currently teaches NT201 (Gospels) and NT202 (Pauline Epistles) online and substitute teaches regularly for a number of other professors and courses on the main campus. Branton also serves as Vice President of the Henderson County Ministerial Association and is a 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.
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