The Leadership of Elim Fellowship is composed of its Officers, Ministry directors and Council of Elders. The officers are nominated by the Council of Elders and elected by the members of Elim Fellowship. The Ministry Directors are nominated by the President and approved by the Council of Elders. The Elders are appointed by the Council of Elders and affirmed by the members of Elim Fellowship annually. Any credential holder is considered a member of Elim Fellowship. The President gives visionary and spiritual leadership to the Fellowship and oversees the Ministry Directors and Officers as they work together to execute the approved direction of the Council of Elders. The heart of all Elim Fellowship Leaders is to seek spiritual care, guidance and encouragement for all Elim Members and to provide excellence in leadership for the organization.
CHRIS BALL is a graduate of Elim Bible Institute in Lima, NY and served as Senior Pastor at Lighthouse Community Fellowship in South Butler, NY from 1988 – 2014. He and his wife, Carol, watched the church grow from 35 to over 350 in Sunday morning attendance. He served for 17 years as the Syracuse Area Elim Representative. In May 2006 Chris was appointed General Secretary of Elim Fellowship and in December 2006 the COE appointed him as an Elder of the Fellowship. In 2015, Chris Ball became the new President of Elim Fellowship and serves in that role today.
Because of his heart for leadership, Chris has been instrumental in facilitating conferences here in the Central New York region for such leaders as John Maxwell, Bill Hybels, and Jack Hayford. He and his wife have ministered together in marriage retreats and leadership retreats in both the US and around the world in such places as Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Romania, and the Czech Republic. Chris has a tremendous love for pastors and their ministries and endeavors to be a resource that encourages leaders in the body of Christ to become all they can be in the will of God. Chris and Carol have 3 children who are all faithfully serving the Lord. To read more about Chris, follow this link.
TOM BRAZELL began his association with the Fellowship in 1978. Since then he pioneered and pastored Love Joy Gospel Church in Buffalo, NY and served as a missionary in Zaire from 1985 to 1989. After returning from Africa, he became pastor of Community Gospel Church in Pasadena, MD. Tom filled the position of Director of the World Missions Department of Elim Fellowship from 1996 to 2001 and has returned to fill that role again under the name International Ministries, and now Global Ministries. Tom was appointed to the Council of Elders in December 1994. He and his wife, Judy, have three adult children and live in Lima. To read more, follow this link.
RON BURGIO is the former President of Elim Fellowship. He is an alumnus of Elim Bible Institute and a graduate of Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, New York. He is ordained through Elim Fellowship and has an earned Doctorate of Ministry from the School of Bible Theology in San Jacinto, California. He has been in full time ministry since 1978 and served as senior pastor of Love Joy Gospel Church in Lancaster, New York up until June 7, 2017 when he passed the role to his son, Jonathan. He was appointed to the Council of Elders in 1992. Ron and his wife, Judy, have four children.
RALPH BYMA serves as President of Elim Fellowship Canada. He is the Senior Pastor of Grand Valley Christian Centre in Brantford, Ont. and prior to that, was the Associate Pastor at Flamborough Christian Fellowship in Millgrove, Ont. Credentialed with Elim since 1990, he was appointed to the Board of Directors in 2001 and is presently on the Council of Elders. Ralph and his wife Debbie, have one child. Ralph has ministered in Canada, United States, Mexico, Jamaica, Kenya and Tanzania.
MICHAEL CAVANAUGH currently serves as President of Elim Bible Institute and College, a school dedicated to preparing Christians to be radical, wholehearted pastors, missionaries and church planters. He also served as Vice-President of Elim Fellowship, an association of 900 pastors, ministers and missionaries, until 2017.
His ministry experience includes founding and serving 20 years as the Senior Pastor of Elim Gospel Church, a dynamic congregation of nearly 1,000 in Lima, NY. He currently supports the church as a teaching pastor. He is the founder of both Mobilized to Serve, a ministry to single adults, and BASIC, a local church-based ministry to college students. He is the author of The Power and Purpose of Singleness and has taught evangelism and preaching at Elim Bible Institute and College (EBI&C), of which he is a graduate. He is also a graduate of Roberts Wesleyan College (BS) and Bakke Graduate University (MTS). A motivating speaker known for his clarity, humor, and use of illustration, Mike has traveled extensively in the U.S. and overseas. Due to his broad leadership experience and heart to equip church leaders, Mike finds himself invited often to speak at pastors’ and leadership events. He and his wife, Terri, reside in Lima, NY, and have three adult children, all in full-time ministry. For more information about Pastor Mike, follow this link.
PETER DEARRUDA is an ordained minister in New York City where he and his wife, Darleen, have served as urban missionaries for the past 20 years. Rev. DeArruda has been the Executive Vice President of the New York School Of Urban Ministry since 1994. He has studied at Zion Bible Institute, is a graduate of Elim Bible Institute and earned his B.A. degree in religion & philosophy from Houghton College. He has served the body of Christ for over 25 years in diverse ministry capacities such as: youth pastor, pastor, and evangelist and presently, an urban missionary. Peter is married to his wife, Darleen, of 28 years and has two daughters.
BERNARD J. EVANS went to Elim in 1959 as a student and continued as a member of the Elim Bible Institute staff as manager of the Elim Christian Bookstore until 1966. He met his wife Sharon at Elim when she came as a student in 1961. They were married in 1964. Elim Fellowship granted a License to Minister to Bernard in 1965 and ordained him in 1968. Sharon was Licensed to Minister in 1968. Their ministry assignments included pastoring in Newark, NJ; Brooklyn, NY; Lima, NY; New York Mills, NY and Hopewell, NY. In recent years they have served local churches during times of transition. They continue to be available to minister to individuals and churches. They have been blessed with four children and thirteen grandchildren. Bernard has served Elim Fellowship in many capacities: as the Director of U.S. Ministries, as Area Representative, as General Secretary, as Assistant General Overseer, and as President. He was appointed to the Council of Elders in 1973 and continues as a member of that Body.
JOSHUA J. FINLEY joined the staff of Elim Gospel Church in 2004 as the Generations Pastor and was installed as the Lead Pastor in December 2008. As the lead visionary and communicator for EGC’s church family, his role is to help set the direction, preserve the heritage, protect the culture, and pioneer new territory in line with EGC’s mission of helping people experience Christ’s transforming love. Pastor Joshua says, “Releasing sons & daughters to bring more of heaven down to earth is what makes me tick! The focus of my life and ministry is to keep discovering, declaring, and demonstrating more of the Kingdom of God each day.” Pastor Joshua is an Elim Bible Institute Graduate and is pursuing a Bachelor’s in Biblical Leadership from Southwestern Christian University with plans to complete a Master’s in Strategic Leadership in 2015. Pastor Joshua is married to the woman of his dreams, Anna, and the proud father of two boys who are destined to be world-changers. One day, he hopes to have the opportunity to travel with his parents, Anna and the boys on a mission trip where they can all minister side by side in the power of God.”
GARY E. HAM is a graduate of the University of Virginia and a former U.S. Army officer. After his military service, he attended Elim Bible Institute, graduating in 1980. Gary has pastored and served as a missionary to Nigeria. Gary co-founded Operation Breaking Through (OBT), a Christian community development ministry which was designated by former President Bush as a “Daily Point of Light.” He was appointed to the Council of Elders in 1997. From 2001 to 2008 Gary served as Director of Elim Fellowship’s International Department. Gary and his wife, Harriet, have three sons.
JOE JANSEN pastored at New Life Church in Herkimer, NY for 18 years and he has been affiliated with Elim Fellowship since 1978. He served as an Area Representative for 5 years, and Regional Director for 2 years. He is now the full time Director of US Ministries and was appointed to the Council of Elders in 2010. Because of Joe’s passion for fellow pastors and the local church, he provides guidance, advice and counseling to pastors throughout Central New York on strategies for church growth, maintaining a healthy congregation, and personal transformation. Joe received his BA from SUNY Oswego and later went to Elim Bible Institute, where he met his wife, Joann. They have three adult children. To read more about Pastor Joe, follow this link.
PHILIP MCNEILL is the General Secretary of Elim Fellowship. He was born in Ireland and grew up in Canada. He graduated from Elim Bible Institute, NY, in 1987, and a year later founded a travelling ministry. This ministry, Highest Call, ministered in approximately 225 churches per year, for five years here and in different nations, with an emphasis on ministering God’s grace to people through the comfort and gifts of the Holy Spirit. In the fall of 1993, at the invitation of Pastor Michael Cavanaugh of Elim Gospel Church, Phil assumed the pastorate of a Saturday night church plant in Henrietta, NY. This church plant merged with another small group in May 1994, starting a whole new church with the name Word of Life Christian Fellowship. Phil served as an Area Rep. for Elim Fellowship from 2000 until 2006 and was appointed to the Council of Elders in December 2004. In 2015 Phil began serving as the EF General Secretary and serves in that role today. Phil graduated in 2009 from Northeastern Seminary at Roberts Wesleyan College with a Master of Divinity. In 2010, Phil became an Elim Fellowship Regional Rep. Many times during the year Phil is invited out to minister in prophetic presbytery, preaching, and almost annually goes to different nations to minister with missionaries from Word of Life. Phil and Sheryl have been married since 1991 and have four daughters (ranging in age from middle school to college) who genuinely love the Lord and serve in the local church. To read more about Phil, follow this link.
ERIC PEOPLES is a graduate and former staff member of Elim Bible Institute. He continued his education at Regent University and earned a BS in Biblical Leadership and an MA in Leadership from Southwestern University. He is also a Certified Life Coach through Lifeforming Leadership Coaching. Eric believes in the power of Legacy and cross-generational mentorship. After transitioning from corporate America, Eric entered the ministry, serving as an associate pastor for 19 years. For over two decades, Eric has mentored marketplace and ministry leaders. An adventurer at heart, he has led nearly 1,000 people on international trips to pioneer social change and humanitarian relief endeavors in nearly 27 countries. In Early 2014 Eric and Melissa planted Legacy Church in Farmington, Ct. They recently celebrated 25 years of marriage, which has been a faith-filled life of globetrotting, sampling French press coffees, and lovingly raising their kids Moriah, Lauren, and Christian. For more on Pastor Eric, follow him on Twitter @revericp.
JOHN SPYKER, Elim Fellowship credential holder since 1975, lives and ministers in Mexico with his wife, Marla. They planted and pastored churches for over thirty years and in 2005 they turned over the pastorate of the main church in Mexico to their son, Andrew, and his wife, Kelly. John, along with his wife Marla, presently serves as President of the Alianza Vida Abundante Fellowship of Churches in Mexico, writes books for pastors and leaders as well as articles for newspapers and spearheads projects like the Christian University- “Universid ad Libertad”- in Morelia, which is now in its initial phase. John also works with politicians, with a state-wide pastor’s association and he ministers in other countries to missionaries sent out by the Mexican church. His wife teaches courses in Logos Christian University (by extension), speaks at conferences, writes books and is very involved in the work of the Fellowship of churches in Mexico.
NON-ADMINISTRATIVE ELDERS: The Following Elders have faithfully served on Elim Fellowship’s Council of Elders for many years but have chosen to retire or resign from regular Administrative duties of that office. It is the spirit and attitude of the Council of Elders that we honor all Elders who have been appointed to this office. It is also the desire of the Council to give a place of honor to all Elders who retire or resign. While these Elders are not ruling or administrative Elders, they are still Elders of Elim Fellowship. Therefore, we endeavor to bring honor to these Elders by (1) publicly validating them before the constituency, (2) releasing them to serve throughout the constituency, and (3) making ourselves available to receive their wisdom and counsel.
PAUL ANDERSON graduated from Elim Bible Institute in 1957 and earned an M.A. degree in Spanish from the University of Rochester in 1985. He has served as a missionary in Cuba, Colombia and Spain and has taught Bible, missions courses and Spanish at Elim Bible Institute. He was appointed to the Council of Elders of Elim Fellowship in 1998 and has served as Missions Director and as General Secretary. He continues to travel, to serve as an elder and on the International Ministries Committee. Paul and his wife, Doris, have three children and seven grandchildren. He is an elder at Greece Assembly of God.
FORREST DODGE graduated from Elim Bible Institute in 1951. He continued in pastoral ministry for 18 years before serving as a missionary in Colombia, S.A. There he developed a training course for future pastors. In 1986, Forrest was appointed to the Elim Eldership while serving as Missions Director. He also continued as field representative and US Ministries Director until his retirement in 1997. Forrest and his wife, Faith, have 4 children, 9 grandchildren, and 6 great grandchildren. Presently, he is serving as an elder at the Vineyard church in Orlando, FL.
PAUL JOHANSSON, past president of Elim Bible Institute and College (1994-2006) currently serves as its Chancellor. He has been with Elim since graduating from the Bible school in 1956. Paul earned a Master’s Degree from New York University. Prior to coming to EBI he served as President of New York School of Urban Ministry, a school he started in 1984. He has pastored in North America and has served as a missionary in East Africa where he co-founded The Nairobi Pentecostal Bible College. He has also been on the staff of Elim Bible Institute as instructor, Dean of Men, Dean of Students and Vice-president. Paul was appointed to the Council of Elders in 1971. He and his wife, Gloria, have two children.
JOHN A. MEGAW served Elim Fellowship for many years as a member of the Council of Elders and as Elim’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Director. John served as founding pastor of New Covenant Community Church, a pioneer work in Audubon, New Jersey for 19 years. He also served as Senior Pastor at Come Alive Church in Medford, NJ. John and his wife Eileen started the Pregnancy Care Center, an outreach to women facing a crisis pregnancy in the South Jersey area. John and Eileen have two sons, a daughter and seven grand-children.
BOB MUMFORD is considered a spiritual “Papa” to thousands of Christians worldwide who have attributed their spiritual growth and determination in serving the Lord to Bob’s ability to help them understand the ways of God and His Kingdom. Bob has served as a pastor, as Dean and Professor of New Testament and Missions at Elim Bible Institute, as the founder of Lifechangers Ministry and as a popular international conference speaker. As an author, Bob has written for major Christian periodicals in the United States and abroad. He has published twelve books including: Take Another Look at Guidance. His writings have been translated into 25 different languages and distributed around the world. Bob and Judith reside in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
JOSEPH NETTLETON, counsel to the President. Joe served over twenty years as Elim Fellowship Youth Director, General Secretary, and US Ministries Director. Joe founded and directed Teen World Outreach and directed summer youth camps from Florida to Canada. Joe also founded and directed WINGS, a three year training program for emerging leaders. Joe is a graduate of Elim Bible Institute and Roberts Wesleyan College. Joe and his wife, Donna, have three adult daughters and seven grandchildren. Joe is presently retired but continues to serve on several ministry boards of directors and as elder of his local church.
ANDRÉS SPYKER is a third generation missionary in Morelia, Mexico. A graduate of Elim Bible Institute, Andrés has a heart and passion to see Latin America transformed by the Gospel. He served under his father as youth pastor and co-pastor for 6 years, and in 2005, at age 28 became the senior pastor at Vida Abundante, a vibrant, rapidly growing church, the congregation of which nearly doubled to 3,000 in the first three years he pastored it. Andrés is a dynamic preacher, pastor and songwriter. He is also seen weekly on several Spanish television channels that are broadcast all over Latin America. He and his wife Kelly reside in Morelia with their two sons.
HARRY VELLEKOOP is a graduate of Elim Bible Institute and Roberts Wesleyan College. He has pastored, and for 14 years served in missions in Argentina and Paraguay. A former Director of Elim Fellowship’s International Ministries, he currently serves Elim Bible Institute as Dean of Administration and is an instructor in missions and Bible Courses. He was first appointed to the Council of Elders in 1991 and again in 2001 after a time away from the Council. Harry and his wife, Connie, have two children.