Get to Know Our Staff
Dr. Chad Rickenbaker
Chad joined the staff of BFBC in Summer 2013. He received a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has served in pastorates in North and South Carolina. He and his family are originally from the lower part of South Carolina but have served in the Upstate of South Carolina since 2001. Our pastor has a heart for reaching the community, discipling believers, and preaching expository messages from God’s Word. Join us for a worship service this week to hear our pastor’s heart for teaching God’s Word.
Rev. Michael R. Hodge
Michael grew up right here at Berea First Baptist Church and joined our staff in October 2013. After serving in churches here in South Carolina and also with the International Mission Board, Michael and his family returns now as our Associate Pastor. Beyond assisting our pastoral staff, he also serves in missions mobilization, adult discipleship, as well as creates our graphics and website.
Trevor joined our staff as our Minister of Worship in October 2014. Trevor had already been serving in various worship leadership roles since January 2014 before sensing the call to serve here full-time. His heart for worship and his desire for excellence in every area of our music ministry gives us great excitement for the continuing legacy of the music ministry. He leads both of our Sunday morning worship services (Encounter at 8:15am and Cornerstone at 10:30am).
Ricky Stark joined our staff in March 2016. Ricky’s ministry focuses on leading students to a deeper understanding of their faith, helping them deepen their walk with the Lord, and leading them to missional engagement. He values the opportunity to build great relationships with both parents and students. Ricky graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from North Greenville University. At North Greenville, he majored in Christian Studies and Minored in English. He holds a Masters of Divinity degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Just this past December Ricky graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. During this course of study, he focused on Christian philosophy, Christianity and the Arts, and World Religions. This degree has truly equipped Ricky to understand the culture in which our students are living. This understanding helps him to disciple students in a way that is relevant and practical.
Julie serves our church family in many different ways. Whether she is working with our Child Development Center or leading Children’s Church on Sundays, she fulfills so many needs in our church ministries. As Director of Children’s and Education Ministries, she also leads our Sunday morning Bible study groups called “Sunday School”. She recruits a large team of great volunteers to lead from nursery through Senior Adult. If you are interested in learning more about how our church ministers to our youngest, get in touch with Julie and she can share more about the wide range of ministries and activities!
Mike has served Berea First Baptist Church in a number of different roles over the years. His knowledge of our church, church family, and the journey of BFBC over the years is a valuable resource as we minister together today. If it is run by a computer, Mike LOVES it and keeps it running! This includes all of our Sunday morning media (screens, camera, etc) as well as our in-office computers. He leads our summer camp program in Cheraw, SC for the children and student ministries.
Gwen Starling joined our staff in May 2017. Gwen has been an active music director and conductor in the greater Greenville area for many years. In 2010, she founded the Fountain Inn Symphony Orchestra where she was later selected as a Fellow for the Conductor’s Institute at the University of South Carolina School of Music. She has served as musical director and conductor for over 20 main stage musicals for community theater and churches (in Fountain Inn, Greenville, Greer and Landrum). She is married to Donald and has two children (Geoffrey and Allison).