The New Testament is clear about those who have the responsibility of rule, oversight, and care of the church. These men are called elders, overseers, and bishops. All three different titles are used to refer to the same spiritual office of leadership in the church and are interchangeable. Christ is the head of the church and that He mediates His rule in the church through the loving shepherding of qualified elders (pastors). (Acts 6:2-6; Acts 15:1-35; Acts 20:17-18, 28-31; Galatians 1:6-9; 1 Thess. 5:12; 1 Timothy 1:3-7, 3:1-7, 5:17; 2 Timothy 4:2 ; Titus 1:5-16; Hebrews 13:7, 17; 1 Peter 5:1-4) For further reading, please read Alexander Strauch’s key work, Biblical Eldership.
Ronnie Batchelor came to Basswood Church as pastor in 2003. God has given Ronnie and Bridget, his wife, three children: Caleb, Katie and Lauren. Few things excite him like a long hike in the mountains with his family. Ronnie enjoys college athletics and is an insufferable logophile (lover of words). He says when he learns a new word, that means everyone he knows gets to learn a new word. He owes a particular theological debt to J.I. Packer, Wayne Grudem and J.C. Ryle. Prior to coming to Knoxville, Ronnie pastored churches in Florida and Iowa. Ronnie occasionally blogs here.
“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
2 Corinthians 5:21
Jim and his wife Chris are the parents of Megan, Jordan, and Ben. He loves being Shirley’s son, Chris’s husband and a father of three young adults. He finds the joys and challenges of living generationally under one roof to be one of God’s wonderful graces in life. Jim has an interest in Civil War history and has an admiration for the life Stonewall Jackson. Some of Jim’s favorite authors are Puritans writers like Jeremiah Burroughs, Obadiah Sedgwick, John Owen, and J.C. Ryle. Jim has served churches in Ohio and Virginia.
“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20-21
Rick Liles has been at Basswood since 1991. He is husband to Lucinda, father to Andrea and Tanner, grandfather to Jack, Charlie, and Hank, and son to Walter and Dottie. He enjoys farming and spending time with his family. A favorite meal for Rick is breakfast, where he enjoys Carmichael Family Eggs (over medium), thick sliced bacon, biscuits and gravy, fresh coffee and OJ.
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1-4
Having served churches in Alabama, Texas, and Virginia, the Hudson family came to the Knoxville area in October 2008 from Houston, TX after completing an internship at Grace family Baptist Church with Dr. Voddie Baucham. Matt, his wife Emily, and their children Hannah, Josh, Caroline, Sarah Kate, Evie, Annabelle, and Clara love visiting the Smokies and playing with their dogs Fletcher & Lily. Matt also really loves good coffee, Mexican food, disc golf, and UT football. Matt blogs here.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. “ Hebrews 12:1-2