Elders

Elder Team

In the event of a vacancy in the office of Lead Pastor, the Elder Team shall assume the ultimate responsibility for his duties; any of which may be delegated to an associate pastor. Additionally, with input from the pastoral team the Elder Team shall prayerfully investigate and consider candidates for the office and decide on one man to serve as Lead Pastor.

Randy Brunson
Randy Brunson

Randy and his wife, Teresa, have been at The Bridge since 2006.  They celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary in the summer of 2016.  The Brunson’s have two adult children, both married, and six grandchildren. Randy has spent more than 35 years in the financial services profession.  He is currently the managing shareholder of a Duluth-based professional services firm, Centurion Advisory Group. Centurion specializes in investment, retirement, and tax planning for households and plan management for retirement plan sponsors. His spare time is devoted to reading, book collecting, traveling, and spending time with friends and grandchildren.

Joe Peters
Joe Peters

Joe and his wife Kim have been with the Bridge Church since its first year of existence at PRHS. He has served the church in a number of areas including youth, men’s ministry, couples’ ministry. Joe has served as a deacon for over 10 years at his previous church and has served as an Elder at The Bridge for seven years. He has a heart for serving and encouraging members in the body of Christ. Joe and Kim have been married for twenty years and have a grown son, Ken, who lives in Michigan and a daughter Jadah who graduates from high school in 2018. They have lived in Gwinnett for almost twenty years with fifteen of those being in the Suwanee area. Outside of The Bridge Joe enjoys watching and participating in a variety of sports including tennis, football, basketball, running and weight lifting. He loves hanging out with his wife and family and hopes to continue traveling and experiencing new places and cultures. Joe and Kim are both very passionate about marriage ministry and helping couples strengthen their marriages to help glorify our Lord and Savior.

Phil Tuttle
Phil Tuttle

Phil and his wife Ellen have been part of The Bridge from the beginning. Phil serves as an elder and occasionally teaches on Sunday mornings. As president of Walk Thru the Bible, he oversees that ministry’s activity in 139 countries. Ellen often travels with him and loves to share her gifts of encouragement with women around the world. Phil and Ellen have two grown children, Emily and Philip, and a daughter-in-law named Erika. They enjoy hiking together and are mildly obsessed with Chipper, their blue heeler and beagle mix pup.

Scott Vescovo
Scott Vescovo

Scott and his wife Barbara have been with The Bridge for 11 years. They have been married for fourteen years and currently live in the Peachtree Corners area. They have an 8-year-old daughter Gianna who loves playing sports. Scott has worked in the healthcare sales/management field for 17 years and served on the non-profit board prior to joining the Bridge elder team. Scott and Barbara enjoy watching sports and love getting to watch Gianna play.

What is a Church Elder?

Simply put, a church elder is a man called by God to be an overseer.

According to the Bible, elders are to be known for their prayer life (1 Tim. 2:8), modeling Christ-like service (Matt. 20:26-28; 1 Pet. 5:2), and being practically responsible in their homes, as well as in the workplace (1 Tim. 3:4-7). Not just any man can serve as an elder – they must be qualified to do so.

The Qualifications of an Elder

The qualifications of elders are laid out in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. These lists are nearly identical. There are two things about these lists that deserve attention. First, these lists are primarily about men being mature Christians. Second, these lists are in large part tied to a man’s role as a faithfully surrendered pastor in his home with his family and in his world with his neighbors and co-workers.

Church Elders are Overseers

Elders are synonymously called overseers. An overseer is one who pastors the church like a shepherd herds his flock (Acts 20:28; Eph. 4:11; 1 Pet. 5:2). An elder shepherds the flock under his care.

God Calls a Church Elder

Who should be trained as elders? Those called by God to serve as an elder (Acts 20:28). As the church, we simply confirm God’s call.

Duties of an Elder

  • Pray and study Scripture (Acts 6:4).
  • Lead/guide the church (1 Tim. 5:17).
  • Manage the church (1 Tim. 3:4-5).
  • Care for people in the church (1 Pet. 5:2-5).
  • Give account to God for the church (Heb. 13:17).
  • Live exemplary lives (Heb. 13:7).
  • Rightly use the authority God has given them (Acts 20:28).
  • Teach the Bible correctly (Eph. 4:11; 1 Tim. 3:2)
  • Preach (1 Tim. 5:17).
  • Pray for the sick (James 5:13-15).
  • Teach sound doctrine and refute false teachings (Titus 1:9).
  • Work Hard (1 Thess. 5:12).
  • Rightly use money and power (1 Pet. 5:1-3).
  • Protect the church from false teachers (Acts 20:17-31).
  • Discipline unrepentant Christians (Matt. 18:15-17).
  • Obey local, state, and federal laws (Rom. 13:1-7).
  • Develop other leaders and teachers (Eph. 4:11-16; 2 Tim. 2:1-2).

Church Elders should be trained and examined

Church elders should be primarily trained through the local church to meet the qualifications and duties of an elder. Their training may involve formal theological training, but the Bible does not require this path. Those who are called to serve as an elder should be able to handle the Bible accurately.

How do we examine Elders at The Bridge Church

Everyone cannot be an elder. The men who perceive a call of God to fulfill this role must be examined. Chemistry or team fit is an important factor along with Character, Calling, Competence, and Courage.

At The Bridge Church we believe that elders should be appointed slowly and removed quickly, if necessary. This means that we take our time in discerning the call of God upon someone’s life. Our eldership process normally will take 6 to 18 months. We follow a very simple process: identify, assess, develop and send. This process includes assessing his stewardship to the Bridge church, family health, performance at work, relationship with people outside the church, service in the church, spiritual gifts, ministry passions, attitude toward authority, work ethic, leadership gifts, humility and anything and everything else related to his conversion, calling, character, courage and competency.

(Deut. 1:12-16; Acts 14:23; 1 Tim. 4:14; 5:22; 2 Tim 2:6-7).

Future elders will be added by soliciting names from the congregation. The elders will evaluate the names and may choose to pursue a specific candidate. When a candidate is deemed ready, the elders will present him to the body for confirmation. If the body has any concerns, they will be given a period of time to privately voice those concerns. After this confirmation period, once all concerns are addressed and if the elders choose to move forward, the candidate will then be publicly commissioned and installed as an elder.

Elder Term

Two consecutive terms of three years.

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