The Plurality Of Elders
The elders who are among you I exhort,… Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, 1 Peter 5:1a, 2a
At Berean Fellowship, we desire our ministry to be in line with what the Word of God teaches, which includes the way the church is led. We believe that the Word of God teaches that the church is to be led by a plurality of elders. This means that we believe that our church is to be led by a group of men which are gifted in leadership and meet the qualifications for leaders given in the Bible (Titus 1:5-9; 1 Tim. 3:1-7). Though some elders may spend more time in ministry than others, we still believe that all elders have an equal say in church decisions about doctrine, various ministries, financial decisions, appointing ministry servants, event planning, etc. We believe that the elders of the church are the meant to care for God’s people, and the church is to follow these men as they try to honor God in their leadership with the wisdom that God has given them.
Meet The Elders
Mr Holiman moved to the Antelope Valley from Orange County in 2004. He has been with Berean Fellowship since its inception.
In 2006, under the supervision of Pastor Darrell, he began the Senior Ministry for those 50 years of age and older. This ministry continues until today though it was opened to all ages as a growth group in 2011.
He has served as an elder since 2008 and currently lives in Palmdale with wife Yvonne.
Tim Long has been an elder at Berean Fellowship since the formation of the church in 2005. He currently oversees the worship and the audio visual ministries, leads a growth group, and leads a program for developing new leaders at Berean Fellowship. Tim grew up in multiple locations, including Virginia and moved to California is the late 80’s. He met and married his wife Chrystal in the Los Angeles area and they now have 4 children.
Tim’s main passion in life is ministering in his local church, but he also enjoys raising chickens, goats and bees, riding his dirt bike, and the outdoors generally.
Darrell Sparks is the primary teaching elder at Berean Fellowship. He has been pastoring since 1994. He was born and raised in Cynthiana, Ky, where he met and married his high school sweetheart, Shannon. The happy marriage has produced four grown children, and several grandchildren.
Darrell enjoys long walks with Shannon, working in the yard, reading, family get-togethers, playing with his grandchildren, and hanging out with God’s precious people.
History Of Berean Fellowship
Berean Fellowship is a Bible-based church that purposes to honor God and be true to His Word. We believe the Bible is inerrant and applicable to every facet of our lives. In our desire to live according to Scripture we gather together to worship God, grow together to be more like Christ and go together with the Gospel to make disciples.
We GATHER together to worship God on Sunday mornings. This is a time designed to welcome people in and connect them with others. We want attendees to be drawn foremost to God’s grace and secondly to the life of our church family.
We GROW together in grace to be more like Christ through growth groups, biblical counseling, membership and baptism classes. We want to see lives changed by the power of God’s Word and His transforming grace. Spiritual growth is often done more effectively in small numbers rather than in our large gatherings. Our most emphasized tool, Growth Groups, offers a closer connection with others who share a common goal to become more like Christ. It’s in this structure that we can live out the “one-another” passages by serving, holding each other accountable, providing outreach, sharing joys and burdens and simply being a family.
We GO together with the Gospel to make disciples, realizing the Gospel message is the answer to our greatest problem; our sin issue. To achieve this goal we purpose to equip and send out people with the a mindset of pointing others to man’s only hope Christ, for salvation and sanctification.
The steady hand of our trustworthy Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is indeed the place to begin when discussing our family history. “God is constant in His mercies, love, and goodness. He never fails in faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22, ESV).” In Scripture, time and time again we see genealogy after genealogy, and story after story of where God brought His people. Family histories are important. They tell us we came from somewhere;…that we have a heritage. Our Lord’s faithfulness is on display each time we commemorate our church family history.
As Berean Fellowship began, Acts 17:11 became the verse in which our church is strongly founded upon “…They received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so (NKJV).” God’s faithfulness gives us confidence to “diligently divide the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15, NKJV).”
During the beginning transition in 2005, when our little church didn’t have a name or a building, God’s faithfulness from the start was seen mightily displayed in every direction our church went. We began by holding services for a month in the backyard of a loving family’s home. We then were able to meet in a local church on Saturday and Tuesday nights for a few months. Afterwards, we leased from the church building we are in currently, and within seven months the church who had owned the church voted to merge with Berean. We were not only blessed with a building, but more importantly, with more wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ. We are truly blessed that the church is not four walls, or anything else material, it is made up of Jesus Christ and His saints. We’ve celebrated many joys together, and we’ve had seasons of sadness. In those first couple years, and now more than ever, our church is continually reminded that we are called to be faithful as our Savior is faithful.
Statement Of Belief
WE BELIEVE the Bible is God’s written revelation to man (1). It is verbally inspired in every word, and absolutely inerrant in the original documents. We affirm the infallibility, sufficiency, and authority of Scripture (2).
WE BELIEVE that there is but one living and true God (3), an infinite, all-knowing Spirit, perfect in all His attributes, one in essence, eternally existing in three Persons—the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (4)— each equally deserving worship and obedience.
WE BELIEVE in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ (5), in His Virgin birth (6), in His sinless life (7), in His miracles (8), in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood (9), in His bodily resurrection (10), in His ascension to the right hand of the Father (11), and His personal return in power and glory (12).
WE BELIEVE that the salvation of man, who is sinful and lost (13), is instantaneous and accomplished solely by the power of the Holy Spirit through the instrumentality of the Word of God when the repentant sinner—enabled by the Holy Spirit—responds in faith. This salvation is wholly of God by grace on the basis of the redeeming work of Jesus Christ, the merit of His shed blood, and not on the basis of human merit or works (14).
WE BELIEVE in the Spirit-filled life. As the supernatural and sovereign Agent in regeneration, the Holy Spirit baptizes all believers into the Body of Christ at the moment of salvation (15). The Holy Spirit also indwells, sanctifies, instructs, empowers them for service, and seals them unto the day of redemption (16).
WE BELIEVE in the bodily resurrection of both the saved and the unsaved; the saved unto the resurrection of life and the unsaved unto the resurrection of damnation (17).
WE BELIEVE that all who put their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual Body (18), the church/Bride of Christ (19), of which Christ is the head (20). The purpose of the church is to glorify God (21) by building its members up in the faith (22), by instruction of the Word (23), by fellowship (24), by keeping the ordinances of water baptism and the Lord’s supper (25), and by advancing and communicating the gospel to the entire world (26). The formation of the church, the Body of Christ, began on the Day of Pentecost (27) and will be completed at the coming of Christ for His own at the rapture (28).
WE BELIEVE that marriage has been ordained by God (29). This church defines “marriage” as the exclusive covenantal union of one man and one woman in which such union is a lifetime commitment (30). A civil government’s sanction of a union will be recognized as a legitimate marriage by the church only to the extent that it is consistent with the definition of “marriage” found in these Articles (31).
WE BELIEVE that legitimate sexual relations are exercised solely within marriage (32). Hence, sexual activities outside of marriage (referred to in the New Testament as “porneia” in Greek) including but not limited to, adultery, premarital sex, homosexuality, and pedophilia are inconsistent with the teachings of the Bible and the Church (33). Further, lascivious conduct, transgender behavior, and the creation and/or distribution and/or viewing of pornography, are incompatible with the Bible (34).
(1) 1 Corinthians 2:7-14; 2 Peter 1:20-21
(2) 2 Timothy 3:16
(3) Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5-7; 1 Corinthians 8:4
(4) Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14
(5) John 1:1,14; John 10:30; John 14:9; Philippians 2:5-8; Colossians 2:9
(6) Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23, 25; Luke 1:26-35
(7) 2 Corinthians 5:21; John 19:4-6; Hebrews 4:15
(8) Matthew 9:27-31; Mark 1:23-27; Luke 7:11-17; John 2:1-11; John 20:30-31; Acts 2:22
(9) John 10:15; Romans 3:24-25; Romans 5:8; 1 Peter 2:24
(10) Matthew 28:6; Luke 24:38-39; Acts 2:30-31; Romans 4:25; Romans 8:34
(11) Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 9:24; 1 John 2:1
(12) Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 20
(13) Psalms 14:1-3; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:9-18, 23; Romans 5:10-12
(14) John 1:12; Romans 4; Ephesians 1:4-7; Ephesians 2:8-10; 1 Peter 1:18-19
(15) John 14:16-17; John 15:26; 1 Corinthians 12:13
(16) Romans 8:9-11; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Ephesians 5:18; Ephesians 1:13
(17) John 6:39; Romans 8:10-11, 19-23; 2 Corinthians 4:14; Daniel 12:2; John 5:29; Revelation 20:13-15
(18) 1 Corinthians 12:12-13
(19) 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:23-32; Revelation 19:7-8
(20) Ephesians 1:22; Ephesians 4:15; Colossians 1:18
(21) Ephesians 3:21
(22) Ephesians 4:13-16
(23) 2 Timothy 2:2,15; 2 Timothy 3:16-17
(24) Acts 2:47; 1 John 1:3
(25) Luke 22:19; Acts 2:38-42
(26) Matthew 28:19; Acts 1:8 (27) Acts 2:1-21, 38-47
(28) 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
(29) Genesis 2:21-24
(30) Matthew 19:4-6
(31) Romans 13:1-5; 1 Peter 2:13-17; Acts 5:28-29
(32) Hebrews 13:4
(33) Genesis 19:1-13; Leviticus 18:22; Matthew 5:27-28; Acts 15:20; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 5:1; 1 Corinthians 6:9; Galatians 5:19
(34) Job 31:1; Psalms 101:3; 119:37; Proverbs 6:25-28; Romans 6:19; Ephesians 4:17-19; Philippians 4:8; 2 Peter 2:19; 1 John 2:16