Eric Bitner, Elder
I was blessed to have been raised by believing parents and trusted Christ at an early age. My wife Loretta and I moved to Southern Indiana in 2006 and began attending Clifton. The Lord has used Clifton to continue to grow us in our understanding of the glory of God. We have been blessed with five children; Abigail, Elliana, Meseret, Asher and Benjamin, three through adoption. I currently work for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources as an entomologist. I am thankful to serve the body of Clifton as an elder.
Bob Briggs, Elder
I grew up in the Chicago area as a nominal Lutheran, abiding comfortably in the world while possessing an intellectual-only belief in Christ. My testimony is unusual in that the Holy Spirit most graciously convicted me of that hypocrisy directly, that is without human mediation, at age 30. In less than a year I had been baptized, met and became engaged to Coco, and enrolled in seminary. My family and I began attending Trinity Baptist Church in 1999 and so have been involved at Clifton since ‘the merger’ in 2001. Coco and I have five children: Becky, Reuben, Miles, Margaret, and Bobbie, and four grandchildren as well. I’m now in my 27th year working at UPS and am blessed to be serving my third term as an elder at Clifton.
David Dykes, Pastor of Discipleship
I heard the gospel from an early age from my parents, and I was helped to see my need for Jesus by watching the way the Lord changed my older brother when he became a Christian. After becoming a Christian at a young age, I continued to grow in my faith through the ministry of several churches. I joined Clifton Baptist in 2001 and met my wife Ericia, here where we married in 2005. We have five children: Ruth, Elisabeth, Seth, Faith, and Joseph. I began serving as a lay elder at Clifton in 2010 while working for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. I joined full-time staff at Clifton in 2014.
John Kimbell, Pastor of Preaching and Discipleship
I began to trust Christ at an early age under the instruction of my parents, and thank God for graciously deepening my hope in Him with each passing year. Early in my college years the Lord opened my eyes in new ways to His greatness and glory, and slowly began to instill in me a love and appreciation for the local church. It was also at this time that I met my wife, Sarah. We now have six children: Anna, Rachel, Trevor, Ryan, Julia, and Tyler. We joined Clifton in 2001, and throughout our marriage have been actively involved in small group ministry. God has used Clifton in remarkable ways to encourage us in our relationship with Christ, and I was thrilled to come on staff here in 2008.
Eric Kitchens, Elder
I was blessed to be raised in a home where the gospel was believed and taught. Although I did not see my real need for Christ and salvation until I was in my mid twenties, I believe God graciously used the teachings I heard from my parents and friends to show me the true condition of my heart. Before moving to Louisville to attend Southern Seminary, I attended William Carey University and majored in biblical studies and history. Kim and I have been married since 2000 and have four children: Genesis, Providence, Caleb and Trinity. My family has attended Clifton since we moved to Louisville in 2007.
Oren Martin, Pastor of Youth Ministries
I was raised in Houston, TX by wonderful Christian parents who taught and modeled a love for Christ and his church. However, it was not until the age of 21 that I repented of my sins and trusted in Christ. Before moving to Louisville to study at Southern Seminary, I served as a college pastor in a local church working with Texas A&M Aggies. My wife and I have been married since 1999 and have three children: Jonathan, Anna, and Benjamin. I am also a professor of Christian theology at Southern Seminary and Boyce College.
Jeremy Pierre, Elder
I was brought to Christ at a young age, having heard the gospel from faithful parents and teachers at church. God used two scripture verses in particular—Romans 6:23 and Titus 3:5—to convict me of sin and send me to the cross to receive the full and free gift of forgiveness. I was later baptized as a profession of my faith in Christ. My wife Sarah and I have been at Clifton since 2002, when we moved from northern Ohio to go to seminary. Sarah and I have been married for over a decade, and we’ve been given five children: Allie, Ronnie, Marlie, Frankie, and Betsie. I am also a professor of biblical counseling at Southern Seminary.
Jeremy Rhoden, Elder
I grew up in a home where the Gospel was proclaimed and lived. Around age 5 or 6, the Lord began to draw me to Him and save me. I was baptized in my teenage years. Over the years, the blazing need for Christ has only become more evident. And over the years, His grace has been more and more sufficient. I’m humbled to be married to my lovely wife and to be a father to our four children. The preaching and fellowship of Clifton Baptist Church have graced my life since 2000.
Tom Schreiner, Elder
I trusted in Christ through the witness of the person who is now my wife (Diane) at the age of 17. After my conversion I immediately felt called to ministry and have served as a teacher in three different schools and an elder in three different churches. I served as the preaching pastor at Trinity and then Clifton from 1998 to 2015. God has blessed Diane and me with four children: Daniel, Patrick, John, and Anna. I am also a professor of New Testament at Southern Seminary.
Mark Smith, Pastor of Administration & Children’s Ministries
The Lord blessed me with two faithful Christian parents who made church a priority in my home throughout my childhood. This regular exposure to the preaching and teaching of the Bible, as well as my parents’ intentionality in teaching me to pray, read the Bible, and repent, were the means by which God brought conviction and faith to me. I accepted Christ as a child and was baptized several months after making my profession of faith. During college, I sensed a growing desire for pastoral work and began training for vocational ministry. My wife, Melissa, and I moved to Louisville immediately after our wedding as I continued that training at Southern Seminary. The Lord has blessed us with four children: Micah, Gabriel, Eleana, and Andrew. Our family has been at Clifton since we came to Louisville, and I have had the privilege of serving on staff since September of 2012.
Shawn Wright, Pastor of Leadership Development
The Lord blessed me with Christian parents who brought me to church and taught me the gospel from a young age. I believe I trusted Christ at the age of 10. I helped to start Trinity Baptist Church in 1996 when I began working on my Ph.D. In 2001 Trinity merged with Clifton, where I have served ever since. I also teach church history at Southern Seminary. I am married to Gretchen, and we have five sons: Benjamin, Jonathan, Aaron, Nathan, and Stephen.