Leadership and Staff
Pastors, Elders, and Ministry Leaders at Sovereign Grace Church
Chad is the founding pastor of Sovereign Grace Church. After completing his M.A. in Theology at Talbot, and being the high school pastor at RiverLakes Community Church, Chad was called to plant a church in Bakersfield. He is also the founding board chairman of Radius International, an organization that trains people to plant churches among unreached language groups. His passion is to know Christ and to make him known. He has been married to Teresa since 1994, and they have 2 children.
Jason is one of the original four men whom God called to co-plant Sovereign Grace Church of Bakersfield. The son of a pastor and church planter, Jason grew up serving the church. He attended BIOLA University for two years while studying philosophy, biblical studies, and the great books of the western canon. He went on to graduate from Fresno Pacific University in 2006. In 2019 he received his M.A. from Westminster Theological Seminary. His desire is to be used by God to “bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of His name among all the nations.” (Romans 1:5). Jason has been married to Christin since 2011 and they welcomed their son Benjamin into their family in 2017.
Russell is currently an elder at Sovereign Grace and previously served as the church’s Youth Pastor. Russell received his degree in Biblical Studies from Biola University and is presently pursuing his M.A. in Biblical Studies at Reformed Theogolical Seminary. He loves teaching what he has learned from scripture to others. Russell’s passion is to “proclaim Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me” (Colossians 1:28-29). He has been married to Ashly since 2005, and they have 2 children – Elliot and Hope.
Mikey was born and raised in Bakerfield and has been working in youth ministry since 2010. He has served as the Youth Pastor at Sovereign Grace since the spring of 2017. As youth pastor, his desire is to see the youth of Sovereign Grace come to know, delight, and grow in Christ through the preaching and teaching of God’s word. He is currently a seminary student at Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary and engaged to his soon to be wife, Krissy.
John and his family have been attending Sovereign Grace since 2012. In 2013, he became an elder at the church. John and his wife Marlo have been married since 1990 and have three children; Brianna, Zach and Jadyn. John has served in full time ministry for approximately 22 years in the role of youth pastor, associate pastor, and church planter. John’s greatest joy is in seeing the Gospel bring about the delight of God, to be made known to the people of God, in every tribe, tongue and nation for His glory alone… “Soli Deo Gloria!”
Director of Children’s Ministry
Marlo has been at Sovereign Grace since 2012. While raising their family with her husband, John, she has helped in various ministries including women’s, youth, and children. Marlo currently assists in an variety of areas within the church and is thankful for the many opportunities to serve and grow alongside the body of Christ!
History of Sovereign Grace
In 2006 a few men came together with the goal of starting a new church-planting church in Bakersfield. Our goal was to plant a church that would be known as God-centered, Christ-exalting, Spirit-empowered, Bible-saturated, and Missions-mobilizing. We started with several months of prayer and discussion during the Fall of 2005 through the Summer of 2006. On September 7, 2006 we started a Thursday evening service at River Valley Community Church off Truxtun Ave.
In order to thoroughly ground the new church in the Gospel, we started with expository preaching through Paul’s Epistle to Rome. During the second week of October, we had our first “vision” meeting. We had about 28 people who committed to being part of the core group for Sovereign Grace. On December 24, 2006 we held our first Sunday morning service at Hodel’s. This service went very well with over 150 people in attendance. We also announced that we would start regular Sunday morning services on January 21, 2007.
We started our Sunday morning services at Stockdale Elementary with an average of about 50 in attendance. After 6 weeks, we moved into Ronald Reagan Elementary where God blessed us with steady growth.
On August 3, 2008 we moved into Liberty High School where we began to make ourselves publicly known for the first time and where we continued to see much growth. We witnessed God bless us with several volunteers in children’s, nursery, set-up / tear-down, and music / tech ministries. God also blessed us with several men who are leading small groups and who trained to be elders of the church. On December 30, 2008 God blessed Sovereign Grace with 18.2 acres of land on the corner of Snow and Old Farm.
We hired our first Associate Pastor, Jason Faber, in August of 2009. We ordained our first lay elders in 2010. We have continued to see growth over the years to several hundred regular attenders. We also have the privielge of training young pastoral residents for full-time pastoral ministry. Additionally, we have seen God raise up many missionaries from our church whom we have trained, sent, and continue to support as they preach the gospel to the ends of the earth.
On November 1, 2015 we moved into Frontier High School which is closer to where our Church building will be built, and also provides a substantial amount of room to grow! We have been blessed to see God’s hand of favor on the church during our first several years. We look forward to what he will do in the future.