Jesus thought and taught about people as sheep, describing Himself as the Good Shepherd (John 10:11). This view continues in the New Testament as the Apostle Peter wrote that church leaders, called elders, were shepherds serving under the Chief Shepherd, Jesus’ direction (1 Peter 2:25; 5:2,4).
TCF is therefore an elder-led church. The churches described in the New Testament were shepherded by a plurality of elders and deacons. The elders are the pastors and shepherds of the congregation.
Plurality of leadership provides checks and balances against one person running a church in a way that could be detrimental. It’s a biblical principle of church government. The elders are responsible “for the care of the flock.” They devote themselves to the Word and prayer. The deacons care for the practical ministries such as managing the finances, taking care of building needs etc. (Acts 14:23; 15:2-6; Acts 20:17; Acts 6:4; Phil. 1:1; James 5:14; Titus 1:5; 1 Tim. 3:11-12)
Shortly after Mark was married, he and his wife were praying about what kind of church they'd want to raise their children in. They wanted to be a part of a place they could call "home" and with people they could call "family". Those two words summarize TCF and Mark pretty well. He loves just being at home...whether that is working in the yard, piddling around on some little project that needs to be done or just relaxing on the couch. He also loves being with family....that is why he built their current home right next to his brother's family and his parents in Advance, NC. His family begins with his heavenly Father who loved him, gave His only Son for him, and is preparing an eternal home so he can live with Him forever. He is the one who gave Mark a wonderful wife (Lucy) and three amazing children (Lindsey, Andrew and Kaylin). He is also the one who answered their prayer by providing them a home church and an extended family in TCF.
Mark was blessed to grow up in a Christian home and receive a Christian education. In his teen years, the Lord gave him a desire to please and serve Him with his life. Not knowing what He had in store for him, Mark decided to get one year of focused Bible training at Word of Life Bible Institute in upstate New York. He then pursued one of his God given passions (flying) in a desire to serve Him as a missionary pilot. After experiencing some serious motion sickness, he went after another passion (computers) and received a BS in Computer Systems & Operations Management from UNCG and later an MBA. Today, Mark earns a living as an IT manager at VF Corporation in Greensboro, NC.
At TCF, he strives to use his gifts of administration and teaching as he serves as an elder, Sunday school teacher, and various other functions alongside the brothers and sisters in Christ... his family.
There’s a kid’s story Alan used to read to his children called The Velveteen Rabbit. The boy’s stuffed bunny has aspirations of becoming “real” and inquires of the “Skin Rocking Horse” what it takes. There he learns it is only in living close in relationship with his boy, becoming well-worn and possibly torn, that he could ultimately become “real.”
As Alan lives life, the closeness of genuine relationships have been changing him. Through being a husband, dad, regular guy, neighbor, counselor and pastor (too), God is using these influences to help him become “real.” He is grateful to Him and wants to continue this journey.
Here’s a short version of why Alan is at TCF.
The Lord worked through his relationship with George Byrum and their two year process of prayer together to birth Triad Christian Fellowship back in 1999. Years earlier, in his childhood, he became a follower of Jesus. He has grown in his understanding of that relationship through a lifetime of influences. Alan's parents raised him in the church, and after high school, he attended Emmaus Bible School, getting early exposure and training in how to study the Word. He later graduated from Barrington College in RI, with a BA in psychology. He next went to Colorado State University where he got a Masters in Social Work.
Alan serves at TCF as a bi-vocational pastor and elder. He splits his time between serving the church and a counseling practice working with individuals, marriages and families.
Alan is married to his one-love, Mary. The couple have 4 kids who delight them: three daughters and a son and two sons-in-law. Marriage, parenting, pastoring, and counseling have been rich influences and practical schools toward becoming “real” in the Christian faith.
John and his wife Denys have been in Winston Salem since 1998 and attending TCF since soon after it was planted.
Liberty University is his alma mater -- he earned a degree in Communication Studies in 1996 and met his wife there his Junior year.
John and Denys have two daughters, Lauren and Rachel.
Speaking in the main service, teaching the youth and Sunday School on occasion and getting together with different men for lunch are several things John enjoys in his effort to be part of effective ministry at TCF.
John enjoys golf, surfing, racquet sports, eating fruit and cookies but absolutely hates cheese!
He works for a large national bank in sales and serves in public office as Mayor in the Town of Midway nearby.
His favorite quote is from Jim Elliot:
"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain that which he cannot lose".
John was born again at age 7 when he prayed to receive Jesus Christ as his Savior in the company of his dad while at home in Fort Worth, Texas.
Graham was born in New York, lived in South Africa when a young boy, spent his formative years in Florida, but loves calling North Carolina home.
He joined the Marines after a year of community college and had the experience of his Reserve Tank Unit being called up to participate in Operation Desert Storm 1. Graham has a BS in Management and Marketing from UNCG, and currently leads the WAVE Band worship team at TCF, helps with design items, logos, branding, and social media, team teaching FORGE, along with whatever else is needed.
Graham married his wife, Joanna, in 1995. They met at Camp Hope where both served as counselors, and later he also served as Activities Director. He and Joanna were recently asked to head up and direct Teen Camp for one week. Graham and Joanna have three children, Julianne, Jonathan, and Ethan.
He grew up attending a non-denominational church in Tallahassee for many years, and also served as a deacon at Parkway Chapel in Winston-Salem.
Graham helped found TCF in 1999 and loves being a part of a church where the Bible is taught and where great fellowship exists.
Jeremy grew up on the south side of Winston Salem, near Wilshire Golf course, where he attended Griffith, Philo, and Parkland schools. His father was the associate pastor of Salem Baptist Church for over twenty years. He has three siblings.
Jeremy earned his BA in Biblical Studies at Piedmont International University. He went on to complete a M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from Northeastern University. He currently works at Piedmont International University as the Director of Institutional Effectiveness. He enjoys working because he believes that God designed mankind for creation. He also loves learning about many different subjects via multiple platforms, such as books, magazines, blogs, journals, conversations.
Jeremy and his family began attending TCF in 2012 and began serving as an elder in September of 2015. He loves being a follower of Christ, because in giving His life for the world, He committed the most selfless act in history. He loves the Bible because it is God’s special revelation of Himself to humanity.
Jeremy and his wife, Diana, have two daughters, Rachel and Jordan. His hobbies include running and reading.