Gary Ladd

Senior Pastor

 

Family

My wife Brenda and our three sons and their families: Dustin, Derek & Ping, Drew & Jenny (grandsons Grant & Henry).
 

Education

Baylor, Texas A&M, Sam Houston State University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

 

Ministry Experience

Senior Pastor (36 years), Associate Pastor, Youth, Music (6 years combined)
 

Personal Testimony

I was very blessed to be raised by parents that loved God, loved me and taught me to love God. When I was 16 years old I came to the realization that I had “joined the church” but I had never “surrendered my life” to Jesus Christ. That very day I turned my life over to Jesus Christ and asked Him to save me from my sin and be the Lord of my life. From that day forward I have had a peace in both mind and soul. I surrendered to God’s call to the ministry at age 18.
 
What do you feel like God has called you to do in your area of ministry?
 
To love people and to serve them to the point that they want to know the wonderful savior that has changed my life and then to share the Word of God in a manner that is both understandable and inspiring.
 

Nathan Sliter

Associate Pastor/Music 

 

Family

I have been married to my beautiful wife Jessica since 2007. We have one son, Levi (12), and two daughters Elli (10), Abby (4).
 

Education

BA in Biblical Language with a Bible minor from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago (2007).
 

Ministry Experience

Youth Ministry (6 years), Worship Minister (9 years)
 

Personal Testimony

Around the age of 5, I made the personal decision to follow Jesus with my life. I vividly remember my mom sharing the truth that I don’t have to afraid of death
or what comes after, because Jesus died for me so I could spend eternity with a loving God! I was blessed to have wonderful parents to point me to Jesus and encourage me in my faith even as I stumbled or struggled to see God for who He is. They encouraged me to serve in the church and backed me fully as I pursued going into full-time ministry. One of my life verses is Ephesians 2:8-10 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not of yourself so that no man can boast. It is the gift of God.” Responding to God’s invitation to know Him, receive His forgiveness, and follow Him has been the best decision I have ever made!
 
What do you feel like God has called you to do in your area of ministry?
 
I feel called first to personally follow and know Jesus, and then to invite others around me to join in the journey! I believe God has called me to lead others to worship Him, experience His presence in their daily lives, and help equip them to serve and use their gifts in His kingdom!
 
 

 

Carrie Centilli

Children’s Minister

 

Family

My husband, Brian and our sons: Cody and Justin
 

Education

BA in Education from Sam Houston State University (1998); Masters of Arts in Christian Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (2011)
 

Ministry Experience

Children’s Ministry Chairperson/Vice President at SHSU Baptist Student Ministry (1996-1998), Pre-school Chairperson at Cornerstone Baptist Church (1999–2005), Pre-School Ministry Director at Woodland Place Baptist Church (2009-2012), GracePoint Fellowship Children’s Minister (2013-present)
 

Personal Testimony

I was 8 years old. I accepted Christ at GA camp in Palacios, Texas, during one of the evening services. Karen was the counselor I talked to. She was a cheerleader at the high school and I remember being amazed that God could use young people to lead others to Christ. Since then I have attended Preteen Camp as a counselor for several years, as an adult. The affect camp had on my life was life-changing and I look forward to camp each year for the opportunity to impact children’s lives for Christ.
 
What do you feel like God has called you to do in your area of ministry?
 
My personal call to ministry is based on Deuteronomy 6, to equip parents to train their children and provide children with a secure foundation developing their relationships with God.
 

  Mitch Peltonen

Associate Pastor/Youth

Family

I married Andi back in 2001, right after the Y2K apocalypse.  Four years later… “The Kate” was born, she is a beauty inside and out.  She gets that from her mom.  We also have two dogs, I love them, but if you want one let me know.

 

Education

Right after I got saved, I received an ultimatum to leave the family home.  “I don’t care where you go, but it isn’t going to be here!” was like what was said.  The only thing I wanted to do, was learn more about Christ, so I went from Seattle to Dubuque, Iowa.  That is where Emmaus Bible College is located.  I only planned on going for a year, but that turned in to four, and those four years I wouldn’t trade for anything. 

Ministry Experience

It started at Turkey Hill Ranch Bible camp, where they offered me a place to live, and to start a Camp follow up program for the youth and children who would get saved from Jefferson City and didn’t have a local church to attend.  I started teaching youth Sunday school, then my wife and I moved to Slidell Louisiana.  At my local church there I was in Children’s Ministry for 14 years, I worked with the youth and also taught College and Career. 

 

Personal Testimony

Man, I was lost… I thought I was a Christian, and then in a Bible Study going through Romans, knowing I was a sinner turned into realizing I was a slave to sin and I was appalled at my wickedness, and knowing Jesus died on the cross (which everyone knows) turned into Jesus took the penalty I deserved by sacrificing His life for mine. This was real, LIKE VIVID REAL, I was blown away.  It was from that very moment, that I knew I could never ever pay my risen Savior back for the gift He had given me, but I could die trying.  So, I set out to live for Him.  Praying that when opportunity to serve Him knocked, I wouldn’t hesitate to say, “here I am Lord, send me.”  So here I am at Gracepoint, not for anything that I have done, but solely because I know He has brought me here to glorify Him, and I pray that I do.

 
What do you feel like God has called you to do in your area of ministry?
 

He who has ears let him hear!  I just want to share what I learn about our Lord and Savior to anyone who will listen.  My heart cry is for our youth of today to leave the home with a concrete foundation in Christ.  To not only have them innately believe that the Bible is inerrant but also completely sufficient.  To hear the word’s “what this means to me” are danger words in the Christian faith that should be a red flag that points us to Jude and 2 Peter 2.  It doesn’t matter what we think it means, It matters what it means!  So we have to learn how to read and understand the Bible in context and with solid hermeneutical principles.  To not just believe what ever your told by who ever told you it, but to go back to the scriptures to see if these things are so.