Three Boards govern first Christian: Elder Board (spiritual), Trustee Board (finance/facilities), and the Personnel Board (human resources/legal). The Staff are to implement the Strategy under the leadership of the Elder Board. (To read more about our governance, click here.)
Elders are the spiritual shepherds of the church. The Elder Board is responsible for making certain the Mission and Strategy of First Christian is being accomplished in the various ministries. An Elder must be a baptized disciple of Jesus, and meet the qualifications (both skills and character traits) outlined in the New Testament (e.g., see Acts 20:17; 28-31; 1 Timothy 3:2–7; 5:17; Titus 1:6–9; 1 Peter 5:1-2; James 5:14). We praise God for the service of our Elders! In addition to the Senior Pastor, here is the current slate of Elders at FCC. Please commit to praying for them.
Marita Elliott first came to FCC in 1984 after she and her husband, Sam Elliott (former Elder, now deceased), moved to Lawrence in 1983. They attended and participated regularly, then moved away in 1990, only to return in 2010. Sam passed away in December, 2015. They were married 33 years and shared 6 children, 11 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren. Since returning, Marita became involved in teaching Sunday School, the Care Ministry Team, the Worship Ministry Team and became an Elder. “I'm excited knowing that Christ is our Sovereign Shepherd and He is in complete control of our church - we are in His hands, and only through prayer will we come together tighter."
Dr. David Pendergrass is a graduate of Gardner-Webb University (B.A: Christian Studies; Music), the School of Divinity at Gardner-Webb University (M.Div.: Biblical Studies with Counseling), and Baylor University (PhD: Historical Theology; Biblical Backgrounds/New Testament). Dr. Pendergrass has worked at various churches in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas. He has served as a Hospice Chaplain, leadership and organizational consultant, and counselor for around twenty years. He is happily married to Elaine (18 years) and has two awesome kids: Hayden (13) and Julia (10).
Sheri Penny has been a member of FCC since 1987, when she started attending with her husband Dean. Sheri and Dean have been married for 30 years and have two adult children, Kristin (28) and Michael (22). Through the years, Sheri has been involved in many different ministries here at First Christian. She continues her position on the Elder Board; has taught Sunday school, Children’s Church, VBS, served on the Worship Ministry Team, and on the Youth Search Committee. “I believe God is in our midst and I’m excited to see what he has in store for us in 2017.”
Hyacinth Self works as a Receptionist for Clinton Parkway Animal Hospital. She loves her husband Jim, their 7 children and 9-plus grandchildren, tacos, and chocolate. She enjoys reading, sewing, camping, hiking, fishing, snow skiing, motorcycle riding, and playing 12-string guitar all for the glory of God. Hyacinth has attended FCC since the 60’s and enjoyed volunteering for many years of VBS and countless youth trips. She’s looking forward to many more great adventures at FCC in 2017 as an elder.
Jim Self was baptized at FCC and a few years later married Hyacinth. Jim and Hyacinth have 7 children between them, and have (9) plus grandchildren. Jim is the National Account Manager for FarmChem Corp. a manufacturer of crop protection and fertilizer dispensing, handling, and storage equipment. He pretty much likes everything outdoors playing golf; snow skiing, hunting, hiking, and motorcycle riding. He is looking forward to serving on the Elder board, has served several times on the Trustee board, has been on many youth mission trips and youth events, supporter of Family Promise, and other outreach programs.
You can contact the Elders at