Elders

Celebration's Elders
General Responsibilities
Selection and Qualification

Saul Hernandez

Saul was born in Venezuela and grew up in NYC & South Florida. As a child Saul had two loves which were sports and the outdoors. As a youth, when he was not playing on a sports team (football, baseball, basketball, etc.) it was not unusual to find him on camping trips with the boy scouts among the alligators in the Everglades National Park. After High School he left Florida to attend Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia and received a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science. While at Liberty he met Johnna Leonard and they married soon after graduation in 1988. Johnna is a native of Washington County, Virginia. Saul and Johnna have 3 children John, Jesse & Julie. Saul works at KVAT Food Stores on the IT team and along with his family run Mi Tierra farm in Washington County VA.

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Jim Moore

Elder

Jim and Brenda met in high school and married in January of 1970. They have lived in the Tri-Cities for the past 32 years and have 2 sons. Chris and Kelly, along with their sons, Tyler and Jake, live in Kingsport and are a part of Celebration Church. Jason and Lindsay live in Charleston, SC. Jason has 2 children, Haley and Matt. Jim's passion is to see the people of Celebration Church connect with a living relationship to Jesus Christ and each other as is seen in his involvement in Missions, Men's Ministry, and small groups. He enjoys teaching at Celebration in different venues. Jim is V.P. of Facilities at Wellmont Health System where he is highly respected among his peers. He has a Bachelor of Theology degree from Beacon Theological Seminary. Jim and Brenda enjoy hanging out with family and friends while camping, going to the beach, or Corvettes and car shows.

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Chuck Perry

Elder

Chuck was born and raised in Jackson, TN, and gave his life to Jesus around the age of eight. He attended Tennessee Tech University and graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering in 1989. He joined Eastman Chemical Company soon after graduation and currently works in Polymers Division. Chuck met Becca on a blind date and they were married in 1994. He and Becca have two children, Emma and Russell. Chuck enjoys participating in small group Bible study and loves to see people grow in their relationship with Jesus through study of God’s Word. His favorite family activity is camping; he also enjoys swimming, reading, motorcycle riding, and small engine repair.

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Barry Smith

Elder

Barry was born in Gadsden AL and raised in Columbia TN. He graduated from Tennessee Tech in 1964 and attended Ouachita Baptist University for two years. He and his wife, Linda, have been married since 1961 and have two sons, Ken and Kevin. Barry spent two years on active duty at Ft. Hood, TX, then enjoyed a 31-year career with TN Eastman. Having been called to minister the Word in the workplace he now leads Precept Bible studies. Retirement gives him opportunity to enjoy woodworking, playing the dulcimer, and participate in Walk to Emmaus. His passion is to see God change lives and transforming prayer.

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Gert van der Westhuizen

Elder

Gert hails from Pretoria, South Africa, where he met Marie while in college. They were married in 1985 and have three girls, Tania, Michelle and Amy, and a son, Christiaan, who is with the Lord. Gert is a diagnostic radiologist with degrees from the University of Pretoria, University of Orange Free State, Eastern Virginia Medical School and Duke. He and his family moved to Kingsport in 2002 and have attended Celebration Church since that time. Gert is passionate about the field of radiology; he practices at Holston Valley Medical Center. Gert grew up in a Christian household. For many years, he thought of himself as a "mediocre believer" but through various trials, especially the death of his infant son, the Lord wooed him into a deeper relationship. Gert and Marie enjoy hosting a small group in their home each week. Gert's heart's desire is to keep growing in faith with fellow believers and to encourage others to have a deeper walk with Christ. Gert and Marie enjoy God's creation, spending time with family and friends, reading, traveling and going to horse shows with their girls.

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Steve Smith

Elder

Steve was born, raised, and now resides in Bristol, VA. He married his high school sweetheart, Kris, and they are currently homeschooling their two children. Steve is an electrical engineer and is employed by Eastman Chemical Company. He shares his faith through small groups both at work and church and as a volunteer for various ministries within the community and at Celebration. Steve enjoys spending time outdoors backpacking, hiking, bicycling, playing tennis, and snow skiing.

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Micheal West

Elder

Michael was born, raised, and now resides in Kingsport, TN. He married his high school sweetheart, Ellen, and they currently homeschool their children, Victoria and Mackinley. Their oldest child, Will, was also homeschooled and is now in college. Michael graduated from East Tennessee State University with a BS in Chemistry and subsequently earned his doctorate in Biochemistry from Princeton University. Michael works in pharmaceutical medical affairs. He is active in the children's and youth ministries at Celebration and is passionate about helping young people discover and leverage their strengths to further God's kingdom. Michael enjoys gardening, DIYing, traveling, and teaching.

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