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Leaders are important for the growth, education, welfare, fellowship, and general life of the Church. Leaders are selected by the members of our congregation at the Annual Business Meeting. The leadership of Grace Community Church consists of 2 Pastors, an Elder Team and Church Council.
John Tuff – Co Pastor
Pastor John and his wife Patty joined us in October of 2016. In addition to being a Pastor, John is a Counselor and Author. John's spiritual journey has led him to the conviction that God is Love. He does not just have love, He is love. As a result, John’s entire ministry is focused on sharing the love of God and the value He places on each one of us. We are blessed to have this very special husband and wife team.
Ian Burbridge - Co Pastor
Pastor Ian, who is from England, and his wife Linda, who comes from Indiana, have been married for 45 years and have been worshipping with Grace Community Church for the past 12 years when visiting Englewood from the UK. Ian has pastored a church in England and now that one of their daughters, Kate, lives in Venice with her husband and two young children, he and Linda are spending much more time here. Ian joined Pastor John in co-pastoring Grace Community Church in January 2022. Ian has a BA in Theology (Summa Cum Laude) from Florida Bible College and an MDiv from Luther Rice Seminary. His passion is to make the Gospel of Jesus Christ clear for unbelievers and helping those who have trusted Christ as Saviour to grow in their faith and to help them understand that, ‘all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work’ from II Timothy 3:16-17 and to ‘be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have’ from I Peter 3:15. Ian and Linda have two daughters, Emma with her husband, Paul, and their three sons, Robin, Isaac and Luke and Kate with her husband, Dominic, and their two daughters, Chloe and Lucy.
Darrell Decker – Elder
Darrell has a wonderfully full history of serving our Lord and Savior. He and his family served in the wild jungles of Colombia, S.A. for many years where they raised their four children. Due to health issues they returned to the States and continued as missionaries working with youth and being an interim Pastor in rural Michigan. When he and his wife, Nada, retired to Florida the Lord prompted them to continue their work with young people and the opened a “Teen Center” in North Port. Again physical ailments caused by exposure to chemicals while in the military forced him to retire, again. They later joined Grace Community Church and he accepted the call to be an Elder. He has worked in many different capacities, especially as the Pastor’s fill-in for visitation, a role he very much enjoys.
Rick Pierce - Elder
Born and raised in Indiana, Rick grew up in Indianapolis. He received Christ as his savior in 1956 while attending a Christian Missionary Alliance Church. Rick met Jeanie in 1968 and were married in 1970. They have 3 grown children - David, Greg and Shelly. Rick worked for Baxter HealthCare for 38 years; 18 years as a Field Service Engineer and 20 years as a Customer Care Manager. Rick and Jeanie moved to California in 1986 and eventually retired in the foothills of the Sierra mountains. In 2022, they moved to Englewood. Rick has been active in church his whole adult life. He has served as a youth leader, Sunday School teacher, elder, Christian school board member, & Bible Study teacher. We are so grateful to have Rick on board.
The Church Council is comprised of both men and women within the church membership who are generally heads of ministries or committees.