Elders

Elders

Northeast is blessed to be served by five elders. Each of the elders has written a little about themselves in the articles below.


Bill Darnell

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My father worked for U. S. Gypsum and moved frequently between their facilities in Saltville and Norfolk, VA. I was born in Norfolk, and my mother was a stay-at-home mom raising four children. Although the first six years of my life was spent in Norfolk, my dad’s company transferred him to Saltville and I became a country boy in the short time we lived there.  When I was eight, we moved to Dayton, Ohio, where my dad accepted a job with Dayton Tire and Rubber (Firestone).

At the age of ten my parents separated and shortly after that divorced. I lived in a house with three sisters and my mom. My adolescent years were very difficult. My mom struggled to find jobs to make ends meet with only an eighth grade education. She managed for seven years and then we moved back to Virginia where she had support from family. Saltville once again became my home town.

I met Tammy in high school. Tammy often tells the story of seeing me for the first time – I was riding a ten speed bicycle up the valley road in front of her house. As I rode by with my head band and long hair, that’s right, long hair blowing in the wind, she said “who is that?” and her dad said “you mean what is that?” Now I am his son in-law.

Tammy’s father’s family had deep roots in the Church of Christ and her mother was a devoted Christian who ensured her children had God in their lives. While Tammy was raised in the church, I, on the other hand, was not introduced to God’s word until later in life.

Tammy and I dated off and on through high school and after graduation we went our separate ways. She went to college and I went to work.  We got together a couple of years later and realized we really loved each other. We married in 1979 and moved to Kingsport, TN. We were married ten years before we decided to start a family. Tammy already knew the importance of having God in your life, and she demonstrated Christianity in her everyday actions. Her family inspired me during that time more than I realized through their Christian lifestyles. When we first came to Kingsport, we visited Northeast and Colonial Heights Church of Christ, but mostly drove back to Saltville on the weekends. We ended up at Valley Church of Christ where its 50 members resembled our home congregation.
Tammy is in the Information Technology division at Eastman and I teach in the Kingsport City School System at Dobyns-Bennett High School. I attended ETSU and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education and then earned a Master’s Degree in Education at Tusculum College. God has truly blessed our lives with three wonderful children: Devin, Derek, and Alison. They are such an inspiration to us and we love to see their zeal to do God’s work. We moved from Valley Church of Christ to Northeast thirteen years ago primarily for the youth program. We became active immediately. I have served as a Deacon on the Brethren and Youth Ministries. Tammy and I coordinate our Lads to Leaders Program. Now as an elder, I feel it is an honor to serve the congregation in this capacity. I am committed to do the best I can to shepherd people along the way to mature in their Christian walk.
Prayer for the Church: “Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ direct our way to you. And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.” (I Thessalonians 3:11-13)


Lynn Swallows

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My wife, Liz, and I were both born in Tennessee and raised n Miami, Fla.  We moved to Kingsport from San Diego, California in 1962 and raised our three daughters here.  I am presently retired, first from what is now Eastman Chemical Company and then from independent consulting.


Mark Mokry

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I was born in Greeley, CO and am the seventh of ten children. Despite constantly moving all over the U.S. and having a wayward father; our conscience of God’s blessings, our mother and all the siblings pulling together kept our family intact. Although I met Karen my wife at an earlier age, we did not start dating until I saw her at the University of Memphis. I had always believed in Christ’s death and resurrection, but it was not until I started attending the Church of Christ with Karen and her family that I fully understood the greatness and simplicity of that gift; so I became a Christian. Karen and I have been married almost three decades and have three wonderful children; Cole, Tori and Ginger, who like for all parents keep one busy no matter how old they get. I have served as a deacon in our past congregations in Memphis, Las Vegas and here in Kingsport. It is a humbling honor to serve as an elder, and I ask for everyone’s continued prayers and support for all who serve in this role. With this I am reminded of 2Peter 1:5-9 that we all must strive to mature in our faith and love of God.


Richard Bonner

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My wife, Tacy, and I both spent our early years in Starkville, Mississippi. We started dating in high school and were  married after our sophomore year of college. We graduated from Mississippi State University in 1989 and moved to Kingsport, where we joined the Northeast Church of Christ, and I started my career with Eastman Chemical Company. We have three children, Gill, Shelby and Kendall,  who have grown up attending Northeast. As part of my  career with Eastman, my family has spent 3 years in Europe  and 2 in Columbia, South Carolina but we’re happy to be  back at home in Kingsport. We are so grateful for the love,  attention and teaching that we and our children have  received from the wonderful members of Northeast over the  years. God has blessed us with a loving church family and we  are privileged to serve as part of the Northeast  congregation. My prayer for the church is for unity and maturity while helping each other to serve God.


Sam Ross

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I was blessed to grow up in Pensacola, Florida with parents who daily demonstrated their love for God.  I went to Harding University and met a wonderful girl from Alaska named Pam.  I was more confident of our relationship destiny than she was. Patience won me a wonderful bride that I continue to delight in even after thirty years of marriage.   God has blessed us with three children – Erika, Jon, and Saundra.  We are indebted to all those who have helped influence their lives toward godliness.   We have been at Northeast since 1991 and feel so blessed to be part of this body.  It is an honor to be asked to serve as an elder.   I’ll close with a verse that remains one of my favorites, “The eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth seeking to strengthen the hearts of those fully committed to Him.”  My prayer is for us to join together in presenting lives that reflect God’s tremendous investment in us.