We are a community of baptized believers in Christ. We hold that there are three “offices” that make up a church, following the New Testament pattern: members, pastors, and deacons.
Members are men and women in the church who exercise the authority and privileges given to the church by Christ Himself. The local church is called to guard the gospel through holding firmly to the faith, bearing responsibility for discipleship, and fulfilling the Great Commission (1 Cor. 12:27; 1 Tim. 3:15; Matt.16:13-19; 18:15-20; 28:18-20).
Elders/Pastors are men in the church who, according to Scripture, are called to devote themselves to the ministry of the Word and prayer, and give leadership and oversight to the church (Acts 6:4; 20:28; Heb. 13:17). Their qualifications are laid out in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1.
Deacons are men and women in the church who serve and uphold the ministry of the Word and prayer by freeing the elders up to devote themselves to their calling. Deacons and deaconesses do this by giving oversight to particular ministries and, in so doing, protect the unity of the church (Acts 6:1-4; 1 Timothy 3:8-13).
Joel Sedam // Pastor
Joel grew up in Westerly, RI. Being raised in a Christian home, he was taught the truths of the gospel, saw his personal need for salvation, and, by God’s grace, came to faith in Christ at a young age. In his final year of high school, he became increasingly open to the possibility of giving himself to full-time Christian ministry, in whatever capacity that might be. After graduating with a B.A. in Theology, he and his wife Jen moved to Providence and connected with the ministry of Grace Harbor Church. He also began graduate studies through Southern Seminary. In 2009, Joel began working with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at Roger Williams University. After 4 years with IVCF, he served as an elder and associate pastor at Grace Harbor Church in Providence for 3 years. Joel and Jen moved to Bristol in June of 2015, and are excited to call Bristol home. They are tired and happy parents to Peter and Margot.
Shane Carvalho // Deacon of Liturgy