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 // Lead 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, Margot, and Harrison.
Shane was born and raised in Fall River. He came to faith in his first year of college. After experiencing a recent family tragedy, a lifelong friend was by his side every step of the way. He shared the gospel with him. He placed his trust in Christ, and nothing has ever been the same. Shane holds a B.S. in Accounting from Rhode Island College, and is currently pursuing a Master of Divinity from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Shane also leads the ministry of Christian Student Fellowship at Roger Williams University. Formerly a deacon of liturgy, Shane became an elder/pastor at MHC in May, 2019. He enjoys reading, drinking coffee, and playing piano. He also enjoys soccer, more specifically Chelsea FC out of London, England! You can also occasionally spot him DJing at a local wedding.
Tom grew up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He was blessed to be raised in a Christian home, where he committed himself in faith and repentance at a young age. He attended the University of Alabama (Roll Tide!) where he studied engineering. It was during those years that Tom was greatly impacted by the ministry of Reformed University Fellowship (RUF). After college, he married Sally and they eventually settled in Bristol and have been calling it home ever since. Tom became an elder/pastor at MHC in May, 2019. They have three children (Laura, Jessica, and Alexander). You can see Tom around town running, on the harbor kayaking, or at any sports complex with his kids on most weekends.
Corey Chaplin // Pastoral Assistant
Corey grew up in Warrensburg, MO. The Lord gave him faith to trust in Christ as his Savior when he was young. After high school, Corey attended the University of Central Missiouri where he received a B.S. in Business Administration. While in college, Corey was an intern with his local church (First Baptist Church of Warrensburg) and served as an Assistant Director at the Baptist Student Union. In 2016, he and his wife Jamie graduated, got married, and moved to Kansas City so he could pursue an M.Div at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. During their time in Kansas City, Jamie and Corey were members at Emmaus Church where Corey also completed a Pastoral Residency program. With family ties to the Northeast, Corey and Jamie had a heart to go to New England after seminary. In May of 2019, Corey and Jamie moved to Bristol to serve at MHC. Corey likes sports (especially New England sports), biking, reading, watching movies, and going on walks and adventures with his wife.
Sarah Sousa // Children’s Ministry
Verne Edwards // Ordinances
Renee Ferreira // Hospitality