Meet Our Elders

Stacey Bearden

Executive Pastor and Elder

Stacey was raised in East Tennessee and married his wife Janine while still in college. Together, they have 3 children and 6 grandchildren. He is a graduate of Liberty University with a B.S. in Business Administration, and also has a Master of Arts in Christian Leadership Studies from Liberty Theological Seminary.

After a thirteen year career in law enforcement, Stacey was called into full-time ministry in 2000, and since that time, he has served at four churches. He has also been involved in three new church plants in Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Florida. Stacey volunteers as a chaplain with the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Marc Bodenheimer


Marc is one of the longest standing leaders and elders at Providence Church. His work as a respected ophthalmologist, treating corneal diseases with laser and other refractive surgeries is not limited to Knoxville. Marc has carried his skills to the Dominican Republic to help many who are unable to provide for themselves.

Outside of his contributions to Providence he enjoys spending time with his wife and two small children, and he also enjoys a variety of outdoor activities.



Mark was raised in a strong Christian home in eastern upstate New York and accepted Christ at a young age. He attended Cedarville University where he graduated with a degree in Business Administration. His career was in the biopharmaceutical industry where he spent 35 years in sales, marketing and sales leadership and retired within the last few years. He and his wife Jeri met at Cedarville and celebrated their 40th anniversary in August of 2022.
They raised their three children in Cincinnati and relocated to the Knoxville area in June 2020 to be closer to their daughters and 3 grandsons. Since joining Providence, Mark has been involved in ESL and is currently an adult small group leader. His wife, Jeri, serves in Student Ministry as a small group leader.

Tex Frazer


Tex and his wife Melissa have been attending Providence since 2008. They met and married in Atlanta, both having graduated from Georgia Tech.  Tex works as a fire protection engineer.  Between raising five kids and leading a small group, Tex and Melissa are deliberate about spending time with each other to work on their marriage.

Tex became a Christian in January, 1991.  Since then, he has founded and led a campus ministry, led a college ministry, worked on sound and tech teams, and participated and led small groups.  Tex is passionate about Providence's mission of making, growing, and unleashing disciples of Jesus, and planting self-sustaining churches that plant self-sustaining churches.



Rich and his wife Michelle are California natives who moved to Knoxville in 2012. After Rich retired from a 22 year career in law enforcement, they felt God leading them to a new life where they could serve Gods Kingdom, and they landed at Providence Church.
They have two adult daughters and two granddaughters who live in other states. Since joining Providence Church in 2013, they have gone on mission to Brazil, led small groups, and Rich served as a chaplain for Knox County Sheriff’s office. Both Rich and Michelle became Christians later in life and have been married for 35 years. They are passionate about pointing couples to Christ, and serving in the Re | Engage ministry at Providence.



Seth is a 2019 Leadership Knoxville graduate.  He is on the Board of Directors as Vice Chair of Hope Resource Center, on the Board of Directors as Vice Chair of the Florence and Gene Monday Foundation, and is an involved Committee Member of the Workforce Development for the National Association of Landscape Contractors.  Seth has participated and facilitated Christian Leadership Concepts groups.  He enjoys coaching his kids'/youth sports, running, and Melton Hill Lake.

David Lipsey 


David and his wife Nicole are Knoxville natives. They have attended Providence since 2014.  David and Nicole have three daughters, Leighton, Keeton and Lillian, who are growing up in the Providence Children’s Ministry.

David is an attorney and he finds great joy and takes pride in meeting the needs of and serving others through his profession.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Hope Resource Center, a local Christian pregnancy center. David and Nicole are passionate about marriages and have been blessed to be part of the Re|Engage marriage ministry at Providence over the past several years.

George Pigg


George was raised in Mississippi and married his wife Pam after moving to Chattanooga. They have 2 children and 4 grandchildren. George has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and he was employed at TVA for 36 years as an Engineer and Manager and at MESA Associates for 13 years as a Principal Engineer. George has volunteered at KARM and Hope Resource Center and has served as a Small Group Leader at Providence.

Chad Sparks

Teaching Pastor and Elder

Chad has been our teaching pastor since 1997. He grew up in the home of a committed Christian football coach, surrounded by sports. After receiving Christ, Chad grew spiritually through involvement in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He holds a B.A. from Carson-Newman, a Master of Divinity with Biblical Languages from Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, NC, and a Doctorate from Dallas Theological Seminary.

Missions and planting churches have been a passion of his since spending a summer in Africa while in college. Chad and his wife Darla are both Knoxville natives and have three kids: Drew, Duncan, and Dara. He loves outdoor activities like backpacking and fishing. Other interests include working on his old Jeep Grand Wagoneer and gardening.

Mark Weaver


Mark joined Providence church in 2015 and was voted to the elder body in 2020. He has been an active member in the body of Christ since childhood serving in small group and tech ministry as well as short term mission trips throughout Central America and India.

Mark graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in history. He isn’t currently using his degree and is instead working as a sales and engineering supervisor for a manufacturing company. However it was a shared love of history that bonded Mark and Victoria, who became his wife in 2016. Together they are raising a a daughter and two sons as well as leading a small group. In his spare time Mark enjoys woodworking and construction projects.



The term "elder" might be new to you so let's first look to the Bible to define it for us. 

1 Timothy 3:1–7

"Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,  not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect.  (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil.  He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap."

Titus 1:6–9

"An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient.  Since an overseer is entrusted with God’s work, he must be blameless–not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain.  Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it."
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