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 5 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

Elder

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.

Tex Frazer

Elder

Bio coming soon!

David Lipsey 

Elder

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. David and Nicole are grateful for the Providence family and look forward to continuing to serve as we carry out our mission of making, growing and unleashing disciples of Christ.

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. Before Providence he served as the pastor of two churches. 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 

Elder

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 technology 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 growing family and leading a small group; in his spare time Mark enjoys woodworking and construction projects.

David Zelem

Elder

David joined the Providence family in 2004 and became part of the elder team in 2008. From a young age he has been passionate about serving Christ through the local church. A new chapter in life brings joy in serving internationally through short-term missions in Guatemala.

David is a graduate of Liberty University with a BA in Communications. At Liberty he met his wife Kathy and married in 1988. What other place would bring together someone from New Jersey and San Diego?! Though David’s career path has been primarily in sales, he identifies himself through his relationship with Christ as well as his commitment to his family and church.
Add three kids to the mix (Hayden, Kaela, and Evan) and life is quite a journey. He is excited to see them serve in the body of Christ in their own unique ways. 

ELDERS AT PROVIDENCE

PROVIDENCE CHURCH IS LED BY A PLURALITY OF ELDERS

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."
  If you're curious for more details on  the role of an elders in the church and how we go about selecting elders for leadership, you can download the document below. If you're also wondering what the role of women in ministry at Providence is, we hope the document below will answer questions you may have.  Please reach out to us if you have further questions!