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How does Christ lead Reformation Fellowship?

Jesus is the only king of the church in all ages and places (Ephesians 1:22, 23). He exercises the authority of His reign in His church by the Spirit using the written Word.

Every true believer, having the Spirit of Christ, shares in Jesus’ authority (Ephesians 2:6). Thus, we are “…a royal priesthood…that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness…” (1 Peter 2:9).

However, Jesus also gives officers to each congregation to administer the Word and sacraments and to provide leadership and pastoral care (elders), and to minister mercy (deacon), (see Ephesians 4:11-14; Philippians 1:1).

“Elder” translates the Greek word “presbuteros,” so we take the name “Presbyterian” because we believe that the church should be led by a group of elders (e.g. Acts 14:23 and Titus 1:5).

Though all elders must be apt to teach (Titus 1:9), at least one elder in each congregation is called to preach and teach as a vocation (1 Timothy 5:17). This preaching/teaching elder is what we typically call the “pastor” or “minister” of the congregation. As an elder he has no more authority than the other elders to govern the church, but as the pastor he does have a special and concentrated responsibility for the preaching of the Word and the administration of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

The pastor, together with the other elders, is to shepherd the congregation in love, gentleness, and meekness, with a motivation to build up each member in the truth of Christ. The office of deacon exists to care for the physical and monetary needs of Christ’s people.

The New Testament hints at the importance of elders of churches in a region assembling together to govern concerns common to their churches (Acts 15). We use the term “presbytery” to designate this regional body of elders. The presbytery meets for mutual edification and accountability, to assure sound doctrine in our churches, and to help start new churches in our region. We are part of the Presbytery of Northern California and Nevada of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

Reformation Fellowship, along with all other OPC congregations, orders its government and worship by our Book of Church Order. Click here to review this document.

Kevin Van Der Linden

I grew up in north San Diego County as a third generation native Californian. My parents provided a caring and supportive home to my sister and me. I attended public and Christian schools, and my family regularly attended church. I grew up working summers in our family electrical contracting business that my grandfather started in…

Dale Hanaoka

I was born into a military family and moved many times to wherever my father was stationed.  After high school, I attended college and graduated with a civil engineering degree from UC Davis and then joined the Navy and was stationed on aircraft carriers as a non-pilot aircrew in the EA-6B “Prowler” jet. During my…

Erin Rice

Erin Rice and his wife Melanie began attending Reformation Fellowship in 2010. They have three children and reside near Vacaville. Erin served as a deacon from 2013 until he was was ordained as an elder in 2017. Erin works as a planner on energy and natural resources projects. The Rices enjoy maintaining their country property,…

Dan Sonke

Dan Sonke grew up in a Christian home and Reformed church near Modesto, California. His family moved to his grandparents’ almond farm in elementary school. After college, Dan went to work for a Christian mission organization in Florida which offers training and research for missionaries working in agriculture. While there, he was challenged to define…

Mike Ziegler

Mike Ziegler has been an elder for more than 25 years and has served on the session of Reformation Fellowship since the beginning of 2007. He has also served the Presbytery of Northern California and Nevada in the oversight of several Home Missions works over the past 20 years and as a member of its…

Devin Avery

Devin Avery and his wife Stephanie began attending RF in 2015. He was elected to the office of deacon in 2020. Devin is a native of California, and has lived in the Sacramento area since 2000. He works in software development for a healthcare organization. When he is not working he enjoys spending time outside…

James Gochnauer

James Gochnauer and his wife Charlotte began attending Reformation Fellowship in 2007. They have 4 children and live in Folsom. James has a degree in Business Marketing from San Jose State University. He works for a marketing company in the new home industry. James enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, scuba diving and playing…

Johnny Flotte

Johnny Flotte and his wife Marty began attending RF in 2005, and he was elected to the office of Deacon in 2008. Johnny and Marty have three children. He is the owner-operator of a local small business. Johnny enjoys spending any free time with family and friends.

Thad Stanley

Thad Stanley has served Reformation Fellowship as a deacon since 2008, and was previously a deacon at a Presbyterian church in Florida before relocating to the Sacramento area in 2005. Thad grew up in Michigan and served in the Air Force—both in the U.S. and overseas—for seven years after college. After leaving the military he…

Ben Stewart

Ben Stewart has been serving Reformation Fellowship as a deacon since 2013. Previously he served as a deacon in the Reformed Church of the United States, in Colorado Springs, CO. Ben and his wife Alicia relocated to Roseville in 2009 and began fellowship at RF in 2010. They have four children. Ben grew up in…