According to the New Testament, pastors are to be the spiritual
leaders and protectors of God’s people. There are several words that are
used to describe the person who is often titled “pastor” in the local
church. These words are “overseer”, “elder”, “bishop”, and, of course,
“pastor/teacher”. This variety of words helps to define the God-given
responsibilities that this individual has in the local church.
Every man who is recognized as a pastor at the Grace Brethren Chapel
meets the qualifications set forth in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9.
We believe that the office of pastor/elder is limited to men.
Plurality of Leadership
One consistent theme found in New Testament churches is that each
local church was governed by a plurality of elders. Consider the
following verses (emphasis added):
Acts 14:23 “When they had appointed elders for them in every church,
having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they
Titus 1:5 “For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in
order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed
1 Peter 5:1 “Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow
elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of
the glory that is to be revealed...”
Because of this clear pattern in Scripture, the Chapel has
established a leadership group of multiple elders/pastors to provide
directional decision making for the church, preach and teach God’s Word,
and devote themselves to prayer and equipping the saints for the works
The elders who serve at the Chapel do so on equal footing – we do not
have a hierarchy of authority within the group of elders. Each elder
has the same authority as every other elder – we don’t have a “lead”
pastor and “associate” or “junior” pastors. The elders work together to
exercise oversight of God’s church, using their unique areas of
giftedness to serve and bless the local church.
Get to Know Our Pastors
Pastor Dave Damschroder
A lifelong Fremont resident, Dave has been attending the Chapel since
he heard the gospel preached on the radio and got saved at age 21. Over
the last 40+ years, Dave has had a desire to grow in his personal walk
with Christ and help others grow too. He has served as an elder since
2002. He is married to Melissa and they have four grown children and
Pastor Jonathan Edwards
Having grown up the son of a pastor in Kalamazoo, MI, Jonathan wasn't
seeking to pursue the career choice of his father. Yet, the Holy Spirit
had other plans and placed a burden on his heart to shepherd God's
people. He graduated from the Christian Workman Schools of Theology and
has served as an elder at the Chapel since September of 2012. He is
married to Meredith and they have four children: Vera, Adele, Levi, and
Pastor John Fahrbach
John grew up in the Fremont area and was saved in the early 70's
through the ministry of Floyd and Ann Waggoner. He attended Grace
Theological Seminary and graduated with a BA in History & Biblical
Studies and an M. Div. in Theology. He pastored the Trinity Grace
Brethren Church in Northwood for over 15 years before joining the Chapel
as an elder in 2002. John is married to Sharon. Two of his adult
children attend the Chapel with him, while two live on other parts of
the country. His son-in-law, Ron, has the privilege of serving with him
as a fellow-elder.
Pastor Ron Kreager, Jr.
Ron was born and raised in Northwest Ohio. After graduating from
Genoa High School in 2004, Ron attended the University of Toledo, where
he graduated with degrees in business and law. It during college that he
began attending the Chapel and after a short while, Ron began to desire
to help others to understand God’s Word. Consequently, he began
teaching youth at the Chapel and helped oversee the youth ministries.
He also had a desire to contribute in the music ministry, so he learned
to play guitar and began playing on Sunday mornings at the Chapel.
Recognizing his gifting in music and leadership, he eventually assumed a
leadership position within the music ministry. Around 2015, he began
wondering whether God was calling him to serve as an elder. After
several years of prayer and consideration, he began diligently pursuing
God's call by attending Practorium classes (seminary-level
training based in the local church) and seeking the affirmation of the
other elders at the Chapel. After meeting the qualifications listed in 1
Tim. 3 and being affirmed by both the current elders and the
congregation, Ron was ordained as an elder in January of 2022.
He is married to Ruth and they share three beautiful children: Caroline, Ellie, and Rose.
Pastor Keith Merriman
Keith is from Indianapolis, IN, and if you ask him to tell you how he
got saved, you'll hear the exact day and hour! A former Roman Catholic,
Keith came to Christ at age 25 and began his studies at Grace
Theological seminary a mere nine months later. His ministry experience
includes 13 years of pastoral leadership at the Orrville Grace Brethren
Church, 5 years at the Parkersburg Grace Brethren Church, and 2 years of
teaching seminary in Cameroon, Africa. He joined the Chapel as an elder
in 2003. He is married to Nancy and they have two grown children, one
of whom attends the Chapel. He is blessed with seven grandchildren and