Pastor Spencer Brown grew up in Winston-Salem, NC. Growing up his family moved to Columbia, SC where his dad took the position of Camp Director for Bethel Christian Camp. At camp he got his first taste of full-time ministry, as I got to work alongside my dad, mom, and sister during summer camp and off-season retreats.
He attended Piedmont Baptist College, and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC where he earned a Master of Divinity, Master of Theology in Old Testament, and a Doctor of Ministry in Biblical Counseling.
In between Piedmont and Southeastern Pastor Brown married his high school sweet-heart, Jen.
Towards the end of seminary, he accepted a call to serve as youth pastor of Piney Grove Baptist Church in Faison, NC. Their family moved to Eastern North Carolina, where they lived for 2 years. Around this time, they had their two children, Connor and Bobbi.
Two years into the ministry at Piney Grove Baptist Church, he got in contact with a small Evangelical Free Church in Albuquerque, NM looking for a senior pastor. The original members planted to Center City Church with the vision of planting a church in the downtown area of Albuquerque. The church connected with him over shared loves for evangelism, expositional preaching, and relational discipleship. In January 2013, their family moved to Albuquerque and never looked back.
Pastor Spencer Brown says that "our family loves living in Albuquerque and the southwest portion of the United States. We look forward to many more years of serving the people of Center City and deepening our roots in Albuquerque."
Stan has been an elder serving at Center City Church for six years. He is retired from working for the phone company. He enjoys gardening, feeding his chickens, and spending time with his son's and daughters.
Steve grew up on the shores of Lake Huron on the “sunrise side” of Michigan and later moved to Toledo Ohio where he finished High School, graduated from Owens Technical College and was recruited by Sandia National Labs. In 1983 he traded the green landscapes and the blue waters of the Great Lakes for the endless blue skies and majestic mountains of New Mexico.
Shortly after arriving in the arid southwest, He met his wife-to-be, Julie, while they were both running track for Sandia in the corporate cup track & field games. She invited him to attend a ‘Weekend of Christian Living’ at a local Catholic church, which is where he was reminded of a God and a religion that he had been exposed to as a child, but had long since forgotten. Together they became very active in the Roman Catholic community and spent nearly 2 decades trying to merit their righteousness through weekly mass, observing Lenten traditions, praying the rosary and making yearly pilgrimage to Chimayo. They taught confirmation classes, were leaders in the young adult group and started a high school youth group in their local parish. Despite all of their works, they were left empty and wondering if this was all there was to their faith.
Fast-forward to 2003. After a BS in Computer Science from UNM, an MS in Computer Science from CU, 2 children (Stephany and Daniel), living in Colorado for 7 years, returning to New Mexico, and still questioning his faith, He heard a pastor on his car radio, while stopped at a red light, challenging the audience; “If your religion doesn’t change your life, you had better change your religion”. At that moment, he turned off the radio and asked God to allow us to go deeper into our religion if that is where He wanted us, otherwise to get them out of there.
Shortly after that prayer, a coworker ‘randomly’ invited him to Bible Study Fellowship and after his first visit, he was “hooked”. It would be almost 2 years later, during a study of Romans, that he (along with his wife) clearly understood the Gospel and realized that all of their “merits” were adding nothing to their righteousness before a Holy God. It was Jesus’ righteousness from His perfect life lived and His perfect sacrifice on the cross, both imputed to his account that makes him seen as righteous before the Father. This happened when he repented of his sin and put his faith completely in Jesus, more than 12 years ago.
In 2006 God carefully moved the LeTourneau family out of Roman Catholicism and led them to Center City Evangelical Free Church, where they found a group of believers that had high esteem for God’s word. God gave him a passion to reach the lost so he joined up with other believers from Center City Church for weekly street witnessing in downtown ABQ. This gave him a renewed compassion for the people of this community and a clearer understanding of their need for the Gospel.
Steve have been an elder in the church since 2014 and now that he is retired from Sandia, he will be returning to Seminary where he hope's to become better equipped for the ministry and do whatever God has planned for his remaining time in this world. As a family, they enjoy traveling back to the Midwest to visit family, good New Mexico food, and outdoor sports like golf, soccer, swimming and snowboarding.
Ruben has lived in Albuquerque his whole life. As a young child, his grandparents say in him a love for music and encouraged that love. Despite bring raised in Christianity, Ruben abandoned the faith to pursue a career in music and to study other religions. In 2007 while he was enduring a particularly difficult season in his life, namely a failed marriage and a failed music career, God spoke to Rubens heart in the moments leading to a suicide attempt. He returned to the God that had always loved him at that point and has never looked back. Now Ruben uses his gift of music to bless the congregation at Center City Church and has done so since 2012. Ruben and his lovely wife Gina have three boys and are always up for some good food and fellowship!
Hillary Swihart has been working with children and students since she was in middle school. Growing up in Memphis, Tennessee, she volunteered frequently in children’s ministry at Renewal Church, and led the middle school girls’ discipleship group there. After graduating high school, she received her Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from the University of Mississippi. Before making the move from Memphis to Albuquerque in 2017, she worked as a nanny and a pre-school music teacher. She and her husband have recently moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where they have begun to build a new life and make this city their home.
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