2015 Council Candidates

Categories: Council

Restoration shares leadership with the Pastor and a Council of Elders who are elected by the membership.

Each year, Council members rotate off and new candidates are brought forward. The process of election is conducted by a Nomination Committee that is called by the members. Council candidates are identified and vetted through a thorough process that honors the high calling of serving the church through leaders.

The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. 1 Timothy 3:1

Year after year, I’m impressed by the depth and quality of our Council leaders. This year, we’re bringing forward some fresh faces who are eager to serve with their gifting. I’m excited to see how the Lord guides us this year. _Simon Guevara, Pastor

2015 Council Candidate Bios:

Ralf Patterson is being nominated to serve on Council (2-year term)

Ralf Pat


I grew up in Chicago and moved to Grand Rapids MI in my early teens. This is where I met and married my high school sweetheart Liz. We have been married for 35 years and have 4 sons (as well as a wonderful daughter-in-law). Three of our boys were born in Grand Rapids and the youngest was born in Southeast MI (greater Detroit area) where we moved in 1987. We felt the call to move to Texas 4-5 years ago and finally made the move in the summer of 2013. We felt an immediate connection with Restoration and consider ourselves blessed to have found such a great church home so quickly.

Coming to faith

I grew up in the church. My father was a Presbyterian minister when I was a child. Our move to Grand Rapids was a result of his becoming a minister in the Christian Reformed church. Before attending christian school in Grand Rapids, I never really understood who Jesus was. It was there that I came to understand that Jesus was truly the begotten son of God and his death was not an accident but rather a sacrifice to pay for all of our sins. I wish I could say I immediately gave my heart to the Lord, but I didn’t. I was having too much (of what I thought was) fun. Over the next couple of years, God pursued me until finally, at age 16, I gave my heart to Jesus.

Call to serve

Being a “preacher’s kid” I developed an ardent desire to avoid anything remotely resembling leadership in the church. Although I have been happily serving on worship teams for decades, God has been nudging me to do more. My willingness to serve on church council is rooted in a deep desire to be useful to the Lord by helping His body in any capacity that I am needed.

Meredith Podehl is being nominated to serve on Council (2-yr term)


My name is Meredith Podehl. I was raised and educated in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I served in the US Peace Corps (Ukraine) before returning once again to Grand Rapids for nursing school. After nursing school I took a job with an international company and worked overseas. Chris and I were married in 2012 and I moved down to Austin. I currently work as a nurse at Round Rock Medical Center. I have a passion for travel and pharmacy viagra pfizer meeting new people.

Coming to Faith

I grew up in the Covenant church and was blessed to have a family who made church life a priority (I once was grounded from church).  I committed to Christ at an early age, but it was relationships in youth group that taught me what it means to be a follower of Christ. As an adult I have found community to be a key element of my faith, being challenged/ encouraged by living life with other believers.

Call to Serve

I was on a run praying about involvement in Restoration. My run ended in humility asking God where I co

uld best serve Him with my energies and gifts. Less than an hour after I returned home from that run of submission I received the a phone call about serving on council. For me, serving on council is an act of obedience and I am thankful that God has given me the enthusiasm/desire to serve in such a role.

Deana Pugh is being nominated to serve as Treasurer (1-yr term)



I grew up near Roanoke, Virginia, and moved to Austin TX in 1982.  I worked for the State for 24 years in contract administration.

Coming to Faith

I was raised in the Church of the Brethren, but I did not choose to continue going to church as an adult as I thought I had “outgrown” it.  In 2006, David Pugh invited me to St.Barnabas the Encourager, and I never stopped going because it was so different from everything I had known.  Gradually I asked Jesus to give me faith, then forgive me, take me back, and guide me.  I have continued learning in small groups and Bible studies, as well as church services, and growing up in Jesus has been quite a challenge!  David and I were married in 2007.

Call to serve

I realized that all the good things in life I have experienced have been connected to our church.   I am deeply grateful, and want to give back when I am asked.

Rick Fisher is being nominated to serve as Church Chair (2-yr term)

Rick has been serving on Council as Vice-Chair for the last two years.

Author: Simon Guevara