Leadership & History

Our Story:

On April 1, 2012, one week before Easter, Two small groups of Christians who had been meeting for Bible study in their homes—one in Dublin and one in Stephenville—merged together with a shared vision that God desired to start a new church. A new church with a commitment to study God’s Word deeply, support world missions eagerly and build relationships intentionally with people longing to expand God’s Kingdom. Their respective group leaders served as co-pastors of Elk Ridge Baptist Church from its inception, taking the name for the church from Elk Ridge Estates on Alexander Road in Stephenville where they hoped to build a permanent facility on donated property. For a short time the church met in a member’s home in Stephenville before moving into a meeting room at Motel 6 where it worshipped together for almost a year. On August 11, 2013 the church moved into a small home at 634 East Road in Stephenville. After seasons of God’s favor and growth, and greatly expanding and renovating the East Road facilities to its capacity; the church built a new facility and began worshipping there on that donated land near Elk Ridge Estates In November 2020. Elk Ridge has a passion for God and His glory and a longing for our neighbors near and far to know the hope of the gospel. We look forward to living out the mission of the Gospel in our new community and in communities around the world.

Come. Join us as we lay hold of the plow, not the glory. The fields are ripe, and the workers are few…

35 Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. 36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” - Matthew 9:35-38

Who we are:

Elk Ridge Baptist Church is a body of believers in Jesus. We are passionate about making disciples of Jesus, equipping believers for the work of ministry, and supporting and sending out workers to share the good news of Jesus around the world.


John Ward - Interim Senior Pastor



The Ward Family is so excited to serve this wonderful Church and Church Family. I have been Blessed to coach/teach for the last 30 years in public schools in the area and other areas in Texas, it's been an awesome ministry. God has Blessed me to Bi-Vocational Pastor for 20 plus years while coaching. This May I have retired from coaching and teaching; we are so pumped about being in full time ministry. God has Blessed us in FCA, Coaches Outreach, Prison and State School Ministry, and preaching many youth rallies and church revivals.

My wife Jan, my backbone, we have been married for 30 plus years and have two wonderful daughters Lauren Jane Ward (27 years old), Kristi Norwood (25 years old), Andew Norwood (Son-in-Law), and Collins Faith Ward (Granddaughter-9 years old), Easton James Norwood (3 years old), and Knox Wayne Norwood (1 ½ years old).

I was inspired to author a book titled: 100-0, an inspirational telling of how the Lord guided me through a grim season.

We are ready to be servant leaders and have a passion for compassion to share the love of Jesus Christ!!

John 3:30 and LOVE GOD and LOVE PEOPLE!!

Matt McGowen-Worship & Youth Pastor

Matt joins Elk Ridge BC with a wealth of experience. With over 20 years experience, he has been the lead Pastor at First BC May, TX. Trinty BC, Sweetwater, Tx., & Cottonwood BC, Cross Plains TX.

Husband to an amazing and gifted wife (Sonda) and dad to 4 incredible kids (Ava, Addy, Alma, Athan)

Matt holds a BA in Christian Studies from Howard Payne & a MDiv from Hardin Simons.

Andy Hansen - Elder, Missions


Andy and his family joined with the Bishops and the Sherwins to plant Elk Ridge Baptist Church in 2012. He is a local businessman and investor. Prior to Elk Ridge BC he served as Deacon, Pastoral Staff, Elder, and Interim-Pastor. He holds a Masters & PhD in Theology. He loves the Lord and prays for grace as he "runs with endurance the race that is set before us." Andy is passionate about Missions and Church Planting.

He has three grown children and two children still at home with his wife, Gidget They are blessed with a growing number of grandkids.

Ministry Team:

Kim Bishop

Children's ministry

Jo Ann Popkess & Sheila Bishop

Women's ministry


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