Our Elders

The Elder Board is elected by the congregation to provide leadership, spiritual direction, and oversight of the various ministries of Village Bible Church. Faithful leadership involves promoting the spiritual welfare of the church, evaluating and establishing goals and priorities, and the ongoing development and approval of policy and procedure to ensure program effectiveness. 

John Sowers, and his wife Trudi joined VBC in 2014. This dynamic couple has been actively involved in servant ministry at VBC ever since.  John joined the Air Force and earned a Masters Degree in Civil Engineering. He graduated from the Air Force Academy and made a career in the Air Force in Facility Management. After retiring, John completed an MBA and became a college teacher. John continues to serve on numerous boards within the Hot Springs Village community. We are privileged to have John serve so faithfully, effectively, and cheerfully as a member of our Elder board. 

Dick Leach has been a regular at VBC since 2007 and became a member in 2011. He is a retired pastor/professor, having served churches in Colorado, South Dakota, Wisconsin and also Lakeland College in Sheboygan, Wisconsin for  a span of 43 years. Dick was drawn to VBC by Pastor Mark's forthright Biblical preaching, the choir, and the Saturday morning Men's Bible Study. Dick lost his first wife in 1989 and married Wanda Murray(also a pastor) in 1995. Together they have six children, 14 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren. Dick says "I am honored to serve our Lord and this congregation on the Elder Board."

Larry Collins and his wife, Cynthia, moved to Hot Springs Village in the late summer of 2004 from the Philadelphia area after his retirement from Sunoco in 2003. Larry and Cynthia visited a number of churches after moving to the Village but they kept coming back to VBC because of the wonderful preaching, teaching and friendliness of the people. Larry has previously served on the church personnel committee as well as the Elder Board. Cynthia sings in the choir and serves on the art committee, as well as, the deaconess ministry team. Both love serving and participating in the life of Village Bible Church. 

Glenn McCaleb and his wife, Susan moved to the Village in 2012 and became members of VBC that following year.  Glenn & Susan are originally from the Houston area where he retired as a Regional Account Manager with Eurotainer International, an Intermodel Container Leasing Corporation.  His previous work experience also included various management positions in the Intermodel business as well as 14 years with the Houston Police Department. Glenn & Susan have one son and 3 grandchildren. He has been involved in leadership roles in various churches for over 35 years that range from Praise Teams to Small Group Overseers.  Glenn is also the current Chair for the HSV Fellowship of Christian Athletes Vision Board and the Chaplain for the local HSV Gideons.

Dennis Gullickson and his wife Tamra joined VBC in 2015.  Upon graduating from Dana College Dennis worked in higher education administration for sixteen years.  In response to the Lord's call he left higher education and assumed the position of Assistant to the Bishop of the Eastern North Dakota District (ENDD) of the American Lutheran Church (ALC. Dennis and Tamra spent five weeks in Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan as Mission Visitors and upon returning to the states traveled for two years throughout the ENDD reporting to congregations about what they observed in the mission fields. Dennis served the West Fargo, ND School District as a school board member for ten years. He and Tamra were blessed to be part of the original developers of a new ALC congregation in West Fargo.  This new church was built in collaboration with a new Roman Catholic church and was the only one in America where a Roman Catholic and a Lutheran church were birthed at the same time.  Since joining VBC he has served as the Team Leader of Christian Education.  Dennis says, "I am humbled to serve our Lord and Village Bible Church on the Elder Board."


John Batjes and his wife, Kathy, moved to the Village in 2014 from northern Illinois. They have three children, four grandchildren, three step-grandchildren and three granddogs.  John retired from a retail and sales management career, while Kathy retired from a career as an elementary school teacher as well as a speech-language pathologist.  John and Kathy have held various church positions before joining VBC.  John served as a church music and choir director for several years while they lived in Indiana.  He led the usher and greeter ministry team for sixteen years at their former church.  Kathy has taught Sunday school, served in Women’s Ministry, and taught in VBS for many years.  Both John and Kathy have been involved in Small Group Ministry for over sixteen years, have co-chaired a major building campaign at their former church, and been involved with church body life in a variety of ways.  Having visited the Village and VBC on previous trips, before fully retiring to the Village, it was obvious to them that Village Bible Church was where they wanted to place membership. To them, VBC represents the most critical elements of a great church:  a spirit filled congregation, loving and generous in all things, and a church that relies solely on the inerrancy of scripture.