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. 

Dale Kastner is originally from Cleveland, Ohio and is a graduate of Valparaiso University in Indiana. He moved to Arkansas and then married Cheryl in 1979. The couple made Hot Springs Village their home and then became members of Village Bible Church in 1987. Dale began Casa Verde Landscapes and Garden Center which he ran for 30 years before selling to his brother-in-law, he continues working there today as an employee. Cheryl was a teacher at Jessieville Elementary for 40 years and you have also seen her around church as the previous leader of the Women’s Ministry Team. Dale is currently a Gideon and was a volunteer fireman in Hot Springs Village for 25 years. He enjoys fishing, coin collecting and traveling. He and Cheryl look forward to continuing to attend and serve Village Bible Church.
 


Gary Rohwedder and his wife Chris moved to Hot Springs Village from Cedar Falls, Iowa in October, 2018.  Since 1976 Gary was in real estate as a Realtor and Mortgage Banker.  Chris was employed in Human Resources at both Rockwell in Cedar Rapids and the University of Northern Iowa after they moved to Cedar Falls in 1997.  

They met in college at the University of Northern Iowa, were married in 1970, and celebrated 50 years together this year. They have been blessed with 2 beautiful daughters, both of whom are married to pastors (one being Baptist and one being Lutheran, making for interesting theological discussions when the family is all together), and 10 amazing grandchildren (ranging in age from 6 to 19).  Chris and Gary have served in various capacities in the churches they’ve attended.  They were the Youth Directors and Church Council members at Faith Lutheran Church while living in Cedar Rapids; and College Ministry leaders for Orchard Hill Reformed Church in Cedar Falls.  Chris has been involved in Bible Study Fellowship for several years and facilitated different women’s study groups over the years.  Gary served as an Elder at First Baptist Church in Cedar Falls, and co-facilitated several men’s Bible Studies at both Orchard Hill and First Baptist. 

In the early spring of 2018, Chris and Gary leased an HSV home for a month to help in determining a location that might be the best fit for their retirement years. While here for that month they visited three churches, including Village Bible Church (VBC).  They found each church to be very friendly, but their choosing VBC for their church home was not a difficult decision. They found VBC to be a warm and inviting community of believers; with solid spirit-led teaching, based on the inerrancy of all scripture; an emphasis on missions; and encouragement for individual growth through classes and small groups. Visiting VBC was a major point in their determination to make Hot Springs Village their new home.




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.


Steve Masters and his wife Susie, moved to the Village from Louisiana.  Steve has a son, daughter, and four grandkids.  Thirteen years ago Steve made a major change in his life when he returned to Shreveport from Texas after a conversation with his mother.  Steve was considering a move, and his mother asked him to move back home to be closer to his family.  Mom lived there, as did his sister and brother.  Steve agreed and that decision led to many spiritual and career changes in his life.  From that point on, Steve began to recognize how God was at work in his life.  He felt a renewed, and powerful, conviction of the Holy Spirit.  Because of that awareness, he re-dedicated his life to God and began a purposeful renewal of his walk with Jesus Christ.  Steve became very aware of God opening doors for him as he began this new journey.  Steve also just happened to pick up a Master’s Degree in Education at that time and began a teaching career in high school science.  God was busy in his life.  God opened a door on this whole new career when Steve got a temporary teaching job (his first) in the middle of a school year (impossible) to cover for someone called away to military service.  God opened a door!  Another door was opened a year later when he landed a permanent, and only, science teaching position open in Bossier Parrish, LA.  Steve also met his wife, Susie, after the move to Shreveport. The Masters attended a Bible Church called River Park in Shreveport where they were very active in Small Group ministry and Bible studies, building on a foundation of scriptural knowledge and sound doctrine.  Steve loves to teach. Both he and Susie have a very strong commitment to caring for others.  This has been a signature strength and desire in their lives.  In fact, Steve and Susie moved to the Village seven years ago to help as caregivers for Susie’s mom until her mother went Home last June. They both became members of VBC in 2014. Steve continued to teach at Fountain Lake High School until retirement last year and is looking forward to his time as an Elder and his service to VBC.  

 

 

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.