Our church is ruled and served by a plurality of elders (a Session), of which the pastor is one – this form of church government, which the Bible clearly teaches, is called Presbyterian (we are in the process of seeking its logical extension from the local church level by endeavoring to be yoked with a Presbytery/denomination, per Acts 15 and Westminster Confession of Faith Chapter 31). For a list of qualifications for elders, see Exodus 18 and also Paul’s first letter to Timothy, and his letter to Titus.
Elders are responsible for overseeing all aspects of church life and protecting her holiness as Christ’s beautiful bride. One of the terms that best describes the work of an elder is “shepherding”, as we are told by the Lord Jesus Christ to prove we love Him by feeding His sheep, which involves instruction and counseling through the Word, discipleship, visitation, discipline, and prayer.
Elder Malcolm D. Maxwell, Clerk of Session
Originally from Los Angeles, Mr. Maxwell moved to San Diego in 1968 with his parents. He was employed at Skandia Window Fashions for fifteen years before working as an Environmental Aide at St. Paul’s Senior Homes and Services for the last five years.
Malcolm had been a member of Bethel Baptist Church where his mother, Mrs. Rosa B. Maxwell, use to attend and serve as an usher before going to be with the Lord in September of 2014. In 1987, he was invited to the Puritan Evangelical Church by a friend, and in the fall of that year he was born again under the preaching of Pastor Wallace Bell (who served the church for more than three decades). Malcolm is a long-standing member and has been at PECA for 29 years. He was elected unto the office of Elder on May 29 of 2016, and ordained and installed by Session on June 5. He began serving as Clerk of Session in 2018.
Mr. Maxwell is married to Mrs. Irma E. Maxwell, a former Roman Catholic who first through Bible study with him through the Gospel of John was brought to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. They have been married for nearly two decades and live in Southeast San Diego.
Elder Emeritus Ron Renner
Mr. Renner moved with his parents from his native state of Indiana to San Diego in 1962. He worked for Big Bear Markets for 30 years before joining Daniel’s Markets as Director of Sales & Marketing, a position in which h
e continues to serve.
In 1968, God was pleased by His Sovereign Grace and Mercy to save both Ron and his wife, Linda; he from heathenism and she from Mormonism. Shortly after their conversion through witnessing by co-workers in the Puritan Evangelical Church of America, the Renners became part of its fellowship. In 1977, Mr. Renner was ordained as one of the church’s elders. He served as Clerk of Session for more than 30 years, and has taught Sabbath School at all grade levels, served as a trustee for nearly 40 years, and shared the responsibility of preaching and teaching the Word of God on a bi-weekly basis while the church searched for a pastor. In 2018, Mr. Renner was re-ordained as a Deacon (a role he served the church in earlier) to help build up the Deaconate Mercy Ministry (especially our pantry). He continues to serve on Session in an advisory role at quarterly meetings, for urgent government and pastoral needs, and to represent the Diaconate informing Session.
Mr. Renner has been married for more than 50 years to Mrs. Linda Renner, his high school sweetheart; they have two grown children, seven grandchildren, and one great-grand child (with another on the way!).
Pastor Grant Van Leuven
Pastor Grant Van Leuven accepted the call to the Puritan Evangelical Church of America in June of 2010, and moved with his family to San Diego at the end of August to begin serving the saints here. He was ordained and installed as pastor by the Session of the Puritan Evangelical Church of America on November 5 of that year.
Pastor Van Leuven graduated with a Master of Divinity degree in 2010 from the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh, PA, where he also served for a number of years as the director of development and communications. Prior to working for the seminary, he served as an account executive for a large Pittsburgh ad agency and for WORD-FM radio (Salem Communications), as well as Director of Communications for several non-profit organizations, including the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium.
Pastor Van Leuven also serves as the Alliance of Confessing Evangelical’s community engagement coordinator which includes contributing articles for the ministry’s PlaceforTruth.org and reformation21.org e-magazines; he also serves as managing editor for PlaceforTruth.org and assistant editor of MeethePuritans.org. For a listing of his articles and links to read them, click here.
Originally from Rochester, NY, Pastor Van Leuven lives in Chula Vista with his wife, Fernanda, and their six covenant children: Rachel (17), Olivia (15), Abraham (12), Isaac (7), Gabriel (2), and Gideon (4 months). He also enjoys songwriting, and his original music reflecting a Reformed Christian worldview can be downloaded for free at www.dumbsheep.org.