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. For a list of qualifications for elders, see 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 Paul Huffmaster
Elder Huffmaster was saved through the outreach efforts of the Puritan Evangelical Church while he served in the Navy in the 80s, and he has been an active member of the congregation ever since. He began serving on the Session in September of 2004, and regularly teaches Psalm devotions and Sabbath School.
Elder Huffmaster and his wife Norma also serve with the teens on Wednesday nights, and in various monthly fellowship events with the young adults group.
He works as a special ed teacher for Crawford High School in the San Diego City Schools. The Huffmasters live in Chula Vista with their two children.
Elder Ron Renner, Clerk of Session
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 he continues to serve.
In 1968, God was pleased by His Sovereign Grace and Mercy to save both Ron and Linda; he from heathenism and Linda from Mormonism. Shortly after their conversion, they began attending the Puritan Evangelical Church of America (then the Orthodox Presbyterian Church where Wallace A. Bell served as pastor). Shortly after the church left the OPC in 1972 under Pastor Bell’s leadership, Mr. Renner was ordained as one of the church’s elders in 1977. 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.
Mr. Renner has been married for 47 years to Mrs. Linda Renner, his high school sweetheart; they have two grown children, Kelly and Joshua, and seven grandchildren.
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 Friday, November 5.
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.
Originally from Rochester, NY, Pastor Van Leuven lives in Chula Vista with his wife, Jennifer, and their three home-schooled children (with another on the way): Rachel (9), Olivia (7), and Abraham (4). He also enjoys songwriting, and his original music reflecting a Reformed Christian worldview can be downloaded for free at www.dumbsheep.org.