What is the distinctive of a Presbyterian church? The answer is our leadership culture, the clue of which is found in the name itself.
In the New Testament, appointed leaders were called presbeuteroi, or in English, elders. Each Presbyterian congregation is governed and led by a group of men and women, chosen by and representative of the congregation, called ruling elders. Together they serve on and comprise the leadership group, called the Session. The pastor of a Presbyterian church is called a teaching elder, and serves as the moderator of the Session.
Elder for Children’s and Family Ministry
After Gretchen and her husband, John, retired from a combined 60 years in education in June, 1998, they moved from Redmond, Washington to Ketchum building a home just north of town. On previous vacations here they had been introduced to PCBW by friends. They became involved early on. Gretchen served three years on session during the transition for Pastor Al Oliver to Pastor Bob Henley. Those three years involved working mainly with the Big Wood School as it was growing and developing. In 2016, she was asked to serve on session representing Children's Ministry. As always, when dealing with work that deals with children, she finds it to be very rewarding and fulfilling.
Elder for Affiliate Members and Missions
Jennifer graduated from the University of Wyoming with a bachelor’s degree in Education. From there she attended Utah State University and received a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood. Jennifer holds 4 teaching certificates in Early Childhood, English, Special education, and Elementary Education. She taught for 25 years for the state of Utah before retiring. She has lived in Idaho and attended PCBW for 20 years where she enjoys fishing and bird hunting with her husband Mick.
Elder for Youth Ministry
Todd was raised in San Jose, California. He graduated from U.C Berkeley where he played collegiate soccer. Before moving to Ketchum full time in 2010 he lived in Oakland, California. Prior to joining PCBW, Todd was a member of the First Congregational Church in San Jose and the Piedmont Community Church in Piedmont, CA. Todd has been in Wealth Management for 29 years and is currently in charge of the UBS Financial Services office in Ketchum. Todd is most proud of his family and cherishes his time with his wife Erin, and his three children Trevor, Audrey and Hudson.
Elder for Administration and Finance Committee
Jeff was raised and lived in Southern California and he and his wife JB were long time members of the Presbyterian Church of Newport Beach. In 1991 they moved to Phoenix where they lived for the next twenty two years. He has been coming to Sun Valley since 1973 and has owned property as a second home destination since 1979. He retired here five years ago after a career as an investment banker and entrepreneur.
Elder for Deacons Ministry
Cassie moved from southern Idaho to the valley in 1969 when she pursued a career in various aspects of real estate, land development and title insurance. She was a part owner and the manager of Sun Valley Title Co. for the 35 years leading up to her retirement in 2016.
Cassie has been involved in many local organizations and continues her volunteer work with PCBW, Rotary and St. Luke’s hospital. She has served in various deacon roles at PCBW since she and her husband Bill became members in 2008. She became an elder in 2010 and served on the board under Pastor Bob Henley.
Cassie’s greatest joys, besides spending time with her grandchildren and great grandchildren, are teaching classes, organizing events and training her two “retirement therapy” dogs.
Elder for Worship and Music
Ed grew up in Orange County, California and began working in the Fire Service in 1972. He committed his life to Jesus Christ in April of 1975 and married his wife Carmen in 1977. He retired from The Orange County Fire Department in 2006, after 34 years with the rank of Fire Captain / Paramedic. Ed served in his California church as an Elder for many years before moving to Hailey in 2003 and served on PCBW session as worship elder from 2008-2014. He now works part time in the summer as a Fly-Fishing guide for Silver Creek outfitters, serves on several boards concerned with environmental stewardship, writes poetry and enjoys outdoor pursuits in the beauty of the Wood River Valley.
Clerk of Session
JoAnne and her husband Dick moved to Hailey in 2011 after spending many vacations in the valley. She was secretary at her church in Avon CT for several years and served three terms on Session at First Presbyterian Church in Davenport IA. JoAnne and Dick enjoy biking, hiking, snowshoeing, and traveling in their motor home. During the winter months you can usually find JoAnne in her sewing room quilting.
Elder for Personnel Committee
Cheri and her husband Tom moved to the Wood River Valley in 2008. Cheri was a founding member of North Creek Presbyterian Church in Mill Creek, WA and then a deacon at Bellevue Presbyterian Church. Cheri is currently a deacon at PCBW. Prior to retiring, Cheri worked at Microsoft in PR, HR and Executive Recruiting.
Elder for Big Wood School
Dave and Lisa Bjerke moved to the Wood River Valley in 1991 with their daughter Alison, and son, Michael. At the time, Alison was entering sixth grade and Michael was entering third grade. Both kids benefited greatly from the children and youth ministries at PCBW. Fast forward to the present, Alison and her husband, John, have a four year old daughter and a two year old son. Michael and his wife, Megan, have a two year old son. Michael and Megan met in Sunday school at PCBW! Dave has enjoyed careers in youth ministry (Young Life), finance and finally as an apple grower in Eastern Washington. Both Dave and Lisa have served in various capacities at PCBW.