The Bible teaches that there are two appointed church offices: elders and deacons. The qualifications for church officers are set forth very clearly in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. BBC is serious about biblically qualified men filling these offices. Below, we will introduce you to our elders and deacons.
Additionally, BBC has a strong ethos of training faithful men who will train others also (2 Timothy 2:2). To this end, we often have elder interns—primarily from within our church, but also potentially from outside. You can find out about the internship ministry below and the names of current interns.
You can also find information below about the church office staff.
The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.
(1 Timothy 3:1-7)
Doug Van Meter, pastor
Doug Van Meter is the pastor-teacher of Brackenhurst Baptist Church. Doug’s primary ministry in the church is the exposition of Scripture each week from the pulpit. He is also responsible for the mission and discipleship ministries of the church, and is involved in much counselling. Doug is married to Jill and has five daughters: Allison (married to Tommie van der Walt), Katy, Lydia, Jessica and Danielle. Pictured above with son-in-law Tommie and grandchildren McKenna and Logan.
Mark MacKaiser, pastor
Mark MacKaiser, long-time member of Brackenhurst Baptist Church, became the first elder ordained from the church’s eldership intern program. Mark works in the properties sector as a Retail Properties Asset Manager. Mark oversees the Sunday school ministry of the church, and is also involved in the Zimbabwe outreach ministry. Mark is married to Caren and has three sons (Nathan, Matthew and Clayton) and a daughter (Nina).
Neil Cable, pastor
Neil Cable, another long-time member of the church, was ordained (along with Barry Jamie) as an elder of the church on Sunday, 17 October 2010. An orthopaedic surgeon by profession, Neil oversees the high school ministry of the church, leading YP on Friday nights as well as teaching the youth Family Bible Hour class. Neil is married to Jillian and has three sons (Luke, Timothy and Ben) and a daughter (Emma).
Zander Viljoen, pastor
Zander Viljoen was ordained as the elder of BBC on Sunday, 5 August 2012. A businessman by profession, currently self-employed in the waste oil industry, Zander is heavily involved in the church’s music ministry. He is married to Maretha and has three daughters: Tienkie, Margot and Zandi.
Varughese George, pastor
Varughese George, with Zander, was ordained to the eldership on Sunday, 5 August 2012. Varughese is a medical doctor by profession, who runs his own practice as a general practitioner, and is married to Sheeba. Together, they have two children: a son, Michael; and a daughter, Ann.
Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.
(1 Timothy 3:8-13)
The church currently has eight men serving on the diaconate.
- Greg Brits, deacon. Wife: Megan. Children: Amy, Brayden, Chloe, William.
- Stuart Chase, deacon. Wife: Dominique. Children: Neka, Deklan, Skylar-Jayne.
- Robert Murphy, deacon. Wife: Michelle. Children: Keegan, Hannah, Ethan.
- Patson Ngidi, deacon. Wife: Netsai. Children: Victoria, Bradley, Byron.
- Gareth Payne, deacon. Wife: Debbie. Children: Gabriella, Caleb, Hannah.
- Anton Richter, deacon. Wife: Antoinette. Children: Nardus, Claris, Danelle.
- Andre Truter, deacon. Wife: Carmen. Children: Kayla, Raquel, Sian.
- Gary van den Heuvel, deacon. Wife: Tammy. Children: Jadyn, Shalyn, Kyrin.
One of the strengths of BBC over the years has been our training of spiritual leadership. We are blessed to have several men in the congregation of biblical insight, who are able to accurately handle the Word of truth. In addition to these important skills we have many members who are able to lead people spiritually in biblical discipleship. Biblical discipleship is our passion and thus as we put this philosophy into practice we see more and more believers who are maturing and becoming spiritual leaders themselves.
One of the fruits of this discipleship mindset is the raising up and identifying of spiritually mature men who have a heart to shepherd the flock of God; men who have the biblically-mandated character and capability to fulfil the calling to the eldership (see 1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9). As the elders identify men in the church, who have demonstrated the desire to shepherd (pastor) God’s people at BBC, the eldership, having observed their character, is committed to training them for this ministry amongst God’s people at BBC. They are therefore undergoing an internship program under the oversight of the eldership. There is sound Scriptural precedent and principle for this. The apostle Paul wrote to his disciple: “And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2). Paul had mentored Timothy and now he expected Timothy to do so to others. Quite clearly there were men in Ephesus whom Timothy was to train for leadership in the church. And as these leaders were recognised and equipped, so the church would continue to be strengthened.
This is the principled mindset of our internship approach to the building of the eldership. We desire to train men whom God has identified and to teach them what we know so that they can one day teach others. God has undoubtedly placed men in our midst who in due course will receive such nurture. Elder interns attend our meetings, and engage in discussions about doctrine, church life and the practical administration of the church. They are involved from time to time in leading the corporate worship services and has opportunity to teach small groups.
Five men—Mark MacKaiser, Neil Cable, Barry Jamie, Zander Viljoen and Varughese George—have already undergone elder internship and are currently serving the church in the office of elder. At present, two men serve as elder interns: Tommie van der Walt, whose ultimate goal is the mission field, and Stuart Chase.
In addition to the church leaders (pastors, deacons and pastoral interns), you may be interested in knowing who you might speak to if you contact the church office. At present, the church employs four staff members on a full time basis.
- Pastor: Doug Van Meter
- Missionary Intern: Tommie van der Walt
- Office Administrator: Stuart Chase
- Secretary/Receptionist: Jenny Anderson