Meet Our Bible Fellowship Church of Newark Staff

billBill Schlonecker
Senior Pastor

Pastor Bill Schlonecker is a graduate of Philadelphia College of Bible (1979) and Dallas Theological Seminary (1984). Bill and his wife, Pat, grew up in the Bible Fellowship Church in Emmaus, PA, where he served as “assistant to the pastor” and “youth pastor” for several years. Upon receiving his Th.M. from Dallas, Bill became “a church planter” and “organizing pastor” of the BFC in Newark, Delaware in July, 1984. He and Pat, “high school sweethearts,” married in 1974 and have four daughters and 5 granddaughters.

 


Rick Dodson
Associate Pastor

rick_dodsonAfter teaching world history in public school for a number of years, Rick left the educational community to join the family business. He spent 15 years in the office equipment industry before going to seminary. After graduating from Dallas Theological Seminary, with a Masters of Theology, Rick’s first ministry assignment was as an assistant pastor in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. In the Summer of 1996, the Lord led Rick and his family to Delaware where he served as a senior pastor for 16 years. During that time, he earned his Doctor of Ministry from Dallas Seminary. Rick is also the founder and president of Church Consulting Service, Inc. an independent consulting firm that specializes in helping churches successfully navigate through troubled waters. Rick joined the pastoral staff of Bible Fellowship Church in July 2013 as an Associate Pastor.

Rick and his wife Mary have been married since 1976. Mary is a Family Nurse Practitioner who manages several “walk-in” clinics for a major pharmacy chain. Rick and Mary have three great children.  Jenny lives in Washington, DC, where she is employed as an Interim Assessment Manager for a non-profit organization in the field of linguistics. Beth is a Recreational Therapist and graduate student in Screen Writing at USC in Los Angeles, California. “Buzz” is a Java QA Engineer for a large communications company in Philadelphia.

Rick is still an avid student of history, but he also enjoys going to the Jersey Shore, motorcycling and sporting clay shooting.

 


Steve Morton Steve Morton
Pastor of Outreach & Missions

Steve is a native of the Washington DC metropolitan area. He grew up in Prince Georges County, Maryland and came to know Jesus Christ through the ministry of Young Life. After graduating from Parkdale High School, he attended the University of Maryland @ College Park where he graduated with a degree in Management & Consumer Studies in 1990. While attending the University of Maryland he remained involved with Young Life as a volunteer leader. Soon after receiving his degree he married his wife, Nicolette, and moved to Delaware.

Since the summer of 2000, Steve has been a member of the Bible Fellowship Church of Newark. He has been actively involved with the youth & sports ministries during his time here. Since the summer of 2003, Steve has sensed God’s calling to be involved in these ministries and is on staff full time here. He is excited about the opportunities God is making available to serve Him in these ministries.

Steve and Niki are the proud parents of four children: TJ, Grace, Lily, & Isaac.

 


Tabitha FitchTabitha Fitch
Children’s Ministry Director

Tabitha Fitch was born in Philadelphia, PA. Tabitha was raised in a loving Christian home and accepted Christ as her personal Savior at the age of 11 as a result of her mom’s battle with cancer. She has lived in DE for most of her life and has been a part of the Bible Fellowship Church family since 1990. She was involved in many church activities and missions trips as a teen, even meeting and dating her husband Nick through the BFCN youth group!

Nick and Tabitha were married in January of 2001. Tabitha has been working in the Childcare field since 1998 in various capacities: preschool teacher, Assistant Director, After-Care coordinator, and home daycare provider. Nick and Tabitha welcomed their first child, Logan in 2004, and Tabitha transitioned to a brand new position of stay-at-home mom.

During this time, Tabitha became more involved in the BFCN Children’s ministry as a Children’s church helper and 3rd grade Sunday school teacher. After the arrival of her daughter, Kylie in February of 2008, Tabitha felt the Lord was leading her to fill the ministry role of Children’s Director.

She has worked in this capacity since June of 2008 and continues to LOVE every minute of it as she teaches, plans and coordinates the Children’s (and Jr High youth) ministries at BFCN.

Her goal as a Children’s Ministry & Youth Director is to cultivate a heart and excitement in the children/teens for following Jesus.

Nick and Tabitha are proud parents of Logan, Kylie, and Jordan.

 


Laurie SmithLaurie Smith
Administrative Support

Laurie Smith was born in Wilmington and has lived in Delaware all of her life except for two years that she and her husband Carl, spent in Michigan as new believers working for a Christian book company. Laurie has been a part of BFCN since 1976 when they were looking for the Lord’s direction in finding a church for their family to attend. In the spring of 1976, Arthur Frisbie, approached them about a Bible study that he would be starting. In the fall of 1976, the Bible Fellowship Church of Newark began holding worship services at the Howard Johnson Motor Lodge on Route 896. Years later, after the first BFCN building was built in 1986, Laurie felt led to help out with the bulletin and newsletter and the office position evolved from there. Laurie and Carl have four grown children and 13 grandchildren.

Laurie is in the office Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm.

 


carl-smithCarl Smith
Building Facilitator

Carl grew up in Wilmington and graduated from H. Fletcher Brown Vo-Tech as a Jig & Fixture Builder/ Machinist. In 1969, while driving a truck to California for a Christian book ministry, Carl came to know Jesus Christ as his Savior. Carl and his wife, Lauren (Laurie), attended a couple of churches in the area, but were looking for a church where God could use them and began praying for God to lead them. In 1976, Carl and Laurie were excited to find out that God was leading Arthur Frisbie, who they knew from Faith Baptist Church, to start a church in the Newark area. Soon after, a small group of believers gathered at the Smith home for bible study every week and on September 12th, the group started meeting for worship at the Howard Johnson off Rt. 896 in Newark.

Over the years, Carl has been able to use his handyman skills many times during the ongoing building and construction, renovations and maintenance. In 2008, Carl retired from General Motors and became part of the staff at BFCN doing the general maintenance.

 


 

Cindy Hall
Office ManagerCindy Hall

Cindy Hall was born in Brooklyn, NY. When she was three years old, her family moved to Wallingford, PA. Cindy was brought up in a very loving home. It was through a friend at school that Cindy started attending weekly Young Life meetings and had the opportunity to go to Lake Saranac, in NY. Cindy was 16 years old when she accepted Jesus Christ into her life as her personal Savior. In the fall of that year, Cindy met David and they had a long courtship.

In August of 1983, Cindy and David were wed and they moved to Delaware. Cindy worked at Speakman for a number of years before her first daughter, Amanda, was born. Melissa was born in 1993 to complete their family. Cindy worked a few part time jobs before coming on staff in February 2000, as an Office Manager at the Bible Fellowship Church of Newark, DE.

Cindy is in the office on Mondays through Thursdays from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm.

 


 

Jean Clappe-Mixell
BookkeeperJean Mixell

Born in Delaware County, PA, Jean, along with her husband, Roger Clappe, Sr., moved to Newark Delaware in 1987. In February 2001 they started attending BFCN as new believers. Several months later, Roger passed suddenly in an accident and went home to be with the Lord. Later that year, Jean became the church bookkeeper and was active on several committees.

In 2004, Jean met and married Vance Mixell, Jr. a member of the church worship team.

Besides her position at BFCN, Jean & Vance operate their own Accounting/Bookkeeping business as Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisors. In 2014 Vance moved from part-time to full-time in their business after being on full time staff for seven years as Worship Arts Director in a local church.

They have two sons, Roger and Eric, and a grandson, Luca.

 


Bob Kaatz
Administrative Support

IMG_5948Bob grew up on a dairy farm in Michigan, the oldest of six children. After one year of university, he joined the Navy for four years. During this time he was saved and soon after knew the Lord was calling him to missionary service. Upon discharge from the Navy, he studied at Bryan College in Tennessee where he met his wife Dorothy. Bob transferred to Michigan State University where he earned his B.S in EE. Bob then continued at Dallas Theological Seminary, graduating in 1972. He and his family were missionaries in Germany for sixteen years. He was on the staff of Bible Memory Germany, then teacher at the German Bible Institute (a GEM school), and lastly, as church planter of two churches. He and his family returned to the U.S. in 1989 where they have lived in Delaware since. He was the Administrator of Park Bible Academy in Pennsville, NJ, and also Headmaster at Red Lion Christian Academy. He later worked for a large bank and also at a chemical purification company. He retired from banking last year.

Bob and Dottie have three grown daughters and nine grandchildren. He works at  BFCN on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.