Leadership

A Word From Our Pastor

I am very thankful for the opportunity to serve at ODBC. Sarah and I are excited to see the grace of God in action as He saves people from sin’s destruction but also changes their entire life and future through the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Titus 2:11-14). We have seen His truth and grace change our lives and we truly have a heart and burden to see that same truth and grace change your life.

For ministry training and education, I attended Northland Baptist Bible College (B.A., Evangelism, 2004; M.A., Biblical Studies, 2006) and Virginia Beach Theological Seminary (M.Div, 2010). I was blessed with the opportunity to serve as an assistant pastor at Harvest Bible Church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania before coming to serve at ODBC in May of 2016. Sarah and I met in college and we were married in 2007. Sarah grew up on the mission field in Brazil and I am thankful for her love for God and for others. She especially loves getting to teach God’s Word to children and to see His grace evident in their young hearts. God has blessed us with Caleb and William and they are a constant reminder to us of God’s goodness.

I often tell people at ODBC that we are not a perfect church—but we have a perfect Savior. We are simply sinners saved by grace who are growing in their love for God—and we are blessed to be able to serve Him!

I would love to hear how God is working in your life, or help answer any questions that you might have about God’s plan for your life, or let you know what drives us here at ODBC. Please feel free to email me at SamuelB@odbcpa.org or I would love to meet you at one of our worship services. Thank you for visiting our church’s website and I hope to get to meet you soon!

Church Leadership

Sam Bereza

Pastor & Elder

Sam was born in Barranquilla, Colombia and was adopted by his parents when he was 6 months old. His family moved throughout the United States as his father served in the United States Air Force. He received God’s gift of salvation at an early age. He married Sarah in 2007 and God has blessed them with two sons (Caleb and William). Sam enjoys reading good books, hunting and fishing, and baseball and football. One of his favorite Bible passages is Colossians 3:16-17:

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

Frank Bialas

Deacon

Frank was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania and was raised in the steel manufacturing region of western Pennsylvania. He married Linda in 1983 and God has blessed them with two daughters. Frank received Christ as his personal savior in 1985. In his words, “It felt like a new life.” Two of his favorite Bible passages are “The Lord’s Prayer” (which was recited every morning in his public school) and John 3:16:

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Ben Carvell

Elder

Ben was born and raised in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania and received God’s gift of salvation at an early age. He married Megan in 2009 and God has blessed them with their son Asher. Ben enjoys working on various projects, biking and spending time with his family. One of his favorite Bible passages is Micah 6:6-8:

“With what shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

Dave Hoerner

Deacon

Dave was born and raised Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and received God’s gift of salvation in 1975. He married Karen in 1984 and God has blessed them with three children and four grandchildren. Dave enjoys sports and spending time with family. One of Dave’s favorite Bible passages is Proverbs 3:5-6:

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.”

Nate Hoerner

Treasurer

Nathan was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and received God’s gift of salvation at an early age. He married Katie in 2016, and so far God has blessed them with one daughter, Aria. Nathan enjoys playing several sports, lifting weights, and spending time with his family. One of his favorite Bible passages is Psalm 139: 23-24:

 

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”

Larry Whalen

Deacon

Larry was born and raised in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania and graduated from Mount Saint Mary’s College (Emmitsburg, MD) in 1968. He received God’s gift of salvation in 1979 after observing the faithful witness of a Christian friend. He married Georgene in 1982 and God has blessed them with two children. Larry enjoys cooking, gardening, fishing, and hunting with his three Springer Spaniels. One of his favorite Bible passages is Ephesians 2:8-9, which God used to show him that Christ accomplished what he could not do himself:

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”