Dr. Brian Brewer, Interim Pastor
Dr. Brian C. Brewer centers his research and teaching on the Reformation and post-Reformation periods of Christianity. Much of his writing has focused on sacramental theology within Anabaptist writings, Martin Luther’s works, and that of other reformers in the sixteenth century and the subsequent Free Church movements. He is the author of Martin Luther and the Seven Sacraments: A Contemporary Protestant Reappraisal (Baker Academic) and A Pledge of Love: The Anabaptist Sacramental Theology of Balthasar Hubmaier (Paternoster Press). He is also co-editor with David M. Whitford of the forthcoming volume, Calvin and the Early Reformation (E.J. Brill) and editor of the book, Distinctly Baptist: Proclaiming Identity in a New Generation (Judson). Brewer has contributed dozens of articles to such journals as Harvard Theological Review, Evangelical Quarterly, Mennonite Quarterly Review, and Perspectives in Religious Studies.
A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Dr. Brewer holds a B.A. in Religion from Baylor University. His M.Div. Degree is from the George W. Truett Theological Seminary, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude and was the very first graduate of the institution. Dr. Brewer subsequently earned a Master of Theology in Homiletics and Worship from Princeton Theological Seminary and also a Master of Philosophy and a Ph.D., both in historical theology, from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey.
A seasoned pastor, Brewer served as Senior Pastor of Northminster Baptist Church in Jackson, Mississippi and as pastor of Spring Creek Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Additionally, he has served as interim pastor to churches throughout the region. Dr. Brewer is a member of the Doctrine and Unity Commission of the Baptist World Alliance. Previously, he was an adjunct professor of history at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, New Jersey. Upon joining the faculty at Truett Seminary, Brewer became the first alumnus of the institution to be elected as a professor.
Dr. Brewer continues to stay connected to local congregations as a preacher and conference speaker, recognizing both preaching and teaching as his Christian calling.
Greg Stahl, Associate Pastor of Music and Worship
What do you do to refresh your soul?
I enjoy reading and listening to baseball games on my iphone. I played baseball a lot with my brother growing up and listening to a baseball game on the radio fills my heart and mind. I also am blessed to be able to sing in a wonderful chorus, The CenturyMen. I love being part of a group that makes music and speaks with such depth and power about the God we serve. The men in this group are my closest friends, brothers and mentors.
Please share a little about your family, education, and how long you've been here at ROBC.
I joined the staff of ROBC in November of 2008 and have served churches in Texas and Louisiana for 35 years. My home town is Austin, Texas and I attended the University of Texas (Hook’m) before graduating from Howard Payne University (BME). I met and married Deborah while we were both attending Southwestern Baptist Seminary where I received a graduate degree in church music (MCM). We have been married for 40 years. As a couple, our favorite things to do together are to go to movies and travel.
Christian Johns, Minister to Youth/Students
Share a bit about yourself.
I grew up just south of Houston in Texas City. My father was (and still is) the youth minister at First Baptist Church there in Texas City. Some would say that my ministry started way back then with the hours I put in constantly at the church. Officially, River Oaks Baptist is my first staff position, I started in September of 2018. I received my undergraduate degree in Finance & Accounting at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX and followed that up with recently graduating from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX with my Master of Divinity, or MDiv. A few things I enjoy doing are going to concerts, musicals, and sporting events! I am a huge Houston Astros fan, so it is great to be back in the area where there are others like me!
What do you enjoy most about youth ministry?
Youth ministry is great because I get to hang around with students all day and pour into their lives. I mentioned above how I enjoy going to concerts, musicals, and sporting events, and I didn’t just mean professional ones! I enjoy seeing students who are passionate about what they do. My hope is to ignite that same passion for Christ in these students. The youth ministry of today is soon to be the adult ministry of tomorrow. Eventually, these students will be the ones to lead our churches in both ministerial and layperson roles. My desire is for these students to build a solid foundation of faith and community that will carry them through their whole lives.
Cheri Pemble, Pastoral Administrative Assistant
Cheri Pemble joined the ROBC staff as the Pastoral Administrative Assistant on June 22, 2019. You may recognize her from the ROBC Sanctuary Choir. Her 35+ years of administrative experience in the Houston metro area in both privately and publicly-held businesses are a great asset in the ROBC office. Cheri has also served in leadership roles in Baptist churches in the area in administrative positions, as well as music and children’s ministry. She enjoys spending time with her family, watching baseball, and gardening, which she calls “dirt therapy”. Cheri is married to Roy, and they have one son, Ryan, and two grandchildren, Collin and Kelly. Stop by the church office and introduce yourself to her!
Liz Thornton, Financial Secretary
What are your main responsibilites at ROBC?
As Financial Secretary I am responsible for administering the contributions, making deposits, processing invoices, preparing payroll and providing monthly and annual financial reports.
What year did you start working at ROBC?
I started working for River Oaks Baptist Church in February of 2010.
Tell us about yourself, your family, and what you enjoy doing in your free time.
I have a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Texas at El Paso and a Texas Secondary Teaching Certificate. My husband John and I have two children. I enjoy gardening, sewing and cooking.
Amy Lee, Receptionist
What are your responsibilities?
In addition to being the Receptionist, I am also a Children's Ministry Assistant. I'm also involved in a majority of the day-to-day functions of the church and the mission.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I first came to Houston in Fall of 1979 as a Chinese refugee from Cambodia with my mom and two sisters. We moved to Orange, TX for about a year, then moved back to Houston. I graduated from the College of Business Administration at the University of Houston with a Bachelor's degree in Management Information Systems. I've been here at ROBC since the Chinese Mission first started in 1982. Clifford and I met at this church and we've been able to serve together both here and in other mission fields. We have been blessed with 4 children who have also been involved with our ministry. Some of my hobbies include trying new recipes, helping take care of children and the elderly, creative crafts, watching musicals, and going to games and performances of my children.
Clifford Lee, Pastor to Chinese Church
What do you like the most about being a minister at ROBC?
I have always been aware of ROBC as a supporter of missions since the mission church I grew up in, Chinese Baptist Church, was a recipient of that support. Now I serve as pastor of River Oaks Baptist Church Chinese Mission. Our original mission outreach was to the Southeast Asian refugees and more specifically to the Teo Chew speaking Chinese. We are still the only Chinese Baptist church in Houston that ministers specifically to this group. As the generations continue to grow-up in the church, we are reaching more 2nd and 3rd generation children and young people. We are also expanding our reach to other groups. We are aware and thankful of continued support and partnering for these ministries by the loving members of ROBC.
Please tell us a little about your family and background.
I am blessed to have met and married my wife, Amy, while serving at this Mission. She has been involved in Children’s Ministry at our Mission and ROBC. I am blessed with four children who have also been involved in service to God at this Mission and other places. My past work in medicine, banking, sports, security, sales, photography, music, and other things have given me opportunities to learn how God works in many ways and many places. My opportunities to serve in other countries like Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Korea, Indonesia, and others, have given me a heart of how much God wants us to reach the world with the message of Christ. I look at every day to be a blessing from God and desire to continue in service to Him.
Kathleen Wilkins, Organist
What are your main responsibilites at ROBC?
As part of the worship team, I am the organist & pianist for the Sanctuary choir and ensembles during Sunday Worship and holiday services. I also provide music for weddings, funerals and other special events.
When did you join the ROBC family?
In 1984 I joined the church as the Organist & Music Associate.
Please tell us a little about your family and background.
I received my Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Music/Organ Performance from Stephen F. Austin State University. My husband of 30+ years, Pat, and I have two daughters and 3 grandchildren.
Joseph Fuller, Pianist
Joseph Fuller is described as full of passion & artistry, and the ROBC church family is happy to have him providing music during our worship services. Beginning his musical studies at age five, Joseph's talent has been nurtured into a career that continues to flourish. He holds advanced degrees in piano, which include a Master of Music degree from Baylor University and undergraduate degree from Sam Houston State University. Having played under conductors from the Metropolitan Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Indianapolis Opera, former Berkshire Opera, and the world-renowned Indianapolis Children's Chorus, Joseph's playing has been influenced by some of music's most dynamic and classic composers and conductors.
Joseph has shared the stage with Gospel Music Association Covenant Award winning group Tenore and has performed on network television. In addition, Joseph can be heard on Grammy Award winning recordings in conjunction with the Grammy Foundation's, Grammy In the Schools. He has performed with the Fort Bend Symphony, Houston Grand Opera, Indianapolis Children’s Choir, Indianapolis Opera, Steinway Selection Center Houston, Steinway Hall Dallas, Steinway Piano Gallery San Antonio and Steinway Piano Gallery Austin. Joseph continues to maintain an exciting schedule of solo, accompanying and symphonic engagements.
With 4 albums, over 22 million streams on Pandora Radio, and his recordings having reached over 76 countries, he continues to be a widely sought-after pianist for concert engagements all over the United States. His unique style captivates audiences with his technical precision and uplifting passion that comes from within his soul. Joseph's 4th album, “Christmas In the City” was released October 4, 2019, and is his first live concert album. Recorded at the Steinway Selection Center in Houston, it features arrangements of his holiday favorites as well as his rendering of "When Almonds Blossomed" by prominent European composer Giya Kancheli. His recording of this piece was recently featured on Spotify’s “New Classical Music” playlist.
Joseph’s other solo studio albums are “Release” (released in 2008), “Abide with Me” (released in 2011) and “Christmas Time is Here” (released in 2013). All are available on all media platforms, including iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Apple Music and Pandora Radio.
Leanne Reynolds, Head of River Oaks Baptist School
Why should a family enroll their student at River Oaks Baptist School?
We provide a superior education, a strong and competitive athletic program, a creative and thriving arts program, and a loving and nurturing environment where successes are celebrated. But, we do so much more than that! Our mission is to prepare students to meet life’s challenges and lead tomorrow’s world through a superior educational program undergirded by faith in Jesus Christ and Christian principles. Everything we do is guided by our faith in Jesus Christ, and it is our job to share that faith with our students. River Oaks Baptist School offers families the whole package.