About us

Mission
Knowing and Showing God’s Love - John 3:16
Vision

Garner Evangelical Free Church is a…

God Glorifying - Romans 11:36

    • God Himself defines what His “glory” means in Exodus chapters 33 and 34. Defining His glory reveals what it means for us to glorify God.  

  • Disciple-making - Matthew 28:19-20

    • We have received one command: to make disciples. Disciples have three characteristics: they abide in Jesus’ word, they love one another, and they bear lasting fruit. The one command has three parts: 1) to Go; 2) to Baptize; 3) to Teach.

  • Grace-oriented - Ephesians 2:8-9

    • The imperative to “go to Him outside the camp” reminds us to be not unequally yoked with unbelievers (2 Cor. 6:14 - 17); following the example of the first century Jews, we also are to separate from the cultural corruptions of Christianity. But even more importantly, the image of Jesus "outside the camp" reminds us to follow His example of seeking and saving the lost, including those rejected and marginalized by the dominant culture.

  • United fellowship - Ephesians 4:1-7

    • The "Therefore" of Ephesians 4:1 refers to all of Ephesians chapters 1- 3; on the basis of all that God has done, we are to walk worthy of our calling. Our calling is a calling from this sinful world, to spiritual promises, and together with other believers. Walking worthy requires humility, gentleness, patience, forbearance, and eagerness to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

  • That seeks to serve others - Luke 22:27, 2 Corinthians 5:18-20

    • Serving others happens not through the exercise of power, intimidation, coercion, and edict, but through humility, sympathy, service, example and precept.

  • As the body of Christ - Ephesians 4:15-16, 1 Corinthians 2:27

    • God has provided the means to attain unity and maturity in the church through gifts of ministry offices in the church: apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastor-teachers. Through the exercise of these gifts, the church builds itself up in love, grows to spiritual maturity, and achieves unity in diversity.

Meet Our Staff:
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Cleveland "Clevey" Ragsdale

Lead Pastor

Pastor Clevey is married to Heidi and together they have four children (Josie, Savannah, Trey, and Jameson). Clevey is originally from Southeast Georgia where his parents and 3 sisters with their families still reside and Heidi is a native of Hull, IA. He spent 5 years in Wake Forest, NC acquiring his undergrad and seminary degrees at Southeastern Seminary. Formerly, he served at New Hope Church of Orange City, IA for 9 years in youth ministry. He enjoys sports, DIY projects with his wife, cooking tasty meals, and spending time with people and his family. Clevey and Heidi are excited and grateful to God and GEFC for the opportunity to serve as senior pastor in the Garner area. They trust God will bear fruit for His kingdom through the local church. His go-to verse for daily discipleship is Proverbs 3:5-6. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths."

 

Email: pastor@garnerefreechurch.org

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Jesse Thompson

Pastor of Youth and Family

Jesse Thompson grew up in a small town in south/central Nebraska. After high school, he spent 5 years in Omaha and Kansas City. Jesse graduated from Calvary University in Kansas City with a degree in Bible and Youth Ministry. He and his wife Carissa moved to Garner in May of 2021. Jesse enjoys building relationships with students and pointing them toward Jesus. His hobbies range from hunting and fishing to disc golf and coffee shops.

Email: youthpastor@garnerefreechurch.org

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Brooke Banse

Office Manager

Brooke Banse is the Office Manager of GEFC. Her family includes her husband Josh and her son Kadyn. Brooke enjoys going to sporting events, spending time with family and friends, and helping out with activities at the church and in the community.  Brooke has been part of the GEFC family since 2011. She has served on the Women's Ministry board in the past, and currently serves on the Christian Education board. As Office Manager, she helps with communication and provides office support for the pastors, elders and other ministries. She says "It's a joy to serve the church!"

Email: secretary@garnerefreechurch.org