Dr. W. Stephen Neel
Dr. W. Stephen Neel has been the pastor of South Columbia Baptist Church for 34 years. Born in Washington, D.C., Pastor Neel grew up in Maryland. He holds degrees from Washington Bible College, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Dallas Theological Seminary. He and his wife Nancy have three children and four grandchildren. Pastor Neel's vision for South Columbia Baptist Church is that it be a worshiping, nurturing, and outreaching church.
Minister of Education and Outreach
Born in Dallas Texas, the son of a gas company supervisor, Terry lived most of his life in Texas and Oklahoma. Some family members believe the first inclination that God might have been calling Terry into the ministry was when, at the age of two, he stood in the pew and shook his finger and "preached" back at the pastor. The pastor, W.A. Rudd, was his grandfather.
At the age of nineteen Terry accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior. This was a major turning point in his life. Prior to this he had been preparing for a career in medicine. He continued his studies and became active in the Baptist Student Union, a campus ministry. Terry graduated from Baylor University in December of 1976 with a B.S. in Biology as a Pre-Med major. In January of 1977, less than a month after graduating from Baylor, Terry entered Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in the school of Religious Education. Upon completing the course of study for a Masters in Religious Education he graduated in 1979.
Terry stayed in the Ft. Worth area for several years working at a local hospital wondering why God had not allowed him to leave and serve in a church. It was during this period that Terry met and married his wife, Marcy. "God had a plan for my life, I just had to stay around long enough for everything to work out". Terry and Marcy married in 1982 and soon left for their first staff position with a church in Albany, Texas. Over the course of Terry's ministry God has given him the privilege of serving with churches in both Texas and Louisiana as Minister of Education and Youth. Most recently, he served as Minister of Education with Hillcrest Baptist Church in Nederland, Texas. Terry joined the staff of South Columbia Baptist Church as Minister of Education and Outreach in February of 2002.
Favorite verse: "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Gal. 2:20.
Minister of Youth
Jim serves as the youth pastor at South Columbia Baptist Church. He was born in Bethesda, Maryland, but grew up in Olney. After graduating from the University of Maryland with a degree in Psychology, Jim moved to Texas (where he became a Christian), then to Illinois (where he went to seminary), and finally to South Korea (where he met his wife…kind of! It’s a complicated but good story!) before moving back to Olney - to the same house he grew up in.
In addition to the degree in psychology from Maryland, Jim holds a Bachelor of Science in Ministry and Leadership from Dallas Christian College and a Master of Arts in Christian Education from Lincoln Christian Seminary. His heart is to teach and to pastor. Jim and his wife Elizabeth have two young boys named Wyatt and Ethan. He loves spending time with his family - especially when the boys use him as a punching and kicking bag. He really loves that!