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PROVIDENCE REFORMED BAPTIST CHURCH
PO Box 3254 • Erie, PA 16508 • (814) 836-1018 • Email: prbcerie@yahoo.com
Leadership of Providence Reformed Baptist Church
Pastor (1)
John Swindlehurst
John was born and raised in Erie, Pa. As an infant, he was baptized in the Presbyterian Church and confirmed at age12, but it was not until he was 18 years old that he became a Christian. It was the summer of 1971, and Leighton Ford, in conjunction with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, came to Erie to conduct a week of "tent meetings". In the providence of God, John attended one of the evening services, and it was there that he was confronted with the reality that, though outwardly moral, and a faithful Presbyterian, those things couldn't save him; that he was a sinner, and as such, was under the wrath of Almighty God. That night, God was pleased to save him.

Within a year of his conversion, John began attending Mercyhurst College, graduating in 1976 with a Bachelor's Degree in Hotel/RestaurantManagement. Between his Junior and Senior year, John married his lifelong neighbor and high school sweetheart -- Debbie. After college, John became manager of the newly established Delhurst Country Inn, in North East, Pa, where he remained for two years.

During that time, he became aware of Jerry Falwell and the Old Time Gospel Hour. The weekly broadcasts, which made passionate appeals to lost sinners, had a powerful impact on his life. His interest in the food business began to wane, and his desire to feed people's souls became more pressing. In 1978, John was accepted at Liberty Baptist Seminary in Lynchburg, Va. to pursue a Master's Degree in Biblical Counseling, graduating in 1983. At that time, he believed his gifts were more conducive to counseling than to preaching, being particularly burdened by the disintegration of the family.

After seminary, he spent the next three years as Pastor of Family Ministries at Atlantic Shores Baptist Church in Va Beach, Va. It was during that time that his gifts as a preacher and teacher were recognized, and his call to the pastorate was awakened. In 1987, John and his family returned to Erie, where he assumed the pastorate of the small and struggling Bible Baptist Church. Over the next 8 years, God began to change John's theology concerning his understanding of the Sovereignty of God, while at the same time, the church embarked on a study of the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith. As a result of both endeavors, widespread change occurred--a change of beliefs--a change of church constitution--and a change of name. On June 25, 1995, the name of the church was changed to Providence Reformed Baptist Church.

John and Debbie have been married since 1975, and have been blessed with 10 children. Their desire continues to be, to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.

Deacons (2)
Gary Cody
Gary was born and raised in Erie, Pa. His parents were Christians and actively involved in the Salvation Army. As such, they instructed him in the teachings of Christ and encouraged him to live as a Christian. Though he always knew God had a place in his life, it wasn't until his late teens that he understood the message of the Gospel and was saved.

From the time Gary was 7 years old, he wanted to be an electrician. He often quips that he was born with a screwdriver in his hand. He attended Technical High School in Erie, and received a diploma and a Trade Certificate in the electrical field. Shortly after high school, Gary enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, and served his country from 1959-1963. While in the Air Force, and stationed in New Mexico, Gary met and married his wife, Donna. In 1963, he was honorably discharged from the military and returned to Erie with his new bride, where they began their family, and he began his lifelong carrer as an electrician.

Gary has been married to Donna since 1961, and they have two sons and 7 grandchildren. Gary says that if he were to condense his Christian life into one sentence, it would read: "The more I grow, the smaller I become".

Tim Dobi
Tim was born in Ellwood City, Pa, the middle son of three brothers. His father worked in a steel mill and his mother was a homemaker. The Dobi's were Presbyterians, and though Tim became a member of the church at age twelve, and his father held many offices in the church, there was little attention given to God's word during the week and family devotions were rare.

Throughout high school, Tim was outwardly moral--not smoking or drinking or carousing as many of his friends did--therefore, he never saw himself as a sinner in need of a Savior. After graduation from high school, Tim attended Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pa, majoring in Biology. Tim believes it was during his college years that God saved him, and made him a disciple of Jesus Christ. It was later in life that he realized that church membership does not guarantee salvation, and neither does baptism nor one's family involvement in church.

Tim graduated from Geneva in 1974, and was hired shortly thereafter to teach biology at Fort LeBoeuf High School in Waterford, Pa., where he remains to this day. In the early years of his teaching career, he returned to school and received his Master's Degree in Education from Edinboro University.

Tim has been married to Lynn since 1991 and they have three daughters: Rachel, Amanda, and Andrea. Besides his teaching responsibilities, Tim enjoys umpiring for high school and college baseball. His goals in life are to be a good husband to his wife and father to his girls, and like King David, to be " a man after God's own heart".