Senior Pastor: Jon Ellingson
Jon was born in rural Northwest Wisconsin and raised by a loving Christian family. Having heard the gospel at an early age and responding to Christ’s call on his own heart at age five, he was later baptized. As a teenager he struggled with doubts regarding his salvation but eventually gained an assurance of his salvation by seeing the evidence of God’s work in his heart since his conversion.
As an oldest son, Jon grew up learning his dad’s excavating business. After graduating from high school, he attended college with the desire to learn more about running the family business with the goal of eventually taking it over himself. He graduated in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in Automotive Management from the school of business. After finishing college he returned to Wisconsin and continued work for the family business. While he greatly enjoyed the time working with his dad and gaining practical experience, eventually he developed a strong desire to be more involved in the ministry. He began to be more involved in serving in the local church and began to take seminary courses through correspondence in the hopes of gaining more Biblical training.
The conflict between his desire to eventually take over his dad’s business and his own desire to serve the Lord in ministry came to a head when he met his wife. They made the decision to further pursue ministry direction by attending seminary. He graduated from seminary in 2013 with a Masters of Arts in Ministry. He served for nearly five years as an assistant pastor in Eastern Montana before moving to the Flathead. He and his wife Stephanie have been married for ten years. They have two children: Asher (age 7) and Gabriella (age 5).
Assistant Pastor: Sean Kirnan
Sean’s heart is to serve the local church and see it faith-filled, joyful, vibrant, empowered, and abiding in Jesus. He leads the youth ministry and serves in other pastoral roles.
He began trusting in Christ for his salvation at the end of college, after which he went to graduate school and began working in higher education. In 2017, the Kirnan family transitioned to Christian camping ministry, serving for several years in Colorado before moving to Montana.
It has been his joy and privilege to serve the Lord in several churches through music ministry, shepherding, teaching, and preaching before calling First Baptist Church of Bigfork home. He and wife Kim have three children, Ezekiel (Zeke), Katie, and Maggie.
Senior's Ministry: Retired Pastor Earl Hargis
Earl Hargis has served in pastoral ministry for more than 50 years as an assistant, interim, and senior pastor. He was the pastor at First Baptist Church of Bigfork from 2003-2006, and then ministered in an interim role from 2017-2018. Earl's ministry has taken him to churches in Idaho, Arizona, Washington, and Montana. Earl's many years of ministry experience enable him to be a wise and compassionate leader.
Women's Ministry & Admin Assistant: Barb Todd
Barb Todd serves as the bookkeeper and administrative assistant at church. She also serves as the women's ministry coordinator. God has gifted Barb with a listening heart and compassion for others. From expertly managing a commercial kitchen, to having a detailed eye for business, to managing the many needs of women's ministry, Barb is a gift to First Baptist Church in the many ways that she serves!
Children's Ministry Director: Karen Skillern
Karen and her husband Grant and daughter Hope moved here from Washington state in 2018. She has a 20-year background as a financial analyst. She has been in a children’s ministry teaching role for many years. (Her purpose with children’s ministry was firmly focused after surviving Stage 4 cancer and asking the Lord how to exactly spend the time she had been given.) Once her homeschooled daughter graduated, she was able to serve on a broader administrative role. Her heart for the children is to see them “love the Lord with all their heart, soul, and strength”; and to be “firmly rooted and built up in Him”, able to stand firm on the authority of His Word with a Biblical worldview.