Church Elders

Senior Pastor Chris Holck

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Pastor Chris Holck moved to The Villages in January of 2012 along with his wife, Kathleen. They joined one other couple and after a series of informational meetings, the first worship service was held in February 2012.

It is not the first church planted by Pastor Chris but it is the first one specifically targeted for older adults. His skills and interests seem to be a perfect match for reaching the “Encore Generation” as he describes those who are in their second half of life, but not done yet. Chris is an expository preacher who brings application to each sermon and his mission is to guide older adults into living a purposeful and balanced second half of life that honors God. “If you’re not dead, you’re not done!, says Pastor Chris.

Associate Pastor Bob Page

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Pastor Bob Page came to Live Oaks Community Church in January 2013 after serving 37 years in pastoral ministry in the Evangelical Free Church, most recently as senior pastor in Crystal Lake, IL. He also has served the Free Church denomination as a district superintendent in the states of Nebraska and Kansas.

In 2009 Bob was widowed as the Lord called unto Himself his beloved wife of 41 years, Linda. He has 3 children and 5 grandchildren. He is a graduate of Kent State University with a degree in journalism and has both the Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministries degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

Since moving to the active community of The Villages, golf, pickle ball and walking have become his participating sports of choice.

Associate Pastor Lee Solomon

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Lee Solomon served as a pastor in The Brethren Church for 24 years. For the past 20 years Lee served at Ashland Theological Seminary as Vice President and Associate Professor in practical theology. During his years at Ashland Seminary, Lee also worked as a church consultant, serving 12 different congregations. Lee earned both a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Ashland Theological Seminary in Ohio.

Lee and Jane (high school sweethearts) have been married 44 years. Jane had a wonderful 42 year career as an elementary teacher. They have one son and two beautiful granddaughters. Both have a passion for using their God given gifts in serving the local community and the Live Oaks Community Church.

Michael Cooper

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I became a Christian at a church camp in northern Indiana when I was in Jr. High. A friend encouraged me to go forward on the last night at the chapel service and I asked Jesus into my life. When I returned home, I didn’t grow much spiritually. My parents were divorced and not Christians at the time. When I went away to college, I was socially immature and realized in that first week that I could not make it by myself. Fortunately, a student shared Mt. 6:33 with me that if I would seek God’s Kingdom and His righteousness first, He would take care of all the other things. For me it was like someone threw me a life preserver.

I had asked Jesus to be my Savior in Jr. High, but now as a freshman in college, I was asking Him to be my Lord. He has been very faithful to His word. I was able to graduate and get a job as a High School Science teacher for 39 years. I am married and have three sons and five grandchildren. Life has had its ups and downs, but God has continued to be faithful to His word.

Bill Hicks

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Bill was born in Memphis, TN in 1951 and lived and worked there for first 40 years of life. He married his high school sweetheart, Mary Ann, in 1972 and they have been happily married for over 42 years. Bill & Mary Ann have three grown children (Christy, Cathy and David – who live in Tampa, FL) and one grandson, Max, who will be four in September. Bill attended the University of Memphis and the University of Tennessee and graduated with a degree in Accounting. He began a 38 year career of sales and marketing in Memphis with several brokerage companies, selling national and regional brands in the grocery and mass merchandiser industry.

In 1984 Bill felt a call to ministry and began a part-time education at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary – graduating with a Masters of Divinity degree in May 1989. Business doors continued to open wide and Bill, Mary Ann and their family moved to Green Bay, WI with Fort Howard Paper Company in 1992. Bill & Mary Ann moved to Chicago for two years following a merger with James River, working for Fort James Corporation. In 2000, they moved back to Green Bay to work for a dairy company, Schreiber Foods. Mary Ann retired from work as an IT engineer, finishing her career at Vertis Communications in December of 2008. Bill retired as Director of Customer Service from Schreiber in June 2009.

They moved full time to The Villages in the fall of 2009, living in the Village of Hadley. Bill & Mary Ann love the Lord Jesus, and love His church. They are grateful for God’s leadership at Live Oaks Community Church.

Roger Augenstein

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Roger Augenstein and his wife Betty have lived in The Villages for ten years and were with the original leadership team that planed

Live Oaks Community Church. They have been associated with the Evangelical Free Church nearly 20 years where Roger has been both Deacon and Elder. Roger graduated from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1960. He practiced for over 40 years in Northern Kentucky before moving to Florida. He currently practices on a relief basis at several central Florida veterinary clinics. Roger is a licensed private pilot with an instrument rating. That along with golf, are his favorite pastimes. They have a son, Craig, in Columbia, South Carolina with 3 children, two daughters; Carrie in The Villages and Marsha in Brandon, Florida with one child. After being blessed to travel in Mexico on several medical missions, Roger gave his life to Jesus Christ. The exposure to the character of several Godly medical men, along with fervent prayer and repentance opened a new life in Christ for him. Many years of being active in another church denomination, and now being blessed to serve Him with fellow believers in His Church at Live Oaks has been a true joy. To our Sovereign God be The Power, The Glory, The Victory and The Majesty For Ever and Ever.

Favorite verse: Jesus said, no one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me, draws him; and I will raise him up in the last day. John 6:44

Bruce Nelson

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I was born and raised on a small dairy farm in southern Minnesota, the oldest of 6 boys. When I was 12 years old, I trusted Christ as my Savior and was baptized. In high school, I was interested in and active in athletics. It was there that I met my future wife, Liz, but our first date was during our graduation party. After that we both headed for different colleges, but kept in touch and we eventually got married and celebrated our 50th anniversary in 2015. At the time of our wedding, we were both believers, but we did not make Christ the Lord of our lives until later when a move to southern Wisconsin put us in a small EFCA church where we began to hear the word preached every Sunday. In October, 1982, during a missions conference at our church, I recommitted to be a Christ follower and began to understand the idea of Jesus as “ Lord and Savior”.

We have 2 children and 2 adult grandsons and have lived in The Villages since Oct. 2009. We have also been a part of Live Oaks Community Church since the beginning and were a part of the provisional leadership team. A favorite verse that comes to mind often 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 your paths straight.

Kirk Carver

I was born in New London, CT in 1962. My father was serving in the Navy at that time and we frequently relocated. After he retired, we moved to St.Louis, MO and after graduating high school and receiving a B.S. in Human Biology, I attended Logan University (Logan College of Chiropractic at that time), graduating in 1988. Kay and I attended the same high school but did not meet until three years later in June of 1983 and we were married in September of 1986. In 1989, we left the midwest for the mid- Atlantic, settling in Chesapeake Beach, MD were I practiced from August of 1989 until December of 2005 when we felt God’s call to the mission field. We began pre-field training in 2006 and moved to Albertville, France in August of 2007 for language study. We arrived in Chad, Africa in December of 2008 and lived there until July of 2014 and we continue with Encompass World Partners, coordinating Medical and Educational Coalitions as well as providing administrative help in the area of church planting and sustainable ministry.

I came to be a follower of Jesus in January of 1998 and deeply connect with the desire to reach the lost. “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.” 1 Tim 1:12-14

Dave Bratton

I grew up in a small farming community in southern Illinois. Although I regularly attended (twice on Sundays) a church that proclaimed the gospel, it was not until my sophomore year at the University of Illinois that I truly understood it. Staff members from Campus Crusade for Christ (now known as CRU) spoke at my fraternity one evening after dinner in the spring of 1967. They gave a clear presentation of the gospel, and that night I placed my trust in Jesus Christ to be my Savior.

I soon began attending Bible studies and attending monthly meetings sponsored by CRU. Later that summer I attended a Christian conference for college students in southern California. It was at this conference that I met Donalyn. We were married one year later while we were both still in school and will celebrate 49 years of marriage in August. We have two married sons living
in New Jersey, who have given us two wonderful grandchildren. After Donalyn’s graduation from Illinois Wesleyan University and my completion of a year as a graduate research assistant in the English department at Illinois State University, we joined the staff of CRU, serving with this organization for 33 years. Our assignments included campus ministry in Wisconsin, the seminary staff program (through which I earned my ThM from Dallas Theological Seminary) and a short term special assignment teaching Catholic priests in Poland. However, the bulk of our ministry was spent in New Jersey and Ohio with the pro sports division of CRU, Athletes in Action.

In 2003 we left CRU and returned to New Jersey, where I served on the ministry staff of Bethlehem Church (an Evangelical Free Church). My responsibilities there included giving leadership to the adult education program, small group ministry, men and women’s ministries, singles ministry, seniors ministry and discipleship ministry.

In 2013 Donalyn and I moved to The Villages. In doing so, we realize that our ministry is now happening in a different place, at a different pace, but with the same purpose: To help people come to know Christ as Savior, grow in their faith and to be used by Him to further His kingdom.

Bill Olthoff

I was born.and raised in South Holland, IL, the son and grandson of farmers. I accepted the Lord as my personal savior at the age of ten at Bethany Camp at Winona Lake, IN. 

I graduated from llliana Christian High School where Ruth and I started dating. I then attended Wheaton College and graduated with a degree in Economics and Business. Ruth and I were married during college and after graduation I took a position as a loan officer at a bank. Two years later I began farming with my father and eventually moved to Bourbonnais IL. where I have farmed for over 50 years. Ruth was a stay at home mom. She also worked in evangelical outreaches. Eventually she went back to school for a degree in accounting helping with the books in our farm operation as well as working for an accounting firm for twenty years. 

Ruth and I have been blessed with four children, eighteen grandchildren, and 6 great grandchildren. 

We both grew up in the Reformed Church but joined Calvary Bible Church which became an evangelical Free Church where I served as Elder for forty years and fifteen years as a choir director. Ruth taught Precept Bible studies for a time and we were involved in a small group ministry. 

We purchased in The Villages in 2004 and we are snowbirds for six months as I still farm. We longed for a church in The Villages that had Bible expository preaching and were thrilled to be involved with LOCC from the beginning-thanks to Roger and Betty Augenstein. We served on the Provisional leadership team with them. I believe at live Oaks Community Church is a gift from God where He is changing lives in Christ forever. 

I was involved for several years serving agriculture on the boards of Illinois Farm Bureau and Country Financial. I continue to serve on the Kankakee County Board. 

I serve on the Board of Regents of Trinity International University and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School where I will finish my ten year term in three years. 

Proverbs 3:5&6 says ''Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and He will direct your paths." For Ruth and myself He certainly has. 

William Olthoff

Rick Vielhak

I was fortunate to grow up in a Christian home with godly parents and a Christian grandmother who tremendously influenced my life. It was at the church my family attended as a young boy that I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. At the age of 12, while reading my Bible, I felt the calling of God into full-time ministry. Following my calling, I attended Tennessee Temple College and Bible School where I graduated with a degree in Theology. After graduation, I became a youth pastor in my hometown of Peoria, IL. Several years later, I met the love of my life, Debbie, who was in Peoria attending nursing school. We married in 1973 and I eventually began a career in Christian camping, mainly working with economically disadvantaged and judicated youth.

Deb and I were members at Chillicothe Bible Church (EFCA) in Chillicothe, IL where we served in a variety of positions for 26 years prior to retiring in 2015 to Del Webb Spruce Creek here in Florida. Naturally, one of our first priorities was to find a Free Church in the area. We looked online and found live Oaks Community Church where, after visiting one time, we knew we were home. My life verse is Psalm 19:14 "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, 0 lord, my strength, and my redeemer." .

Rick Vielhak