MEET THE TEAM

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RICK EZELL
Managing Partner
864-770-3560rick@employeecareofamerica.com 

Rick pastored churches in Indiana, Illinois, and South Carolina before launching ECA. He is a graduate of Samford University, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Northern Baptist Theological Seminary. Rick has authored six books, contributed to other books and Study Bibles, written over 1200 articles. He and his wife, Cindy, have one grown daughter.

 
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DAVID BLANTON
Director of Chaplain Care
864-909-7221blanton.dm@gmail.com

David served as a campus minister, missionary to Ecuador, pastor, and Director of Missions. David is bilingual in English and Spanish. David is from Fort Worth, Texas, graduating from The University of Texas at Arlington and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. David is a U.S. Department of Justice accredited representative offering legal services to immigrants. He is married to Norma, a retired ESOL (English Spoken as Other Language) teacher. They have two grown children. David enjoys being "Opa” to six grandchildren.

 
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JUAN RIVERA

Director of Client Services

540-809-1564 • revjuanrivera17@gmail.com

Juan served in pastoral ministry for over 37 years in Virginia, Maryland, and Ohio before joining Employee Care of America. Juan is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a degree in Business Administration and a graduate of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Masters in Religious Education. Juan is bilingual (Spanish and English). His strengths are pastoral care, leadership development, spiritual formation, and project management. Juan is married to Rosa, and they have two grown children and three grandchildren.

 
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RICK WOLFE
Director of Chaplain Recruitment & Training
804-519-6141  Rpwolfe5477@gmail.com

Rick served as pastor of churches in Illinois and Florida before moving to Southeast Asia to serve as a church planter. He brings over 30 years of cross-cultural experience from serving as an international missionary and missions personnel consultant. Rick is a graduate of the University of South Alabama and Southwestern Seminary. He is an avid outdoors enthusiast, enjoying hiking and fishing in his spare time. Rick is married to Beth, and they have two grown children.

 
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JIMMY HAWKINS

Director of Development
864-430-0839noflyzone365@gmail.com 

Before joining ECA, Jimmy Hawkins served the local church as an evangelist, discipleship director, worship leader, and pastor. Jimmy is a graduate of Clemson University with a degree in Business Administration. His wife Teresa is a Finance Director with Chick-fil-A restaurants. Teresa and Jimmy have four children and eleven grandchildren.

 
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ROD WEST

910-620-0313 rod@rod-west.net

 Rod is the Founder and Director of Biblical Counseling of Christ-Centered Solutions. Before founding CCS, he served in pastoral ministry for thirty years in the Carolinas. During that time, he and his wife Teresa planted two churches in cooperation with the North Carolina Baptist State Convention. After graduating from Liberty University, and prior to entering full-time ministry, Rod worked as a Behavioral Counselor and Social Worker in the NC mental health system, serving children with severe behavior and emotional issues. He holds several degrees, including a BS in Clinical Psychology and a Doctor of Biblical Studies. Rod is also a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors with an Advanced Certification in Biblical Counseling. In addition, he has written one book entitled, Marriage and The Family from a Biblical Worldview. 

 
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MARK HUGHES

804-878-6659 markhughes.pastor@gmail.com

 Mark has pastored three churches in Virginia over the past 27 years and now serves as senior pastor of West End Baptist Church in North Dinwiddie, Virginia. Mark is a graduate of James Madison University with a degree in Art (graphic design) and a graduate of Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond with a Master of Divinity (1995) and a Doctor of Ministry (2010). He enjoys hearing the stories of other’s life journeys and exercising the ministry of presence with those in need of encouragement, challenge, understanding, and grace. Mark is married to Kelly, and they have three children.

 
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PACO VALENCIA

804-615-9973 markhughes.pastor@gmail.com

 Paco was born in Mexico City. Most of his career was in sales. He came to faith in Christ through an American couple while living in Irapuato. He began growing in his faith, and later received theological and church training through the Bible Institute. He served in a local church by leading Bible Study groups, teaching, and performing administrative duties. He and his wife, Nina, immigrated to Virginia in 2009. They were members of a local church before becoming pastor of a new church start in Petersburg where they continue to serve.

 
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JAY DOCKWEILER

404-281-3923 jay@southedge.org

 Jay is a husband, father of three, and has been a resident of Georgia since 1993. During his professional career, he has been an educator, a speaker, a coach, a marketer, a college administrator, and a pastor. He volunteers in a variety of ways in his local community and as a part of a nonprofit doing community development work in Uganda, Africa. In 2002, he started The Church at SouthEdge, in Henry County, Georgia and still serves as Pastor. SouthEdge utilizes participatory conversations and purposeful practices as the primary methods of learning and living the way of Jesus.

 
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MITCH WHISNANT

423-782-6402 whisnant.mitchell@gmail.com

 Mitch has served churches in Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee. He is a graduate of Carson-Newman University and Southern Seminary. He and his wife, Vickie have two sons and two grandsons. Both sons are also ministers, Matthew in Kingsport, TN and Christopher in Waco, TX. Mitch served as a volunteer hospital chaplain for 32 years and as an industrial chaplain for 4 years. Mitch enjoys crossword puzzles, sudoku and word scrambles. His social calendar is filled with his grandsons’ activities.

 
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John Lee Malphrus

864-770-5129 john.lee.malphrus@gmail.com

 John Lee served as a missionary to Mexico and Peru. He currently is working in construction as a Human Resource Manager but also serves as a chaplain. He joined ECA in September as a part-time chaplain. He is bilingual in Spanish and English. He is a graduate of Clemson University in Business Administration and will graduate from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in May 2022 with a MDIV in Missiology. He is married to Tricia and has 2 children. His oldest girl is a freshman at Clemson University and his son is a junior in high school. 

 
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JOE LA SALANDRA

769-428-1961 jalasa47@gmail.com

 

 Joe was born in Ohio and raised in Texas, and now live in Ocean Springs, MS. He loves God, people, and sports. He served in different cultures as a coach, teacher, counselor, chaplain, volunteer firemen, bus driver, and custodian. He pastored East Verde Baptist Church in Payson, Arizona. Joe is a graduate from Texas Tech University with a degree in Physical Education, and he is a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity. 

 
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VINCE SMITH

972-838-3845 • vincesmithsf@gmail.com 

 

 Vince grew up in Slidell, La. He began his career as a Nuclear Submarine Officer/Engineer in the U.S. Navy after graduating from Tulane University and receiving his naval commission. Following the Navy, Vince entered vocational ministry, graduating from Southwestern Seminary with a Master of Divinity. Vince has pastored since 1999 in churches in Texas, South Dakota, and Mississippi. In addition to his work with ECA, Vince serves as the Director of the International Seafarer Center, Pascagoula, and Pastor of Parkway Baptist Church, Pascagoula. Vince’s wife is Kimberly; they have two children. His hobbies are sailing and traveling—49 states, 43 nations and five continents so far.

 
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EDGAR MONTANO

770-837-6165 • ch.edgarm@gmail.com

 

 Edgar is originally from Venezuela where he graduated from Colegio University. He has also studied at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the Hispanic Pastor at New Hope Baptist Church. He is married with three children. 

 
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STEVE FOSS

602-376-1321 • esteban1956@gmail.com

 

 Steve Foss is a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, with additional post-graduate studies at Phoenix Seminary. His ministry career began in worship ministries, and later transitioned to both teaching and senior pastor roles. He enjoys time with family and friends; meeting new people; golf and tennis; and travel. His published works include: “Freedom’s Foundation”, “Psalm 119, A King’s Tribute to the Sacred Texts”, and “I’m a Country Gopher” (a children’s book). Steve and his wife, Sandra, have two married daughters and ‘sons-in-love’, and a beloved grandson.

 
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COLE ANDREWS

228-819-9712 • colefbcos@gmail.com

 

 Originally from Starkville, MS. Cole answered the call to ministry in 2017. He met his wife April at Delta State University. Cole has been trained at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Cole desires to see the whole family discipled and deeply rooted in God's Word. One of his favorite quotes is by the late Eugene Peterson. Peterson said, "My job is not to solve people's problems or make them happy, but to help them see the grace operating in their lives.

 
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LYNDSAY M. EVATT

864-436-9099 • lindsay.evatt54@gmail.com

 

 Lindsay and her husband, Wes, have served in various ministry capacities for the last eighteen years together. After serving as the director of a children's home in Honduras, Lindsay most often finds herself as an active community member giving voice to vulnerable children all around the world. Lindsay is currently continuing her education to become a certified Biblical Counselor while also working at an area university and serving on the staff at her church. She and her husband have called the upstate of South Carolina "home" for most of their lives. Together, with their three children, they love serving their church and community. 

 
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TIM MURRAY

864-515-8101 • timothymurray796@gmail.com

 

 Tim is married with five children and a granddaughter. He serves as an Associate Pastor at his church where he oversees the Men's and Outreach Ministries. Tim’s passion is to help men and women walk in their God-given purpose. He has an Associate of Arts Degree in Biblical Studies from Columbia International University. He’s a huge sports fan.