Leadership

Pastors & Staff

rit@elizabethchurch.org

Dr. Rit Varriale

Head Pastor

Rit has served EBC since February 2005.  He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from The Citadel, a Master of Divinity degree from Campbell University, a Master of Theology degree from Duke University, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Princeton Theological Seminary.  Prior to entering the ministry, Rit served as an officer in the 82nd Airborne Division from 1992-1996.  He is married to Shannon Varriale, who teaches at Crest Middle School.
  • Favorite Food - Venison Tenderloin topped w/mushrooms and onions with mashed potatoes & roasted broccoli on the side with creme brulee for dessert
  • Favorite Bible Verse - Psalm 121
  • Favorite Leisure Activities - Motorcycling (viva Ducati), walking  the woods, hunting
eddie@elizabethchurch.org

Eddie Clay

Discipleship and Church Administration Pastor

Eddie started with EBC on May 1, 2018.  Prior to coming to Shelby, he served churches in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky.  He also served 8 years with LifeWay Christian Resources.  Eddie earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Belmont University and a Masters of Religious Education from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  He is married to Anita Clay and they have two children and two grandchildren.
  • Favorite Food - German Chocolate Cake with Strawberries OR Hot Fudge Brownies with Vanilla Ice Cream with Hot Fudge Sauce, Whip Cream and a Maraschino Cherry
  • Favorite Bible Verse - Isaiah 7:9  "If you do not stand firm in your faith, then you will not stand at all."
  • Favorite Leisure Activities -  Pickleball, Golf, Antique Shopping with my wife
tim@elizabethchurch.org

Tim Smith

Music & Worship Pastor

Tim is a native of Atlanta and has served churches in Georgia, Illinois, Tennessee, Alabama and North Carolina.  He is a graduate of Mercer University and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  His ministry with EBC began on September 1, 2020 amidst the COVID 19 crisis but has moved quickly to engage the leadership and musical gifts of the membership of EBC to pursue Jesus in worship.  He has been married to Kristie for over 30 years and they have a daughter named Katherine (Katt).
  • Favorite Food - Steak and 'taters ("Precious")
  • Favorite Bible Verse - 1 Corinthians 16:13-14    "Be on guard.  Stand firm in the faith.  Be courageous.  Be strong.  And do everything with love."
  • Favorite Leisure Activities - Golf, Reading, Watching Documentaries
jim@elizabethchurch.org

Jim Brackett

Assistant Pastor of Senior Adults & Pastoral Care

Reverend Jim started serving at EBC in March of 2020.  He has pastored churches in Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina.  He served 13 years as Chaplain with the Cleveland County Sheriff's office.  He has been pastoring churches in Cleveland County, North Carolina since 1988.  Jim is a graduate of Carson Newman and the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.  Jim served 3 years in the military as a US Army Personnel Specialist.  He is married to Annie Ruth McSwain Brackett.  Together they have four children, six grandchildren and one great grandson.
  • Favorite Food - Steak
  • Favorite Bible Verse - Isaiah 41:10  "Don't be afraid, for I am with you.  Don't be discouraged, for I am your God."
  • Favorite Leisure Activity - Studying the Bible

Interim Team

Youth Pastor

The youth ministry is currently being led by several volunteers.  A search team is prayerfully seeking the next leader for this ministry.

Lori Hastings

Crystal Bryson

Lori taught for 31 years with the Cleveland County Schools before retiring in 2014.  She is a graduate of Gardner-Webb University and earned her Masters of Education degree from Western Carolina University.  Lori is married to Gary Hastings and they have two children and two grandchildren.
  • Favorite Food - Mexican
  • Favorite Bible Verse - Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding."
  • Favorite Leisure Activities - Walking, hiking and spending time with my family
Crystal worked as a dental hygienist for 13 years having earned an Associate in Applied Science degree from Central Piedmont Community College.  Crystal is married to Chuck Bryson and they have a daughter, Caroline.
  • Favorite Food - Shrimp Cocktail
  • Favorite Bible Verse - Jeremiah 29:11  "For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.  They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
  • Favorite Leisure Activity -  Boating 
lori@elizabethchurch.org
crystal@elizabethchurch.org

Kim McEntyre

Accounting Manager
Kim has served EBC since July 2011.  She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Liberty University.  She is married to Jeff McEntyre and they have one son.

Angel Carroll

Administrative Ministry Assistant
Angel has served EBC since June 2019.  She is married to Lee Carroll and has 4 children and 2 grandchildren.
  • Favorite Food - Italian
  • Favorite Bible Verse - Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
  • Favorite Leisure Activities - Reading, long walks, great movies
  • Favorite Food - Seafood
  • Favorite Bible Verse - Psalm 100  "Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!"
  • Favorite Leisure Activities - Baking, cooking
kim@elizabethchurch.org
angel@elizabethchurch.org
  • Favorite Food - Homemade Enchiladas
  • Favorite Bible Verse - Romans 4:23-25
  • Favorite Leisure Activities - Hand lettering, playing piano
missy@elizabethchurch.org

Missy Biggerstaff

Receptionist
Missy has been with EBC since September 2020.  She worked in the Information Management industry for 21 years.  She is married to Tripp, who is the pastor at Lavonia Baptist Church in Mooresboro, NC.  Missy and Tripp have one daughter.
  • Favorite Food - Barbecue ribs
  • Favorite Bible Verse - Psalm 143:10-11
  • Favorite Leisure Activities - Grilling, watching the Braves, and playing guitar.
aaron@elizabethchurch.org

Aaron Meier

Tech Team Leader
Aaron has served EBC since March 2021. Outside of his work at the church, he is a musician, recording engineer, music producer, and teacher. He is married to Michelle, a nurse, and they live in Lattimore with their three dogs.

Storm

Associate Minister of K-9 Therapy
  • Certified AKC Therapy Dog  -  Husky\White Shepherd Mix that regularly works with kids in the school system and visits with adults in hospitals, nursing homes, and Hospice
  • Favorite Food - Chick-Fil-A Grilled Nuggets
  • Favorite Bible Verse - Ecclesiastes 9:4
  • Favorite Activities - Walking\Running through the woods, chasing rabbits and squirrels