Meet the Leadership Team

Pastors and Staff Team

Senior Pastor: Pastor Joe and Teresa Bell (our children's director) have pastored Eastside since May of 1997. They met at and graduated from Trevecca Nazarene University . Married in June of 1989, they both graduated from Nazarene Theological Seminary in 1992. They have one past, two current and one future Trevecca students in the family: Paul DeAngulo (their "adopt-a-kid", 2009), Stephen and his wife Hannah (class of 2020) and Sarah (class of 2028).

Joe is an extrovert Alabama fan who loves Christ, Teresa, his kids, church and life. He likes sports, movies, music, books and games. Get in touch- he will talk to you a while!

Favorite Bible Verse:

  • "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well." Matthew 6:33 (NIV)

Christian Kolthoff is our Interim Associate Pastor and the Associate Outreach Director for Gaston Hope in Christ. He works with our teen and Hispanic ministries. Son and grandson of pastors, Christian grew up in Puerto Rico,spent a few years in Chicago, and joined us in July of 2020. A student at Liberty University Seminary, he is answering a call to pastor and equip leaders for discipleship.

Favorite Bible Verse:

Rev.Dr. Violly Walton is a Deacon in our Church. She became a Christian as part of a local Nazarene Church in the Northern Philippines which met at her home! As she grew and was discipled by others, she started leading songs during Sunday worship and sharing Bible stories through Saturday neighborhood outreach classes. This all led to her call, which is to teach Sunday school for all age groups and to preach the Word.

Dr. Walton has Taught ESL in the Nazarene College; served as Extension Education Coordinator for the district and College in Northern Philippines; National Literature and Media Ministries Coordinator for the Church of the Nazarene in the Philippine field; and taught at Korea Nazarene University. She earned an Education Doctorate at Trevecca Nazarene University, and while here met and married to Sam Walton. He is from Gastonia, and God has blessing us with both of their lives and ministry!

Favorite Bible Verse:

  • “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him,...” Nahum 1:7 (NIV)

Teresa Bell is our Children's Director. Mrs. Teresa has worked with children over 35 years (24 at Eastside), and has both a B.A. (Christian Ed., Trevecca, '89) and Masters's degree (Religious Education, Nazarene Theological Seminary, '92). She grew up at Eastside, and has served in a variety of roles both at Eastside and on the district children's ministry team over the past 24 years. She also works as a Team Leader at Curtiss-Wright Controls, and spoils her husband, children and dog whenever possible.

Favorite Bible Verse:

Michael Stanley is our Music Director. He grew as a Christian and began ministry in our Archdale, NC Church. After a few bumps, he has moved to Crouse, NC, with his wife, Tina. He does commercial Ironwork ( and enjoys shagging, trivia, music and other great times with Tina, family and friends all over.

Favorite Bible Verse:

Church Board Members

Sam Walton is our local Sunday School and Discipleship Ministry International (SMDI) President. Sam grew up in Gastonia, went to First Presbyterian Church and graduated from Ashbrook High School. He got a B.S. from Appalachian State and Master's Degree in teaching English as a Second Language. He has served in a variety of church and para-church ministries, including Gaston Hope in Christ. He teaches English at Hunter Huss High School. His passion, vision and drive to make disciples are a blessing to Eastside, and led to his election as our SDMI President.

Favorite Bible Verse(s):

19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires... 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:19-20,22

Larry and Carol Smith

Larry Smith and Carol Smith are charter members at Eastside and have been faithful members since it opened the doors in 1985. Larry is currently serving as Church Treasurer and ESTrust Leader. Carol is our Church Board Secretary. Larry met Carol in grade school, and they have been together almost all their lives! Leading the ESTrust team, Larry and his team are responsible for our finances, staff and facilities.

Favorite Bible Verses:

Larry- “The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.” Job 28:28


Larry & DeAnn

Larry and DeAnn Biggerstaff are our at-large members of the Church Board. They serve in a multitude of areas.

DeAnn leads our Nursery and Toddler programs, caring for the ever growing number of small children at Eastside. Her boundless heart and love for our children is felt by all who are blessed to help her in this great ministry.

DeAnn's Favorite Bible Verse:

Larry is our lead sound and visual arts guru. He masterfully runs the sound and video presentations during services. He is also part of the ESTRUST Team that keeps Eastside looking good and in working order.

Larry's Favorite Bible Verse: