FACULTY AND STAFF

 

Faculty

Dr. W. Duncan Rankin / Systematic and Historical Theology, Church History

Dr. Rankin is an Honorably Retired PCA minister living in SW Virginia who also serves as an Adjunct Professor of Systematic Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary, and now as an adjunct faculty member with BRITE.

Raised in a Southern Presbyterian home with shared roots in the Moravian ministry, Dr. Rankin graduated summa cum laude from Clemson University in Ceramic Engineering, where he was founding president of the campus Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship. After working for DuPont at the Savannah River Laboratory and Ph.D. studies in Materials Science at the Massachusetts Institutes of Technology, the Lord redirected Duncan’s steps from a successful career in the sciences towards the Gospel ministry in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). After completing his Master of Divinity studies at Covenant Theological Seminary and Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS) in Jackson, Mississippi, he took his Ph.D. at the New College of the University of Edinburgh by writing on “Carnal Union with Christ in the Theology of T.F. Torrance.”

Appointed to the Department of Systematic Theology at RTS-Jackson in 1993, Duncan served 10 years full time, teaching courses in dogmatic and historical theology. Active on the Theology and Strategy Working Group of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, Duncan was also a recipient of a John Templeton Foundation 1999 Science and Religion Course Prize and taught a course in Science and Theology at RTS. At the Millennium, the Rankin family escaped the ravages of Y2K by sojourning in the quiet Scottish Highland village of Muir of Ord, before Duncan served as guest minister for Dr. David Robertson at St. Peter’s Free Church of Scotland in Dundee, home of the historic pulpit of Rev. Robert Murray M’Cheyne and current home of the SOLAS Ministry. Since 2003, Duncan has pastored churches in Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, and most recently as the Associate Minister of Christ Church (PCA), Katy, Texas. In addition to service at RTS, Duncan is also a member of the Board of Directors for GRACE—a Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment and a Visiting Professor for Ligonier Ministries’ Reformation Bible College, Sanford, Florida. He and his wife Shirley have three fine children.

Rev. Kyle Ferguson / Biblical Languages (Hebrew), Old Testament Studies

Kyle Ferguson is the pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Roanoke, Virginia. A graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Kyle is currently working on a PhD in Old Testament studies at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City Missouri. Kyle enjoys teaching Hebrew and the Old Testament.

Kyle and his wife Michelle met in the 8th grade and together they have six children. While using the term “free time” loosely, Kyle enjoys running and doing home maintenance.

Rev. Timothy Martin / Biblical Languages (Greek), New Testament Studies, Practical Theology

Born in 1962, Tim grew up in Roanoke, VA, and graduated in 1985 with an Electrical Engineering degree from the Virginia Military Institute. After graduation, he served as an officer in the US Air Force in Dayton, OH. Dayton was not really where he wanted to be, but his four years there encompassed the most significant turning points in his life.

“During my first year there (1986), after a year-long intense pursuit, I was captured by the Lord Jesus Christ and delivered from a very prideful, self-serving, and ultimately destructive path. Since then my life has been an imperfect, yet joyful, progression of finding Christ to be more and more central and precious. I really am more unworthy and unable than I thought, and He really is more gracious than I imagined – and than I imagine still.”

Very shortly thereafter, Tim met his wife-to-be, Nancy. They were married on August 26, 1989 and the next year headed out to California where after 4 years Tim graduated from The Master’s Seminary. He spent the following four years serving a church in Northern California. In 1998, seeking clarity as to God’s calling, Tim returned with his family to Roanoke – now with two precious daughters, one amazing son, and another on the way. Here he took a teaching post at the one-year old Faith Christian School.

Three years later it was becoming clearer through a strong desire and the affirmations of his Grace Church family that his calling as a pastor was still very much alive. So in 2001, he left Faith Christian School to serve as an assistant pastor at Grace Church, followed in 2003 with a call to the senior pastor role.

“Knowing and serving Christ and His sheep is the most humbling, challenging, and satisfying thing I can imagine. What a privilege and honor and a joy to handle His Word! I am unceasingly grateful for God’s grace toward me in Christ, and for the very patient and precious family (Grace Church and the Martins) who serve Him with me.”

Rev. Roland Mathews / Old Testament Studies, Practical Theology

Roland Mathews serves as the Associate Pastor of Draper’s Valley Presbyterian Church in Draper, Virginia. Roland received his MDiv from Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and is currently working on a ThM thesis in Old Testament studies at Greenville Seminary. Roland enjoys teaching in the areas of Biblical Theology and Old Testament Theology.

Roland and his wife Josie have two young boys who are a source of great joy to them. Hobbies include, but are not limited to, reading, reading, and more reading. When Roland is not reading, he enjoys spending time with friends, jogging, playing pool, (billiards, for the aficionados) and ping-pong (table tennis, for the more refined), among other things.

Mr. Michael Gembola / Practical Theology

Michael Gembola (MAR, MAC) is Executive Director of Blue Ridge Christian Counseling in Roanoke, VA. He previously worked at CCEF as a licensed professional counselor and served as Director of Congregational Care at City Line Church in Philadelphia. He is also a lecturer in practical theology at Westminster Seminary and has taught as an adjunct professor at Biblical Seminary (Hatfield, PA). He holds a Master of Arts in Religion (Biblical Studies) and a Master of Arts in Counseling from Westminster Seminary, and he has a Certificate in Advanced Professional Counseling from Biblical Seminary. He is the author of several articles and a forthcoming devotional book on spiritual and marital restoration after infidelity.

Michael is married to Kelly and they have two sons, Adriano and Shane.

Rev. Douglas Hart / Practical Theology

Born in Roanoke and reared in Altavista, VA, Doug attended Furman University and graduated with a B.A. in History in 1973, later earned a Master of Arts in Religion from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, PA in 1978. Doug has also completed two certificate levels of training in Biblical Counseling from the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation in Philadelphia.

Doug has started three businesses, and later spent over 20 years in enterprise software sales. He has served as deacon, ruling elder, clerk of session and moderator of presbytery. Licensed to preach by New River Presbytery in 1992, he later served as church planter of Hope Presbyterian Church in Martinsville, VA and as Associate Pastor of Christ the King Presbyterian Church in Roanoke and also from 2015-2016 as Interim Pastor.

Doug is married to Ginnie for over 40 years and they have three daughters and 3 grandchildren. Doug serves on the Board of Directors of BRITE, also The Aquila Report, and Blue Ridge Biblical Counseling and is a member of Blue Ridge Presbytery of the PCA.

Rev. John “Penny” Pennylegion / Old Testament Studies, Practical Theology

John “Penny” Pennylegion is the Pastor of Christ the King Presbyterian Church in Roanoke, VA. Prior to coming to Roanoke, Penny was the Associate Pastor at Covenant Presbyterian Church in St. Louis while also serving as a visiting instructor of Applied Theology at Covenant Theological Seminary. Penny has his MDiv from Covenant Seminary and completed his ThM in 2017. The focus of his ThM research was Davidic Psalms of Lament.

Penny is married to Kat and they have two daughters, Laine and Mead, and one son, Cole.

Rev. Sean Morris / Historical Theology and Church History, Biblical Studies, Practical Theology

Born and raised along America’s snowbelt in North Kingsville, Ohio, Sean attended Grove City College in Grove City, Pennsylvania, earning his BA in Biblical and Religious Studies (2010) and later earning his MDiv from the Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi (2014). Sean serves as the Associate Minister at Westminster Presbyterian Church of Roanoke, Virginia, a calling which brought him and his family to the area in 2015. Sean has also served as stated pulpit supply for the Pine Ridge Presbyterian Church in Natchez, Mississippi (the oldest Presbyterian church in that state, dating back to 1807), and as an intern to the Senior Minister at First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Mississippi, serving under both Dr. J. Ligon Duncan III and Dr. David T.A. Strain.

Sean serves BRITE as the Academic Dean, providing program, academic, and administrative oversight for the institution as well as guest lecturing and team-teaching with other faculty in a number of courses. He also teaches various courses in the departments of Systematic, Historical, and Practical Theology. He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society, the Society of Biblical Literature, the American Academy of Religion, the Scottish Evangelical Theological Society, and is a Fellow with the Twin Lakes Fellowship, a ministerial fraternal. Additionally, he served as an Honors Scholar and Teaching Assistant for the Academic Dean and the Chancellor during his time at RTS and has also taught at West Africa Reformed Seminary in Gambia.

Sean is pursuing his PhD in Scottish Theology and Church History from Edinburgh Theological Seminary and the University of Glasgow. Beyond theology, writing, and good literature, Sean is passionate about good coffee and the works of Bach, Brahms, and Beethoven. He writes every now and again for the cultural journal, Humane Pursuits, for Ad Fontes, the journal of The Davenant Institute, and for the Gospel Reformation Network. Sean and his wife, Sarah, live in Roanoke, Virginia. They have two sons, Benjamin and Gabriel, and an adorably useless beagle, Max.

Rev. Randy Pizzino / New Testament Studies, Old Testament Studies, Practical Theology

Randy serves BRITE as our Dean of Students and Director of Discipleship. Additionally, the other main thrust of Randy’s vocational ministry is serving with Equipping Pastors International, a ministry dedicated to equipping national pastors and their wives in nations where Christianity is nascent and enabling those leaders to equip others for the work of the ministry to bring the body of Christ to maturity and unity.

Randy was blessed of God with Christian parents who gave him faithful nurture in the truths of the word. His father was a pastor, and Randy’s close relationship with his dad was used of God to teach Randy many practical lessons on pastoral ministry. Randy marks his conversion in the summer of his 16th year, and that conversion was followed, almost immediately, with opportunities to speak publicly in youth meetings and church services. Randy’s formal training for the ministry came in five years of study at Piedmont Baptist College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Randy’s first pastorate of 8 years in Staunton, VA was followed by the remainder of his 41 years of pastoral ministry in the Roanoke Valley of Virginia. Most of these Roanoke years were given to establishing and maturing one congregation, Trinity Church.

The Roanoke years began in serving with Jack Arnold at Grace Church, and the Pizzinos are now grateful to return to Grace Church as members, serving EPI with the encouragement of Pastor Tim Martin and the elders of Grace Church. Randy and his wife Julie are blessed with three children, two sons and a daughter. Julie teaches at Faith Christian School in Roanoke, and hopes to travel more in the future to East Africa with her husband. Randy’s entire pastoral ministry has been given to careful study and exposition of Scripture, and he rejoices in the open doors with EPI to impart some of what he has learned (and continues to learn) to pastors in East Africa, and wherever the Lord will guide his steps in the future.

Rev. Timothy Decker / New Testament Studies

Timothy was born in Charlotte, NC but has lived and ministered in a variety of locations and settings ranging from the beaches of eastern NC, to the city of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and most recently in the mountains of Virginia. He has 8 years of experience in pastoral ministry and is currently a member of Trinity Reformed Baptist Church. God has graced him with a wonderful wife (Liz, married in 2005) and 4 beautiful children. He holds a B.A. and M.A. in Biblical Studies from Piedmont International University as well as a Th.M. from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary with a focus on New Testament and Greek. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies at Capital Seminary. He has also published articles in various scholarly journals such as Neotestamentica, Andrews University Seminary Studies, and Conspectus and is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society. When he is not reading, writing, or researching, Tim enjoys spending time with his family, golfing, carpentry, fishing, and hunting.

Staff

Rev. Randy Pizzino / Dean of Students and Director of Discipleship

Randy serves BRITE as our Dean of Students and Director of Discipleship. Additionally, the other main thrust of Randy’s vocational ministry is serving with Equipping Pastors International, a ministry dedicated to equipping national pastors and their wives in nations where Christianity is nascent and enabling those leaders to equip others for the work of the ministry to bring the body of Christ to maturity and unity.

Randy was blessed of God with Christian parents who gave him faithful nurture in the truths of the word. His father was a pastor, and Randy’s close relationship with his dad was used of God to teach Randy many practical lessons on pastoral ministry. Randy marks his conversion in the summer of his 16th year, and that conversion was followed, almost immediately, with opportunities to speak publicly in youth meetings and church services. Randy’s formal training for the ministry came in five years of study at Piedmont Baptist College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Randy’s first pastorate of 8 years in Staunton, VA was followed by the remainder of his 41 years of pastoral ministry in the Roanoke Valley of Virginia. Most of these Roanoke years were given to establishing and maturing one congregation, Trinity Church.

The Roanoke years began in serving with Jack Arnold at Grace Church, and the Pizzinos are now grateful to return to Grace Church as members, serving EPI with the encouragement of Pastor Tim Martin and the elders of Grace Church. Randy and his wife Julie are blessed with three children, two sons and a daughter. Julie teaches at Faith Christian School in Roanoke, and hopes to travel more in the future to East Africa with her husband. Randy’s entire pastoral ministry has been given to careful study and exposition of Scripture, and he rejoices in the open doors with EPI to impart some of what he has learned (and continues to learn) to pastors in East Africa, and wherever the Lord will guide his steps in the future.

Rev. Sean Morris / Academic Dean

Born and raised along America’s snowbelt in North Kingsville, Ohio, Sean attended Grove City College in Grove City, Pennsylvania, earning his BA in Biblical and Religious Studies (2010) and later earning his MDiv from the Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi (2014). Sean serves as the Associate Minister at Westminster Presbyterian Church of Roanoke, Virginia, a calling which brought him and his family to the area in 2015. Sean has also served as stated pulpit supply for the Pine Ridge Presbyterian Church in Natchez, Mississippi (the oldest Presbyterian church in that state, dating back to 1807), and as an intern to the Senior Minister at First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Mississippi, serving under both Dr. J. Ligon Duncan III and Dr. David T.A. Strain.

Sean serves BRITE as the Academic Dean, providing program, academic, and administrative oversight for the institution as well as guest lecturing and team-teaching with other faculty in a number of courses. He also teaches various courses in the departments of Systematic, Historical, and Practical Theology. He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society, the Society of Biblical Literature, the American Academy of Religion, the Scottish Evangelical Theological Society, and is a Fellow with the Twin Lakes Fellowship, a ministerial fraternal. Additionally, he served as an Honors Scholar and Teaching Assistant for the Academic Dean and the Chancellor during his time at RTS and has also taught at West Africa Reformed Seminary in Gambia.

Sean is pursuing his PhD in Scottish Theology and Church History from Edinburgh Theological Seminary and the University of Glasgow. Beyond theology, writing, and good literature, Sean is passionate about good coffee and the works of Bach, Brahms, and Beethoven. He writes every now and again for the cultural journal, Humane Pursuits, for Ad Fontes, the journal of The Davenant Institute, and for the Gospel Reformation Network. Sean and his wife, Sarah, live in Roanoke, Virginia. They have two sons, Benjamin and Gabriel, and an adorably useless beagle, Max.