Dr. Bob Bender
Dr. Bob has been our pastor since September 2003. He and his wife, and greatest supporter, Beverly, have three married children, each of whom is actively involved in ministry. Cross Fellowship Church is the first Colorado pastorate for this Oklahoma native. He has two degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. Dr. Bender is also an adjunct professor for Gateway Seminary with classes you can take on the Black Forest Campus. Pastor Bender has been in ministry since graduating from High School.
Pastor Bob primarily preaches at the Black Forest Campus.
Patrick is a Colorado native and has spent most of his life on the Front Range. Patrick, his wife Danielle and their two boys joined Cross Fellowship in 2013. His passion is serving and leading within the local church and helping young families Glorify God as they grow closer together. He enjoys family activities and the Colorado outdoors.
Patrick is a member of the preaching and teaching team, preaching at both campuses.
Jeff is a graduate of Gateway Seminary and has had the privilege to serve as a pastor in several different areas. He loves going on mission trips and spending time with people no matter what their age. Jeff has been in Colorado since he was two, but the rest of the family (all Colorado natives) make sure he knows that doesn’t count as being a “Colorado Native”. His favorite things are spending time with the family, fishing and playing with the dogs. He is passionate about walking with people as the walk with the Lord.
Pastor Jeff works with the Children and Senior ministries, primarily at the Black Forest Campus.
Dr. Breck Merkle
Campus Pastor, Palmer Park
Breck was born and raised in Colorado Springs where he met his wife Candice. After marriage, they went to Southeast Asia where they served as church planters for 10 years. Breck loves his four children passionately and enjoys time in the outdoors, watching football games (Go Broncos!), and being on mission as a family. Breck came to Cross Fellowship with a desire to reach people all across El Paso County with the gospel of Jesus Christ and equip the church to do the same.
Pastor Breck primarily preaches at the Palmer Park Campus.
Paden began his adventure to Cross Fellowship from Oklahoma Baptist University where he met his beautiful wife Brooke. They began their journey together in July of 2019. Paden is passionate about snowboarding, coffee, art and design, board games, and hiking with his wife and pup. Brooke and Paden have the fluffiest and most energetic of Goldendoodles, named Wrigley. Paden is truly passionate about seeing students truly grasp the calling to “GO,” no matter where they are at.
You can find Paden teaching Sundays and Wednesday nights at our Black Forest campus.
Worship Pastor, Black Forest
Travis grew up in Moore, OK and graduated from Southwestern College in Winfield, KS in 2003 with a degree in Music Education and was part of Leadership Southwestern, one of the prevailing leadership development programs in the nation. He met his wife on campus at Southwestern and they’ve been married since 2004. They have two beautiful/ornery daughters-Liv and Jayne. Travis is passionate about leading others in authentic, Christ-focused worship, pastoring people and developing leaders. He has served in full-time ministry for nearly two decades and has just recently joined our staff from First Moore Baptist Church in the Oklahoma City area. In his spare time you can find Travis hanging out with his family or playing tennis.
Travis is the lead worship pastor and primarily leads at the Black Forest campus. If you are interested in joining one of our worship teams or choir and orchestra please contact him at email@example.com
Worship Pastor, Palmer Park
Glynn grew up in rural eastern Washington, where he learned to love hunting, fishing, and most anything outdoors. Glynn, his wife Michele, and their daughters, Kaylynn and Marlee, joined Cross Fellowship in 2010. Glynn’s passion is for leading God’s people closer to Him, while they praise and glorify Him with their lives of worship, directing that worship to Jesus through music. If you would like to join one of our worship teams, or would like to learn more please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Glynn primarily leads worship at the Palmer Park Campus.
Colm was born & raised in Brooklyn, NY. After graduating from Fuller Theological Seminary with his M.Div. in 1996 he moved to Colorado Springs. He & his wife Suzi have served in various church leadership roles throughout their lives. Together, they raise their four sons, two dogs and a pet corn snake in Black Forest. As the Connections Pastor Colm works vigorously in building relationships and connectivity within the congregation. For fun he loves to sail, summit 14ers, play competitive ultimate disc and SCUBA dive.
Young Adult Pastor
Matt was born and raised in Colorado Springs. He has been serving students since 2000 and has served at Cross Fellowship since 2005. He and his beautiful bride Trisha have a son and daughter. He enjoys the outdoors, the Broncos, and the never ending Ultimate Frisbee games with his students. Matt has a Masters of Divinity from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. He is passionate about helping students and their families grow closer to God and to each other.
You can find Matt teaching Sundays and Thursdays at the Black Forest Campus.
Dr. Tom Cathey
Spiritual Life Pastor
Dr. Tom Cathey was born and raised in Florida and moved to Colorado Springs in 2008. He became the Spiritual Life Pastor (small groups) in January of 2016. Tom and Gail have four adult children and have been a part of Cross Fellowship since 2014. Tom served as a Christian School Administrator for over 30 years in Florida and is now serving with the Association of Christian Schools International. Tom is passionate about strengthening and growing Cross FC's LIFE Groups and Discipleship Groups.
Kelly grew up in Colorado Springs. After graduating from Southwest Baptist University she married Bill. After stops in Missouri, Kansas and Washington she moved home to Colorado in 2005 when they joined Cross Fellowship. She and Bill have four kids that keep them busy, Morgan, Mollie, Matthew and Maddie. She loves being the hands of Jesus whether it is through Vacation Bible School, serving meals, mission trips or holding babies in the nursery.
You can often find Kelly with the "Little Forest Friends" at our Black Forest Campus.
Student Director, Palmer Park
Mason is originally from Texas, however, he moved here with his family when he was only 1 year old, so he is practically a Colorado native. His passions include skiing, football, playing guitar, and enjoying everything the mountains of Colorado have to offer. Mason has a passion for guiding youth students to a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ and equipping them to go out and reach the lost with the Gospel. Currently, he is pursuing a degree of psychology with an emphasis in biblical studies from Colorado Christian University. Upon graduating from Colorado Christian University, Mason will enter seminary to continue his pastoral pursuits.
Mason leads the student ministry at the Palmer Park Campus.
Children's Director, Palmer Park
Sharon moved to Colorado Springs in 2015. She is married to her husband Keith and they have two kids, Kieven and Abigail. She has an Elementary Education degree form Southwest Baptist University. She loves kids of all ages. Her favorite things are going to church camp and on mission trips. She loves to see kids having fun while learning about Jesus.
Sharon works at our Palmer Park campus to passionately reach children and their families.
Dr. Nikki Ratcliff
Preschool Director, Palmer Park
Nikki and her husband, Chris, are Texas natives who moved to Colorado in 2016 for Chris to work for Compassion International. They have three almost-grown children: Annie, Alex, and Joseph. Nikki is passionate about bringing glory to the Lord through serving Him whole-heartedly. She has her Ph.D. in Psychology and has previously served as Director of Weekday Preschool at a church in Texas. She is excited about helping families and the church body love little children like Jesus did, and helping them love Jesus like a little child, as she teaches precious preschoolers about loving Jesus.
You can find Nikki on Sundays at the Palmer Park Campus.