- Dr. Cory GonyoPreaching Elder
I was born and raised in Wisconsin. I was born again at the age of twenty-two when I received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Now more than twenty-five years later I look back and see the Lord’s blessing and provision in my life. After graduating from Law School, the Lord called me into ministry. I served as an associate pastor and campus minister at a Southern Baptist church in South Dakota. My family and I served as Southern Baptist missionaries in a closed country in Southeast Asia for eight years. And since 2014, I’ve had the honor of being a Preaching Elder of First Baptist Church. I hold an MDiv and a DMin. I also facilitate missiology courses at Spurgeon College and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary as an adjunct faculty member. And I serve as Iowa’s trustee for the International Mission Board.
I have seen the Lord’s great provision in the way that He constantly and consistently uses His Word, the Bible, to teach people about Himself and lead them into salvation and service. Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, died on the cross for our sins and rose again from the dead. All who receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior are born again (Jn 3), by which they are forgiven of their sins and given eternal life (Jn 1:12-13; Rom 10:9-13). Jesus is our Creator and Savior and King.
Whatever tribe or nation or tongue, the Lord speaks to the world through the Scriptures and draws people to Himself. We live and move and have our being only because God is so good to provide for us. I look forward to witnessing the Lord’s work in our lives and in the future. It is both my passion and commitment to faithfully preach the Word of God with an emphasis on book by book expository teaching. As the church continues to learn and understand God’s Word, we must also put what we learn into practice, glorifying Christ in worship, discipleship, and mission. I invite you to join us as we learn God’s Word, trust God’s will, and endeavor to serve Jesus Christ here in Bettendorf and even to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).
Your servant in Jesus Christ,
Dr. Cory Gonyo
- Kayla HornerChildren & Family Director
I grew up in Bettendorf, with my parents and sister. I attended a small Baptist church growing up, that my family was involved in. I was saved as a child, but I did not grow in my faith until I became an adult. In 2008, I married my husband Ethan, and we started a family. We now have four wonderful daughters, who we homeschool.
I have always loved working with children. I started working with children as a teenager, babysitting for neighbors. I worked at a Christian daycare here in the Quad Cities for a while before becoming a stay-at-home mom when my first daughter was born. My first two daughters started in public school, where I volunteered on the PTA. There were many things we loved about their school but felt God directing us to bring them home and teach them.
I felt God's call on my life in May 2018 to work with children and families for Him. This call came shortly after my family began attending First Baptist Church - Bettendorf. It was at this time that I, and my family, surrendered our lives fully to the Lord. I am now enrolled at Spurgeon College through Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary pursuing my Bachelors in Christian Ministry.
Since we joined First Baptist Church - Bettendorf, our family dynamic has changed as my husband and I have learned to be the primary disciple-makers in our home. We seek to be as involved in our children's spiritual growth and development, as we are in their physical and mental development. This shift has been more rewarding than we could have imagined, and the closeness to each other and to God grows stronger each day. I cannot wait to see where God leads His church in Children's and Family Ministries. My prayer is to remain simply a vessel for Him, and for families to worship the Lord together. I want to Biblically train children in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6), to count them as co-heirs and worship alongside them (Mark 9:36-37, Matthew 18:10, Luke 18:15-17) and to help equip parents to be the primary disciple-makers in their children's lives. (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).
- Evan NutterPreaching Elder
I grew up mainly in South Carolina. By God’s grace I was born into a Christian home. My father and mother provided a wonderful example of what it looked like to serve Jesus at home, at work, and at church. Because of their love and discipleship of me, I said yes to Christ as a six-year old and was baptized. My call to ministry (Isaiah.6:8) came when I was 13 at youth camp. Since that time, I have pursued God’s call and ordered my life around the work of the good news of Jesus Christ.
In those 32 years, he has continued to conform me to his image through his grace in suffering, conviction of sin, and his great love and mercy. (Romans. 8:29-30, James 1:2-4) He has never failed to provide for me and to prove his faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-24) He has given me great opportunities to lead and share the gospel.
I hold a B.A. in Christian Ministries from Indiana Wesleyan University, where I met my wife, Julia, and a M.A. in Theological Studies from Columbia International University Seminary and School of Ministry. In my years of ministry I have had the blessing of being a Lead and Staff Pastor, a church planter, a ministry consultant, and now a Preaching Elder here at First Baptist. Outside of serving in ministry I enjoy history, music, traveling, and cheering on the West Virginia Mountaineers. #LetsGoMountaineers!
The Lord has given Julia and I four wonderful children, Malachi, Abigail, Adah, & Matthias. My family is a joy to me and they make me a better pastor. After living and serving churches in Indiana, North Carolina, Maryland, South Carolina, and Texas, we are thankful to call Iowa and especially First Baptist Church - Bettendorf, "Home". To Him alone be the glory!