About Central

Welcome to Central Church. Below you will find information about who we are, what we believe, and more.

Basic Beliefs

Basic Beliefs

These basic doctrines represent what we believe to be core elements of biblical teaching.

  • God
    We believe in one God eternally existing as one essence and three distinct persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, each of whom is fully God, yet there is one God.
  • Scripture
    The Bible is the Word of God, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It is infallible, inerrant, and our supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct. All Scripture is a testimony to Jesus Christ, who is himself the focus of divine revelation.
  • Creation and Providence
    God created the world from nothing, and his creative work is the overflow of the love present within the Trinitarian fellowship. As creator, he knows all things, preserves all things, and governs all things at all times in all places as part of his good and wise plan.
  • Man
    God created humanity in his own image, and because of this every person—regardless of culture, ethnicity, developmental stage, mental capacity, or any other factor—has equal and intrinsic dignity and worth.
  • Sin
    Sin has fractured all things. It has left the world broken and in need of restoration. It has corrupted man’s nature and made him wholly opposed to God and in desperate need of salvation.
  • Salvation
    Salvation is provided by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Anyone who turns away from their sin, pledging allegiance to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is declared righteous by God and receives the gift of everlasting life through the atoning death and resurrection life of Christ.
  • The Church
    We believe in the universal church as the Body of Christ, composed of all the redeemed of all the ages. We believe in the local church, consisting of a local family of believers, associated by covenant in the faith, seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth.
  • The Kingdom and the World to Come
    Jesus Christ will return personally, physically, visibly, and suddenly in power and great glory at the end of the age, and he will raise the dead, judge the nations, and establish his eternal kingdom in the new heavens and new earth.

For more details about what we believe in these areas, see the Baptist Faith and Message (2000), which our church has adopted as our formal statement of faith. Additionally, in unity with all Christian churches everywhere, we affirm the Apostles’, Nicene, and Chalcedonic Creeds as accurate representations of Scripture’s teaching.

Distinctives

Theological Distinctives

These areas reflect what might uniquely distinguish Central theologically or practically from other churches who would affirm the basic doctrines of Christianity.

  • Christ-Centered Expositional Preaching
    We gather in corporate worship primarily to be fed from God’s word. On top of that we believe the Bible is first and foremost a story about Jesus Christ. That’s why in our weekly gatherings we are committed to expositional preaching—explaining what God has said in his Word, verse by verse. And in that process, we are committed to interpreting the entire Bible and our own lives in light of Jesus Christ and his promised Kingdom.
  • Intergenerational Worship
    We are a church made up of people at all ages and stages of life, and our weekly worship service is designed to serve the entire gathered congregation as we build one another up in song. That means we don’t attempt to cater to a particular demographic’s favored taste or style of song or subdivide the congregation out into different services, each styled differently. Instead, we prioritize songs that are biblically true and theologically rich.
  • Pastor-Led Congregationalism
    We believe Jesus ordained two offices in the church—pastors, who are servant leaders, and deacons, who are leading servants—and placed formal authority for leadership in the church in the pastors of the church, who teach and lead as the primary authority and in the entire congregation covenanting together who act as the final authority. Thus, we are ruled by Christ, led by our pastors, and accountable to our congregation.
  • God’s Design for Man and Woman
    We believe men and women are absolutely equal in essence, dignity, and value and are complementary by divine design. Both men and women are expected to lead in the church; however, Scripture has reserved the office of pastor for Scripturally-qualified men. In all, men and women both are visible partners in the life of the church—deploying their diverse gifts for the good of the body as equal and complementary partners.
  • Baptism by Immersion
    We believe baptism follows conversion by immersion into water in the name of the Triune God. Baptism is a church’s act of affirming and portraying a believer’s union with Christ in his death and resurrection and a believer’s act of publicly committing himself to Christ and his people. As a church, we only admit to membership and to the Lord’s Supper those who have professed their faith by pledging allegiance to Christ through baptism.
  • Cultural Implications of the Gospel
    We are committed to living out the implications of the gospel in everyday life. This includes defending innocent life and opposing the evil of abortion, unashamedly affirming and modeling a Christian sexual ethic, compassionately caring for the poor, and opposing any form of racism, abuse, or other evil. In opposing unrighteousness, we hope to bear witness to the beauty of the gospel and its relevance to all of life.

Who We Are

Centered on the Gospel.

We confess and commit to the good news of what God has done in Christ Jesus.

Anchored in Scripture.

We're submitted to and shaped by the Bible as the true story that changes lives.

Gathered as Community.

We're fueled and formed as a family as we love and serve one another and worship together.

Deepened in Discipleship

We’re deliberate and devoted to growth as we take the next step following Christ.

Relentless about the Mission

We send and sacrifice for our neighbors and the nations.

Committed to the Next Generation

We're an intergenerational church intentional about the campus as a strategic mission field.

As a church, we are committed to the centrality of the gospel.

Our 2025 Vision.

We hope and pray that in 2025, this can be said at our 100th Anniversary.

We are a church where every generation is reaching the next generation. We are a home to thousands seeking to grow in the grace of the gospel, a place of refuge and restoration where God transforms lives and rewrites stories. Every space and every service in the life of our church is designed to communicate the beauty and peace of the gospel. We are a place of real community and deep learning—characterized by gospel compassion and gospel conviction within a gospel culture. We shepherd the hearts of hundreds of children and shape the lives of hundreds of students each week. We pursue the campus as a strategic mission field, resource a thriving development pipeline that engages, trains, and launches leaders around the globe, and we have cultivated or formed:

10,000 pounds of food to donate.
1,000 gospel relationships.
100 each year sent on mission trips.
100 each year in our Training Program.
10 ministry residents.
10 ministry partnerships.
1 new church prepared to plant.

As we mark our church’s 100th anniversary, we hope to thank God for this and more, and that this significant moment would become a gospel movement.

Our Story

The story of Central began nearly a century ago in 1925, with 80 people who sought to plant a church that would be known for its love for Christ and commitment to taking the gospel to the nations. In its first meeting in 1925 the church took an offering, not for itself but for the cause of world missions. By God’s grace, ever since, Central has been a place committed to the centrality of the gospel and the cause of the Great Commission.

Whether that’s taking the gospel to our growing community, to the 70,000 university students at our doorstep, or to the nations, every ministry of Central Church flows out of our vision to be a place where every generation is reaching the next generation. Over its 100-year existence, the church has grown considerably—from eighty people to a membership of thousands, but its passion and focus has stayed the same. Our prayer is that the cause that founded this church is one that will continue to fuel all we do into its next 100 years.

Church Leadership

Pastors

Phillip Bethancourt

Lead Pastor

Phillip Bethancourt

Lead Pastor
pbethancourt@centralbcs.org

Pastor Phillip has served as Central’s Lead Pastor since 2020 and works to shepherd the church’s people and it’s unique vision of being a place where every generation is reaching the next generation with the gospel.

Before Central, he graduated with degrees in accounting and finance from Texas A&M before heading to Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where he received an MDiv in Christian Ministry, a PhD in Systematic Theology, and served on the faculty as Assistant Professor of Christian Theology. Following that he spent seven years serving as Executive Vice President for the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, where he worked to equip churches across the country on how to apply the gospel to the complex moral and ethical issues of the day.

On top of that, he is the author of multiple works, including his most recent book, Exalting Jesus in Genesis. Some of the things that he is most passionate about are making disciples, training leaders, and (as the 25th Aggie in his family) following all things Texas A&M related. He is married to Cami and together they have four sons.

Daniel Patterson

Executive Pastor

Daniel Patterson

Executive Pastor
dpatterson@centralbcs.org

Pastor Daniel focuses much of his work on developing strategy and shepherding Central’s staff. He also directs The Central Institute where he helps train in doctrine and raise up next-generation leaders across the church.

Before Central, he spent eight years in executive leadership at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. Across his years in ministry he has developed leadership experience in spaces as wide-ranging as government affairs, public relations, higher education, and Christian publishing.

He spent most of years growing up around the Nashville area, graduated with a degree in communications from Middle Tennessee State University, as well as an MDiv and a PhD in Systematic Theology from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to his wife Molly since 2010, and together they have two daughters and one son. Away from work, you can often find him in a book, tied to a football or baseball game, trying his hand at (Texas-style) craft barbecue, or in his garage gym working to stay fit to keep up with his kids.

Tim Skaggs

Associate Pastor, Congregational Care

Tim Skaggs

Associate Pastor, Congregational Care
tskaggs@centralbcs.org

Pastor Tim served Central for 22 years in youth ministry and as associate pastor before the Lord called him to serve as Lead Pastor in Brownwood, Texas for 14 years. Now he’s back and loves to serve our legacy adults and help shepherd our people as Associate Pastor for Congregational Care. He holds a Masters of Religious Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, is married to Jamie, has two kids and four grandkids. When he’s not serving the church, you can find him with his grandkids and wife at Aggie sporting events or hunting and fishing.

Ministry Staff

Sean Gould

Senior Director for Discipleship & Administration

Sean Gould

Senior Director for Discipleship & Administration
sgould@centralbcs.org

Sean Gould has served on staff in pastoral roles for the last 15 years providing direction primarily to areas of discipleship, member care, administration, counseling, and staff leadership and development. Before coming to Central in 2023, Sean spent the last 7 years in Birmingham, Alabama as the Pastor of Member Care for The Church at Brook Hills and prior to that was the Pastor of Member Care and Administration at a church in Georgetown, Texas. Sean has Finance degree from Texas A&M University, and also a M.Div and Th.M from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  Sean is married to Adrian and together they have two children, Jane and Ty, and a golden retriever named Gunner. Sean enjoys watching Aggie sports, spending time with his family, and reading about theology and finance.

Shane Mikeska

Senior Director for Missions & Operations

Shane Mikeska

Senior Director for Missions & Operations
smikeska@centralbcs.org

Shane Mikeska served all over the world in missions for the past 25 years engaging people with the Gospel through church planting, agricultural development, business as mission, university ministry, and teaching.  Shane has been blessed to serve in various churches and roles.  Shane holds a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Development from Texas A&M, a Master of Divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Doctorate of Intercultural Studies from Western Seminary.  Shane is passionate about relational life on life disciple-making and his heart is to see Central live on mission for Christ.  Shane and his wife, Lindsay, have 4 sons.  Shane loves coffee and enjoys watching and coaching his boys in sports like proper football, American football, and basketball, as well as many 4H projects and wood working.  The Mikeska family also has British citizenship.

Ben Prater

Senior Director for Worship & Communications

Ben Prater

Senior Director for Worship & Communications
bprater@centralbcs.org

Ben Prater has served in worship leadership roles for over 15 years, with extensive experience in a large, multi-generational church context. In addition to that, Ben served as Director of Communications at First Baptist Church of Georgetown, Texas and for a decade with the Horsemen for Christ Ministries. He has a Bachelor of Arts and Science degree from Midwestern State University. He and his wife, Lexie, have two children.

Randy Wilson

Discipleship, Men's Ministry

Randy Wilson

Discipleship, Men's Ministry
rwilson@centralbcs.org

Randy Wilson has been teaching in the church for 45 years with a passion for equipping others to apply scriptural truths to everyday life. Serving as Discipleship Minister, he works to develop leaders that focus on creating authentic community within the Life Groups and through the Re:generation ministry. He has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in counseling from East Texas State University and a Master of Arts in Christian Education from SWBTS. Randy and his wife Karla have four adult children, all married, and are blessed with eight grandchildren. He enjoys traveling with his wife to far-off destinations like snowmobiling in Yellowstone and exploring the island of Roatan, Honduras.

Sherry Maggard

Preschool

Sherry Maggard

Preschool
smaggard@centralbcs.org

Sherry Maggard has served as the Director of Preschool Ministry at Central for over 20 years.  Sherry led the Mother’s Day Out and Weekday programs at Central for over 10 years before taking on this role. She has a Business Degree from Navarro College. She and her husband David have two children and 4 grandsons. 

Jeremy Lewis

Students

Jeremy Lewis

Students
jlewis@centralbcs.org

Jeremy Lewis has served as the Student Minister at Central since 2002 and has served in student ministry for over 30 years.  Jeremy has a bachelor’s degree in youth ministry from Liberty University and a Master Degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to Niki for 32 years and has a son, Cody, a daughter, Leah, and a son-in-law, Minh. When not hanging out with students, Jeremy loves to run, fish, hunt, and watch movies with Niki & Cody.

Patrick McGinty

College

Patrick McGinty

College
pmcginty@centralbcs.org

Patrick McGinty serves as the College Minister at Central Church. He’s previously served at Crossway Bible Church (San Antonio, TX), Emmanuel Baptist Church (New Caney, TX), and Redemption City Church (Franklin, TN).

Patrick graduated from Texas A&M in 2015, where he was a member of the Corps of Cadets and served as Head Yell Leader. He earned a Master of Divinity from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is married to Katherine and together they are raising four children.  He enjoys coaching his kids sports teams, anything outdoors, reading, and traveling.

Arturo Peña

Central en Español

Arturo Peña

Central en Español
apena@centralbcs.org

I have been in church leadership and pastoring for more than 24 years. I have served as a youth pastor, worship pastor, ran an orphanage, and founded and led Evidencia (Evidence) Band which God has used to minister through worship in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico, and many cities across Texas.

I graduated from seminary in 2000 at the Biblical Ministry Institute El Calvario in Monterrey, Mexico.

I have been married to Ana Peña for 22 years and we have 3 children- Axel, Aryana, and Abraham.

I like to play sports like soccer and volleyball, I have a passion for coaching kids soccer teams, and I  enjoy watching movies with my family.


He desempeñado funciones de liderazgo y pastoreado dentro de la iglesia por más de 24 años. Mis funciones han sido trabajar como pastor de jóvenes, pastor de alabanza, casa hogar para niños de la calle, líder y fundador de Evidencia Band 1. Dios nos ha llevado a ministrar con este ministerio de alabanza a Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, México y las ciudades principales de Texas.

En el año 2000 me gradué del seminario instituto bíblico ministerial El Calvario en Monterrey México.

Casado por 22 años con Ana Peña tenemos 3 hijos- Axel, Aryana, y Abraham.

Me gusta practicar deportes como el futbol soccer y voleibol, me apasiona ser coach de niños de futbol y disfruto ver películas con mi familia.

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