Staff

Don Thomas,  Senior Pastor

Our Senior Pastor is Don Thomas. He has served as our Director of the Christian Campus House since 2005 and served as our Worship Pastor from 2007 until Franklin came on board in 2014. He has been our Senior Pastor since 2011.

Don is homegrown right here in Portales-a graduate of PHS and ENMU, and has been in some sort of ministry position for over 32 years! He has a real passion for helping people to see that God is FUN and REAL! He & Suzanne have one daughter-Landri– and two sons-Levi & Landon– and spend a lot of time chasing them! They love playing & singing music, working on their home and eating meals with their friends. And of course…the Dallas Cowboys!

Don has long believed that the Church is valuable and important, but that Church is not religion-it is about relationship!

Don is available for personal studies, visiting, or a cup of coffee anytime…his cell phone is 575.760.1843. He is in the Church office most days, but you can leave a message on his cell phone anytime.

 

Franklin Smith,  Associate Pastor

central websiteFranklin & Marea Smith
(It’s pronounced MARIE) are Portales natives-Marea even grew up at Central Christian! They are both Masters Level Teachers with over 16 years experience in public schools! Both have been certified as “Golden Apple Teachers” (it means they are really good at what they do!) and both serve the Lord with all their heart!

Franklin has served as the Worship Leader at Victory Life Church for many years now, as well as leading the award-winning PHS Choirs! He has a passion for Worship Music having written and recorded multiple songs and CD’s! He has studied, taught & preached God’s Word for all of his life and is a TRUE Follower of Christ! He will bring skill, talent…but above all, a heart for God to our family!

Franklin enjoys music of all kinds, Apple computers & techy-nerdy stuff like that, the High Plains Emmaus Community, his Honda Shadow motorcycle, & is a die-hard Oklahoma Sooners fan! He and Marea (owner and operator of Me And Thee Studios) have 3 wonderful children: Bailey, a college junior, Emma, and Caden. He will primarily focus on Worship & Media Arts Ministries. Even with that, though, Franklin will preach periodically, be involved in Staff Development and will always be available for a cup of coffee to visit!
 

Jef Firestone, Youth Pastor

Jef Profile Pic

Jef comes to us from Clovis where he helped with children’s ministry.  He has also been very integral as a team leader in AMP before taking over in December of 2015! He has poured into our community and has a real heart for sharing God’s love with people of all ages! He has a beautiful daughter, Cadence, who keeps him on his toes and he graduated from ENMU with a degree in University Studies (with emphasis in both Music Education and Percussion Performance) in 2015 and, when he’s not at the church, you can find him at Landall’s Box Office! He is creative, fun, spontaneous and grounded…and God has blessed us with him to help grow our Youth Group!

We are SO THANKFUL that God brought Jef to us and we ask for you to PRAY FOR HIM DAILY AND PRAY FOR OUR TEENS because God has incredible things in store for us.

A wise philosopher once said, “From a small seed, a mighty oak can grow!” We have the potential for a GREAT youth group that changes Portales forever! May we commit to praying for and encouraging our young people to be mighty and strong for our Mighty And Strong God!
 

Jennifer Gonzales, Children’s Pastor 

11103079_10206500967466729_1044030723064989707_oJennifer is from Jal, NM where she was raised in the church.
 
She graduated from ENMU in 2004 with a Bachelor’s in University Studies (just a few classes shy of a teaching degree) when her husband, Benito, enlisted in the US Army.  They started their military career in Georgia and planted roots in Washington State for four years.  They relocated to Albuquerque in the summer of 2008 and Jennifer began working at Presbyterian Health Plan as their Project Coordinator, being involved in connecting and organizing community support and provider outreach.
 
In 2011, Jennifer left Presbyterian to start a brand new journey as a stay-at-home mom for Elisha.  He is an “outgoing, charismatic, and energetic little man who tells it like it is.”
 
Benito is the new HR Director at ENMU and we are so thankful that they are with us!
Jennifer says that “her silent prayer was to serve in some way and she never imagined that God would move her in this direction.  I am so thankful to be here at Central!”
 

Jesse Mowrer, Administrator

Jesse is a retired fireman and is blessed to live life as a “kept man”.  Jesse and his beautiful wife Donna are the proud parents of two daughters Angela and Marissa.

Jesse works as a contract consultant with a private not for profit corporation that provides assistance to ambulance services in Northern NM.
 
His other interests include camping, hunting, cars, travel, and almost anything else that catches his attention. There are two life experiences that serve to shape Jesse’s ministry. The first is his military and fire service experience and the second is a distinct calling to study what a biblical New Testament church would look like. Jesse believes in a team approach to church life and has committed himself to be a part of the new reformation of the church into a New Testament community. Jesse would like to see the planning, training, and organization from his military and emergency service experience brought into his work with the Lord’s army but even more importantly he would like to bring the camaraderie and brotherhood he experiences in the fire and emergency medical services system into the church.