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!

Dennis Kerg, Student Pastor

Dennis (D.A.) Kerg is from Benson, AZ. He moved to  Portales to attend ENMU where he received his Bachelor’s in psychology and a Master’s in secondary education. Since graduating, Dennis has taught at the junior high and high school levels for five years and was a pastor for two years. 

Dennis met his wife, Laurel, while at ENMU where they both competed on the track team. They have two wonderful children together, Emmy and Cruz. Their family shares a love of learning, the outdoors, running (yes, you read that right), and any kind of adventure they may find.

Dennis really desires to see people become confident and active Disciples of Christ through developing a deep personal relationship with Him. For Dennis, Servant-hood is at the heart of discipleship and that service is the greatest way to show people God’s love. Our Pastoral Board feels confident that He will lead our students in a powerful and Spirit-filled way!  
The leadership of Central Christian WELCOMES Dennis to our staff and we invite all of our church family to PRAY for him & Laurel, for our teenagers, and that God will continue to grow our AMP Group into a powerful force for His Kingdom here in Portales!

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 Mowrer has served as our administrative pastor since 2011.  He has recently chosen to step away from this role.
We want to say a sincere “thank you” for his years of service in God’s Kingdom.