Elders are responsible for assisting the Pastor in teaching, praying for the church body and shepherding the flock in spiritual matters. In addition, Elders assist the Pastor in the administration of communion and baptism, visit the sick and distressed members of the church, as well as interview applicants for church membership and welcome new members into the congregation.

Qualifications for Elders are outlined in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9


Byron Smith

Kristi and Byron have lived in Tuolumne County since 1995. The Smith family began attending Twain Harte Bible Church in 1999.  Kristi and Byron have 4 grown children: Benjamin, Andrew, Joshua, and Abigail. Benjamin and his wife, Andrea, live in Fresno and are expecting our first grandchild in May 2020. Andrew and his wife, M’Lynn, live in Merced. Our youngest son, Joshua, is attending school in Southern California, while Abigail lives at home while she is finishing her degree in Nursing. Kristi and Byron love serving as the leaders of THBC Small Groups, working with families, and collectively proclaiming God’s excellencies every opportunity they get. 

Dave Babb

During his senior year of college in 1988 Dave began working with the Junior Highers at his home church in Los Altos, Ca. When he graduated with a degree in graphic design he soon realized God was calling him into ministry. The next 20 years were spent in 4 different churches serving mainly in Pastor of Student ministries roles with brief stints as interim pastor as well as time in Christian camping ministry.
Since coming to Twain Harte Bible Church 11 years ago he has been freelancing and sub-contracting in the web and graphic design industry.
In his spare time Dave enjoys fishing, photography, and honing his artistic skills.
Most importantly he desires to be an encourager with a passion for helping equip people to serve our God through the many ministry opportunities at Twain Harte Bible Church

Email Dave

Noel Rathmel

Noel came to us after serving as a youth director, and graduating from Arizona Christian University in Phoenix, Arizona.  He especially enjoys working with teens and seeing them make life-changing decisions for Christ. His goal is to bring them to a realization that their relationship with Christ must be their own and must be growing. Twelve years ago God blessed him with a beautiful wife, Jasmine, and they have three sons Bryce, Mason and Isaiah. He enjoys coaching activities at Twain Harte Elementary as well as, playing sports and being outdoors hunting and fishing with his family. Noel desire is to bring God glory is he teaches, leads, and loves others as an Elder at Twain Harte Bible Church.

Email Noel

Barry Lloyd

Barry serves as a groundsmen at Jenness Park Christian Camp.  He has served at Jenness since 2006, with roles in guest services, directing, and grounds.  He and his wife Jennifer have been attending Twain Harte Bible Church since 2006.  Their daughters grew up at Twain Harte Bible and are now pursuing their degrees in different states.  Barry enjoys backpacking and jumping into alpine lakes.

As a congregation, we are blessed to have men of such good moral and godly standards serving in this capacity, and thank the Lord for each of them.


Deacons are responsible for ministering to the practical needs within the Church. This includes meeting both the needs of members of the church body as well as overseeing the physical maintenance of the buildings and property.

Qualifications for Deacon are outlined primarily in Acts 6:1-6 and 1 Timothy 3:8-13

Paul Doty

Paul was born in Oakland, California and moved to this area in 1997 to work, live, and play.

Paul and his wife began attending Twain Harte Bible Church in 2011. Pastor Matt baptized him in 2013.

Paul is grateful to serve as deacon in any way he can.

Jeremiah Holquin

I grew up in Lake Isabella, CA.  I moved to the central coast in 98′ where I met my beautiful wife, Sarah, in 2010.  We were married in 2011 and now have 2 incredible daughters, Gracyn and Hallie.   We moved to Sonora to be closer to the mountains.   I was raised in the church and I don’t remember a time when God wasn’t with me.  We found THBC within a few months of moving here and we loved it from the first visit.  I am honored to be able to serve and fellowship with the people of THBC.

Paul Karpus

I grew up in Pleasanton, Ca and moved to Sonora for school at Columbia College.  I met my wife there and have since married and have two kids.  I love the mountains and the rivers this area has which is why we call it home.  THBC has become a place to raise my family and I want to help meet the needs of the church and help it grow.  

Merrit Lovejoy

Merritt grew up in Oakdale, California, having moved to this area in 1962. He retired from the Forest Service in 1995. He is now co-owner of Sonora Cyclery in East Sonora. Merritt has three daughters and six grandchildren. He accepted Christ in 1980 and later served as a Deacon in a church in Oakdale. He wanted to find a church closer to home, that is when he found Twain Harte Bible Church in 2008. He was asked to join the Deacon Board in 2016. He desires to help the church in anyway he can. He tries to follow, as a guide for Christian living, Ephesians 5:1-21 and Galatians 5:16-26.

Larry Luis

Larry lived and worked in Stockton, California for much of his life. He would always head to the mountains in his spare time.  Recently retired, he now lives here full-time, having been blessed with a “Hill House”.  He loves waking up to God’s beauty every day.

Twain Harte Bible Church has been part of Larry’s life for many years. He came to know our Lord, was baptized and accepted Jesus as his Savior here. He continues to learn God’s Word and serve Him wherever he feels directed.

Randy Waugh

Twain Harte Bible Church

Our Sundays
Worship 10:00am

18995 Twain Harte Dr, Twain Harte, CA, 95383

209.586.3835 | office@thbible.org