Meet Our Elders
Tim & Carolina Archer have been members at UCC since August 2006 and they have been married since 1988.
Tim began serving as an elder at UCC in 2018.
Born in San Angelo, Texas, he went to ACU and has a B.S. in Ministry and Evangelism, an M.S. in Biblical and Related Studies, and an M.A. in Interpersonal Communication.
He worked two years in Argentina as a M.A.R.K. student (apprenticeship out of ACU), then, with Carolina, worked an additional 13 years there. They moved to Abilene in 2006 when Tim began working with Herald of Truth Ministries.
Tim is highly involved in the work in Cuba, having made more than 25 trips to the island. His whole family has been on mission trips to Cuba.
Tim has written or co-written the following books:
*Letters From The Lamb
*Hope For Life
*More Hope For Life
*A History of Churches of Christ in Cuba (English & Spanish versions)
*Church Inside Out (Book and workbook).”
Steve began serving as an elder at UCC in 2011. He and his wife, Lynette, have been married since 1983. The couple serves UCC through teaching and various activities, including participating in parts of the bilingual ministry. UCC also helped launch the international program at Texas International Bible Institute where Steve serves as the director.
Mark Hamilton joined the UCC eldership in 2011 and is married to his wife, Samjung Kang. After several years of local ministry, the couple moved to Abilene in 2000 to teach at ACU. Since 2008. Samjung is an adjunct faculty member in Christian education. The Hamiltons are active in the college and teaching ministries.
Ted is from Clyde TX, and spent 12 years in Clyde schools, graduating from Clyde HS in 1963 and received a BSE from ACU in 1968, with a Spanish major and English minor, then a Master of Education in English literature, and ESL certification from Rutgers University in Newark, NJ, in 1971, he also received a Master in missions from ACU in 1975. He completed all doctoral requirements but the dissertation in Anthropology from Catholic University in Washington, DC, in 1985.
“UCC is our family and has been since 1971. Thanks to this church family, Ellen and I enjoyed participating in God’s Kingdom work in Argentina and have taken several summer mission trips to Costa Rica, Mexico, Ecuador and Cuba. These experiences have shaped our lives and sharpened our focus on Bible study, relationship building and sharing God’s love with the nations. UCC has blessed us greatly. We believe this community of faith will continue to work and faithfully serve God’s purposes in His world. We pray God’s blessings on UCC.” Ted and Ellen
Kris Southward became an elder at UCC in 2006. He and his wife, Karen, have been at UCC since their college days and raised their family here. Karen is a physical education teacher and Kris is a self-employed CPA who prepares more than 50 tax returns each year for missionaries all over the world at no cost.
David & Karen Swearingen have been members at UCC since March of 2016.
They moved to Abilene in late 2009 after retiring and living in New Jersey and New York City for 23 years, where David was Vice President of Johnson & Johnson.
They were active members of the Manhattan Church of Christ in New York for more than 10 years, where David also served as an Elder. They are both life-long members of the church, and they previously worshipped in New Jersey for 13 years, as well as in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, and in Boise, Idaho.
David & Karen are the parents of two children, Dawne Meeks, Chair of the Theatre Department at Abilene Christian University (ACU), and Ryan, who lives in NYC.
In Abilene, David is active in the community and serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Community Foundation of Abilene. In addition, he and Karen are members of the Hillcrest Singers, at the Hillcrest Church of Christ. Finally, David is Executive in Residence and an adjunct faculty member at ACU, where he also provides part time communications & management counsel to the university. He has also lectured at Hardin-Simmons and McMurry universities.
At UCC, David & Karen are members of our praise team, and David leads the monthly meetings of our Ministry Committee Chairs. He & Karen also volunteer in a number of our church activities.
Joining the eldership at UCC in 2006, Mark Tate is a frequent song leader and works with the praise team and the worship committee. He and his wife, Celia, have been married since 1978 and have been members at UCC since 1984. The couple has been involved with the youth ministry, hosting small groups and more. Mark owns his own dentist practice.
James Thompson, who has served as an elder at UCC since 1997, married his wife, Carolyn, in 1965. The couple have been at UCC since moving to Abilene in 1993. James is the professor of New Testament in the Graduate School of Theology at UCC. He serves as the chairman of the Adult Spiritual Formation Committee, teaches numerous classes and frequently writes Sunday School curriculum. The couple is very active in the UCC community.
Gustavo Villanueva has served as an elder at UCC since 2011. He and his wife, Micaela, were married in 1996 and have been members at UCC for over a decade. Born in Mexico, the couple have been involved with the bilingual ministries at UCC. Missions is another area of interest, as the couple has coordinated several mission trips. The Villanuevas have been involved in other UCC ministries as well, including children and youth. Gustavo is an administrator for Abilene ISD, and Micaela works in the school district as well as an assistant in the Learning Resource Center.