Leadership

billy freels

Lead Pastor / Elder

Billy Freels has served as an associate pastor at Living Grace since 2010 and was part of the original launch team that planted the church in 2009. He attended Biola University where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies. His ultimate desire is to see God’s glory spread among the nations through the proclamation of the gospel. He has been married to his wife, Kate, since 2003 and they have three children - Eli, Trevor, and Madelyn.

billy freels

Lead Pastor / Elder

Billy Freels has served as an associate pastor at Living Grace since 2010 and was part of the original launch team that planted the church in 2009. He attended Biola University where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies. His ultimate desire is to see God’s glory spread among the nations through the proclamation of the gospel. He has been married to his wife, Kate, since 2003 and they have three children - Eli, Trevor, and Madelyn. 

matt petrissans

Associate Pastor

Matthew Petrissans joined Living Grace staff, as Associate Pastor, in May 2020. He earned his bachelor's degree in Zoology in 2011. However, as he began to learn more of God and His desire to be glorified among the nations, Matthew got heavily involved in mission work among unreached people groups. After several years of short-term trips in Ethiopia and Indonesia and equipping young adults to take the gospel to isolated people groups, God began to direct Matthew towards focused involvement within the local church. Matthew is passionate about making the Word of God known, that it may bear fruit in the lives of those who hear it. He has been married to his wife, Allison, since 2015 and they have two boys, Jonas and August.

matt petrissans

Associate Pastor

Matthew Petrissans joined Living Grace staff, as Associate Pastor, in May 2020. He earned his bachelor's degree in Zoology in 2011. However, as he began to learn more of God and His desire to be glorified among the nations, Matthew got heavily involved in mission work among unreached people groups. After several years of short-term trips in Ethiopia and Indonesia and equipping young adults to take the gospel to isolated people groups, God began to direct Matthew towards focused involvement within the local church. Matthew is passionate about making the Word of God known, that it may bear fruit in the lives of those who hear it. He has been married to his wife, Allison, since 2015 and they have two boys, Jonas and August.

Ruth Altmiller

Children's Director

Ruth graduated from Biola University in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in Intercultural Studies. She's been married to Kris since 2000. They have 4 children, Andrew, Natalie, Caleb and Timothy. She and her family have a heart for the unreached. Shortly after being married, they made a missions trip to Papua New Guinea. This experience led them to train with Ethnos 360 (then New Tribes Mission). They then served with Ethnos 360 in Guinea, West Africa from 2009-2012. She's attended Living Grace since they moved to the Bakersfield area in 2013.

RUTH ALTMILLER

Children's Director

Ruth graduated from Biola University in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in Intercultural Studies. She's been married to Kris since 2000. They have 4 children, Andrew, Natalie, Caleb and Timothy. She and her family have a heart for the unreached. Shortly after being married, they made a missions trip to Papua New Guinea. This experience led them to train with Ethnos 360 (then New Tribes Mission). They then served with Ethnos 360 in Guinea, West Africa from 2009-2012. She's attended Living Grace since they moved to the Bakersfield area in 2013.

Jonny Buell

Worship Director

Jonny Buell has served with the worship ministry at Living Grace since 2015 and joined the LG staff as the Worship Director in 2021.  Jonny’s schooling includes a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration/ Marketing from Cal State University Bakersfield, as well as some graduate work at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.   Jonny’s passionate about leading the church in Christ Centered Worship with the goal of drawing each of us further up and further into the reality that we were made for Jesus, and our complete and utter satisfaction is found only in him. He has been married to his wife, Annie, since 2011 and they have two girls – Jane and Marianne.

Jonny Buell

Worship Director

Jonny Buell has served with the worship ministry at Living Grace since 2015 and joined the LG staff as the Worship Director in 2021.  Jonny’s schooling includes a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration/ Marketing from Cal State University Bakersfield, as well as some graduate work at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.   Jonny’s passionate about leading the church in Christ Centered Worship with the goal of drawing each of us further up and further into the reality that we were made for Jesus, and our complete and utter satisfaction is found only in him. He has been married to his wife, Annie, since 2011 and they have two girls – Jane and Marianne.

Danica halverson

Office Administrator

Danica Halverson graduated from Biola University in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in Human Biology. She joined Living Grace when her family moved to Bakersfield in 2010, and joined the LG staff in the position of Office Administrator in the summer of 2021. Danica has three awesome kids, Bryce, Jocelyn and Cora, who bring enthusiasm and energy to the office when they’re around. Danica has been continually impressed by both the leadership and church family at Living Grace, who live out their commitment to each other as part of the body of Christ, and is glad to serve alongside them in God’s work here in Bakersfield and in the places least reached by the good news.

DANICA HALVERSON

Office Administrator

Danica Halverson joined Living Grace when her family moved to Bakersfield in 2010. She joined the staff in the position of Office Administrator in the summer of 2021. Danica has three awesome kids, Bryce, Jocelyn and Cora, who bring enthusiasm and energy to the office when they’re around. Danica has been continually impressed by both the leadership and church family at Living Grace, who live out their commitment to each other as part of the body of Christ, and is glad to serve alongside them in God’s work here in Bakersfield and to the places least reached by the good news.

allen ray

Elder

Allen Ray has been serving as an Elder at Living Grace since 2015.  He has been married to Carol since 1988 and they have four children and six grandchildren. He works for Aera Energy as an Information Analyst.  He is continually humbled by the leadership of Living Grace and how they handle the teaching of God's Word with excellence. He loves the church and desires to see Christ's name made known to the ends of the earth. 

bob boston

Elder

Bob was part of the launch team that planted Living Grace in 2009. He currently serves on the set-up and usher teams and has been a home group leader since 2012. He has been married to his wife Rae Ann since 1982 and their children, Amy and Shawn, have blessed them with four grandchildren. After graduating from Montana Tech in 1978 with a degree in Petroleum Engineering, Bob served in the oil and gas industry until his retirement in 2019. Bob loves the simple church model of Living Grace and their commitment to frontier missions in alignment with God’s ultimate purpose for His glory as described in Psalm 46:10 – “Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” 

allen ray

Elder

Allen Ray has been serving as an Elder at Living Grace since 2015.  He has been married to Carol since 1988 and they have four children and six grandchildren. He works for Aera Energy as an Information Analyst.  He is continually humbled by the leadership of Living Grace and how they handle the teaching of God's Word with excellence. He loves the church and desires to see Christ's name made known to the ends of the earth. 

bob boston

Elder

Bob was part of the launch team that planted Living Grace in 2009. He currently serves on the set-up and usher teams and has been a home group leader since 2012. He has been married to his wife Rae Ann since 1982 and their children, Amy and Shawn, have blessed them with four grandchildren. After graduating from Montana Tech in 1978 with a degree in Petroleum Engineering, Bob served in the oil and gas industry until his retirement in 2019. Bob loves the simple church model of Living Grace and their commitment to frontier missions in alignment with God’s ultimate purpose for His glory as described in Psalm 46:10 – “Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”