OBC Leaders

Onekawa Bible Church Elders

Serving God and the church as an elder is an incredible honour.

Each elder at OBC must meet the biblical qualifications outlined in
1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9 and 1 Peter 5:1-4.
An elder is sometimes referred to as a pastor or an overseer or a shepherd.  His role is to feed the spiritual sheep with the Word of God and to
protect them from false teachers and teachings.

Elders are also to guard the 'souls' of the saints (
Hebrews 13:17) as they will have to give an account to God for their leadership in this area. Their leadership is to model that of Jesus Christ who is the ultimate Head of the church.

Phil Henderson 
Phil was born in Warkworth and lived in Marton, Palmerston North and Los Angeles before arriving here in the Hawkes Bay in 1999.   He began his working career with Telecom as a Telephone Technician before heading to Los Angeles to complete a Master of Divinity (M. Div) degree at The Master's Seminary.  Phil served as the Youth Pastor at Riverbend Bible Church for several years before being called to pastor Onekawa Bible Church. He was one of the founding members of The Shepherd's Bible College and continues to serve as a lecturer of Theology.  In 2015, Phil completed a Doctorate of Ministries (in Expository Preaching) and is now affectionately known as "Dr Phil". 

Phil is married to Natalie and they have 3 great kids, Jacob, Jessie, and Daniel. 

Phil has enjoyed playing soccer for various clubs since he was young but has finally hung up his boots.  He is an avid Liverpool supporter but welcomes fans of any football team to join the church!  These days, you can find him having a coffee with Natalie, hitting a tennis ball with the family or on the sidelines supporting his kids.  


Fred Barton

Fred and his wife Irene were born and spent many years in England, coming to NZ in 1975 with their young family, twin daughters and a son.  They settled in Napier and apart from their first Sunday in the country and their subsequent periods overseas, they have called OBC (or Riverbend Road Chapel as it used to be known) their spiritual home.  They built a house on the hill in Napier and lived there for 30 years until acquiring a section and building a home in Havelock North, where they moved in 2007.
Their three children all married New Zealanders and have families of their own, each having a son and a daughter, thus giving Fred and Irene six grandchildren, ranging in age (as at November 2011) from 13 to almost 19.
Until 2001 Fred worked as a Quantity Surveyor in Napier and during that time he and Irene had two extended periods (a total of 4½ years) in the Solomon Islands where Fred set up an office for his NZ employer.
In the early 1990’s Fred felt a call to embark on full-time theological study and so in 1994 he and Irene moved from the Solomons to Dallas, Texas where they enrolled at Dallas Theological Seminary.  They graduated in 1996, Fred with a MA degree in Biblical Studies and Irene with a Certificate of Graduate Studies.  On returning to NZ they both began to get involved with the Bible College of NZ (now Laidlaw College) in Hawkes Bay and Fred finally abandoned his QS work and became Dean of Studies at the HB Centre of BCNZ in January 2001.  Irene was also involved in an administrative role and both of them were active in teaching some of the courses.
BCNZ closed a number of Regional Centres, including Hawkes Bay, at the end of 2006 and after a couple of years of involvement part-time at the Manawatu Centre and with the Distance Learning operation of BCNZ, Fred and Irene ‘retired’ at the end of 2008.
In February 2009 Irene was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and after surgery and an extended period of chemotherapy she went home to be with her Lord in May 2010.  Since then Fred has continued to remain active as he pursues, with varying degrees of success, his enjoyment of golf, genealogy and gardening.  Fred preaches occasionally at OBC and also at a number of other churches in Napier and Hastings.

Peter Clark - Advisory Elder
Peter and his wife Nelda have fellowshipped at OBC for more than 30 years.  Peter has served as an elder for most of this time and preached regularly before Pastor Phil arrived.  Peter is semi-retired and had the privilege of being the CEO of the Napier Health Board for a decade back in the 90's.  Peter and Nelda have 2 adult daughters and 5 grandchildren.