Our Leaders

We put a very high value on the importance and call of the leaders of Grace Church. Using the leadership qualifications spoken of in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1, we have set apart these leaders among us. We also have a couple of support staff to help with the necessary functions of the church, serving the local body with direction from the leadership. To see more about the importance of leadership at Grace Church, check out our Leadership Priorities.

Cliff Bell | Elder

Cliff grew up in Columbia Falls in a Christian home, and prayed to accept Christ when he was quite young.  After graduating from McPherson College in Kansas with a degree in Business Management, he lived in California before moving back to the Flathead Valley to marry his wife, Tawnya, in 2002.  He is currently the director of partner innovation at Genesys, a software firm based out of Daly City, California. Cliff and Tawnya have four children and have been members at Grace Church since 2017.  He is passionate about Christian growth, discipleship and the importance of gospel community at all age levels.

Ryan Nice | Elder

Ryan grew up in Harleysville, Pennsylvania and the Lord saved Him in middle school by using faithful Christian parents, the Church, and a Christian camp to teach him about Jesus. He and his wife Amanda moved to Bigfork in 2014 to begin working at Big Sky Bible Camp where he is currently the Program Administrator. They have been so blessed to be under faithful preaching/shepherding and be a part of the community of believers at Grace since moving to Montana. The Nice’s have four children; Abram, Naomi, Ruth, and Hosea, and they especially love having people over for dinner and going camping. Ryan recently finished a bachelor’s degree in business and will be pursuing a Master of Divinity degree. He enjoys preaching on Sunday evenings, teaching Sunday School and at Grace Institute, and meeting with men from church.

Bruce Smith | Elder

Bruce was blessed to grow up in a loving Christian family in the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma area. He became a police officer in 1982, served for over 18 years on the OCPD Tactical (SWAT) Unit, and spent the last 9 years of his career as a full time instructor at the OCPD Firearms Training Center. He retired as a Master Sergeant from the Oklahoma City Police Department in 2013, when he and his wife, Luanne, moved to Kalispell and began attending Grace Church. Bruce serves on the leadership team at Grace Church.

Jacob Sykes | Elder

Jacob grew up in Moiese, a small town in western Montana. After high school, he moved to Bozeman to pursue a Mechanical Engineering degree at Montana State University. He moved to Kalispell in 2005 for a job as an Engineer at Semitool/Applied Materials, where he currently works. Jacob has been part of Grace Church since 2006 and currently leads several Bible studies, co-leads a gospel community group, is on the missions committee, and serves as a leader of the church. In the summer of 2014 Jacob was married to his beautiful bride, Cherith, and their son Nathaniel was born in fall of 2017. Jacob enjoys filling his free time with hiking, photography, walks with his wife, reading, drinking coffee, and watching or playing sports.

Matt Fisher | Deacon

Matt grew up in Coram MT. He attended the University of Montana Western and received a degree in Secondary Education Industrial Technology. He married his wife Kaylee in 2008. In 2016 they adopted their daughter Malaki. Matt and Kaylee began attending Grace Church in 2017. Matt has completed Grace Institute, helps with Junior High Sunday School, and serves as the Deacon of Sunday morning services. Matt enjoys hunting, fishing, camping, and spending time with Kaylee and Malaki.

Nick Maltby | Deacon

Nick heads up the Sound & Technical Teams and assists with overall computer-related items as well as being the church treasurer. He was born, raised, and homeschooled in Kalispell, MT before attending a 2 year Bible School in Plymouth, MN and receiving a Certificate of Biblical Studies. He currently owns and runs a local I.T. & Web Consulting company. He and his wife Jennifer enjoy having people in their home and spending time with their 4 children, Abriana, Malachi, Lydia, and Silas.

Don Phanco | Deacon

Don was born and raised in Spokane Washington, attended Spokane Community College, Inland Empire School of the Bible, Washington State University, and University of Phoenix. He heard the gospel in a Christian and Missionary Alliance church and came to Christ at around 15. He met Beverly in Renton, Washington and they have been married for 23 years. They had a blended family of nine children and are currently raising three of their grandchildren. Don worked as a Software Engineer for Boeing for 27 years and left there about 4 years ago. After leaving Boeing he taught Software Engineering at two colleges before moving to Kalispell. He enjoys hiking, camping, and has many other interests. He understands construction and building maintenance, having built an addition on his former home as well as a two story shop and garage. He is currently building their family home near Kila. He began attending Grace Church in July 2017, and in 2018 Don and Bev became members and are becoming more involved in the gospel community at the church.

Tom Spann | Deacon

Tom facilitates the Foster & Adoptive Care ministry. Born and raised in a small town in Connecticut, Tom moved to Texas during high school. A close friend demonstrated the love of Christ through hospitality, also inviting him to church where he first heard the Gospel. As God worked in his life, Tom responded to the Good News in faith. During college at TCU, Tom met his wife, Melissa. After teaching for several years, Tom started his own business as a gem & mineral photographer, ultimately moving to Kalispell in 2011. Tom and Melissa have 6 kids. They enjoy hiking, camping, and skiing and have been involved with the Wilderness Ministry at Big Sky Bible Camp for the last 7 years. It is their joy to teach High School Sunday school as well. Both Tom and Melissa currently pursue certification as Biblical Counselors.