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.

Jon Gehman | Pastor of Preaching and Leadership Development

Jon hails from the beautiful farmlands of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He and his family began attending Grace Church in the spring of 2022 when he arrived to serve as the summer interim pastor. That position turned into a permanent pastoral role in September 2022. He was blessed to be raised by a godly mother who prayed faithfully for him and his siblings. It was through the ministry of the local church that Jon came to know Christ at around age 10. He and his wife Heather have 4 children, Ethan, William, Harrison, & Charis. Jon enjoys books, especially Russian novels, and enjoys spending time in God’s creation with his family.

Ryan Nice | Pastor of Family Ministry and Discipleship

Ryan grew up in Harleysville Pennsylvania. He and his wife Amanda moved to Montana and began attending Grace in 2014 when God called them to ministry at Big Sky Bible Camp. It was through the regular teaching of God’s word from the pulpit, in Sunday school, and at summer camp that caused Ryan to see his need for a savior. He and his wife Amanda have 5 children, Abram, Naomi, Ruth, Hosea, and Isaac. Ryan enjoys reading theology and biographies, playing games, and camping.

Matthew Racine | Pastoral Assistant

Matthew grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota. He moved to Kalispell, Montana and began attending Grace Church in October 2023. Right before college, God caused Matthew to see the horror of his sin, to savor the beauty and love of Jesus Christ, and to trust the sufficiency of Christ's death and resurrection. He loves spending quality time with friends and family, going on adventures in God’s creation, reading good books, and playing trumpet, piano, soccer, pickleball, and golf.

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Cliff Bell

Cliff grew up in a Christian home in Columbia Falls and prayed to accept Christ when he was 7. In his early 20s his affections for Christ were stirred and his spiritual growth accelerated greatly. He and his wife Tawnya have 4 children, Jack, Eme, Grace, and Molly. Their family enjoys Big Sky Bible Camp, rafting, reading, hiking, & theater, all within the community of their friends and neighbors.

Sam Strickler  

Sam moved from Eastern Washington to the Flathead Valley and began attending Grace Church in the summer of 2014. He came to faith in Christ while sitting under the faithful preaching of the gospel at Grace Church, which is where he began to understand his own sinfulness and the good news of Christ’s perfect life and death.  Sam and his wife Darcee have four children, Oliver, Otis, Mara Joy, and Obediah. The Strickler family enjoys being together, especially camping in the forest. Sam also enjoys reading.


Jerrold Moon

Jerrold was raised in the Flathead Valley. He graduated from Northern Montana College in Havre, MT, then spent time in Oregon and Alaska before returning to the Valley in 2000. He and his wife, Karen, have 4 adult children. Jerrold came to faith as a child through the influence of his family and church. He has been attending Grace Church since the summer of 2020. He enjoys camping, hiking, gathering wood, visiting and working.

Collin Novotny

Collin grew up in Minnesota on the prairie and moved to the north woods at the start of high school.  After graduating from Northwestern College in the Twin Cities he moved out to Kalispell and began attending Grace Church in 2010.  He came to faith at a young age while hearing the gospel through his church’s AWANA program, and has had many seasons of God deepening his faith since then.  Collin met his wife Jessie at Grace Church and they have 5 children: Zachary, Josiah, Barrett, Mckinnley, and Noelle.  Collin loves to play board games, read, play disc golf, go hiking and camping, and play piano.

Don Phanco

Don spent many years in Washington state before moving to Montana and coming to Grace Church in the summer of 2017. God saved Don at a young age through the ministry of Vacation Bible School. He and his wife Beverly have 9 children, including one who has passed on from this life. They have 14 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren. Don enjoys camping, hiking, fishing, and playing table games.

Tom Spann

Tom grew up in Connecticut before moving to Texas in his teens.  In 2011, Tom and his wife, Melissa moved with their six children to the Flathead Valley. They have attended Grace Church since 2018. Tom and Melissa both serve as Biblical counselors and are currently working toward ACBC certification. Additionally, Tom teaches High School Sunday School. As a family, they enjoy hiking and camping, skiing and kayaking as well as reading…a lot!

Jon Vander Ark

Jon hails from Mt. Vernon, Washington. He came to faith in Christ after he was injured in the Marine Corps and he realized that his identity must be found in Christ, not his interests, abilities, or accomplishments. He has been attending Grace Church since 2014 and is married to Mary Cloud. He is a man of many interests, which includes traveling, building things, computers, outdoors, cars, movies, and food and drink.