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Board Of Directors
Verse By Verse Ministry International is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of mature Christian men, each bearing a testimony of faith in Jesus Christ and a personal witness consistent with the Biblical requirements for leadership provided in 1Timothy 3 and Titus 1. Furthermore, each member of the Board has demonstrated an anointing to teach and to do the work of an evangelist in the course of his own personal ministry.
The Board serves the ministry by guarding the teaching, setting ministry goals and objectives, and managing ministry resources - all done under the direction of the Lord and the counsel of His Spirit.
All Board members serve in humble submission to the Lord's instructions given in 2Corinthians 2:17 and Luke 17:10.
Stephen Armstrong is the founder and principal teacher of Verse By Verse Ministry International. He came to know the Lord in his early 30s, while serving as an Air Force officer. After becoming a believer, Stephen experienced God's call to learn and teach the Bible, so in 1997 Stephen left the military, found a job in Colorado, and began a self-directed course of study in preparation to teach the scriptures.
As he devoted himself to study, Stephen developed a love for an in-depth, verse-by-verse style of teaching God's word, believing it to be the best means to persuade the unbeliever of the truth of the Gospel and equip the saints for the work of ministry (Rom 10:17; Eph 4:14-15).
In 2001, Stephen received God's call to move to San Antonio, Texas, where he soon found opportunities to teach and preach verse-by-verse in churches throughout the area. Despite having no professional religious training, Stephen was called by God to lead a church planting effort in the city as pastor of Living Word Fellowship.
That same year he also founded Verse By Verse Ministry of San Antonio (later to become Verse By Verse Ministry International) from his desire to offer his unique style of in-depth Bible teaching to a worldwide audience via the internet. VBVMI's worldwide reach is evidence of how the Lord calls unqualified men but doesn't leave them untrained.
Stephen's responsibilities on the VBVMI Board include overseeing all teaching and doctrine, setting ministry vision and strategy, directing ministry operations, and conducting ministry public appearances. Stephen lives in San Antonio, Texas with his wife and two adult children. Stephen also serves as senior pastor of Oak Hill Bible Church in Austin, Texas, which is not affiliated with Verse By Verse Ministry International.
Brian Smith did not have a “Damascus Road” experience like the apostle Paul. Rather, the Lord led him into faith in His Son over time. Brian grew up as a Catholic, attending church weekly throughout his youth. Having been raised in the Catholic church, Brian knew about God and Jesus, but he had no understanding of salvation by faith in Christ alone and was unsaved.
Catholicism taught Brian a works-based (false) gospel, and even though Brian recognized he was sinful, he could not break free of sin by his own power. Like all unbelievers, Brian was incapable of pleasing God through his works.
Thankfully, the God Who is rich in mercy brought Brian out of the darkness and into Christ's marvelous light. Brian became a believer in his late 20s, and upon the birth of his second child, he felt a desire to return to church. Though he tried the Catholic church again, the Lord led him to several other Protestant churches as well.
In the end, God graciously placed Brian's family in a Methodist church, where he first heard God’s word preached and the true Gospel proclaimed. Though he had heard the Bible read aloud before, only now did Brian have "ears to hear," and so he came to believe the Gospel and was born again through faith in Jesus Christ.
Brian received water baptism in June 2003, and has grown in Christ ever since, as the Lord works in him to serve primarily in outreach ministries. As all Christians, Brian desires to serve and please His Lord from a grateful heart, not out of guilt nor shame. Brian is thankful that the Lord has called him to serve through his leadership role in Verse By Verse Ministry of San Antonio.
Brian serves as Board member and Treasurer for the ministry overseeing all ministry finances and accounting activities including distribution of all funds, reviewing teaching content and providing leadership in ministry strategy.
Joseph Baumgartner is the Secretary for Verse By Verse Ministry International and a member of the Board. Joe is responsible for administration of the ministry, including legal affairs and corporate governance. Joe was raised in St. Louis, Mo., and he lived in Colorado, Mississippi and South Korea during his Air Force career.
He settled in San Antonio in 1978. Joe accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior early in his life, and he married the former Patricia Norton in 1980. Their two children, Brittany and James, are an important part of his life and his Christian growth.
Some of Joe’s important spiritual highlights include the Walk to Emmaus, Kairos, Bible Study Fellowship, and 20 years of Christian fellowship at his current church. Joe’s friendship with Stephen Armstrong began in 2002, when he attended a Verse By Verse Ministry Revelation Bible study, quickly followed by two more book studies.
Joe has attended many VBVMI studies as a student, and he has downloaded many more from the VBVM website. He enjoys listening to the studies on his iPod while he jogs.
Ron Sweet is a professor of finance at The University of Texas at San Antonio, where he teaches courses in finance and risk management. Ron has been frequently quoted in investment periodicals, including Business Week, Bloomberg News, The Los Angeles Times, Forbes, and CNN, and has also appeared on Bloomberg TV and Bloomberg Radio as a commentator on investment market conditions.
In addition to serving on the Verse By Verse Ministry Board, Ron's personal ministry includes speaking at church groups on financial management from a Christian perspective and actively participating in student activities and campus ministries at UTSA.
Ron is also active in his church and is the Treasurer for Horizons of Hope, International, a not-for-profit organization that provides resources for Christian ministries primarily in Costa Rica.
Ron has an MBA from the University of Texas at San Antonio, a Bachelors of Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Bachelors of Music in Music Theory from the University of Texas at Austin. Ron also holds the CPA, CFA, CMA, CCM, FLMI, and CLU designations.
In his role on the Board, Ron provides valuable leadership and counsel in all areas of the ministry, especially on matters of ministry finance and governance.
Jerry's faith in God began at a very early age as he was raised in a Christian family led by a father who was in full time ministry. He remembers Bible stories, prayer meetings, family devotions, Christian music and church attendance as always being a part of his life. At a very early age, Jerry repented of his sins and trusted in Jesus for salvation as his parents led him in a prayer of repentance and faith in his home.
Jerry believes being committed to Jesus means serving Him with his whole life, in every area of his life, giving Him all of the honor and glory. Jerry takes inspiration from Philippians 2:12-13, which says, “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” Out of gratitude for what Jesus has done by dying on the cross in our place, Jerry endeavors to “work out" his salvation with fear and trembling, spending time studying the Bible, praying, having regular fellowship with other Christians, and spreading the good news of the Gospel whenever given the opportunity.
Jerry is the newest member of the Verse By Verse Ministry International Board and brings many years of evangelistic mission and corporate experience to our teaching ministry. Jerry lives and works in San Antonio with his wife. He has a grown son who is engaged in pastoral ministry.