The Bible describes the leaders of a church as shepherds, also known as pastors or elders (1 Peter 5:1-3). These are mature, godly men who lead and oversee the teaching and ministries of the church. Some of our elders are employed by the church, though most work in secular vocations. Our elders lead the church through preaching, teaching, discipling and counseling. 



Nader Elias

Born and raised in Egypt, Nader moved to Dubai with his wife Nardien in 2013. They have two sons and two daughters. Nader was voted in as an elder in March 2021 and he works in real estate.


John Folmar

Our Senior Pastor, John has pastored ECCD since 2005 after moving here from Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC. He is married to Keri and they have three children. He graduated from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2003.


Jonny Lim

Jonny came to faith as a 17-year-old through the ECCD youth ministry. Now, more than a decade later, he serves as our Assistant Pastor, leading our youth group and coordinating our music ministry. Jonny is married to Anna and is the father of three children. He graduated from BIOLA University in 2013 and is currently a student at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.


Jonathan Lormier

Jonathan and his family moved to Dubai in 2014 from France. He works as an elementary school teacher, leads the Oud Metha CLG, and blesses our congregation with his piano-playing skills. Jonathan completed our Pastoral Internship program in 2023. He has been married to Amelie for over a decade and they have three sons.


Tanaka Matope

From Zimbabwe, Tanaka moved to Dubai for university in 2010. He joined ECCD as a university student and was active in student ministry. These days, he works as an accountant. Tanaka is married to Wadzi and they have two sons. 


Richard Ngwisha

Our Associate Pastor, Richard joined the ECCD staff in 2008 and oversees counseling and home groups. From Zambia, Richard was once an elder of Evangel Baptist Church in Lusaka.  He is married to Catherine and the father of one daughter and two sons.


Emeka Okechukwu

Originally from Nigeria, Emeka practices dentistry during the day. He and his wife Minu, who teaches at a local university, moved to Dubai in 2013. They have one son and one daughter. 


Issam Saddy

Issam was born and raised in Lebanon. Together with his wife Sandra, he relocated to Dubai in 2020. Since then, they have pressed into the life of the church, began hosting a Small Group in their home, and added a daughter and a son to their family. Issam is a student at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.



Scott Samuel

Scott is from the USA and works in finance. He is married to Betsy and they have three children. Scott leads one of our Small Groups, which meets in their home along Sheikh Zayed Road.


Kwesi Sena

Kwesi is from Ghana and was raised in a Christian home. Right before he went to university, Kwesi repented of his sin and believed in Jesus Christ. In 2009, he moved to Dubai with his wife, Nora, and they have three children. Kwesi is a banker and is currently on his third term as an elder at ECCD. He is also a part-time student at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.


John Welkner

Our Associate Pastor, John joined the ECCD staff in 2006 and oversees the adult education hour (Foundations) as well as the Pastoral Internship program. He is married to Lisa and they have two sons in university and two school-aged children. John graduated from Moody Bible Institute in 2000 and is currently a student at the Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.


Bode Wilfred

Bode is from Nigeria and works as a lawyer. He has been in Dubai for almost two decades and witnessed ECCD's growth for many years before becoming an elder. Bode is married to Nkoyo and they have a daughter and a son.


Ben Woodward

Our Associate Pastor, Ben is a graduate of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Ben came to us from Immanuel Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky (USA), where he served as an elder. Ben joined the staff in 2016 and now oversees administration. Ben is married to Sarah and is the father of two sons and two daughters.