ECCD is led by elders (or pastors), biblically-qualified men who oversee the congregation as a whole. Some of our elders are employed by the church, though most work in secular jobs. 

From the first century, elders were appointed in local congregations to oversee and instruct the believers (Acts 14:23, 20:17).  All elders at ECCD meet the qualifications of 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1, and they endeavor to lead the church through example, preaching, teaching, discipling and counseling. They meet regularly to pray and provide spiritual oversight on matters concerning the church.



Nader Elias

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


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.  Graduated from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2003.


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. 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 is married to Minu and they have one son and one daughter. 



Scott Samuel

Scott is originally from the US and works in finance. He is married to Betsy and has three children.



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. Kwesi is a banker and is currently on his third term as an elder at ECCD. He moved to Dubai with his wife, Nora, in 2009 and they have three children.


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 three sons and a daughter. John graduated from Moody Bible Institute in 2000.


Bode Wilfred

Bode is from Nigeria and works as a lawyer. He is married to Nkoyo and they have a daughter and a son.


Ben Woodward

Our Associate Pastor, Ben is a graduate of 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.