Jeff Bartell

A "bottom line" kind of guy


The single most significFamily + dogant event of my life was when I became a follower of Jesus Christ on the campus of Arkansas State University in August, 1983.  I graduated in 1986 with a degree in mechanical engineering and moved to Alabama for my first job.  During my 5 years in Alabama, I served in the single adult and Jr. High ministries, completed a 3 year Bible Institute course of study and participated in several short-term mission trips.  In August, 1992, as a 30 year old, I moved to Albania.

In August, 1993, I married Erla, an Albanian national and together we started the first post-communist Baptist church in the previously atheist nation.  After 14 years in Albania and raising 2 girls through 2 wars, in June, 2006, we returned to the US, leaving behind 2 healthy Albanian churches that continue today.

After 2-1/2 years in Atlanta, GA, in January, 2009 we moved to New Philadelphia, OH.  I currently serve as the lead pastor of the First Baptist Church.

Hopefully, my life story screams out that following Jesus is worth it.  God has given me a cross-cultural marriage and 2 awesome daughters – not to mention friends all around the globe.

Our family is totally bilingual, and it’s fun knowing a language that only a small population knows.  That way my family can talk about things without others knowing what we are talking about!  (That’s especially irritating to Americans!  Sorry!)

For years I didn’t have much available in the way of recreation.  My newest interest is cycling – which I am not that good at yet.  I have memories of being good at golf  “once upon a time.”  I still enjoy playing.

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