Mark Stump

Senior Pastor

Mark Stump has served as the senior pastor of Gassaway Baptist Church for the past 39 years. Prior to accepting the Lord’s calling to GBC, he served as youth pastor at Little Union Baptist Church at Calvin, WV for three years.

Pastor Stump credits his youth ministry at Little Union with helping him to formulate his vision for GBC where, as senior pastor, he feels a real need to minister to young families. 

In terms of the driving principle that has forged his ministry, Pastor Stump affirms, “God’s love is for everyone,” adding, “God is not so much concerned about where you’ve been and what you’ve done, but where you are and where you’re going. The ground is level at the cross. Jesus died for everyone.” 

The ministry at Gassaway Baptist Church has grown in many directions since Pastor Stump’s arrival back in 1983. The church facility expanded to create a new sanctuary and fellowship hall in 1990. Soon thereafter, even the expanded sanctuary could not accommodate the growing congregation, and one Sunday morning service increased to two services, and within a few more years, three services. Ultimately, the vision for a new facility became reality when the congregation of Gassaway Baptist Church gathered at their new church site on Beall Drive to celebrate their first Easter service in 2014. 

Pastor Stump is quick to point out that the physical changes in the church are not what brings him the most satisfaction in ministry. His sense of fulfillment comes from “seeing what God has done in the lives of people.” “The rest,” he says, “is just the vehicle through which God has worked to do that.”  

In terms of his duties as senior pastor, Pastor Stump believes his major role is to see the accomplishment of the mission of this church as stated in the GBC Vision Statement: “To lovingly and boldly win the lost to Jesus Christ while helping believers experience their full Kingdom potential through worship, discipleship, and service for God’s glory.” 

Outside the church, Mark and his wife of 47 years, Darlene, enjoy spending time at their farm in Nicholas County. They are the parents of two adult children and five grandchildren. 

Bill Morlan

Youth and Outreach Pastor

Fulfilling his career-long calling to youth ministry, William “Bill” Morlan serves as youth and outreach pastor at Gassaway Baptist Church where he has ministered for the past 31 years.

Pastor Bill was born and raised in Owosso, MI. He earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Alderson Broaddus College in Philippi, WV. During his 15-year teaching career in Nicholas County, he also served as youth pastor at Little Union Baptist Church for four years and senior pastor at Hacker Valley Baptist Church for two years.

Training young people to live their life for Christ is the driving force behind Pastor Bill’s youth ministry. He strives to encourage his youth and to give them opportunities to discover their passion and live their lives for Christ to their fullest potential. His wants to create “a group of warriors for Christ.” During Pastor Bill’s youth ministry, GBC has sent young adults all over the country and world to minister to the unsaved.

Beyond his onsite ministry, Pastor Bill has also provided opportunities for countless young people to participate in mission work in their home county, state, and country, as well as in Mexico and Haiti. In addition to his passion for mission work, he enjoys the outdoors and sports, especially baseball.

He and his wife, Bronlynn, have been married since 1986. They are the proud parents of five adult sons, five daughters-in-law and seven grandchildren.

Rick Garavaglia

Pastor of Children and Family Life

Rick Garavaglia (Gar-vall-yuh) is a Christian, husband, dad, son, brother, friend, and pastor who grew up in Gassaway. He has been married to his wife, Tracy, since 2001 and has two children: Adison Joy (19) and Matthias Allen (17).

Rick has served on the pastoral staffs at Ravenswood First Baptist (’01-’05), Simpson Creek Baptist (’05-’13), Broad Run Baptist (’13-’17), and Gassaway Baptist (’17-present).  

He graduated from Braxton County High School (’96), Liberty University (’01) with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Religion/Youth Ministry, Palmer Theological Seminary (’13) with a Master of Divinity Degree and is now working on his Doctorate of Ministry. He was ordained by the Broad Run Association in 2014.

Rick’s desire is to be active in the life of his family, church, and community—anywhere that God calls him to join in the work of Jesus Christ. His life verse is Matthew 4:19, because Jesus has said, “Follow me, and I will make you a fisher of men!”

An outdoors enthusiast, Pastor Rick’s favorite sports are fishing, camping, and hunting. His largest buck (10-point) was killed almost in sight of where GBC now stands, and his largest bass (nearly 7 lbs.) was caught last spring on Stonewall Jackson Lake. He enjoys eating lunch with Tracy and watching Adison and Matthias play sports, as well as coaching basketball and soccer.

Jim Shaver

Senior Adult Minister/Pastoral Care Director

As Senior Adult Minister/Pastoral Care Director at Gassaway Baptist Church, Jim Shaver strives to strengthen Christian bonds within our communities and connect needs with resources through the Point of Light Ministry; this ministry relies upon members of the congregation caring for one another as they focus on the specific needs of their community.

Through this ministry, Jim hopes to demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ horizontally in community with others, winning the lost to Jesus Christ, and making disciples who make disciples, thereby expanding God’s kingdom exponentially.

He regards his position as an opportunity to serve, to utilize his spiritual gifts, and to apply the skills he has acquired through his life experiences in the service of others for God’s glory.

Jim has an extensive background in law enforcement and administration, having served in a variety of capacities, including administrator, at the Central Regional Jail from 1993-2018. Prior to his work there, Jim was employed as the chief correctional officer at the Braxton County Jail from 1989-1993.

An Army veteran, Jim served his country from 1981-1989 after graduating from Braxton County High School in 1981.

Outside of his GBC position, Jim describes his favorite hobby as spending time with his best friend who also happens to be the love of his life, his wife Debbie, to whom he has been married for 25 years. Jointly, the Shavers are the parents of three children and six grandchildren. He also enjoys fishing and woodworking.

Bronlynn Morlan

Minister of Worship

Fulfilling her lifelong passion for worship music, Bronlynn Morlan has served as the minister of worship, directing the adult choir and leading the worship team, at Gassaway Baptist Church since 1993.

Bronlynn views music as one avenue of bringing everyone together for collective worship since it gives everyone an opportunity to join in and experience worship. As minister of worship, she seeks to align everyone’s worship in the same direction: to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. She also enjoys encouraging other people to use their gifts in worship and ministry. 

Born in Clarksburg, WV, Bronlynn lived in several other states where her father pastored churches during her childhood. Ultimately, her family returned to Buckhannon, WV.  

Bronlynn earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Alderson Broaddus College in Philippi and her master’s degree from Salem Teikyo University in Salem, WV. She is a retired educator who served 34 years.

She and her husband, Bill, have been married for 36 years. They are the proud parents of five adult sons, five daughters-in-law, and seven grandchildren.