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Elders

Our currently elected elders include the following.

E6710F08-B292-4D09-9909-631B911F4A1FEd Campbell | Elder

Ed and his family have been at First Free Church for twelve years. They love the people and First Free's commitment to teaching biblical truth.

Committed to serving at First Free, Ed currently serves as the Presiding Elder on our Board of Elders. He also serves on our praise team and choir, and our Safety Ministry Team.

Ed and his wife, Bette Rae, have two daughters (Heather and son-in-law, Steve, and Haley and son- in-law, Tony) and eight granchildren. In his spare time, Ed enjoys hunting and spending time with his family.

01ECF670-15D1-44E9-A1FA-55C45C98E709Damon Howard | Elder

Damon and his family have been at First Free Church for about seven years. He appreciates the faithful preaching of the Word and care for children.

Active in the life of the church, Damon leads a growth group and participates in several others. He also enjoys and participates in the music ministry, playing bass on Sunday mornings and providing elder oversight. He also fills in as an Adult Bible Fellowship teacher when needed and has participated in children's ministry.

Damon and his wife, Sarah, have three children: Ezra, Zeke, and Maggie. In his spare time, Damon enjoys cheering for the Nebraska Cornhuskers and spending time with his family.

Rob Gibala | ElderE5504395-FD7B-406C-8284-1167338D12A5

Rob has been at First Free Church for 36 years. When asked what he loves and appreciates about this church family, Rob responded, "I have always loved the people who attend First Free, and appreciate their commitment to the ministry in serving and generous giving."

Rob partners with another of our longtime members, Terry Judy, to lead the Salt Life Adult Bible fellowship on Sunday mornings.

Rob and his wife, Linda, have four children, and thirteen grandchildren. He enjoys playing the accordion and visiting the couple's children and grandchildren who live in four different states.

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Kevin Labby | Elder, Lead Pastor

As our Lead Pastor, Kevin serves on our Board of Elders. He and his family have been at First Free since February 2021. Since that time, he's grown to love the members, friends, leaders, and neighbors of First Free Church. 

Originally from Buffalo, New York, Kevin spent the bulk of his college, seminary, and early professional years in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania. After eight years ministering at a beloved church in Orlando, he sensed God's call to return closer to family and the cities he loves.

Kevin and his wife, Molly, have four children and two golden retrievers, Cali and Marigold. In his spare time, Kevin enjoys hiking, canoeing, target shooting, deer hunting, and reading.

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Joel Rishel | Elder, Pastor of Family and Children's Ministry

In addition to serving as our Pastor of Family and Children's Ministries, Joel serves as an elected elder. He and his family have been at First Free Church since 2015. 

When asked what he appreciates about First Free, Joel responded, "I love the people and the tradition of commitment to the gospel." Leading our ministries to children and families, Joel loves "taking the gospel and wrapping it up in kids' language."

Joel and his wife, Cindy, have four boys and a rambunctious white Labrador. In his spare time, Joel enjoys reading, cooking, and doing DIY projects. 

87163CE2-37B5-4383-A623-EAFD75EC86D8Daniel Zajdel | Elder 

Attending First Free for thirty-two years, since the summer of 1989, Dan appreciates the doctrine, purpose, and people of First Free as well as the congregation's many opportunities to serve the Lord.

Over that time, Dan served in a variety of roles, enjoying most the trust placed in him to preach; to teach adults for over 31 years; to write new church constitution and by-laws;to help develop and then manage the construction of the 1996 multi-purpose addition; to serve on sound along with various committees and boards; and the opportunities given to his wife, Erika, to sing including her own evening concert at the church.

Erika and Dan have been married for 41 years; have 3 sons, 2 daughter-in-laws [1 vacancy available], and 8 grandchildren.

Retired for 9 years; foremost enjoys his family along with the mountains, old classic movies, and various music types from classical to hits of the 1950's & '60s plus traditional hymns and lyrically meaningful Christian music; serves as President of Family of God Ministry; and this year moved from Chairman of the Churchill Zoning Hearing Board to serving on the Churchill Planning Commission.