Elders at Red River Church are overseers, based upon 1 Peter 5:1-5 and Hebrews 13:17. They are to be examples to the members. Elders function in a group, bringing diversity, but committed to seeking unity. In the New Testament churches, elders were appointed to oversee the members (Acts 14:23 & Titus 1:5.)

Qualifications of elders (based upon 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Title 1:5-9):

  • Above reproach, husband of one wife, temperate, self-controlled
  • Respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunk
  • Not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money, manages his family well
  • Has obedient children, not a recent convert, good reputation with outsiders, not overbearing
  • Not quick-tempered, loves what is good, upright, holy
  • Disciplined, holds firmly to the trustworthy message of the gospel

Jeff Bennighof

Jeff & Linda

Jeff Bennighof--married to Linda, who coordinates children's ministries at RRC, for 30+ years, with daughters Natalie and Caroline, who have both graduated college. I've been an engineering professor at UT for more than 25 years.

A big passion of mine is for each of us to understand what our walk with the Lord can be like, and to realize that potential in our day-to-day experience. I'm currently teaching an adult class called "Jesus in the Gospels" which looks at the life and ministry of Jesus in the four gospels. 





Keith Atkinson

Keith family

I am a native Austinite (one of the few) who was apprehended by Jesus Christ in 1973 and I have never been the same since. I was in bi-vocational ministry for most of my adult life when in 2000 I was offered a full-time pastoral position at Red River Church. In the preceding years I made a living as a high school teacher. Most of those years were spent teaching a college level government class. I value the experience this afforded me. I still often see and stay in touch with students from that era of my life. Some of them have come to faith in Christ.

I have four wonderful children: Luke, Alexandria,Sam, and Isaac. They fill my life with excitement and challenge. On October 3, 2009 I wed Melinda Peinado. Life with Melinda is a glorious adventure.

One of the key callings in my life is to teach people how to have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. I love the Psalms and believe as the early church Fathers taught, that these ancient songs teach us how to pray. The recording, Dwelling Place, is primarily a journey through some of the Psalms which probes our longing for God. My hunger for God is also satiated through the process of spiritual formation. I also love being a pastor. Experiencing fellowship with each other as we experience the fellowship of the Holy Spirit is a wonderful way to make a living.

My hobbies include guitar, song writing, jazz, reading, tennis and independent films. I also love the process of crafting a sermon. It is a labor of love filled at times with labor pains.