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Meet the Elder: Chris Herbold

Story told by Chris Herbold on November 7, 2016

Name: Chris Herbold, Elder Class of 2019              

Occupation: I am an accountant and part of the management team of a mid-stream energy company, Plains All American Pipeline, L.P.

Family info: Becca and I have been married for 16 years and have two great kids. We are in a phase of life where Katelyn (13) and Jack (12) keep life very full. 

Where were you born and where have you lived? My Dad was in the military, so we moved every few years while I was growing up. I was born in Concord, Massachusetts and then lived in North Carolina, Germany (2 different air bases), Ohio, Texas, Virginia, Alabama and Texas. After attending Texas A&M University, I moved to Houston and have been here ever since. 

How did you find your way to FPC? I grew up in the Lutheran church, but I had trouble finding a church home when I moved to Houston. A roommate suggested Grace Presbyterian Church, which was my introduction to Presbyterian churches, and I eventually discovered FPC in the late 90’s as a closer and more convenient option. Becca and I started attending FPC together regularly at the Sunday evening Quest service and as Wednesday night Alpha participants and leaders.

Why did you keep coming back? I found FPC to be a Christ-centered church that provided a multitude of opportunities to learn more about what it means to be a disciple and follower of Christ. The FPC community challenged and encouraged me to grow in my faith and to live out that faith daily. On top of that, we found amazing people and a vibrant community of believers.

What is playing on your ipod/computer right now? I’m not a huge music buff, but my normal go-to is Jack Johnson on Pandora and I let the app take it from there.

What book are you reading? The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom. My daughter recently read it and passed it on to me. I have not finished the book yet, but it is an amazing story of faithfulness and Christian love in challenging circumstances.

What is your favorite Houston restaurant? There is so much good food in Houston that it is not possible to choose just one. To select from some of my favorite genres, I would go with Chuy’s, Vincent/Nino’s and Uchi.

What do you love about our city? Well, fresh off of the last question, the awesome restaurant selection comes to mind as one thing to love about our city. I actually enjoy our weather and the fact that, if you don’t mind heat, you can get outside and exercise or whatever you enjoy doing outside year round. I also enjoy the entrepreneurial spirit of the city. Most of all, I enjoy the people. 

What countries have you traveled to? Honduras, Mexico, Canada, Germany, Italy, France, Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia, South Africa and Greece.

What do you do for fun and relaxation? I enjoy exercising and reading and never have time for enough of either. I also enjoy spending time with our family and visiting with friends over a meal. 

Who has been an influence in your Christian faith? There have been many people that have influenced, challenged and encouraged me in my faith walk over the years. My parents definitely had a significant impact in my formative years as finding a church home was always one of the first things we did when we moved to a new city. I could fill a page about those in the FPC community alone that have influenced and helped my walk over the last 15+ years. However, I will limit my response to two of my influences, one fictional and one real.

Tevye, the lead character in the musical, Fiddler on the Roof, spends his days in constant conversation with God and I strive to have a prayer life that is a consistent dialogue with our Creator like Tevye’s. 

A little closer to home, and actually a real person, is Bill Marshall. I have been privileged to know Bill and his family and have served with Bill at FPC and on the board of the Micah Project. He has served as a role model as I have always admired how he serves and lives with humility and love for Jesus Christ. I remember that often as I seek to be a follower of Jesus.

What is your greatest hope for the church? That every knee will bow before the Lord and every tongue will confess to God. Fortunately, it is clear in scripture that the day will come. For FPC, my prayer is that we will be a body of believers that follows Jesus, are welcoming and loving to all, and that we will seek out ways to share the love of Jesus every day and everywhere that we go so that they will know that we are Christians by our love.

Discuss a bit of your faith journey. I grew up in a family that actively attended church, but it was not until my high school years that I first heard the concept of having a personal relationship with Christ (or maybe that was the first time I listened) and began to understand the importance of God’s revelation available to us by reading and studying the Bible. Not until I was a young adult did I consistently engage in small groups and Bible studies. Over the years since my initial realization, I have grown in the understanding of the amazing gift of grace that we have received and have felt the natural reaction to that of wanting to share with others and wanting to follow Jesus’ teaching of loving and serving others. In recent years, I have grown in my understanding of the opportunity to walk with Christ daily and that this call to share and serve should not be compartmentalized to serving at church and other ministries, but to every aspect of our life. I am somewhere in the middle (or maybe the beginning) of the long process of working through what that looks like. 

What are some of the mission/service programs that excite you? I love the concept underlying Vision 2020 of a church that is focused on evangelism and discipleship for the purpose of equipping and sending our members to impact the world around them. That’s what Jesus says we are to be doing and I am excited about FPC’s emphasis on teaching and preaching about each member’s role in the body of Christ. There are many FPC mission partners in the Houston area and around the world where we are able to see God working. Our family has been able to participate in what God is doing at the Micah Project and that continues to be something I am excited about.

What service do you attend? Sunday School class? We normally attend the 8:15 service, but sometimes go to 11:05. Becca and I have been attending The Family Sunday school class recently after spending a portion of the last ten years helping lead elementary Sunday school classes.