Leadership Team

Chris Merkling

Pastor
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Chris Merkling considers himself an “almost lifetime” resident of Spokane. Having lived in the area since age three, he has a real love for Spokane and the people who make their home here. As a rebellious teenager, Chris followed the downward path of recklessness and substance abuse until, at age 20, he received Christ and was born again. Soon after that he felt a strong calling to serve the Lord through full-time ministry in the local church.

Following two years of study in Inland Empire School of the Bible, Chris went on staff at Calvary Chapel of Spokane, where he served as Worship and Creative Arts Pastor for eleven years.

In the fall of 1999, he began teaching a Wednesday night bible study on Spokane’s lower South Hill. As the study grew, so did the desire to see a solid, Bible-teaching church in that part of town. Orchard Christian Fellowship was officially launched in January 2000, with Chris serving as pastor, teaching  the scriptures verse by verse. Chris and his wife Debbie have two kids: Zach and Anna.

Greg Holder

Elder
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Greg grew up in Southern California where he was raised in a Christian home. He became a Christian when in elementary school and grew as a disciple as the result of a Christian youth group he participated in during his Junior and Senior High years.  Greg met his wife Marcie when they both worked at a Christian Boys and Girls camp run by the Los Angeles Union Gospel Mission during his early college years.

He went away to school when he was 20 and met Christians involved in a serious Bible Study Group on campus.  This group and their commitment had a significant impact on his life.  He grew in his understanding of the Bible and nearness to Christ through his college years.  He also was involved in a simple church fellowship that had a lot of similarities to the Plymouth Brethren.  It was through this fellowship and ministry that he and Marcie moved to Spokane in 1994.

The Holders were involved in this Christian ministry and held Bible Studies and Worship meetings in their home from 1995 to 2003 when the ministry they were involved in was disbanded.  They and their two children, Abraham and Leah, began to fellowship at Orchard Christian Fellowship in the summer 2003 and have been there ever since.  Several years later Greg became an elder at OCF and has continued in this exercise to this day.  He also has continued his involvement in college campus ministry and has participated in a Bible Study at Eastern Washington University since 1995.

Travis Flory

Deacon
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Travis was born and raised in Spokane, WA, and he definitely identifies himself as a child of the 80’s.

His family life growing up was always centered around Christ and the importance of attending church.  During a time of turmoil at his home church, he felt lost and began attending Spokane’s equivalent of a “megachurch”.  At the same time, like many young adults do, he decided to try things his way.  While he never forgot his Christian upbringing, he started down a road that would teach him many hard life lessons.  He continued to attend the “megachurch” throughout his early 20s, but the trouble in his life, the size of the church, and the feeling of being lost in the crowd led him back to his family, who was attending Orchard Christian Fellowship.  Finally he was in a place that felt like home!  God set him back on the narrow path toward a life filled with brothers and sisters who knew his name and lifted him up when he was down.

After turning his life around, God reconnected him with April, a girl he has known since junior high but was never really close to.  Their friendship eventually turned into a relationship, with God always at the center.  They were married in Spring of 2009.  Travis and April have three beautiful children, a son Aidan, daughter Baylee and son Connor .

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11