Pastor Bob Gerhart and his wife, Joyce, have been in Christian Ministry together since their marriage in 1963. Pastor Bob began serving as Interim Pastor of Springfield Mennonite Church in September 2023. The Gerhart’s live at 619 Cherry Street in Bally, PA.
Bob grew up in Berks County Pennsylvania and graduated from Boyertown High School. Joyce was raised in northwestern South Dakota near the town of Isabel, growing up on a sheep ranch. Bob and Joyce met at Bible College in Nebraska. In addition to benefiting from solid Christian homes, both had been greatly influenced by attending and working at summer Bible camps, Camp Men-O-Lan for Bob and Byron Bible Camp in Huron, SD, for Joyce.
Bob’s first link with Springfield was serving the church for eleven weeks as a Student Supply Pastor during the summer of 1961, while a student at Grace Bible Institute in Omaha. Joyce was introduced to the Springfield congregation at a New Year’s Eve Service welcoming the New Year of 1962. Bob’s first Pastorate was at two congregations in the Quakertown area, Bethany, and Flatland, from 1963 to 1970. During these years he was Ordained to the Gospel Ministry in June of 1964 and completed Seminary training in R. E. Seminary in Philadelphia in 1967.
In February 1970 the Gerharts were called to serve the Immanuel Mennonite Church in Downey California. After 4 ½ years in the Los Angeles region, they answered a Call to overseas mission work, serving a multi-denominational and international congregation in Southern Africa’s Kingdom of Lesotho. Their 6 ½ year ministry with the Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission (AIMM) in the capital city of Maseru, also opened the way for an expansion of mission assistance with African led churches. In 1980 Bob was asked by his Mission agency to join the home staff in Indiana and in 1981 the Gerharts returned to the USA for a seven-year assignment with AIMM in Mission Communications and Church Relations.
In 1988 Bob was asked to return to his home community to Pastor the Hereford Mennonite Church where he then served for twenty years. During these years he earned a D.Min. degree at Westminster Theological Seminary in 2005. With his passion for retaining faithfulness to Biblical Authority and sound doctrine, Bob helped develop the Alliance of Mennonite Evangelical Congregations (AMEC), a fellowship of churches of which Springfield became a Charter Member. In 2008, when he was appointed Executive Director of AMEC, Bob stepped down as Senior Pastor from the Hereford Church (now called Butter Valley Community Church), and served with AMEC until he retired from this role in the Fall of 2020.
Bob’s other ministries have included Gospel Chalk Art, reenactments of several characters from 19th century church history and researching the life of Titanic passenger Annie Funk, a Mennonite missionary returning from India to her home near Bally.
The Gerharts have two adult children: a daughter, Barbara, (serving as a writer/editor with Global Disciples based in Lancaster County, PA), and a son, John, who with his wife, Dawn, and their daughter Kennedy, lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where Johnny is a free-lance cinematographer and photographer.