The Preston Ridge Staff

To contact one of our staff, click a name to send an email or call the church office at  (972) 712-7007

  • Gerald Griffin

    Lead Pastor

    As a child my family joined the First Baptist Church of Longview, Texas, where I received my earliest Christian teachings.  I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior at the age of thirteen through a Youth Minister's personal witness. After joining the Brook Hollow Baptist Church of Desoto, Texas, I surrendered to God’s call upon my life.   Following graduation from a Baptist University, I returned home to work with the youth of our church.  In 1980 God blessed me with the love of my life, Tammy, who loves and serves the Lord, and our two daughters have been a gift of joy that has enriched our lives beyond words.   My further studies led me to Dallas Theological Seminary and Southwestern Baptist in Fort Worth.  I thank God for His call in my life to work together with the people of God to grow in Christ and to promote missions around the world.  It is my belief that the calling carries great responsibility for holy living and godly example.  To lead others into a knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ and subsequent growth in grace is my happy calling and desire.

    Favorite Food:   Mexican food of course!

  • Boon Bowling

    Connection Pastor

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  • Myron Wilson

    Interim Worship Leader

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  • Drew Walker

    Student Pastor

    I have been married to my beautiful wife Lensie since January of 2010 and we have since welcomed our daughter, Addison, in September of 2015.   I went to Tarleton State University on a baseball scholarship and received my Bachelor in Business Administration and Marketing.  I then went on to Howard Payne to receive my Masters of Arts in Youth Ministry.

    Philosophy of Ministry:

    Jesus Christ must be at the heart of a youth ministry.  When Christ is the center, then a group committed to living according to God’s Word and a strong commitment to discipleship will naturally follow.  An effective youth ministry goes beyond what takes place in the church building, and can change families, schools, and even communities.   It is also essential, as a youth minister, to assist parents in any way possible to be the primary disciple maker in their homes.  This type of youth ministry is more than students coming to hear the Word;  it is equipping them to become disciples, build relationships, and be disciple makers.

    When I am not ministering to students, I love to spend time with my wife and daughter, read, not drink coffee, watch movies, and play competitive slow pitch softball.

    Favorite Food: My favorite food is orange chicken from Panda Express.  If there was an orange chicken cologne, I would wear it.

  • Katie Laney

    Director of Children's & Preschool Ministries

    Katie Laney serves as the Director of Preschool and Children’s Ministries at Preston Ridge. Katie and her husband, Daniel, joined Preston Ridge in April 2015.   Katie has a Ph.D. in Educational Ministries with an emphasis in Childhood Educational Ministries and a minor in Foundations, as well as a Master of Arts in Christian Education with an emphasis in Childhood Educational Ministries from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.  Katie and her husband, Daniel, met during their undergraduate studies Ouachita Baptist University, where Katie graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication and Christian Studies.

    Katie delights in partnering with children and their families at Preston Ridge as they connect and grow in their relationship with God, build a strong foundation on the Bible, and follow God’s calling for their lives.  Katie welcomed Jesus into her life as Lord and Savior at the age of ten.  Since then, God has given Katie a passion and a love to make a difference in the lives of children and their families.

    Katie’s philosophy of ministry is that the greatest need of children is to experience the love of God, and their greatest want is to have fun.   She strives to blend both of these elements in fun, age-appropriate, and engaging children’s activities, and to partner with parents, the primary faith influencers of their children.

    Katie is a native Texan and in her spare time, Katie enjoys spending time with family and friends, shopping, movies, musicals, reading, and travelling.

    Favorite Food:  Katie loves Dr. Pepper, Blue Bell Ice Cream, barbecue, Mexican food, homemade fried chicken tenders with all the fixings, and chocolate.

  • Kimberly Venezio

    Administrative Assistant


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  • Janet Bell

    Administrative Assistant

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  • Randy Gaston

    Administrative Assistant


    Married to Brenda and we are still newlyweds after only 4 decades, our greatest pleasure is our family, we have two daughters and sons in-law, Rachael & Casey, Charity & Wes and 5 grandchildren, Brayden, Kelley, Briella, Connor & Olive.

    Favorite Food: Brenda says that Randy is a picky eater; but, he loves Steak & Potato, Mexican Food, Pizza and virtually anything fried .