Roc Bottomly is a senior fellow for Marriage and Leadership Studies at the Focus on the Family Institute. The firstborn of five children to a fighter pilot father and following a childhood immersed in scouts, athletics and student activities, Mr. Bottomly entered the Air Force Academy. At the Academy, he served on the Cadet Wing top leadership “Staffs” and finished as a Distinguished Graduate with a B.S. in Astronautical Engineering. As a cadet, Mr. Bottomly trusted Christ through the Navigators’ ministry and worked closely with them as a lay leader in military, collegiate and community ministries throughout his service years. While in the Air Force (1969-1976), he was a Distinguished Graduate from Undergraduate Pilot Training and Squadron Officers School. He served as both a flight instructor and an intercontinental transport pilot.
In 1976, Mr. Bottomly left his pilot wings for the ministry. He graduated with High Honors and a Th.M. (Master of Theology) from Dallas Theological Seminary, where he was the outstanding student in both Expository Preaching and Christian Education.
From 1981 to 1990 he was the senior pastor of Covenant Community Church in Oklahoma City. While there, the church grew from a handful to 600 and was known throughout the city for its biblical preaching, lay leadership development and multiplying Navigator-style ministry of personal disciplemaking.
From 1990 to 1995, he was the senior pastor of Pulpit Rock Church in Colorado Springs where he led the church through a series of difficult transitions: from traditional to contemporary worship, from staff ministry to lay ministry, from inreach to outreach. The vision was “Reaching Your World”; and the church grew from 700 to 1,400.
In 1995, Mr. Bottomly became a senior pastor of Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City. Bridgeway was a church plant created to break the mold in several areas. It was a “bridge” church to hybrid the strengths of the evangelical church with those of the charismatic church. It was designed to reach the unchurched and untraditional, especially students aged 15 to 25. It was a “cell” church committed to equipping lay pastors to lead multiplying house churches throughout the metroplex area. From 1995 to 2001, he helped Bridgeway expand from start-up to a congregation of 800.
Throughout his years of pastoral leadership, Mr. Bottomly has maintained a strong commitment to the family. He brings to the Institute extensive experience in premarital counseling and a passion for the life skills required to build a healthy family life.
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