First EFC is committed to seeing every member of the church involved in gospel ministry within the body and out in the community. While every member is "on staff" in that sense, we have recognized and called paid staff and lay leaders to lead us in God's direction, equip believers for ministry, and carry out necessary church administration.

  • brian hammonds

    LEAD Pastor

    Pastor Brian and his wife, Yvette, grew up together in Tucson, Arizona and each put their faith in Christ at a young age. Before settling in Las Cruces in 2015, they lived in Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Chicago, and Tucson. Brian graduated from what is now known as Arizona Christian University as well as Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. Brian and Yvette have a full house with 5 wonderful kids. They are passionate about reaching our community and the nations with the gospel! Brian also enjoys reading theology, sports, and occasionally plays something that he thinks resembles golf.

  • Elliot Bergsagel

    church chairman

    Elliot grew up in a Christian family in Malta, Montana and went to Seattle Pacific University where he received assurance of salvation, met his future wife Carolyn, and graduated with a BS. He came to Las Cruces to work at the Physical Science Laboratory (PSL) and study at NMSU, where he earned his MS and eventually a PhD. Elliot retired from an Electronics Engineering career with the Army Research Laboratory and now consults part-time at PSL. Elliot and Carolyn joined First EFC in 1971 and have 3 grown children. His hobbies include music, reading, electronics, and amateur radio. Two of his favorite Scripture passages are Philippians 2 and Psalm 139.

  • mike gardenhire

    Associate Pastor

    Mike serves in many areas, including College Ministry and Christian Education. He grew up in an Air Force family, mostly in Colorado. He attended NMSU and was heavily involved with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, where he met his wife, Laurel. After graduation, they moved to Colorado Springs where Mike worked as a hotel manager and then became a staff worker with InterVarsity. After 5 years, Mike and Laurel moved back to Las Cruces where he was the staff worker for InterVarsity at NMSU until 2004. They have 2 daughters, Julia and Alexis. Mike has a passion for helping people understand the gospel and finding their place in God’s story. 

  • Christopher Yee

    Director of Music And High SChool Ministry

    Christopher has had a passion for the Lord since 2010 when he came to Christ at Eastern New Mexico University. Besides contemporary and traditional Christian Music, he enjoys classical music, vocal jazz, and a little of every other genre. He also likes long bike rides with others. He currently serves the body as First EFC's Director of Music and High School Ministry. Before coming to Las Cruces, he was directing choirs and teaching in the Santa Fe Public Schools. Christopher and his wife, Naomi, are new parents to a beautiful little girl.

  • esther Oliver

    Administrative assistant

    Esther grew up in a Christian family and accepted Jesus as her Savior when she was 12 years old. Before moving to Las Cruces in 2009, she lived in Gallup, New Mexico with her family. She attended NMSU and graduated with a bachelor’s degree. Esther has a desire and passion to let God use her and her story to help and encourage others. She loves spending time with her family, drinking coffee, doing anything active, and enjoys interior design and cooking.