Dean Ellis’ Biography

Dean Ellis was born in Colfax, WA on May 31, 1964 and raised on the family farm just south of Oakesdale, WA. He says, “I loved every minute of it. Give me those cows or turn me loose on a tractor in the Spring and I’m as happy as could be…oh the smell of that diesel in the early morning air!” The summer before his senior year of high school, Dean experienced the greatest, life altering event that would change the course of his life forever. Through the faithful witness of Pastor Charles Burns (then Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Oakesdale) and Dr. O.H. Hegg (then Pastor of Euclid Avenue Baptist Church in Spokane), Dean received Christ as his Lord & Savior on August 26th, 1982 at the Billy Graham Crusade in Spokane.

In January of 1984 he went away to Western Baptist College (now Corban University) in Salem, Oregon and learned the Word of God under – who he calls – “some of the finest Bible Profs anywhere in the world”. While at Western, Dean endured the heartbreak of his parents’ divorce, for which he eventually took an entire year off from his studies to return to the farm to help his father and to walk through that dark valley with both of them. He returned to Western in January, 1986 and enjoyed unbroken study there until the summer of ’87 when he took a year to travel with Western’s travelling singing group Masterstouch. A few months before that tour began he started courting the beautiful girl who would become his wife, Connie Lynn Bottjen. They married on September 10, 1988.

Upon completion of his Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Studies in December of 1989, Dean was afforded the opportunity to return to the Palouse when he and Connie accepted the call here at the First Baptist Church as Director of Church Ministries, which would begin in January, 1990. They were on staff here until March, 1994, when he resigned to pursue an itinerate speaking ministry at various churches, camps and retreats throughout the Inland Empire. To support his family and this unique kind of ministry, Dean did everything from selling insurance to working for the local radio station in the advertising department where he sold radio time and did voice-overs for radio commercials. And, of course, Connie worked endlessly as a mom as well as part-time outside the home to help support the family during this entire time. When the kids were finally all in school, she began working full-time for the City of Colfax in a position she still enjoys today.

In March, 2009, 15 years to the week after their departure from First Baptist, Dean and Connie returned to our church, this time in the position of Pastor of Evangelism & Outreach, working primarily in the arenas of Bible teaching & doctrinal instruction, youth ministry, preaching (occasionally), and organizing outreach events such as “Church at the Park”, the City Christmas Parade, Men’s Bible Studies, etc. Dean and Connie are very involved in our community. Connie is Cheer Coach here at Colfax High School (CHS), co-director of the local Distinguished Young Women program each spring (formerly Jr. Miss) and also the Art Designer for our local musical each fall. Dean’s voice can be heard at all of the home football, volleyball, basketball, baseball and (some) softball games as he has, since the fall of 2009, served as Public Address Announcer for CHS sporting events and is indeed “the voice of the Bulldogs”. He also serves as MC for community parades and events.

Dean and Connie have three grown sons: Levi (who now teaches history and is an assistant football coach here at CHS), Lonny & Bradyn; and now a daughter, Taylor Nicole. Dean says, “Thank God that for the most part they all look like their mother…” But both he and Connie are even more thankful that all of their children know and love Jesus Christ. To Him alone be all the glory and honor for what great things He has done and continues to do by His grace!