We exist to glorify God and serve His people.


Our Leadership

Bruce Buchanan


I grew up in a suburb of Boston, MA and moved with my family to the Albany, NY, area as a child. My parents did socially correct things, which at that time included going to church. However, we went to church only because it was “the right thing to do.” Through a series of circumstances, we ended up in a small church where the pastor preached with conviction that the Bible was true and that God could change a person’s life. The people in that church had a vitality and love that was missing from every other place we had visited. I learned that each of these people had a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ and that these relationships were what gave them that vitality and love. I learned how to begin that right relationship with God, and I became a follower of Jesus Christ.

While going through school, I contemplated a number of different vocations. Architecture, engineering and law loomed largest on my horizon, but when our family relocated away from Albany to a rural setting, God worked in my heart to lead me in a different direction. We visited many churches, looking for a balance of sound Biblical teaching mingled with genuine Christian love and fellowship. God used this experience to show me that there was a need for more pastors and churches who would preach God's Word. As a result, I felt God wanted me to shift my focus and prepare for the ministry.

After completing undergraduate and seminary training (Bob Jones University, Calvary Baptist Theological Seminary, and later, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School), the Lord opened the door for me to minister at Berean Bible Church in Cortland. I pray that God will use me, however He sees fit, to lead and equip the believers He has called together to form Berean Bible Church. I am thankful for the opportunity the Lord is now giving me to pastor together with Pastor Mike.

Mike Hammons


I grew up in a military home. This meant that I moved at least every two years. When I was five, Mom got sick. I was basically left to do what I wanted which turned out badly. I was more interested in sports and hanging out than in education. In my teens, I kept bumping into the Gospel. I was no fan of laws and restrictions, but I finally came to the point where I realized that God created the world, and that I was in trouble. After hearing the Gospel again, I placed my faith in Christ Jesus’ work on the cross and resurrection. Instantly, my life was turned around, and I had a whole different set of values and a new direction in life. Loved every moment of it.

I totally gave myself over to Christ. This led to Bible College for eight years. I loved studying God’s Word. This is where I met my beautiful wife. Wow, my new roommate was wonderful. Together we planted churches in NYC for twenty years among a lovely international group. Alaska was next to pastor a struggling church. After resolving their needs, we went to another church in DC. Then we went to a few churches in upstate New York. How nice it is to co-pastor now at Berean Bible Church with Pastor Bruce.

Holly and I have four grown children and eight grandchildren. We love being involved in Bible studies and having fun with the saints. In the summer we take our boat out and enjoy the tranquility of the water. I like just about any adventure.

Bruce Millis

Deacon & Worship Leader

I’ve been a Cortland resident for several decades. Although I attended church as a youth I didn’t come to know Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior until the age of 36. I’ve been blessed to serve and glorify Him ever since through the gifts He’s graciously given to me. My passions are leading worship in music ministry and helping others come to know Him through the teaching and sharing of the Scriptures. Jesus said in the gospel that He has told us all these things (The Bible) so that His joy would be in us and that our joy would be full (John 15:11). He has proven this true in my life these past 23 years.

I am married to my wife and best friend, Gina, and together our hope for Berean Bible Church is that we would grow in our love of God and for one another in His body of believers here in Cortland, and through us others would come to know Jesus Christ in a real and personal way. The joy of the Lord is our strength and He wants to be yours!

Gary Lyon


I first came to Berean Bible Church in 2014. The preaching has been a blessing, and serving as a Deacon has been a spiritual growth experience for me. God’s Word is most important to my way of thinking. I was saved in 1992 and since then God has been growing and teaching me to be a humble servant. God has blessed me with a "Proverbs 31" wife. Her name is Kathryn, and we’ve been married for over fifty years. We have a son and daughter, and a son-in-law, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

I pray that according to the riches of God’s glory he would grant that each person who attends Berean Bible Church will be strengthened with power through God’s Spirit in his or her inner being, so that Christ may dwell in each one’s heart through faith—with the result that being rooted and grounded in love, each one may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth of Christ’s love, which surpasses knowledge, and that each one may be filled with all the fullness of God (cf. Ephesians 3:16-19). 

Claud Mitchell


I attended Berean Bible Church regularly with my family as a youth; however, I did not come to a real faith in Jesus Christ until the age of 22 and have set a goal to grow closer to Him each day. I have been blessed to have my wife Jessica by my side since 2013. We met at Berean in Sunday school when we were teens in 2000, and after several years of taking separate life paths, we reconnected on social media in 2012 and were married the next year. We have adopted two beautiful children and are doing our best to raise them in the Lord.

It has been a wonderful privilege to serve here at Berean in many different ways. I take great joy in being part of the musical worship and my new role as a deacon, but I cherish my position as the teen Sunday school teacher the most. My prayer for Berean Bible Church, moving forward, is that we can do our part in carrying out the “Great Commission” (Matthew 28:19) within our community, especially in the area of children’s ministry (Proverbs 22:6). Our nation is facing some trying times and I firmly believe that, if we want to see a revival, it must begin with the local church.

Our Vision

We desire to be a church that is pleasing in God's eyes, faithfully proclaiming, teaching and preaching God's Word, and facilitating the active discipleship of men, women and children. We invite you to join us as we endeavor to be part of and further His work in Cortland, New York.

Our Essential Beliefs

No. 01

The Bible

We believe in the inspiration and infallibility of the Scriptures, and that they are the believers' only rule of faith and conduct.

2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21
No. 02

Our God

We believe in God as revealed in the Scriptures as eternal­ly existent, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and manifesting Him­self in three Persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

1 Timothy 1:17; Psalm 139:1-16; John 1:1-4; Hebrews 1:1-3
No. 03

Jesus Christ

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ became man without ceasing to be God, and accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice.

John 1:14; Colossians 1:12-17; Philippians 2:5-11; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 2:24
No. 04

The Holy Spirit

We believe that God the Spirit (the Holy Spirit), convicts the world of sin, that He spiritually baptizes all true believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sanctifying all of them, and that He gives believers gifts for ministry.

John 16:7-15; Acts 11:15-16; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11
No. 05

His Creation

We believe that in the beginning God made from nothing the heavens and the earth and everything in them, and all created things were good.

Genesis 1; Jeremiah 10:10-13; Psalm 19:1-6
No. 06

Our Humanity

We believe that God made humanity—male and female—in His own image. Set apart as His image bearers, all men and all women bear the image of God and are meant to represent God in His creation and are to love and to glorify God.

Genesis 1:27-30; Deuteronomy 6:5; 1 Corinthians 10:31
No. 07

Our Sin

We believe that in spite of humanity’s good beginning, through the temptation of Satan humanity transgressed the command of God and fell from their original holiness and righteousness. Now the entire human race inherits a corrupt nature that is opposed to God and His law. Therefore, all humans are under condemnation.

Genesis 3; Romans 1:18-23; Romans 3:9-20
No. 08

His Salvation

We believe that salvation is by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone, as people trust the sufficiency of Christ’s death on the cross to pay the penalty they deserve for their sin, and acknowledge Him as their Savior and Lord.

Romans 10:9-10; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:3-7
No. 09

The Church

We believe that a local Church rightly consists of an organized local assembly of saved and baptized individuals (true believers) voluntarily associated together for the purpose of fellowship together and carrying on the principles and precepts of God's Word, the Bible.

1 Corinthians 1:2; Acts 2:41-42; Hebrews 10:24-25
No. 10

The Future

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ shall have a visible return to the earth at an hour known only to the Heavenly Father, and that He will judge the peoples of the world resulting in everlasting joy and bliss for the saved, and everlasting punishment for those who reject the Lord Jesus Christ as their own Savior.

Acts 1:10-11; John 14:1-6; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 20:11-15, 21:1-27
Download Doctrinal Statement