Pastor Bernhard, generally referred to as "Chip," graduated from Cedarville College in 1977 and earned a Master of Divinity degree from Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary in 1980. Chip started his pastoral ministry at Shawnee Baptist Church in Vincentown, New Jersey where he served for seven years as an associate pastor. In 1987, Pastor Bernhard came to Spring Creek Church as the senior pastor.
Chip is a trustee at Cedarville University, and is on the board of Shepherds Baptist Ministries, a college and care facility for those with intellectual disabilities.
Chip is married to Margie and they have three children: Kelly (Mike) Carlo, Karl (Bethany), and Ben. Chip and Margie can often be found doting over their five grandchildren. He enjoys sports, yard work and has been the chaplain for the Milwaukee Bucks basketball team since 1995.