I grew up in a normal middle class family with two brothers and a sister. My parents loved and followed Jesus but I drifted away. At the age of 20 I had a traumatic life-altering event when my brother was killed in a car accident. This shook my world. I tried to grab on to all that the world had to offer but it only crumbled beneath me. Through these circumstances, the “Hound of Heaven” cornered me and showed me how much he loved me. From there, the lights came on, the Bible came alive, and my hunger for spiritual things grew immensely. From there I completed a yearlong discipleship school, spent two years with Operation Mobilization in England, and then returned to the U.S. where through a series of events, I served as a pastor in Wisconsin for 11 years. In July of 2015, God called me to Neighborhood Church where I am excited to be in an area that reflects God’s heart for the nations and to be leading an incredible staff and gathering of people who believe that God wants to transform lives, empower them with his Spirit and launch us on mission.
My wife Nami, who is from South Korea, and I have been married for almost 20 years and have 4 beautiful children.
On a more formal level, I have a B.S. in Biblical Studies from Moody Bible Institute, a Masters degree from Columbia International University, and am pursuing a Doctorate in Global Leadership from Fuller Theological Institute with an emphasis on necessary traits for health and effectiveness for senior leaders in multiethnic churches in the U.S. Christian and Missionary Alliance (The Alliance).
Craziest Food Ever Eaten: Fried Tarantula
Favorite Hobby: Being with my family, watching the Green Bay Packers, working out, and pretending that I am still young.
Favorite Vacation Spot: The Beach – Bring on the sun, sea and sand!
NEIGHBORHOOD KIDS DIRECTOR
I was raised in Collegeville, Pennsylvania and attended an Episcopalian church with my family every Sunday. Although I believed in God and tried to be a “good” Christian, it was not until my second year in college, through the witness, prayers, and love of my roommate, that I came to understand and accept what having a relationship with Jesus and following Him really meant. So I started my winding, twisting, up and down journey with Him, and I have never, ever regretted it. After I graduated from Towson University with a degree in Occupational Therapy, I had jobs which took me all over the United States, and I had many adventures. But my greatest joy was being a wife to my husband Dave, and a homeschooling mom to my two children Joel and Kristen. Then, in 2016 after 18 years of marriage, God unexpectedly took Dave home to be with Him, and so began the next chapter of my life as a solo parent, and the hardest years I had ever lived through. But God never left me, and by His grace, I never left Him (John 6:67-69). In 2018 my children began attending the youth group at Neighborhood Church in order to be with their friends, and this eventually led to us attending services, and then calling Neighborhood Church our home. Now, as my oldest has started college and my younger is finishing high school, I find that God has given me an opportunity to be a part of the great work he is doing through this wonderful and diverse group of Jesus-loving people. God has proven himself faithful in my life, I believe He has called me here, and I am excited to be a part of showing and sharing Jesus in this community.
Craziest Food Ever Eaten: Alligator
Favorite Hobby: Paper crafting in all its forms
Favorite Vacation Spot: Can't possibly decide; I love adventure!
GREEN HOUSE CHURCH PLANTING RESIDENT
I was raised in Brunswick, Georgia the youngest of three brothers. Early on in my life my family went through extreme financial difficulties and experienced homelessness for many years of my childhood. The Lord has blessed my family with no longer being in that situation, but living through those times has produced in me a passion to help those who are in need.
I lived my life outside of Christ and identified as an atheist for a period of my life. It wasn’t until a very trying and traumatic time in mine and my family’s life that I saw who Jesus is and what He can do in the heart of a believer through the shining example of enduring faith in my Mother. Through these events the Holy Spirit wrestled me down and I gave my life to Christ and have never looked back. I graduated from Toccoa Falls College with a Double Major in Pastoral Ministries and Bible & Theology.
Craziest Food Ever Eaten: Turtle
Favorite Hobby: Watching Movies; Fishing
Favorite Vacation Spot: Brunswick, Georgia
I grew up in Ohio, learning to love Jesus at Hartwell United Methodist Church. The Lord taught me that only He can meet my every need when my parents divorced for the second time when I was eight years old. As I grew in Jesus, he showed me, through his tender grace, that the greatest joy is found in worshipping Him! I am honored to share that joy with my husband of over 20 years, Mark and our three sons. I thank God for bringing my family to Neighborhood Church and calling me to serve on staff, where we continue to be transformed by Jesus, empowered by His Holy Spirit and launched on mission. I am thankful to be part of the Neighborhood Church team that has a heart for multi-generational and multi-ethnic worship...a reflection of heaven. “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
Craziest Food Ever Eaten: Fugu - Raw blowfish while visiting Japan
Favorite Hobby: Planning trips and finding new restaurants to experience with my family and friends
Favorite Vacation Spot: Walt Disney World Resorts
NEIGHBORHOOD YOUTH PASTOR
I grew up in Vermont and was first introduced to the gospel in 8th grade. I was invited by some friends to go to youth group with them Sunday nights. At first, I really enjoyed the music but then found myself listening to the words that were being sung. This led me to open my ears to the messages the pastor gave each week. This all started to peak my curiosity about Christ. It was at the 2004 LIFE youth conference in Phoenix, AZ where God revealed himself to me in a very real way. From that point on, God has been drawing me closer and closer to Himself. After graduating from Nyack College in 2011, I spent time overseas in West Africa serving with the Alliance through soccer ministry. God's calling on my life to work in vocational ministry first began take shape during this year in Guinea. After returning to the U.S., I took a position as Director of Student Ministries at Journey Church in Morganton, NC. In 2014, I moved to Maryland to marry my wife and have had the privilege of joining the staff at Neighborhood Church as Youth Director.
Craziest Food Ever Eaten: Monkey
Favorite Hobby: Music and sports
Favorite Vacation Spot: Lake Champlain, Vermont
BUILDINGS & GROUNDS MINISTRY
I grew up in upstate New York, learning about God at Glens Falls First Presbyterian Church. When I met my wife, Melanie, I learned that Jesus wanted to have a personal relationship with me. Melanie and I have been married for over 20 years and are raising our three sons to know and love Jesus as we continue to grow in Him. I enjoying working in the HVAC industry and helping others in tangible ways through building projects and Scouting. I am thankful to be part of Neighborhood Church as I continue to learn, grow and serve.
Craziest Food Ever Eaten: Jellied Blowfish
Favorite Hobby: Anything involving power tools
Favorite Vacation Spot: Any location with my bride
As a pastor's kid, I grew up going to church with my family. At the age of four, I accepted Christ into my life, but my ongoing journey of sanctification has proven to have much more of an impact on my life. God has consistently revealed himself, his truth, and his love for me throughout my entire life. Christ has used and continues to use my family, friends, and various experiences to shape me into the woman he has created. During my years studying psychology at Nyack College, I began to understand a passion I have of bringing help and support to those around me. In July of 2013, I joined the Neighborhood Church staff as the Administrative Assistant. While I enjoy the organizational aspect of my job, I certainly see the ministry I am called to in this position. I love serving the pastoral staff, congregation, and those in our community!
Craziest Food Ever Eaten: Durian - It's a fruit famous for its horrible odor
Favorite Hobby: Catching up with family & friends over a good cup of coffee
Favorite Vacation Spot: Long Beach Island, New Jersey