I was born and raised in west Texas. I’m a husband to Amanda, father to 4 kids (Graham, Eloise, Rosalie, and Caris). I’ve been in pastoral ministry since 2014 and was in the corporate world before that.
I’m a movie junkie (particularly action and superhero movies), a board-gamer and a lover of Texas Tech athletics. When I’m not at church you can find me hanging out with my family, exploring new restaurants, or drinking too much coffee.
I’m the Lead Pastor of Gateway which means I provide spiritual and organizational leadership to the church, it’s governing board, and it’s staff. I’m also the primary preacher and teacher.
My passion is that people might know God and thrive in him. I love people being connected, growing in relationship with God and with one another.
MOST UNUSUAL ITEM IN MY OFFICE: busted water pipes from Wisconsin.
FAVORITE SPORTS TEAM: Texas Tech Men’s Basketball
PETS: Golden Retriever (Esme) and cat (Cookie)
SOMETHING NO ONE WOULD GUESS ABOUT ME: I have two different colored eyes.
SONG I HAVE ON REPEAT: Way Maker by Leeland
Donovan and I have been married for over 35 years. We live on a 7 acre hobby farm with a variety of critters and we are loving it! We have three amazing sons; Sam, Isaac & Jesse, three beautiful daughter-in-laws; Alicia, Kirstie & soon to be Kiersten, and four grandsons with another grand-baby on the way. I LOVE my family! I also enjoy hiking, biking, camping, quilting, reading and spending time with my family. On the side, I teach piano lessons and partner with my self- employed husband.
I love my role at Gateway serving and supporting Pastor Jeff, the staff, ministry leaders and our church family.
I lived in 7 states before coming to Minnesota as a teen, attended Oral Roberts University, was involved in short term mission’s trips to 9 different countries and have traveled the U.S. with my husband when we were first married as over the road truckers. My husband, Donovan, has also taught me how to drive a D8 cat, road grader, various farm tractors, skid steer and semi-trucks.
My husband Terry and I have been married 50 years; we have three children, seven grandchildren, and a great-grandchild on the way. We have a cabin on a lake near Aitkin where we enjoy spending time in the summer with our family and friends. We recently purchased what we call our “winter cabin”—a fifth wheeler that we take south for a few weeks in the winter. We enjoy being outdoors, either hiking or boating.
I have been involved in the worship ministry at various churches in the area for over thirty years, and have been at Gateway since 2010. I have a passion to see people enter into the presence of God through worship.
As the worship coordinator, I meet with Pastor Jeff weekly to plan the worship element of our services. I also meet with the worship leaders on a regular basis—sometimes to discuss specific issues, other times for fellowship, worship and prayer. I oversee the scheduling and make sure all the positions are filled each week, as well as provide direction and support during our rehearsals.
Beyond the practical aspects of my role, I provide spiritual leadership for the ministry. I’m especially challenged by Jesus’ description of worship to the Samaritan woman: “It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship.” (John 4:23-24, The Message)
I’m a retired high school math teacher.
Terry and I live in a geodesic dome that we built in 1979.
In the summer I spend as much time as I can on the lake kayaking.
In my spare time I like to quilt, knit, crochet, and do handwork.
I love word games and I do the New York Times crossword puzzle every day.
I wrote a devotional book, “The Worship Journey: Exploring a Lifestyle of Worship.”
Children’s Ministry Coordinator
My husband Chris and I married in 2010. We have been blessed with two beautiful children, MaKayla and Willow. We love our dogs and the outdoors. If we are not hanging out with our friends and family, you could find us in the woods hiking, foraging, and enjoying nature in every way.
I have the best role! I help and support volunteers teach the truth about God to our children. We provide a safe, fun, Christ centered learning environment that supports each child’s individual walk with Jesus. I also like to throw in some games, activities, and crafts during our time together.
I love playing basketball and I am secretly the most competitive person while playing. I also have a twin sister and we love to play tricks on others to see if they know who is who.
Visual Media Specialist
I’ve lived in Minnesota my entire life (and I still hate the snow). I enjoy watching the sun set and going for long walks on the beach…just kidding! When I’m not at the movie theater watching the latest Marvel movie, I’m eating a McDonald’s cheeseburger, or listening to a tech podcast.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had an interest in technology. Whether it’s making a video, programming a computer, or designing a logo, I love everything about it! I guess that makes me a nerd, but I’m ok with that. 🙂
I produce content (videos, graphics, etc.) for both Sunday services and the web. In addition, I manage the visual department of our audio/visual ministry.
MY FAVORITE TYPE OF MUSIC: all of them!!
MY FAVORITE MOVIE QUOTE: “Your mom goes to college” -Kip Dynamite (from Napoleon Dynamite)
MY FAVORITE MOVIE: There are lots, but “Inception” has to be my favorite right now.
MY TYPICAL LUNCH: Everyday I have a sandwich, chips, and an apple.
I have been married to my husband Oleg since 2015 and we have two children together, Nikolai and Alesya. God willing, we would love to add a few more children to our family very soon! We currently live in Big Lake and have been attending Gateway since Summer 2018. I am a stay at home mom, but I help Oleg with our trucking business, and have a small design business of my own. In my spare time, I enjoy cooking, lifting weights, drawing, hiking, singing, outdoor activities, learning new hobbies and lots of family time!
As Communications Coordinator, my role is to create and manage social media posts and website updates. I also form effective marketing and advertising strategies for events and church activities here at Gateway.
If I could live anywhere in the USA, I would choose to live in Montana.
Before becoming a stay at home Mom, my dream job was to be a personal trainer or a graphic designer.
I would love to own horses someday and have more than 1 dog.
I would be 100% okay if I never got to watch television shows again.
I have a deep longing to travel, explore and do adventurous things.