A Walla Walla native, I come from a large tight-knit family of aunts, uncles, and cousins, grandparents, siblings, and oodles of slightly more removed relations. I was privileged to be raised in the 80s and 90s supported financially by a local small business owned and operated by my mother and her sisters. As a child, I attended private Christian schools and had the joy of participating in a world-class classical strings program from an early age through my late teens. In high school, I made connections with people who are to this day my closest friends. My wife of 11 years, Paige, was a classmate in 1st grade and a close friend through all of school. She brings more joy to my life than almost anything else, save perhaps my two boys, Finley and Sawyer.
As a child of divorce, I also experienced a significant amount of pain in my younger years. My father lived on the other side of the country and my stepfather was non supportive and abusive. Later, as the oldest child of a single mother, I sometimes felt the weight of the world on my shoulders as the only "man of the house". When i was eighteen, our family home burned in the middle of the night destroying everything we owned. Dwarfing these losses however, my twelve-year-old brother Kasey was killed in the fire.
And so as is true for many of us, I have been blessed beyond what I ever could've earned -- but also suffered in ways no one deserves.
I grew up in the halls of the Walla Walla University Church, my current platform of pastoral ministry. As a student at Walla Walla Valley Academy, I began sensing God’s call to this work. The more I practiced the art of ministry, the more solidified the invitation became in my heart. A few years later, I attended and graduated from (then) Walla Walla College with a Bachelor’s in Theology. To their credit, the Upper Columbia Conference of Seventh-day Adventists offered me a full time pastoral position in Yakima, WA where Paige and I would move to serve for four good years. In 2010, I accepted a call to return to my roots at the Walla Walla University Church.
Since returning to my home, my work has primarily been oriented around the discipleship of Jr. High, High School, and college students. It has been a beautiful path to walk. It gives me great hope in the future of the Christian church seeing the passion and idealism in the lives of these young people. Between 2010 and 2012 and while still pastoring full time, I earned my Master’s of Arts degree in Global Leadership from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA.
After several years in youth ministry, our staff makeup changed and so my role shifted to primarily focus on Children and Family Ministries. While this suited my time in life quite well (with two young sons myself), It only lasted about a year before our staff dynamics shifted again. Once more, I shifted roles to take on the worship services, technology, and communications. My friends tell me I am a gifted teacher and communicator. Sometimes their kindness is verified by invitations to speak in the Walla Walla Valley and Pacific Northwest. I love most to create experiences where dear people are invited to build genuine community, connecting intimately with each other and their Creator.
My boys and wife are the joys of my life. When people ask me about my hobbies - I scratch my head before confidently declaring my family to be my primary outlet. Outside family, work, and ministry, I enjoy cooking and baking (perhaps a little too much). I'm an electronics hound with not enough of a salary to support my habit. I enjoy cycling when I can spare the time and I still pull out my upright bass and guitar a couple times a month to jam and worship with friends.
You are more than welcome to contact me!
My current curricula vitae is available here.