All we like sheep

Ephesians 4:11-12: “He is the one who gave these gifts to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ…”


I was born in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania and grew up in Southern California. My wife, Bonnie and I have been married 43 years. We met at Goldenwest College in Huntington Beach in 1971, and I graduated as a political science major from California State University, Fullerton in 1973. Most of my business career was with Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company where I had positions as underwriter, department manager and regional director of excess casualty and special risk business.

I grew up un-churched, and have no childhood memories of ever being in church. That all changed when I met Bonnie, who was a lifelong Christian. I wanted to be able to share that important part of her life and joined the Episcopal Church where I was confirmed as an adult in 1973. I enjoyed attending worship with her, but was too spiritually immature to be involved in the extensive “church work” I took on. Less than two years after I started, I burned out, and dropped away from the church. I didn’t go back for 12 years.

Bonnie remained faithful, and continued to attend church. Not long after we moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, Bonnie found a local Lutheran Church she thought I would like. We started going together, and I immediately felt at home there. The pastor was a wise and gentle man who recognized that I was “damaged goods.” He made sure that I started to grow spiritually before getting heavily involved in the life of the church.

While it took a considerable amount of time, the Holy Spirit gradually drew me into more and more meaningful service. By the time we left the bay area in 2000, my faith had grown considerably and I had held virtually every lay office in the church, including council member, Chair of Board of Elders, vision team member, and congregational president.

I especially enjoyed the time spent on the church’s vision team where I had the chance to work with consultants, Dr. Richard Southern and Robert Norton regarding growth issues we were facing. I saw first-hand how a congregation could benefit from hands-on professional attention. Little did I know that almost ten years later, I would spend two years interning with Southern and Norton when God called me to full-time ministry.

In 2000, Bonnie sold her employee benefit business and I retired after 22 years with Fireman’s Fund to enter full-time ministry training church leaders in healthy growth principles. In 2001, we formed our own ministry and called it Church Planning Resources. In the last 13 years, in public workshops and private consultations, we have coached well over 100 different churches, helping them be more effective in building up the Body of Christ. We have felt truly blessed to serve in this capacity.

However in 2005, God had another surprise for me and called me to more formal education. Although it had been over 30 years since I had been in school, I enrolled as a full-time student at Salt Lake Theological Seminary. Four years later I graduated with my Master of Divinity degree part of which included a year-long internship at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Salt Lake City.

During my last year at seminary, I was blessed to be able to preach regularly at Mountain of Faith Lutheran Church in Tooele, Utah. They had recently lost their pastor and were at a point where they could not support a full time pastor. But during that year, through the work of the Holy Spirit, the situation improved at Mountain of Faith. And the day after I graduated in 2009, they called and ordained me to be their permanent pastor.

Bonnie and I moved to Stansbury Park to be near the church later that year. God has blessed our time at Mountain of Faith and allowed us to witness some true miracles during the last eight years. The spiritual growth of the congregation and their ability to enjoy each other in Christian fellowship has been a joy to us. God is calling us to be “Common people on an uncommon journey of faith, discovering the grace and freedom God gives real followers of Jesus.” I’m looking forward to serving our Lord at Mountain of Faith for many years.

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