"There is not a time that I can remember where I did not know Jesus and the work He has done for us. I grew up in a Christian family, but unlike many families, my father's career in the U.S. Navy never kept us in one place very long. Every few years, my father would get reassigned, and we would pack up and move.
"There is something to note about growing up as a Protestant Christian on a military base. Attending the Protestant service, we were a blend of many different denominations and backgrounds. The word we heard was dependent upon the denomination of the minister leading the service.
"While I did not know it at the time, this experience provided me with a deep appreciation for not just my own theological tradition, but what other traditions offer. More importantly, it instilled within me the practical sense of our confession, 'I believe in one Holy catholic and apostolic church.'
"This upbringing provided me a unique setting for the cultivation of my Christian faith and walk with God. Yet, it also provided me the opportunity to interact with people from many different cultures, faith groups and backgrounds.
"While I obviously disagreed with many beliefs and practices of the people with whom I interacted, I also organically learned that the image of God is present in every person. This is something I carry with me to this day and deeply value this conviction as a gift from God.
"I first studied biology at Calvin College. Following this, I got a master's degree in ecology from Pennsylvania State University. During this time, I felt God's undeniable call for me to attend formal theological education. Pursuing this calling, I obtained a degree in Masters of Divinity from Calvin Theological Seminary.
"As the pastor of Ideal Park CRC, I am grateful to be among a group of people who deeply values the same things as myself: love of God and love of neighbor. Ideal Park Church is a diverse community that desires to share the overflowing love of God with all we interact with. Through this, we hope to build God's kingdom wherever we go!
"In my free time, I enjoy spending time with family, cooking, board games, fishing and golfing!"