Mike and his wife, Wendy, are excited to be here at Westmark. They feel confident God has called them here (a story in and of itself) and love serving the body of Christ at Westmark. Here is some basic information.
Mike maintains an open door policy. If you would like to sit down and talk, Mike can be reached by phone, or you can email him. Or just stop by!
Serving at Westmark since/serving in ministry since: Pastor Mike started serving at Westmark in 2015. Prior to that he served in Laramie, WY for 3 years as Pastor of Adult Discipleship. While here and Laramie are his first vocational ministry positions, he has been serving as a lay leader for most of his adult life. Vocationally he comes from the private sector, where for the last two decades he was in sales. He’s pretty sure it will come in handy; he’s not sure how. His wife, Wendy, has been a worship leader for many, many years. She was also a stay-at-home mom to our three boys.
Hometown: Mike & Wendy are natives of the Seattle, WA area, where moss is the de facto state flower, and mold its fragrance. They have lived there for all but six years of their entire lives.They spent three years in the Chicago area when Mike was at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and the years 2012 to 2015 in Laramie.
Family: Mike & Wendy have been married for 29 years (m. 1987). They have three boys and a daughter-in-law: Nathaniel (born 1994); his wife, Lauren (who just happens to be attending Mike’s alma mater, Northwest University, and plays soccer there); Benjamin (b. 1995); and Samuel (b. 1998). They also have a little Jack Russell Terrier mix.
Education: Mike did his undergraduate work at tiny Northwest University in Kirkland, WA. He majored in Religion and Philosophy, and was the Religion and Philosophy Student of the Year in 1994. There were only three other philosophy students. He was also the only student that qualified for the full-ride scholarship to the Assembly of God Theological Seminary. Not being Pentecostal (although not anti-Pentecostal), his advisor recommended he attend Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. This is where Mike and Wendy first became acquainted with the EFCA. They instantly fell in love with it. He went to Trinity but stopped just his thesis short of his M.A. in Christian Thought (Systematic Theology and Philosophy of Religion). Not officially having his master’s was going to drive him nuts, so he went and got his M.Div. from Columbia Evangelical Seminary in Apologetics.
What those who know them best and the staff say about them: Mike’s love for his family shines through in everything he does. He is extremely gracious and quick to forgive. Mike approaches everything with a sense of humor and loves to laugh. On the other hand, Mike can be a very goal-driven individual, and takes his calling very seriously. It’s a labor of love.
Wendy, like Mike, has a naturally upbeat personality and a zest for life. Her love for worship shines through in the way she approaches it.
Fun facts: Mike is a highly active individual. He runs, cycles, and when accessible, he loves cross country skiing. He’s also an avid book reader, although he rarely reads fiction. He also plays cards and watches chick flicks, albeit somewhat begrudgingly on the latter. His interests are in apologetics, especially the area of origins (Genesis 1 stuff), and the subject of atheism. He is also an avid soccer fan, and considers the World Cup one of the world’s great tournaments. Can’t they do it every year? Mike is also widely believed to be the only Seattleite that doesn’t drink coffee—just tea.
Closing thoughts: Mike freely acknowledges his background is not the usual one for pastors. Even if his background is somewhat atypical he considers his prior experience in sales to be an asset. He knows what it’s like to travel, work sixty hours a week, and yet be involved in ministry. He did it for years because his ministry passion is for the church. Mike is a big believer in some form of small group fellowship. Mike and Wendy have been active in small groups all of their marriage, and their deepest and most meaningful friendships have come as a result of that involvement.
When you come to Westmark, you should fully expect Mike to preach the Word. He’s been known to say, “If you walk away encouraged by it, great. If you walk away challenged by it, great. It’s my job to preach the text and your response to it is between you and the Holy Spirit.”
Mike generally prefers the text over topics. The usual format is a New Testament book, an Old Testament book, then a topical series. (Then we start over).
Mike considers himself to be extremely approachable, even if everybody else is afraid to tell him that. If you have any questions either Mike or Wendy would love to hear from you.