When asked what his favorite part of WMC is, Jim immediately responds with, “Kids!” He and his wife Amy have a heart for children, and despite their struggles through infertility, God has allowed them to adopt, not once, but four times and to have the opportunity to influence all the children and families at WMC.
It’s only fitting that Jim and Amy came to WMC in 1994 after they were first invited to a children’s Christmas program. During that season of life, Jim worked with GTE/Verizon, Target, and been a stay-at-home dad. Now he invests his time in kids. “I love spending time with kids,” he says. “I love investing in them and teaching the Gospel to them.” He also plans events for children and comes alongside parents learning how to disciple their children.
When he isn’t working with children and their parents at WMC, Jim spends time with family and friends, watching the Indianapolis Colts, Cincinnati Reds, and Indiana Hoosiers. He also enjoys working on the house and yard. His kids are also a major focus of his time, as he watches his kids in whatever activity they compete. The family also loves Disney World and would go every year if they could it. For his sake, it’s probably for the better. He recounts one memory, “I was punched by Miss Piggy at Disney World when I mentioned I was craving pork chops.”
Jim loves that there is a focus on teaching the Word of God at WMC, and the friendships he and Amy have developed are evidence of God’s faithfulness as they have helped carry them through some dark chapters of their life. “From leading me to Amy when I had given up finding someone and turned it over to him, to getting us through infertility, to blessing us with the opportunity to adopt not once but 4 times, to so many other ways God came through for us, God is so good!” he explains. “Because of that, I know that whatever lays ahead, I will get through it because God will be walking through it with me.”
Gary has served on our church staff since July of 2004. He coordinates all adult ministries including Sunday morning FLOCKS groups, men's ministry and women's ministry. Gary earned a Bachelors Degree from Indiana University and was involved in middle management in the corporate world prior to joining our team. Gary has a passion for helping people "take their next step" in their relationship with Jesus. He also enjoys hiking, sports, and coaching his boys. Gary and his wife, Stephanie, are the parents of three sons.
Pastor Bert joined the Woodburn Missionary Church staff in Fall of 2014. Prior to his leadership at WMC, he served as the President of GO InterNational and continues to serve as an ambassador for the ministry in the role of Past President. Pastor Bert has also served as the Director of Leadership and Church Ministries and the Chaplain for the Christian Medical and Dental Associations. He also planted Harvest Community Church outside Pittsburgh, PA. Pastor Bert has a passion for preaching, teaching, discipleship, missions and leadership development. He has had the opportunity to travel internationally to over 31 different countries as an ambassador of the Gospel message. He and his wife Cheryl have been married since 1989 and have been serving the Lord together full time in Christian ministry for over twenty-five years. They have three children: Joshua, Allyson and Aaron. Pastor Bert also co authored the book "Leadership Proverbs."
“I can’t remember my life before the Lord,” Tina says, “and I wouldn’t want to ever live a day without his grace, love, strength and mercy.” The faith in Christ that Tina first experienced as a child is evident in her passionate work with children at WMC.
Tina joined the WMC community in 2011 when her family was looking for a church where they could be actively involved that was a little closer to home. Since then, she has joined the team and leads the elementary portion of our Children’s Ministry. “I love worshiping and singing praise songs with the kids,” she explains.
She wasn’t always in Children’s Ministry, however. She originally thought she would be going into the medical field, attending Bronson School of Nursing in Kalamazoo, MI, and Western Michigan University for a year and another at Lutheran College in Fort Wayne before deciding nursing was not where she was called. Her love for children didn’t wane, however. She had the chance to work in the Post-Partum Unit and Nursery at Parkview Hospital.
She also married her husband Tim, and together they have served in youth and children’s ministry for over 26 years, including volunteering their time to run a children’s ministry at their previous church for five years. They have also raised three children and have one grandson, all of whom they love having back home for dinner and movie nights.
When Tina is not hosting movie nights for her family or worshiping Jesus with children on Sundays, she can be found decorating her home, and she loves to host parties.
God’s leading has been consistent through all of the unexpected turns over the years, but it is clear that he has a plan that involves her love for children. “Faith is a lifelong journey with its mountaintop experiences and its valleys, yet through it all He is faithful!”
When asked about her favorite part of WMC, Bethany emphatically answered, “The people!” It was the recommendation from those in the Woodburn community that drew her family to attend in 2009, and she loves to continue serving with that same community. “After our first visit, we knew we had come to the right place,” she added. “Being part of the community of believers at WMC has given me an opportunity to continue to learn and grown in my faith.”
Professionally, Bethany is a CPA with a bachelor’s of science and master’s of accountancy from Bowling Green State University. Prior to coming on board with the WMC staff, she has held positions at a range of companies from Ernst & Young, one of the big accounting firms, to a local Ag co-op and an orthopedic company. Most recently, she has been a stay-at-home mom who does bookkeeping jobs on the side.
Since 2016, Bethany has served as the bookkeeper for WMC. “Although my role doesn’t fall into the ‘traditional’ idea of ministry,” she notes, “I love that I can do something I enjoy and something I am good at to further the work of the church.”
Bethany grew up in a Christ-centered home, and she accepted Christ as a child. Being a mom allows her to instill that same faith in her family. That family consists of her husband Greg and their four very active children. Most of the couple’s free time is spent watching the children’s many activities, which include dance, basketball, golf, softball, baseball, football, and volleyball. When they aren’t attending sports events, they enjoy traveling together and just relaxing at home with pizza and a movie.
If you were to catch her outside of WMC, besides spending time with her family, you’d likely find her reading a book because of how much she loves it. She also loves the beach, chocolate, and Ohio State football. On the other hand, you won’t find her spending much time with birds, or find her eating sushi.
While Justin acknowledged Jesus as his Savior when he was young, everything changed when he surrendered to his LORD. A natural leader, Justin came to recognize who he needed to be following. “The day that my heart truly surrendered to God’s plan for my life was the last day I held tightly to my dreams, my plans, and my hopes,” Justin remembers. “I wanted nothing other than the path God has been waiting for me to run down!”
Justin recognized his passion for leadership while he was in a professional career path in sales that led to promotions and moves for his family. He received his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics & Physics from Madonna University in 2005. From there he experienced what leadership meant in the workplace, including developing mentors he has even today. “I loved leading people, and I enjoyed optimizing how we did things to have maximum impact,” he recounts. “I learned quickly that leadership was less about power and titles and more about relationships and influence.”
In 2012, Justin and his wife Kyleigh and their children began to attend WMC. He had begun working with Youth for Christ in the area and felt led to be attending church with the people they were doing life with. “We were committed to doing church with the people God has placed in our circle, Justin explains, “and that place turned out to be WMC.”
Justin has worked with students at WMC since 2013, and it’s evident through his love for the youth ministry team and the culture they are building among the teens. His favorite part of his work is seeing students and leaders take the next step in their faith, trusting God and taking chances. “It is powerful to watch someone do what God has gifted them to do,” he adds, “watch the joy it brings them, and imagine the joy it gives our Heavenly Father.”
Outside of working with students, Justin loves spending time with his family. They enjoy board games, road trips, adventures in the woods, camping, bonfires, and just being outside.
Gerald has been in pastoral ministry for over sixty years. He served as senior pastor at Woodburn Missionary Church for 22 years, retiring in 1988. Gerald's unwavering commitment to his family, the Lord, and ministry is a tremendous testimony to Jesus followers everywhere.
If you were to ask Steven to summarize his story in a short statement, he would say that “it’s a story of God working to accomplish the impossible.” When following the typical high school to college path proved to be impossible, God opened the door for him to work in the automotive business by day and serve as a volunteer youth pastor and assistant pastor in various smaller churches in the evenings and on the weekends.
In 2004, God opened a door for him to serve as a short-term missionary in Ghana, West Africa. “God took my selfish, entitled, highly opinionated yet uninformed outlook on life and blew it up,” he says as he reflects on this experience.
After finances failed to come together to pursue a traditional four-year degree, God created an opportunity for him to gain valuable seminary training through the Missionary Church’s Pastoral Leadership Institute.
In 2009, he joined our team in a part-time role as Business Manager. After serving at WMC for five-and-a-half years, it seemed that the only opportunity for full-time employment would mean leaving WMC. The impossible became possible once again, and we invited Steven to transition into a full-time role as Associate Pastor.
On Sundays, you will find him interacting with people in our cafe, greeting at one of our main entrances with his family, serving up front in a worship service, or teaching and preaching in a worship service or class. During the week, you will find him working on a creative project, a communications piece, or working to ensure that we have the administrative resources that are needed to effectively accomplish our mission.
In his spare time, Steven would tell you that he’d like to have a warm sunny road, eight cylinders under the hood, a Hurst shifter in the right hand, and high octane in the fuel tank. For now, though, he and his wife Lindsey are satisfied with investing in their four small children, saying, “I think our kids run on high octane!”
Sam has served in the area of Music Ministry since 1990 in churches in both Indiana and Ohio. He became part of our ministry team in 2002. Sam is a skilled worship leader, and has further training in technical ministry as well. He graduated from Anderson University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Church Music. Besides his giftedness in music ministries, Sam serves the church in the area of video production and computer technology. Sam is a "tech" kind of guy and enjoys computers and gadgets. He and his wife, Mary, are the parents of two daughters.
Greg comes from a broken family, but that’s not where his story ends. “Jesus took my life and put it back together,” he shares. “By His grace, He has enabled me to be more than I could ever be on my own. He has given me a wonderful wife and family and helped me overcome my weaknesses.”
Greg and his wife, Brenda, have been married for over 40 years. Their family includes their two children and their spouses and four grandchildren. In 1992, the solid youth program and Biblical teaching brought their family to WMC. “This church preaches and teaches the Word of God, the Bible. That is huge for us,” he explains.
His favorite part of his role at WMC is being able to share God’s Word and praying for those in need. “Over time, the caring relationships become part of our lives, like a big family,” he adds. “It has been a great place to serve and grow.”
Greg has had a couple of stops on the road to being a pastor. He has a Journeyman’s Card for Tool and Die, Respiratory Therapy training, and a Bachelor’s of Science in Pastoral Ministries from Summit Christian College. He has been in manufacturing support for tool and die, in physical therapy, and in an orthopedic operating room. He also served as an associate pastor at Westwood Fellowship for 3 years.
Outside of his time with WMC, Greg enjoys spending time with his family, target shooting, and jogging. He’s even finished three full marathons.