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What made you want to become a pastor?

Honestly, for much of my young adult life, I didn’t want to be. My dad was a pastor, and his family is full of pastors and so I wanted to do something different. And yet God, was persistent in the call to ministry. Finally, while at Luther college, after much prayer and some great conversations with formative people in my life, that nagging and persistent call to ministry was affirmed and I made the decision go pursue seminary after undergrad.  

Did you grow up in a religious setting?

Yes, I grew up as a part of a Lutheran Church in the ELCA just outside of Columbus, Ohio and my dad was one of the pastors that served on staff. 

What is your favorite part of your job?

I have the privilege of being with people during some of the most holy, sacred, wonderful moments of their lives. On a weekly basis I am interacting with people from the very start of their life on Earth and until their final moments on Earth. When I stop to think about it, I am in awe of the work that God has called me to do in walking with the people of our congregation and beyond.  

Where do you get your Sunday sermon inspiration from?

Great question! It various from week to week depending on what is going on in our community and in our world. But during the week it might be a movie, or a powerful news story, or a commercial, or a conversation with someone, or a Tik Tok video, or something that I read, or a walk round my neighborhood video that triggers a train of thought and relates to the Gospel lesson for the week. The beautiful thing about the Spirit is that it is everywhere and can inspire through the most ordinary and extraordinary moments.  

What are some of your favorite Bible passages?

This changes often which passages are my favorite depending on what is going on in my own life of faith, but one passage that I always come back to is Romans 8:38-39. In this passage the Apostle Paul reflects on the love of God that is present in Jesus and reminds the readers in Rome, and us today, that there is absolutely nothing that we can ever say or do that would remove us or take us out of the reach of God’s love for us. That is good news indeed! 

What outreach ministries does your church participate in?

In the last two years we have gotten really connected with St. Francis Episcopal Church on Rosemont Road and have helped sustain their food pantry through gifts of our congregation. We have also gotten connected with People in Need (PiN) Ministry which assists and provides loving care to the homeless community in Virginia Beach. Each year we participate in their Winter Shelter program and we host the homeless for a week in the winter. Each year we have done a drive for school supplies and other needs for students at nearby elementary schools. Other outreach ministries and causes are brought to us by congregation members and considered by our Spring Team which is in charge of our outreach ministries. We are open to any and all suggestions for how bless the community around us with the gifts that we have been given by God! 

If someone has a concern or question about their faith what is the best way to address it with the staff?             

Get in touch with our office by either emailing Robyn, our administrative assistant, at, call the office phone (757) 340-3866, or email me directly at I LOVE questions about faith and helping people wrestle them. I believe it is one of the ways that we grow deeper in our faith is our ability and willingness to ask questions frequently!  

Describe Emmanuel Lutheran Church in one sentence.            

Emmanuel is not perfect, (Thank God!) but it is a warm, welcoming, affirming, loving congregation that is striving to live, to love, to serve, and to give like Jesus each day. 

Since moving to Virginia Beach, what's your favorite place to visit?

We love any chance that we get to be at the oceanfront and be on the beach. Other than that, anywhere that has good food and good beer! 

How do you spend your free time?

My wife, Nichole, and I love to go eat good food, explore new places we haven’t been in the Hampton Roads area, and check out new breweries with our Bernese Mountain dogs. Since moving to Virginia from the frozen tundra of Minnesota, I have invested a lot more time trying to improve my golf game which I am thrilled I am able to play year-round here. 

Reminder: We meet every Sunday at 9:30 AM for worship. If you perfer to worship from home, our services are streamed on Facebook and on YouTube each Sunday morning. Hope to see you soon!