Born in Northern Indiana, the second son to a Pastor and his wife, I learned all about cold winters, hot summers, getting good grades, loving sports, and how to be a “proper” Pastor’s Kid (PK). I learned how the church can love their Spiritual Leader, disagree with him, pat him on the back with encouragement, ask him to resign, and then have God place him in another church to start all over again. I told myself as a kid, “I never want to work in a church, that’s for sure!” Once I graduated from High School, I packed my bags and moved to Hawaii to attend the University and live with relatives who were also a Pastor’s family. While getting my Bachelors of Education, I was actively involved with two church-plants and two on-campus ministries at UH. A prestigious private school in Honolulu, Punahoe, offered me a three year teaching position immediately after college and I accepted but headed right back into “church work” once my contract expired. It was at a church where I was serving as an Associate Pastor that I met Sandy Whang who became my wife. She was a flight attendant based out of Chicago who wanted to move back to Hawaii and our plans seemed solid until I received an offer for us to move to Chicago to pursue a Masters Degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Since getting my Master’s of Divinity, we have planted churches in Colorado, California, and Utah, and worked as Youth Ministers in Chicago and California, and been a Senior Pastor in California, and Utah.
I have been the Pastor at South Valley for the past three years. I am excited about what this church has to offer our geographical area and the general Christian Community as a whole. We have people who love the Lord and love each other. We are learning to love and accept new people into our comfortable family which is vital for healthy growth. We have talented musicians and teachers using their gifts to Praise God and Equip God’s Servants. South Valley Community Church really is a Safe Place to Find God!
Attended a Methodist church as a child. Less focused on Christ during teenage and early adult life. The seeds my Grandparents planted in me about the Lord germinated, when I committed to Christ months after marriage to Atsuko. We were baptzised during the same ceremony in Denver, Colorado. After a 2 year stay in St. Charles, Missouri, we moved to Salt lake City in 1995. We have been at South Valley Community Church since 1999. Both helping out in the various ministries over the years. We have two teenage boys and a Golden Lab, who thinks he is human.
Currently coming up on a year of serving as an Elder in the areas of Failities, Hospitality and Celebrate Recovery. In the book of Mathew, Chapter 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” As South Valley Community Church members have said over the years, “Come as you are!”
I have known Christ nearly my entire life but it wasn’t until I came to South Valley did I feel the His presence in my life.
I have been married to my wife Mary, for 37 years. We’ve had 5 children, 4 surviving, all now living here in Utah.
After moving to Utah, South Valley Church became our home in 2004, it has truly become a ‘family’ experience. In addition to serving as an Elder, my time at SVCC is spent working with our dedicated leaders in Nursery through Adventureland and Small Groups. I also provide video support for Sunday and Worship Wednesday services.
Need inspiration? see Romans Chap 8: 31-32 If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things.
My relationship with Christ started when I was 17, and a junior in high school. Although life is not always easy, and there have been challenges, I will keep following Him. Peter said it best in John 6:68 “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” I married the love of my life, Sheila, in 1980, and have loved every minute. We have 4 children. Two have already married and moved out on their own. South Valley Church became our home in 1995.
Over the years I have served in Adventureland, Youth, and on the worship team. Currently our marvelous youth in Merge and Dash have dibs on my time. And of course, serving as an elder for the next little while. What a great place to call my church home!