Pastor Mike came to First Presbyterian Church in May 2001.
A native of New Jersey, he holds a Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, MA and a Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA. Pastor Mike is passionate about helping FPC to grow in ministry and outreach to others and to share the love of Christ both within and outside the church. “We come from different backgrounds, yet we come together to worship God, study his Word, do ministry together and participate in greater good, a good that none of us could create or experience on our own. I count it a gift and a privilege to lead this amazing congregation.” Mike is also an accomplished musician with a Bachelor of Music from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. It was there that he came to a personal faith in Jesus through the witness of college friends and while singing some of the great sacred choral works. A hymn tune arrangement of “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” holds special meaning in his faith. He volunteers on occasion as Assistant Conductor for the Choral Arts Society of Utah. He is the father of three adult children: Mike (Karla), Lisa (Scott), and Sarah (Jason).
Pastor Mike came to a personal faith in Jesus during his college years. It was through singing some of the great hymns and sacred choral works along with the faith he saw in several college friends that he began to understand biblical Christianity. 1) That God is the Good Creator of all things; 2) that we human beings rebel against God and make a mess out of the world and of our own lives; 3) that God yet loves us by becoming a perfect human being in Jesus who then died on the cross for our forgiveness and rose again to offer life to all who trust in him; and 4) that faith is simply believing, accepting, receiving these gifts of forgiveness and new life in a real relationship with the risen Lord Jesus Christ. Creation-Fall-Redemption-Faith.
Some ten years later, Mike was encouraged by others and felt the call to serve God as a pastor. Though going through significant challenges in life, he believes that Jesus Christ is alive and active in the world and our lives exercising God’s grace, mercy and love to change lives for good both now and forever with the gift of eternal life.
Mike is an experienced pastor of more than 30 years who shares the life that Jesus offers helping and encouraging others in their life of faith.
His sermons are engaging and helpful for Christian understanding and growth in faith. The design of Sunday morning worship brings joy and meaning to the congregation as it gathers. Awareness and acknowledgment of people’s lives and their ups and downs help affirm them and assure them in their belonging to Christ and the church.
He often says that there’s a critical need to maintain and honor a high view of scripture. The Bible in its entirety and in its individual parts is God’s Word. All scripture has something important to say to our faith and life and no portion can be dismissed as irrelevant. The Bible and its message have been compromised, confused, and even abandoned in recent times. “As a responsible pastor, I wish to see ministry in worship, preaching and teaching, service and mission, fellowship and outreach informed and shaped by the Word of God.”
Both personal faith and corporate mission are essential to the Christian life and church. “A person’s ongoing personal relationship with God is my first and primary concern. Personal growth in faith and discipleship is the sustaining factor in each life. Then as a church, we are called together to do ministry, presenting the love of God and compassion of Jesus to the world around us. Social works attending to the needs of the poor and homeless are important responsibilities of God’s people in the world.”