I was born January 29, 1942 in East Germany. My father was killed in the offensive against Russia during World War II, and as a result, I was raised for most of my early years, without a father. In 1950, with the sponsorship and resources of my aunt, my mother and brother and I immigrated to the United States, settling in Los Angeles, California, and attending her church, the then 15th Street Baptist Church.
In 1952, I attended Hume Lake Conference camp, and through the preaching of the missionary, Dr. Paul Gebauer, I fully understood the biblical teaching of my sinfulness and the need of a savior. After some struggle, I responded in faith and accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord, experiencing personally the wonderful love of my heavenly Father. I was then baptized by Reverend Middlestead.
In 1953, my mother remarried; we moved to Anaheim and joined the Bethel Baptist church. For four years, I grew in my maturity under the influence of pastors, teachers and friends. When Reverend Jacksteit envisioned church planting in the western part of Anaheim, Pastor Ken Fischer, the youth pastor, assumed its pastorate and our family joined in that new venture of faith. The church became a surrogate family for me, and with its teaching and training, I grew in my understanding of the faith and attempted to make Christ known on my high school campus.
During my high school testing and counseling program, I had decided upon a career in aeronautical engineering, yet in the summer prior to my senior year, I waged a battle for the future direction of my life. Though I had very positive experience in the church, I really did not have an interest in going into the ministry. Yet I sensed a pull toward ministry in my life, which I did not want to acknowledge. The battle culminated in my making a good faith submission to the Lord that if He really did want my life, I would give it. The peace that came over me indicated that I had made the right choice I went into preparation for ministry and service, and these have been the most wonderful 50 years I could imagine. In submitting my life to God, I never imagined I would find so much joy and fulfillment in His service!
I graduated from Biola University in History and received a Masters of Divinity at North American Baptist Seminary in Sioux Falls, SD. After that I did graduate work in Sociology at Portland State University and received an M.A. in Social Ethics at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA.
My wife, Kathy was brought to our Anaheim church by a friend and we were married February 29, 1965. Our 3 children and 9 grandchildren are a joy! They are all serving God and have made the extended family a real blessing to our lives!
I am currently the Senior Executive Pastor at Lincoln Presbyterian Church in Stockton, CA. I also served as the Regional Minister for the NAB’s Northern California region and as a trustee board member for Sioux Falls Seminary and Western Seminary.
Here are 10 things you may or may not know about me:
- I love to read books about our world and our God.
- I love Sports of all kinds, but not the silly interviews.
- I love to cook, but not clean up. ☺
- Travel with a purpose is good and I really enjoy the ocean, lakes and rivers.
- I love my family…they are a great gift to me.
- I am a fixer at heart and have always tried to figure out how things work and then fix them
when they do not work.
- I used to work on cars all the time….but as I have gotten older and as cars have
changed, I only do minor items.
- I have always been a people person, so I continue to meet with people and correspond
with them. A cup of coffee with a friend is a real treat to me. Sharing one’s thoughts face-to-
face or with some electronic form, is very satisfying.
- The work of the Lord is the greatest thing I can give to myself. Making God ‘clear’ to people is a challenge which bears much fruit.
- I’m in a singing group named the Journeymen Quartet and we have traveled to many
churches over the last 50 years.
I stay engaged in His work to this day. As the chorus says: Since I started for the kingdom, since my life He controls, since I gave my heart to Jesus, the longer I serve Him, the sweeter He grows.