Pastor Ian is originally from the state of Washington, graduating from Washington State University in 1996 with a BS in Psychology. Ian joined the army in the fall of 1997 to be an infantryman, because who does not grow up wanting to be an enlisted infantryman in the U.S. Army? Five years later it was off to join Special Forces when the army in its infinite wisdom decided he could no longer stay on the front lines, instead wanting to send him to be a Drill Sergeant, Ranger Instructor, or Recruiter. None of which were very appealing!
Pastor Ian spent the next four years in the 7th Special Forces Group (A) at FT Bragg, NC where he met his wife, Stephanie. Later adopting Stephanie’s son G-reg as his own and making the decision that he could no longer be a Green Beret and the father/husband God called him to be. The army demanded too much and it was interfering with the call to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
After a slight detour in Asheville, NC as a failed financial advisor during the government induced market crash, Pastor Ian and his family moved to Virginia where he worked for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) for seven years. It was during this time that seminary became a viable option. Ian spent three years working full time, coaching basketball and baseball, and attending Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary (LBTS) where he earned an MA in Religion and M.Div in Pastoral Ministry. Pastor Ian found seminary to be one of the most fulfilling periods of his life and something more people would truly enjoy and find valuable. Even if they had no intentions of going into a full-time ministry type position. The theological exposure and structured learning of a seminary cannot be replicated very easily on ones own time.
During all this time the Lord’s call was never clear on where to plant a new church. This was a constant source of struggle and discouragement because so many of his fellow seminary students knew exactly where they were going and what they were going to do after graduation. It took six months of prayer to discover God was calling Pastor Ian to the Upper Peninsula (UP) in Michigan and another eight months to get here. Many people view the UP as a place to leave, but for those dedicated souls that make it their home year round, it is a special place. Pastor Ian and his wife Stephanie have fallen in love with the UP, its people, and its special place in the world, wanting nothing more than to see the people of the UP come to a saving relationship in Christ Jesus.