Dale is the long-term Director of Camping Ministries at Camp Zion in Door County Wisconsin. Assisted by his wife Carol, Dale is responsible for the year-round operation of the camp extending to all summer camp sessions and year-round retreats. There is not enough room on Dale’s head for all the hats he wears as Director; he oversees every activity from marketing, repair, procuring supplies, leading the Camp Leadership Team, and even manages to play the guitar for many summer campfire sessions. Prior to assuming role as Director, Dale served as youth pastor – altogether, Dale has been in ministry at CCC for over 30 years (and he’s still a youngster!). When he manages to slip away from camp, Dale logs many miles on the bike and cross country ski trails of Door County. Dale and Carol have 3 grown children – Greg, Andrew and Rachel.
Pastor Ken loves his job! And he often says so, to the church staff and to the congregation. Since 1997, he has been Senior Pastor, utilizing his exceptional skills of preaching and teaching the Word to feed and shepherd the CCC church body. His other responsibilities are the customary duties of a senior pastor – among them counseling, visitation, and leading the church staff and Elder Board.
When he’s not preaching, he’s applying his Doctorate of Ministry in Preaching (from Denver Seminary) to teaching homiletics as an adjunct faculty at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, or furthering the cause of preaching by serving as vice-president of the Evangelical Homiletics Society. In short, he loves preaching!
He also loves the outdoors – hiking the mountains in Colorado, vacationing on the beach – and is often spotted walking to or riding his bike to work. He is devoted to his wife Jennifer, and their seven children, their spouses, and his grandson Elias.
Pastor Ken, other than the Bible, what has most impacted your life? “Hands down, The Lord of the Rings. Whatever is in second place is so far behind I can’t even see it.”
Leo has been ministering to junior and senior high students since his hire in 2004, and he is one busy guy! Through Sunday morning education, youth groups, small group Bible studies, mission trips, service projects and numerous annual retreats, Leo continually sets a high bar to challenge students in their walk with Christ, share their faith with friends and family and model Jesus’ humility through service to others.
Leo manages to fit in grad studies (MA in Youth Ministry Leadership) and a passion for reading and unpacking what he reads with others. He and his wife Andrea, along with their children Ezekiel, Zoe and Nathaniel, enjoy the outdoors and particularly love visiting waterfalls.
Leo, what book, other than the Bible, has most impacted your life? “ As crazy as this may sound, The Chronicles of Narnia and the Lord of the Rings have the longest ongoing impact in my life. Every time I read them I am captivated anew by Aslan and Aragorn and am challenged to follow Jesus more fully.”
Terri joined CCC staff in 2011, first as Fine Arts Coordinator, and then as Director of Children’s Ministry in 2012. Her passion for children is what makes her so good at what she does, as her love and joy for Jesus influence everything she does on behalf of the children and children’s staff. And this woman can throw a party! From Sunday School picnics, to Valentine’s Day Teas, to a October Hoe-Down, CCC’s kids are kept busy as well as connected and more importantly, are shown Jesus through every event that she plans.
Terri also finds joy in her husband Steve, her daughter Jessica and new son-in-law Stephen. When Terri is not planning new ways to bless the children of CCC, she enjoys walking and biking by the lake with Steve, and meeting with and encouraging her many friends.
It would be hard to find anyone with more of a missions passion than our Missions Pastor Mike McDowell. Since 2000, Dr. Mike (PhD in Religion and Society) has shepherded the mission team and our mission partners around the world, building on his prior experience as a missionary in Indonesia and the Philippines. Five years ago, Pastor Mike added another “hat”, dividing his time between serving CCC and serving as the Executive Director of Zion Evangelical Ministries of Africa, a ministry focused on teaching the Bible to millions of people in southern Africa.
His co-worker in the kingdom is his wife, Donna – together they have raised their children Daniel, Jennifer and David. His family has now grown to include three spouses and two granddaughters. If he is not sharing the gospel or preparing others to do so, you will find him serving as the local police chaplain, a commissioner for the Zion Park District, or on the links perfecting his golf swing.
Mike, what is the most unique situation you have been in? “Actually, there are many so I’ll choose one. Being on a commercial flight over triple canopy jungle and having the pilot say he is lost. Not only that but he managed to lock himself out of the cockpit while the plane was on autopilot. He had to break the door down with an axe to get in and fly the plane!”
In response to our church’s vision to “extend the welcoming love of God in our multi-ethnic community”, Eliel Rojas was hired as our first Pastor of Hispanic ministries in 2007. Pastor Eliel serves our Hispanic members in many different ways, among them teaching the Spanish Adult Bible Fellowship, translating the worship service, hosting social events, teaching ESL classes, and counseling in Spanish. But he’s not limited to just Spanish-speaking ministry, serving to coordinate CCC’s Outreach programs, including visitor follow-up, counseling, leading new member classes, and hospital visitation.
Prior to joining the staff at CCC, Eliel served as a missionary in Paraguay with his wife Lori and also served as pastor to a Hispanic congregation in Melrose Park, IL. Eliel attended the Bible Seminary of Mexico where he obtained a bachelors degree in theology and then went on to grad school at Moody where he earned his M.A. in Intercultural Studies. He also has counseling training from the Institute for Nouthetic Studies. Since coming to CCC his family has grown to include his three children, Lorelle, Eliel Joseph and Adam.
Jan, what is the most unique situation that you’ve ever been in? “Hmmm…being capsized on Lake Michigan while 8 months pregnant with a toddler or being hit by lightning…not sure which, but by the grace of God I am still here, thrilled to be serving Him!”
Melissa, what’s your favorite song for singing in the car? “Almost anything. You know that quote, “Dance like no-one’s watching. Sing like no-one’s listening…” that is me to an EXTREME when I’m in the car. But it has to be dark out because the dancing can get a little intense behind the wheel.”
Wanda, what is your favorite Bible passage, and why? “My favorite passage of Scripture is Psalm 40:1-3. I memorized this passage a long long time ago and can relate to it completely. God says that, ‘… he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him,’ and that is exactly what He did for me.”
JC, what’s the most unique situation you’ve ever been in? “One of two actually: I was 20ft up in a bucket lift, cutting a tree down. The 200lb section I was cutting fell the wrong way hitting me in the head, knocking me out. When I recovered 5 minutes later, I finished cutting the tree down before my boss insisted I go to the hospital. Or… I got shot in the finger with a 16 penny nail the day before Christmas (snowing and minus 10 degrees outside) I had to change a flat tire on my van (with the nail sticking out of my finger) before driving myself to the ER in Crystal Lake. It’s a toss-up. Both a bit unique.”
Donna has been a music stalwart in the area for many years, contributing her considerable talents in numerous musical venues over the years. After graduating from Millikin University with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Instrumental Music Education, she went on to complete her Masters in Piano Performance. She assumed the role of Director of the Zion Conservatory in 2008. You’ll often find Donna at the keyboard as a piano teacher as well as an accompanist for students, musicals, local orchestras, and has even served as director of the Zion Chamber Orchestra in the past. When she finds time outside of her music responsibilities, she keeps busy with her family and travel. “My goal in teaching is to help each of my students discover and develop their unique talents and to help channel their musical growth in Christ-honoring and community service venues.”
Mary has been teaching in early childhood for over 20 years, taking a few years off to begin raising her family. Mary joined the Circle Center staff in 2000 working with the 3 year olds and later moved to the 4 and 5 year old class. She became director in 2007 to ensure the continuity of the ministry. She is married to Tom and has 3 daughters and a stepson. Mary has an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood and is planning on finishing the last of her Bachelor’s Degree in the next year or so. She has taught in both preschool and day care programs, gleaning whatever she can and bringing it with her to seek a quality, God pleasing program. In her free time, you can find Mary doing a wide variety of activities, including reading, cooking, crafting, camping and enjoying family time.
Dextor Knox- Dex, what is the best part of your job at CCC? “Taking care of God’s house!”
Henry Gonzalez -Henry, what is your favorite smell? “Banana!”