Youth Ministry Team
To discern vision and provide direction for Church of God Youth Ministries in North America
The Youth Ministry Team (YMT) came into existence to help support local Church of God congregations in their ministry with youth. This team gives much-needed representation for youth ministry across the United States and Canada. The leader of Youth and Family Ministries at Church of God Ministries in Anderson, IN, leads the team.
Andy Stephenson - IYC Director and YMT Director
Andy holds a bachelor’s degree from Mid-America Christian University, a master’s degree from Oklahoma State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Andy came on staff as the leader of Youth and Family Ministries at Church of God Ministries in Anderson, IN in 2001. Andy's desire to raise up Christ-centered disciples led him to write Smooth Hand Offs – passing the baton of faith to the next generation, a challenge to individuals and leaders to pass the baton of faith to the next generations.
Andy and his wife Candace were married in 2005 and had their first daughter in 2007 and their second little princess in 2012.
Andy is passionate about teenagers and seeing God use them to impact their world. He speaks to youth in various settings across the world and is focused on helping to raise up a new generation of Christ-centered disciples.
Contact Andy at firstname.lastname@example.org
Josh has been working with students in ministry since 2003. He graduated from Warner University in 2006, and he’ll be studying at Asbury Theological Seminary for a very, very long time. His wife Rachel is a mental health counselor and very good looking (yes, Josh wrote this bio himself). Together, they serve the students of the South Daytona, Florida community at White Chapel Church of God and Warner Christian Academy. Their son, Zeke was born in 2008 and believes that flip-flops are really called “youth pastor shoes.” Josh believes that a strong, connected student ministry is a key indicator of a congregation’s ability to effectively reach its community. Josh also serves on Florida’s Student Ministry Team.
Contact Josh at email@example.com
RW has been working with students since 1998. Currently, he serves as the Pastor of Student and Family Ministries at Parkgate Community Church in Pasadena, Texas. Born and raised in Lansing, Mich., RW graduated from Anderson University with a degree in Christian Ministries in 1998. RW, his wife Joy and their two children, Caleb and Madeline, enjoy hockey and camping together. RW serves as the Director of the Texas State Youth Convention and Program Director of a new and innovative student leadership program being developed for students in the state of Texas.
On the side, RW serves the local Boy Scouts of America Cub Scout Pack. This leadership opportunity has been a great avenue for ministry. RW believes that students today are thirsty to know, grow and share the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Contact RW at firstname.lastname@example.org
Adam Rentas is the student ministries pastor at First Church of God in St. Joe, Michigan. He was born and raised in Seattle, Washington, and later attended Calvary Chapel Bible College in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 2003, Adam answered the call to full-time ministry and joined the staff at a church in Northern California, where he served for nine years before moving to Florida in 2012. In September of 2016, he moved to Michigan to start a new journey as student ministries pastor at First Church of God. Adam is passionate about introducing students to Jesus and empowering the next generation of Christ-centered disciples. Adam and his wife Rachel were married in 2003 and have four amazing children. He enjoys time with his family, Seattle Seahawks football, offshore fishing, and playing softball.
He can be reached at Adam.R@myfirstchurch.org
Chris and his wife Candi have been in student ministry since 1986. After graduating from Warner Pacific College, Chris invested his first four years at College Park Church of God in Long Beach, CA.
In 1990, he started at the First Church of God in Saint Joseph, Mich., where he continues to lead student ministries. He also leads worship and speaks for retreats, camps and conferences. The most fulfilling aspect of ministry for Chris is to help people discover a passion to use their gifts and abilities to lead and serve others.
Contact Chris at email@example.com
Youth Network Team
To build a network of youth leaders in the Church of God, together raising up a new generation of Christ-centered leaders
The Youth Network Team (YNT) came into existence to help fulfill the vision of the North American Youth Ministries of the Church of God. It consists of qualified, gifted Church of God youth ministry practitioners distributed regionally across the United States and Canada. The leader of Youth and Family Ministries at Church of God Ministries in Anderson, Indiana heads up the team.
Western States Region
Alaska–Arizona–California–Colorado–Hawaii–Idaho–Montana–Nevada–New Mexico–Oregon–Utah–Washington–Western Canada–Wyoming
John has served in youth ministry since 2005 at Hillside Church of God in South San Francisco in California. John has been married to his wife Veronica since 2007; they have four energetic young children. He obtained his youth ministry degree from Patten University in Oakland, California. John has a passion to see youth commit their lives to a relationship with Jesus. He also has a heart for the fatherless; whether in suburban or urban context, a lack of a positive male role model leaves a great emotional wound for any youth. In his free time, John loves hanging out with his kids, as well as trying to squeeze in quality time with his wife.
Contact John at jtaulealo@Hotmail.com
Chris is currently the Associate Pastor of Student Ministries at North Modesto Church of God in Modesto, California. He was born and raised in Fresno, California. He received his degree in Church Ministries from Patten University. He married his best friend Katie in 2003. They are both proud parents of 3 incredible children. The youngest one is the only girl so their family motto for her is #sidehugstillsheis30. The family has been serving in youth ministry since 2002, and at North Modesto since 2012. Chris is passionate about extending the love of Christ, building authentic, outward relationships with students, so they might experience an inward relationship with Christ. He is also passionate about mentoring. He coaches youth football and basketball to fulfill the gap of mentorship in the lives of young people. The Leon family time usually includes playing or watching sports and something on the grill. Chris’ hobbies include grilling, sports and collecting and listening to vinyl records.
Contact Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org
Connecticut–Delaware–Eastern Canada–Maine–Massachusetts–Maryland–New Hampshire–New Jersey–New York–Pennsylvania–Rhode Island–Vermont–Virginia–Washington D.C.–West Virginia
Kyle has served as pastor to students at Fairfax Community Church, outside Washington, DC, since 1997. He’s been involved in student ministry for more than twenty years. Kyle believes that students can lead now and that God has uniquely gifted each person to make an impact in the world. Kyle has been married to Loretta since 1991; they have two children. Outside of ministry, you can find Kyle running or on his boat.
Contact Kyle at email@example.com
Jessica has served as Pastor to Students at Fairfax Community Church in Fairfax, Virginia since 2008. She has a Masters in Theological Studies from Wesley Theological Seminary, and was ordained in 2015. The most energizing part of her job is walking alongside teenagers as they wrestle with making their faith their own. She married Kevin in 2015. When she’s not buying coffee for the nearest teenager she can find, she’s running, reading, or in yoga.
Contact Jessica at firstname.lastname@example.org
Central States Region
Arkansas–Iowa–Kansas–Louisiana–Minnesota–Missouri–Nebraska–North Dakota–Oklahoma–South Dakota–Texas–Wisconsin
Alabama–Georgia–Florida–Kentucky–Mississippi–North Carolina–South Carolina–Tennessee
Mickey has served in student ministry since 1998. He graduated from Warner Southern College in 2001 with a degree in Church Ministries. He grew up in Blacksburg VA, and is a huge Virginia Tech fan. He and Robyn were married in 1999, and they have two beautiful girls. Together, they serve the students at Bayside Church, in Safety Harbor, Florida. He also serves on the Florida Student Ministry team. In his free time, Mickey loves watching college football, hanging out with his family, and going to the beach.
Contact Mickey at email@example.com
Great Lakes Region
Tyler has been ministering to teenagers in full-time ministry since January 2013. He is currently the youth pastor at BridgeWater Church in Hamilton, Ohio. He has a passion for investing in next-generation leaders and watching teenagers realize God’s unique call on their life. Tyler continually looks for ways to teach, coach, and mentor students in biblical teaching, desiring to help them grow in their relationship with God. His goal is to help them be successful as they follow the call God has placed on their lives.
Before entering full-time ministry, Tyler earned a bachelor’s degree in youth ministry from Anderson University. While attending AU, he had the opportunity to serve in youth ministry under the leadership of Mark Shaner, at East Side Church of God; Joshua Weiger, at Park Place Church of God; and Andy Stephenson, at Church of God Ministries.
Last but not least, Tyler is married to the love of his life, Jen. He enjoys playing basketball, ultimate Frisbee, and guitar, as well as reading comic books.
Contact Tyler at firstname.lastname@example.org
Nathanael has been serving as the Student Ministries Pastor at Salem Church of God in Clayton, OH since the spring of 2013. He has an overwhelming passion for investing in the lives of students, parents, and student ministry volunteers. Nathanael is committed to teaching students that they have the capacity in their world right now to make a difference and change their community in the name of Jesus.
Before entering full time ministry, Nathanael received his bachelor’s degrees in Education and History from Anderson University in 2012. He had the privilege of serving at Madison Park Church of God under Gretchen Dedina and Eric Reeder as a volunteer.
Outside of ministry, Nathanael has been married to his amazing wife, Kimmi, since 2013. He loves movies, music, Seattle sports (Go Hawks!), and playing basketball, soccer, and softball (even if he doesn’t play them well).
Contact Nathanael at email@example.com