Pastor Drew grew up in a non-Christian, alcoholic home in Phoenix. When he was in the eighth grade his dad found sobriety through Alcoholics Anonymous. His sponsor in AA was a Christian. Soon, both his dad and mom became Christians and began attending Bethany Bible Church. Drew had already begun to abuse alcohol in the fourth grade and drugs in eighth grade. During his junior year in high school he observed that, while his life was a mess, his parents lives were steadily improving. That observation led Drew to begin attending Bethany Bible Church’s youth group. Within six months Drew understood that God loved him and desired a personal relationship with him. It was at that time that Drew believed in Jesus Christ for salvation.
As Drew’s walk with Christ grew so did his passion to serve and teach. Teaching fueled his fire to know the Word of God so upon graduating from Sunnyslope High School he entered Arizona College of the Bible (ACB). At that time Drew’s plans were still to join his father in business. The plan was for one year in Bible college to study God’s Word followed by a business degree from ASU.
In the summer of 1984 he traveled to Germany where he served alongside Bethany missionaries, Brad and Debbie Ellgen, who were with Cadence International. After that summer Drew knew he wanted to go into full time ministry. He returned to ACB. After his sophomore year he took a year off to intern again with the Ellgens in Germany, ministering to soldiers far from home.
In 1987, Drew married Shelly Smith. After he graduated from ACB, they moved to Okinawa, Japan, to serve with Cadence International and minister to Marines and Airmen. They lived in Okinawa for thirteen years. Drew and his family returned from Okinawa in 2004 to minister and serve at Bethany Bible Church as an associate pastor. Bethany had been his home church since salvation. From 2011 through January 2014, Drew served on staff at Desert Springs Bible Church as an associate pastor.
Drew and Shelly have four children: Rebecca is 24 years old and recently graduated from Moody Bible Institute. Caleb is 21 years old, married to Carrie, and is in the Arizona Army National Guard as an MP. He recently served in Afghanistan. Hannah is 19 years old and is in her second year at Paradise Valley Community College. She hopes to go into social work. Sarah is 16 years old and is a junior at Paradise Valley High School. Drew and Shelly also currently have two foster children. Kaleb is 12 months old, and Kimmy is 14 months old. They are working to adopt Kaleb and will change his name to Samson.
Drew’s main hobby is motorcycles. This has aided Drew in his desire to know people far from God and share the gospel with them. Through his love for motorcycles and lost people God has led Drew into the traditional Motorcycle Club world. Drew has gained a platform of trust and respect in this community and now has many opportunities to share God’s love with people.
Drew feels the call to lead a church. His passions are preaching, teaching others to serve God in authentic ways, and helping to connect those far from God to the Church where they may hear the message of grace.
After serving four years in the U.S. Air Force, Dave returned to central Ohio and attended Ohio State University Mansfield Campus. His degree is in Business and Marketing. Dave then sold industrial pumps and became a District Sales Manager for a large pump company. Dave and his family moved to Aurora, Illinois and he covered 14 states as the sales manager.
In 1984 through a series of events Dave and his wife Leslie were lead to a local church where they were living in Forest Lake, MN. Shortly after starting to attend the church Dave realized his need for a Savior and accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
After a few years as lay youth leader in their church Dave entered Bethel Seminary in St. Paul, MN, in the Masters of Theological Studies program. Dave was Ordained by the Christian and Missionary Alliance in 1993.
Dave has been the Pastor in churches in Rockford, MN and Onamia, MN and served as Interim Pastor for Grace Baptist Church in Grantsburg, WI.
Dave and Leslie have been married 50 years and have two sons, two grandsons and one great granddaughter (she was born on Leslie’s birthday). They live in Apache Junction, AZ.
Pam and Neil are originally from Minnesota and have been married for 50 years!. They have two adult children and three grandchildren who are all still in Minnesota. Growing in the Word has been very new to Pam after a long drought in some Christian churches, but she feels she has flourished in a Bible Teaching Church. She feels blessed to be part of this community of believers and is happy help in the administrative area. She loves to hear, “I’ll be glad to help,” and so does the Lord. Serving is part of maturing in our faith walk, as we all long to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant” when we meet God face to face.
I was born in Minneapolis. Dale and I moved to Lincoln, MN in 1974. We were members of Lincoln Ev Free Church for 25 years. I taught Sunday School, was an Awana leader and chairman of the Christian Education Commmittee. I worked as the bookkeeper at Shamineau Ministries, a Bible Camp of the EFCA in Motley, MN for 17 years.
Neil is from Minnesota and moved to be warm here year around. He has a servants heart and enjoys the challenges of maintaining our building and keeping up the appearance of a clean and inviting atmosphere.