Submitted by the Elders
On January 30, Elim membership will vote on three elder nominees. Gordy McCoy has already served 2 years. However, Stan Peterson and Jeff Foerster are new to this process. Who are these men? The following is a biographical sketch that will provide helpful information as we prayerfully consider them as elders.
It is an honor and pleasure to be asked to serve in the capacity of Elder. I was saved in 1999 when I was convicted by God that I was incapable of any good and that my works were as filthy rags and that being a moral (good) person would not get me anywhere especially not into heaven. Up until I was saved I was living for myself and self was on the throne. I was introduced to Christ through a co-worker. I witnessed first-hand God’s love, peace, and joy and after about 3 months of his faithful prayers and witnessing I accepted the True claims of the Bible and accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For his mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy”.
I want to share candidly about my past so as to make much of my God who saved, and redeemed me. I was divorced in 1997 and have two children from my first marriage Hailey(20) and Cole(17); I met my beautiful wife Jackie in Aug. 2002. Jackie was never married and in 2000 had a baby girl, Morgan(10). As a result of Morgan’s birth Jackie came to a knowledge of Jesus Christ and accepted Him as Lord and Savior. We were married on Feb 15th 2003 and have had 3 children together Adalee(6), Amelia(4) and Esther Joy(2). We all currently live together, save for Hailey. Hailey is living on her own and attends Pierce College.
Almost immediately, from the moment I was saved, the Lord placed within me a hunger for His word. As a result, my passions are to know God (Philippians 3.10),Love my family, and see the body of Christ both equipped and built up. It is my intention to continue to learn and be shaped into God’s image. I long to see the Bride of Christ in her full splendor, filled with joy, obedient, bringing glory to God. My heart yearns to see God glorified in and through the lost. last but most important I believe that Prayer (Communion with God) must be put on a continuum of moving from theory to practice in my life and the life of the church.
Let me take you back to 1972, in a small town 15 miles SW of Portland, Oregon called Sherwood. I grew up with a knowledge of the truth, as my mom has been a Christian for more years than I have been alive. Church was part of the picture early on, and then took a vacation while I attended college at Seattle University and pursued my interests. Church appeared again in Dallas, Texas in 1997, just as I had left it more than 7 years earlier –a good idea I was taught to partake in. Church for me was like a carwash without soap and water, easy to endure, but not very transforming. I have long agreed with what I was taught: the Bible is true, God is who He says He is, Jesus is my only way to Heaven, and He was crucified, buried and resurrected so that my sins could be forgiven.
I accepted these facts and believed them to be true. I had prayed to accept Jesus’ sacrifice for my sins. I believed myself to be a Christian and called myself so for many years. I never considered the idea that Jesus was to be Lord over my life as well as my Savior. I sincerely believed I made the decision that was required. I was a Christian.
That is, until my life began to change around 2001. As everyone knows you don’t “mess with Texas”. But I did anyway. Because of relationship, employment and health difficulties I helped create while there, I found myself again in Oregon. This time I was preparing for a new career in teaching.
Back in Oregon, I realized that my ways had to change. I didn’t like the effects of how I’d been living and began a process of cleaning myself up, attempting to become “good for God”. As I did all that I could do, I found I simply couldn’t do it. I didn’t have the strength to be good. When the time was right Jesus brought me to my knees. It was then that I gave my life to God, not in exchange for anything, but without condition. I believe at that moment Jesus became Lord over my life and my Savior.
I developed a passion for reading the Scriptures and spent three years chewing on and digesting each book of the Bible. My words, my habits, and even my music began to change. I had power in my life I’d never before experienced.
I earned my Master of Arts in Teaching from Concordia University (Portland) in 2002 and, in 2003, took my first teaching job in Nampa, Idaho. There I spent two years teaching 5th and 6th graders, fishing for trout, and skiing at Bogus Basin.
I moved back to Washington in 2005 and have been teaching in the Puyallup School District since 2006. I currently teach 6th graders at Hunt Elementary.
In 2007 I began prison ministry with Prisoners For Christ. Every two weeks I head to the Kent Regional Justice Center and help lead a small group service of worship, teaching and prayer. Preparing for those visits has had great impact, taking me deeper in my knowledge of the Bible, and closer in my relationship with Jesus. I came to Elim in the summer of 2008 and felt welcomed immediately and called it home since.
I’m also involved in a weekly community group and meet biweekly with a group of men for a study of the book of Judges. I spend time regularly in contact with family members in Oregon, which include my mom, my dad, and two of my three sisters and their families (my middle sister and her family live in North Carolina). When time allows I can also be found reading books on economics, investing, and finances, and, once in a blue moon, chasing that elusive trout in a lake or stream nearby.