Jim was raised in Delano, California. He attended Fresno State University, where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and acted in many theater productions. Following college, Jim had a brief career as a sleight-of-hand magician. He met Patti while performing and they were married in 1981. They have two daughters and both are married. Jim graduated from Western Seminary (Portland) in 1986 with a Masters of Divinity and later returned to receive his Doctor of Ministry in 2011. He pastored Grace Evangelical Church in Fresno California and Westside Community Church in Los Banos, California. He has been serving as the lead pastor for Living Water of La Pine since July of 2003.
Jim’s mother was a believer and saw to it that he was raised in a Bible teaching church. When he was in the 8th grade, the church called a youth pastor who reached out to him. He gave his life to Christ and spent his High School years being mentored by two youth pastors who served in his church. In college, Campus Crusade for Christ became his spiritual growth catalyst. As a senior in college, He was challenged by the pastor of a large church near the campus to start a college ministry in his church. God blessed the ministry and used it to help confirm Jim’s sense of call to vocational ministry.
Derek was born in Illinois, while his wife Aubri was born in Oregon. After graduating high school, he went into the Navy as an engineman. Upon his honorable discharge from the service, he attended Joliet Junior College and received an Associates in Applied Science, Automotive Service Technology. He then went onto a career as a mechanic. He eventually landed at a big distribution center, where he later became maintenance supervisor. While working at the D.C. he became a Christian. Derek and Aubri began helping out as volunteers in the youth group, at Grace Baptist Church in Ottawa, IL. That led to him entering Bible school at Liberty University and pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Biblical and Theological studies. Derek would eventually begin serving God as the youth pastor at Grace Baptist Church. He held this role for a little over 4 years. God began to work on Derek and Aubri’s hearts. He revealed to them that He wanted them to move to Oregon. Aubri was able to secure a job and then God revealed to Derek that He wanted him to leave behind the corporate world and go into full time ministry. Before you knew it, in only a way God could lay out, Derek began serving as the youth pastor of Living Water in September of 2016. Derek and Aubri are very blessed to be a part of this great church!
It took Derek until his late twenties to find Jesus as his Lord and Savior. Derek didn’t grow up in a Christian family. He developed a lot of distain for a God that he didn’t believe existed. Derek always tried to be a good person, but did it on his own accord. You see Derek believed he could do everything himself and therefore didn’t see a need for God. Many things took place during Derek’s twenties that began to make him acknowledge the Creator of the world. However, it wasn’t until Derek found himself burdened with the sins of his life, that he knew he couldn’t do it by himself. He realized he needed the grace, mercy and forgiveness that came with Jesus. He immediately gave his life to Christ and began the task of living a life worthy of Jesus’ praise. This led him into ministry, where he can tell others about the grace of God. Using his testimony as a prime example of what the grace of God can do for you if you just believe!
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