I was born and raised in Holland, MI, gave my life to Jesus on Alleghany Ave. in Philadelphia, PA, and committed my life to teaching the Bible
while in Jerusalem, Israel. In the life that has webbed from these experiences I have felt more and more a part of a long, rich, and diverse body of believers that I am connected to across time, geography and theological bents. I love the Church and it is this local and global community that I have found identity, life, and direction. I feel a responsibility and burden to the Church as a teacher to be a caretaker of the Scriptures and to help a generation understand how to read them and understand them as we wrestle with God and practice faith together.
I graduated from Calvin College in 2005 with a B.A. in education and began teaching middle school Bible at Ontario Christian in Ontario, CA. After teaching four years in California I decided to pursue graduate studies and in 2009 moved to Jerusalem, Israel, to study at both Jerusalem University College and at the Hebrew University with a focus on Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and Modern Hebrew. After living five years in Israel, my wife Laura and I, along with our two young daughters, returned to the States so that I could begin teaching at Holland Christian. We have added two more daughters to our family since moving to Holland in 2014.
My wife Laura and I are both HC graduates and have enjoyed reconnecting with Holland after spending some time away. We are active members at Maple Avenue Ministries here in Holland and believe deeply in its vision to be centered in Christ, called to the core city, and committed to becoming a multi-cultural community of reconciliation. Among other things, I perpetually read and also attempt to be active once a week by joining local pickleballers at Moran Park.
As a teacher of the Bible and Hebrew, one of my goals is to teach students how to read the Bible and be an active participant in its dynamic conversations rather than someone sitting in the audience just looking for answers. If we are going to take the message of God’s word seriously then a focus on its context; the land, culture, and the language becomes foundational for learning the message and representing it in our daily life. Without learning these contextual elements the message of what God is communicating through the Bible can become diluted and lose its clarity. It is my hope that our study of the Bible will provoke us to take on an attitude and lifestyle that gives witness to God’s love and concern for our world.
I am excited to be teaching at a place like Holland Christian that values the study of the Bible and follows through with its call for social responsibility in our lives and the world around us.