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Sending Strong 2016
An All-Church Endeavor
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Wednesday, September 28 | 6:30 PM

Leadership


Elders
In the New Testament Scriptures, the leaders of the local church are variously called elders, pastors, and overseers. The words are used interchangeably in Scripture (see Acts 20:25-32; 1 Peter 5:1-2) to show that the leadership of the church should be a single-layer structure of godly men, accountable to each other, the Scriptures, and, of course, ultimately to God. Together this "multitude of counselors" (Proverbs 24:6) shepherd the flock of God, spiritually and practically.

This means that elders are pastors and pastors are elders, though some are paid for their time given to the church and some are not (1 Timothy 5:17); some are freed up from external jobs, able to devote full-time work to the ministry, and some juggle full-time jobs with their shepherding responsibilities. Some elder-pastors will serve in more prominent roles (such as the teaching ministry), while others will serve less in less visible areas. With a variety of gifts, each elder offers a unique contribution to his specific area of ministry. Regardless of each elder's role and prominence, the New Testament models a plurality of equal leaders.
Peter Arndt
Peter Arndt
Elder

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I was born in Sydney Australia into a nominal Christian family and attended the Church of England as a youth where I received a basic knowledge of the Bible. I was confirmed in the church at age 16 but was not repentant or redeemed.

After coming to America and four years of hedonistic living at UNM as a college athlete I graduated with a Business Admin degree. After graduation my student visa expired and I became an illegal alien. God’s spirit convicted me of my sin and lostness at that time and gave me the gift of faith and repentance leading me to be born again. I was not eligible for a real job so I worked for a carpet contractor for two years as an economic slave in a variety of jobs to survive. I eventually saved enough to apply for and be granted residency status.

I then was able to work in my chosen profession as a Financial Advisor and married my college girlfriend Annette, who became my wife and best friend for over 35 years. God graciously granted us three children; Philip, Lindsey and Brian who now have their own kids -- our five precious grandchildren. We joined a local independent Bible church and served in a variety of positions there for 27 years including teaching and shepherding.

As I studied more Bible theology I began longing for a church that held a higher view of God’s word and His sovereignty, and God led us to Desert Springs Church in 2009.

In addition to spending time with our family we have been BSF students for many years. I also compete in senior tennis tournaments and Annette and I both enjoy travelling to destinations we have always wanted to see. We are looking forward to God using us in DSC ministries for as many years as He allows.
Tim Bradley
Tim Bradley
Children and Families Pastor
Elder and Staff

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I have lived in Albuquerque for most of my life, but took an eight year detour through Las Cruces where I spent three years in school at New Mexico State University, worked, married, and lived life with my wife, friends, and church family. I returned to Albuquerque in the fall of 1996, earned my BBA from the University of New Mexico, worked, watched our family grow, and have lived here ever since. I am the seventh of eight children with two older sisters, four older brothers, and one younger brother. I was saved by God's grace and calling in my first semester at NMSU, and grew by grace through participation in campus ministries and the local church. I am humbled and blessed to have walked with the Lord for twenty years now, and serve Him in my family, community, and DSC. I married my incredible wife, Marce, in the summer of 1995, and we have been blessed with five children. Our oldest is deceased, then we have four in the home: son Kade, daughter Addison, son Quinn, and son Tate, "The fruit of the womb is a reward" (Psalm 127:3b). We love outdoor activities, light saber fights, and tickling. We also like remodeling our house (my prior line of work) and just all around building and breaking stuff (although Marce doesn't really like the messes made when breaking stuff). Marce and I started attending DSC (formerly Riverview Fellowship) in November 1996. We have participated in many studies and community groups, served during Vacation Bible School (VBS), and led men's huddles and counseling classes. Marce loves serving in the Elementary and Nursery ministries, VBS, and Meal Ministry.
Ron Giese
Ron Giese
Executive Pastor
Elder and Staff

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I was born in Madison, Wisconsin. Up until a senior in high school, I thought that it was through our own good intentions and actions that we got closer to God. The cross and person and work of Jesus were not in my thinking in any way. A friend started telling me that the answer was in the Bible, and kept bringing me to who Jesus was and what He did on the cross. Looking back now, I can see that God's good Spirit revealed truth to me that I had never considered, nor was able to consider with my own efforts. I trusted in Christ's finished work, His paying the penalty for my sins, and sensed a new life that has been with me ever since. Eventually, I returned to Madison there for graduate school to study Hebrew at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After a Ph.D. there, I taught Hebrew and biblical studies for seventeen years at Liberty University (Lynchburg, Virginia) and the seminary there. I enjoyed several administrative roles at Liberty, and when DSC had a staff opening for an administrative pastor, I was ready for a change. After our first visit, I fell in love with DSC: its focus on God's glory, its interest in missions, the staff, and the people. Thus we ended up moving here in January 2007. My wife Karla is a family nurse practitioner, now specializing in endocrinology. We have three children, Danielle and Ben, who are still in Virginia, and our youngest, Jared, still with us here and at UNM. I like reading, studying history, travel, missions, and hiking and bike riding around Albuquerque.
Trent Hunter
Trent Hunter
Pastor of Administration and Teaching
Elder and Staff

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I was born in 1981 in Columbus, OH, but grew up in the suburbs of three cities: Chicago, San Francisco, and St. Louis. I came to faith in Christ in 1995 after a friend in my eighth grade homeroom class invited me to church. I reasoned that going to church would actually help compensate for the trouble I was causing at home. Within a matter of months I came to understand the gravity of my problem as a sinner, and the glorious grace of God in Jesus Christ. By God's grace, I believed the gospel and was enveloped into the life of that church. A year later, when my English teacher required the class to interview someone in our ideal vocation, I interviewed my pastor. I perceived no greater honor than to lead God's people in treasuring and spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. That same desire led me to pursue theological training at Moody Bible Institute. There, I met my wife, Kristi. We were married following graduation in 2003. She is gentle, faithful, diligent and merciful—a gift. After two years in St. Louis where I served as a Minister to Youth and Director of Christian Education, we moved to Louisville, KY in 2005. There, I attended The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and worked in sales for a Verizon retail group. In 2010, Kristi and I moved to Albuquerque, NM, where I now have the pleasure of serving here at DSC as a pastor of administration and teaching. Kristi and I are honored to be parents of three children: Carson, Madalyn, and Shae. We enjoy biking, going to the park, hospitality, reading, and wrestling.
Ryan Kelly
Ryan Kelly
Pastor of Preaching
Elder and Staff

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I grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan. It was in my junior of high school that God powerfully and savingly revealed to me His grace. Not long after, I attended Liberty University, graduating with a B.S. in Religion in 1996. That summer that I married my "sunshine," Sarah.

I stayed at Liberty for my seminary education in no small part because I had the chance to serve on the staff of our home church, and Sarah was invited to teach piano in Liberty's music department. After a busy two years, I finished with an M.A.R. and an M.Div.

In 1998, we moved to England where I began doctoral studies in historical theology at the University of Oxford. Sadly, we were forced to move to back to the States in 1999 when we could no longer fund the high cost of Oxford tuition and living. Just the same, our time in England confirmed that I had a far greater desire to pastor and preach than to research and teach.

From 1999-2003 I did just that, pastoring in a small church context in Denver, Colorado (Sarah's home town).

In August 2003 God provided the wonderful opportunity to come to DSC and serve as the Pastor for Preaching. We love Albuquerque and DSC, and hope, if God wills, to be here for a very long time.

Somewhere along the way, I also returned to formal education, and finished with a PhD in historical theology from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. My dissertation focused on the intersection of politics, ecclesiology, and eschatology in John Owen (1616-1683).

In addition to pastoring at DSC, I serve as a Council Member of The Gospel Coalition, help lead the NM Regional Chapter of The Gospel Coalition, and help lead preaching workshops for The Simeon Trust.

Sarah and I are blessed with four wonderful kids: Autumn, Katelyn, Gillian, and William. Our home is a busy and happy one, by God's grace. In our spare time we enjoy a very disparate blend of music, reading, dirt biking, hockey, and laughing.
Ken Wesselman
Ken Wesselman
Deacons / Marriage Ministry / Family Ministry
Elder

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I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1958 and raised in the Catholic church. My initial faith was not in Jesus alone, but Jesus plus being a good person. In 1969 our family (my parents, two older brothers, and an older sister) moved to Albuquerque. Upon graduating from the University of New Mexico in 1982, I entered the United States Marine Corps. In the fall of 1983, God opened my eyes to the wonder and kindness of His grace. Ephesians 2:8-9, "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." I married my wonderful wife Julie in October of 1984, and our family began to grow. In 1985, I transferred to the United States Navy. In 1991, I left the service and began flying for Delta Air Lines, where I am currently employed. We are so blessed to have our daughter Katie, and son in law Thomas, our son Tim, daughter in law Juli, and grandson Lucas, and our son Chris, daughter in law Kelly, and granddaughter Kaydence. The past thirty two years has flown by so very quickly. Through the trials and joys of life, marriage, and raising children, God has and continues to change my heart. In recent years seeing more clearly the sovereignty of God has brought great joy and peace. I enjoy time with my wife whether at leisure or working together, time with our kids (harder to come by these days) and Grandkids, exercising, bicycling, and fix-it projects.
 
Deacons
In the New Testament Scriptures, there are two offices in the local church: pastors (or elders) and deacons. The deacon is a "servant" office (this is what the Greek word "deacon" means, and what we see in Acts 6 with the first deacons). However, it is also a managerial office: deacons lead others in an area of service. In Acts 6:3 "the seven" (deacons) were put "in charge" of a task. The seven of Acts 6:3 may have helped to manage around three thousand in the church at that time.

In Acts 6 we see areas that require some form of leadership, such as problem-solving and peace-making, related to an area that starts in the material realm (in this case, taking care of the needs of widows). Again, deacons give attention to more practical needs of the body. This frees up elders for the ministry of the Word (Acts 6:4). Though the needs that deacons respond to often start in the material realm, the ministry often mingles physical and spiritual needs. For example, "complaints" are handled (Acts 6:1), Stephen preaches (Acts 7), Philip preaches (Acts 8), and deacons "hold fast the mystery of the faith" (1 Timothy 3:9).
Sandy Beauchamp
Sandy Beauchamp
Deacon

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I grew up in sunny San Clemente, California—a surfers paradise. My earliest and fondest memories were long summer days at the beach. I moved to Albuquerque in 1987 while finishing five years in the US Air Force. Soon after, I met my wonderful wife Gina at mid-week service at Calvary Chapel. We were married in 1990.

I finished my degree in Finance and Economics at UNM and began my career as a Financial Advisor at Prudential Securities. Today, after several challenging mergers and acquisitions, I still love my work managing investments for my clients.

I became a Christian when I was 18 while I was working at a Christian summer camp in Yosemite. Although, I grew up in a Christian home, attended Christian schools and regularly attended church, my relationship with Christ was not personal or genuine until that summer in 1983. I finally understood the simple message of the gospel is that God loves me in the midst of my rebellion and sinfulness and He has redeemed me by the blood of Jesus.

Gina and I have been married for 22 years and have three busy teenagers—Ben, Emma, and Luke. We became members of DSC in 1994 then, Riverview Fellowship and lead financial management, marriage classes, and hold Bible Studies at home. As a family, we love sports, camping and sailing when we can, and garden year-round. We are adventurous travelers, but still love the simple beauty of the beach.
Greg Dart
Greg Dart
Deacon

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I was born in Washington D.C. in 1960. My family moved around the country until arriving in Albuquerque when I was in the 5th grade and have been here ever since.

I wasn't raised in a Christian home and didn't really give God much of a thought at all. For 25 years of my life I lived a totally selfish life, thinking everything was great, but deep down knowing something was missing. In 1985 a friend at work kept inviting Nancy, my future wife, and me to church. We finally agreed and heard the Word of God taught. It was through the teaching and hearing of God's Word that I was forever changed and started the long path of sanctification though our Lord Jesus Christ.

About a year later Nancy and I were married, still the best day of my life. We started up a small printing company 2 weeks after we were married and many years later still work together in it. Our Lord has grown the business and both of us as well over the years. 10 years later we started our family with two wonderful boys or I should say young men, Jared and Samuel. We have been at DSC now since March 2007 and love our church family.

We enjoy spending our spare time together skiing, hiking, mountain bike riding, going to sporting events and watching movies. I currently serve as a Deacon in various ministries at DSC with my passion being global missions, reaching the nations. Till all have heard....
Jason Mancini
Jason Mancini
Deacon

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I was born in San Diego, California. When I was 4 years old, my family moved to Window Rock, AZ and I went to school with the Navajo people from kindergarten until the 12th grade.

At 17 I knew a guy who had a severe drug addiction and one day he was in the hospital and when they drew his blood it actually came out black. He gave his life to Christ after that and turned from a life full of drugs and prostitution and followed after Christ. I remember his testimony and thinking to myself that I didn't have anything to be saved from. I was a good kid who did what I was told and stayed out of trouble. At 18 while attending Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ the Lord chose to open my eyes to my incredibly sinful life and heart. I don't remember the exact day, but I do remember crying out to Him that my blood was black too! I felt unclean, embarrassed, and hopeless knowing in that moment that I needed a savior because I couldn't save myself. I remember asking Him to save me and to change my cold heart. He was faithful and gave me a new hunger for His Word and truth.

In my junior year of college I met my sweet wife Amy whose faith was so strong and her love for Jesus so evident that it challenged me to grow in my faith even more. After my first daughter was only a week old we moved from Phoenix to Albuquerque to start our own business. Amy and I have been married for 17 years and have 6 children: Allison, Caleb, Emma, Mahdie, Nate, and Mekie. We adopted Nate from China in 2006 and adopted Mahdie and Mekie from Ethiopia in 2010. I began attending and fell in love with DSC in 2003 and have lead the DSC Adoption Ministry since 2008. I enjoy spending time with my family, playing sports (especially wiffle-ball), traveling, and bike riding in the Bosque.
Doug Shawn
Doug Shawn
Deacon

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I was born in Raton, New Mexico and my parents moved to Albuquerque when I was six months old. My parents did not attend church, but I had a very good friend who did. They took me to Berean Baptist Church where the preacher gave some good "fire and brimstone" messages. To avoid going to hell, I went forward and said all the right things. I stayed in church for a few years, but after leaving high school, I walked away. I joined the Albuquerque Police Department in 1983 where I spent fourteen years in Violent Crimes/Homicide. I retired in 2003 as the Homicide Unit Sergeant. I met my wonderful wife LaVonne towards the end of my career in 1994 and we got married in 1995. LaVonne's walk with the Lord and the Holy Spirit made me realize I was "playing church" and in 2004 I truly accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Our family consists of our son Justin and his wife Tarah and grandson Alex, and our two daughters Jessica and Ashley. I have been involved with Bible Study Fellowship for eleven years and I am currently the children's supervisor for the Westside Evening Men's class. LaVonne has been involved with BSF for eight years as a class member in the Women's Class. We were led by the Lord to DSC in 2006 looking for opportunities to serve. The warm and loving reception we received from the body here at DSC encouraged us. This filled our hearts with joy and assured us we had found a church home. LaVonne and I are involved in several areas of the Hospitality Ministry and I am the director of the Safety Team.
Bud Tidman
Bud Tidman
Deacon

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I was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and grew up outside Tampa, Florida. I was raised in a Christian home and through the ministry of the word I trusted Christ as my Savior at the age of 7 and was baptized. However, I remained very much a baby in my faith and understanding until I reached my late 20’s. At that point, through a series of life circumstances, I gained a deeper appreciation of the work Christ accomplished on the cross on my behalf. The Apostle Paul talks about “leaving behind childish things” and this epiphany was the start of “leaving” for me.

I moved to New Mexico in 1977 after graduating from college. My wife, Melanie, and I met at a church in Albuquerque, were married in 1981, and raised our two children here. Both our kids are married and we have three beautiful grandchildren.

I enjoy camping, riding my motorcycle, gardening with my wife, spending time with my family, especially the three grandkids, and I always have a book or two on my bedside table. I have been involved in local, regional, and short term missions since 1997 and can’t imagine not being involved in this way.

My life journey has been anything but a straight line. I continue in the struggle against sin while being granted an increase in understanding of all that the gospel means in my life. Desert Springs Church has had a significant role in my growth in grace and participation in the ministry of reconciliation.

 
Staff

Terry Ash
Tom Adams
Youth and Families
Staff

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I was born in Birmingham, England in 1984 alongside my identical twin brother Tim (and neither of us was born holding onto the other’s ankle!). Through the faithful gospel witness of my parents and Meme (what we called my maternal grandma who lived with us), God gripped me by His grace as a 6-year-old and made me new in Christ. He led me to see the horror of my sin, my utter helplessness to stop doing it and granted me repentance and faith in Jesus and His cross-work to save me from my sin. Since then, God has encouraged, disciplined and challenged me in my walk with Him, and I find myself marveling more and more at God's amazing grace to me in Christ. That Christ went to the cross, rose again and ascended to God's right hand to save His people from sin and to new, true, eternal, abundant life in Him, this is marvelous.

I worked as a high school science teacher before serving as a missionary with OM on a gospel ship (“Logos Hope”) that sailed around the world, and there I met my wonderful wife Gina. As we served the Lord on the ship He drew us together, first around His Word as we became firm friends, and then in marriage as He showed us individually His gift to us in each other. Following the ship, I moved to the U.S. to study for an MDiv from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School near Chicago and we got married. After graduating, the Lord in His grace led us to DSC, and Albuquerque. Here Gina and I enjoy watching 80’s movies from our childhood, English murder-mystery and cooking shows, playing sports with locals, listening to good music and supporting both my football team from England (Aston Villa) and our Chicago Cubs. Go Cubbies!

Whilst we love NM and the vibrancy of its culture, it was the assembly here that we fell in love with and it is our privilege to serve and be blessed by such a truly loving, Gospel-focused, Word-honoring, God-glorifying church.
Terry Ash
Terry Ash
Pastoral Care
Staff

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Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, I was bountifully blessed to grow up in a loving home with my sister Beth and my amazing Mom and Dad. We were members of an evangelical Quaker church that taught the truths of gospel, and I was encouraged through several opportunities such as youth group, youth camp, and Sunday school to believe in Christ and receive salvation. Therefore, at a young age at Quaker Ridge Camp, I was saved by the grace of God. I began to sense a call from the Holy Spirit to prepare for ministry, so after high school graduation, I went to Friends Bible College in Kansas. There, I not only studied for ministry, but met Marcia, whom I've been happily hitched to for forty-three years. After college, I served as pastor of a country church in South Dakota for four years (where our two children Gabrielle and Jeff were born), then moved to Albuquerque where I served as a pastor for twenty years in the "war zone." In 1995 we came to DSC (then called Riverview Fellowship) and I began to get involved on staff as part-time children's pastor, eventually coordinating the children's ministry full-time as God gave the grace and the blessing to do that. I presently have the incredible blessing of shepherding the preschool Sunday school at DSC and of serving others in Jesus' name through pastoral care.
Tim Bradley
Tim Bradley
Children and Families Pastor
Elder and Staff

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I have lived in Albuquerque for most of my life, but took an eight year detour through Las Cruces where I spent three years in school at New Mexico State University, worked, married, and lived life with my wife, friends, and church family. I returned to Albuquerque in the fall of 1996, earned my BBA from the University of New Mexico, worked, watched our family grow, and have lived here ever since. I am the seventh of eight children with two older sisters, four older brothers, and one younger brother. I was saved by God's grace and calling in my first semester at NMSU, and grew by grace through participation in campus ministries and the local church. I am humbled and blessed to have walked with the Lord for twenty years now, and serve Him in my family, community, and DSC. I married my incredible wife, Marce, in the summer of 1995, and we have been blessed with five children. Our oldest is deceased, then we have four in the home: son Kade, daughter Addison, son Quinn, and son Tate, "The fruit of the womb is a reward" (Psalm 127:3b). We love outdoor activities, light saber fights, and tickling. We also like remodeling our house (my prior line of work) and just all around building and breaking stuff (although Marce doesn't really like the messes made when breaking stuff). Marce and I started attending DSC (formerly Riverview Fellowship) in November 1996. We have participated in many studies and community groups, served during Vacation Bible School (VBS), and led men's huddles and counseling classes. Marce loves serving in the Elementary and Nursery ministries, VBS, and Meal Ministry.
Ian Byrd
Ian Byrd
Facilities Supervisor
Staff

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I was born in the year 1978 in the most excellent city of Austin, TX but was raised in the North Dallas suburb of Richardson, TX. It is there that I would "pray the prayer" at a very young age as was common in the southern baptist church. It wasn't until middle school that our youth pastor spoke about this God in a much more tangible way and it began to make sense and wasn't just some prayer that you pray to prevent you from going to hell. It would be a long time before I would actually begin to understand Christ and His love for me and understand my own depravity.

Beginning at the age of nine, I discovered a life long passion, the drums. I played in countless garage bands as well as had formal training through the band programs in school as well as private instruction. During a four year stint in Columbia, SC, I played in the worship bands and interned with the youth ministry alongside my former youth minister and my now brother-in-law. It was in South Carolina that I courted my wife Alyssa and we would be married there. She is the gentlest and most caring person I know, but i would later find out just what a magnificent being she really is.

We moved to New Mexico in 2003 to follow my dream of playing the drums professionally. I joined a rock band that ended up touring, writing and recording for 6 years eventually landing a record deal that would take us all over the U.S. and the occasional international date. Upon learning that we would open up for a very well known major act in the fall of 2007 things began to unravel for the band both in a business sense as well as in our personal lives that culminated with my wife and I losing our second child, Sydney, to stillbirth at 31 weeks. It is at this moment that I learned how tough and brutally loving our God is. He brought us to our knees and redirected our hearts back towards the cross through suffering, and we realized just how much we need Him. This was a defining time for Alyssa and I who continue to learn God's grace and mercy.

Currently we have two sons, Liam (8) and Henry (3) and are in process of fostering to adopt. I enjoy drumming, recording, tinkering and fixing things as well as hosting epic gatherings surrounded by believers and non-believers alike.
Lydia Galster
Lydia Galster
Administrative Assistant
Staff

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I grew up in Payson, Arizona, and was home taught through high school. I was blessed to grow up in a Christian home, with loving parents. I was probably about six years old when I heard about hell. I was terrified of this place called hell, and I desperately wanted to be with Jesus instead of going to hell. I talked with my parents and said “the sinner’s prayer.” A few years went by, and I kept questioning if I was actually saved. I would ask myself, "Did the prayer really work? Is that really all that I have to do to be saved?"

I thought that this prayer that I prayed was some magical formula to be right with God. I didn’t understand the Gospel and what it meant that Jesus died for my sins. I wound up going through life, thinking that in order to be a Christian, I had to complete a checklist to be “good.” I thought I really was good. I trusted in my own works and accomplishments for my salvation to be right with God.

My senior year in high school, God used one of my family members to challenge me and my views of God and who he was. I also read a book by Elyse Fitzpatrick, and in her book, she explained the gospel in a way I hadn’t ever heard before. I was a sinner, and had broken God’s law in every way.

Even though on the outside I tried to appear that I was “good,” my heart was sinful and corrupt. I saw for the first time how horrible I was and that I deserved God’s punishment for my sin. I deserve God’s wrath, and to be separated from Him forever. But the good news, the gospel, is that God sent his son to live and die in my place. Jesus was perfect and lived a life completely without sin. He died a criminal’s death and took the punishment that I deserved. On the third day, Christ was raised, and he defeated sin and death. Because of what Christ did, I am made right before God. My sinful record is wiped clean; and not only clean, but I am made righteous, because of Christ. This was what I saw for the first time. Before, I knew that Jesus died for me, but I thought I could move past that, and actually be good on my own. I asked, “What do I need to do to be a Christian?" instead of “What did Christ do that makes me a Christian?” The gospel is seeing the bad news, that I am a sinner and I won’t ever be good enough on my own doing, (because my works are like filthy rags - Isaiah 64.6), and repenting, and looking to Christ and what he did on the Cross.
Ron Giese
Ron Giese
Executive Pastor
Elder and Staff

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I was born in Madison, Wisconsin. Up until a senior in high school, I thought that it was through our own good intentions and actions that we got closer to God. The cross and person and work of Jesus were not in my thinking in any way. A friend started telling me that the answer was in the Bible, and kept bringing me to who Jesus was and what He did on the cross. Looking back now, I can see that God's good Spirit revealed truth to me that I had never considered, nor was able to consider with my own efforts. I trusted in Christ's finished work, His paying the penalty for my sins, and sensed a new life that has been with me ever since. Eventually, I returned to Madison there for graduate school to study Hebrew at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After a Ph.D. there, I taught Hebrew and biblical studies for seventeen years at Liberty University (Lynchburg, Virginia) and the seminary there. I enjoyed several administrative roles at Liberty, and when DSC had a staff opening for an administrative pastor, I was ready for a change. After our first visit, I fell in love with DSC: its focus on God's glory, its interest in missions, the staff, and the people. Thus we ended up moving here in January 2007. My wife Karla is a family nurse practitioner, now specializing in endocrinology. We have three children, Danielle and Ben, who are still in Virginia, and our youngest, Jared, still with us here and at UNM. I like reading, studying history, travel, missions, and hiking and bike riding around Albuquerque.
Drew Hodge
Drew Hodge
Music Ministry
Staff

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I grew up as a pastor's kid in Arkansas, and was home schooled along with three sisters and one brother. I felt the call of salvation at a young age under my father's ministry, and have seen that salvation worked out through the years. At the age of fifteen, I felt the call to ministry and have dedicated my life to it ever since. I have been writing and composing music for fourteen years. My purpose in this is to spread a passion for true worship in the church through music that exalts Christ and God's character. I became the full time Music Minister here at DSC on April 1, 2010. Prior to coming to DSC, I was on staff at TurningPoint Community Church in Palm Coast, Florida as the Worship Leader for nearly five years. I recently finished writing and recording a worship album for TurningPoint called "Cause of Our Praise." TurningPoint is a satellite church of Riverbend Community Church in Ormond Beach, Florida where I was on the Praise Team since 1998. During this time, I also wrote music and played lead guitar for the band Kanon, which won several Christian talent competitions, recorded several albums, and was signed to Vital Records in 2003. I attended Stetson University for Music from 1999-2003. I met my wife, Crissie, while at Riverbend where she worked as secretary, and we were married in 2006. Crissie earned her degree in photography at Daytona State College, and specializes in baby and family portraits. I enjoy working out and playing sports. We have one daughter, Arabella and two sons, Priest and Kanon.
Trent Hunter
Trent Hunter
Pastor of Administration and Teaching
Elder and Staff

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I was born in 1981 in Columbus, OH, but grew up in the suburbs of three cities: Chicago, San Francisco, and St. Louis. I came to faith in Christ in 1995 after a friend in my eighth grade homeroom class invited me to church. I reasoned that going to church would actually help compensate for the trouble I was causing at home. Within a matter of months I came to understand the gravity of my problem as a sinner, and the glorious grace of God in Jesus Christ. By God's grace, I believed the gospel and was enveloped into the life of that church. A year later, when my English teacher required the class to interview someone in our ideal vocation, I interviewed my pastor. I perceived no greater honor than to lead God's people in treasuring and spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. That same desire led me to pursue theological training at Moody Bible Institute. There, I met my wife, Kristi. We were married following graduation in 2003. She is gentle, faithful, diligent and merciful—a gift. After two years in St. Louis where I served as a Minister to Youth and Director of Christian Education, we moved to Louisville, KY in 2005. There, I attended The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and worked in sales for a Verizon retail group. In 2010, Kristi and I moved to Albuquerque, NM, where I now have the pleasure of serving here at DSC as a pastor of administration and teaching. Kristi and I are honored to be parents of three children: Carson, Madalyn, and Shae. We enjoy biking, going to the park, hospitality, reading, and wrestling.
Ryan Kelly
Ryan Kelly
Pastor of Preaching
Elder and Staff

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I grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan. It was in my junior of high school that God powerfully and savingly revealed to me His grace. Not long after, I attended Liberty University, graduating with a B.S. in Religion in 1996. That summer that I married my "sunshine," Sarah.

I stayed at Liberty for my seminary education in no small part because I had the chance to serve on the staff of our home church, and Sarah was invited to teach piano in Liberty's music department. After a busy two years, I finished with an M.A.R. and an M.Div.

In 1998, we moved to England where I began doctoral studies in historical theology at the University of Oxford. Sadly, we were forced to move to back to the States in 1999 when we could no longer fund the high cost of Oxford tuition and living. Just the same, our time in England confirmed that I had a far greater desire to pastor and preach than to research and teach.

From 1999-2003 I did just that, pastoring in a small church context in Denver, Colorado (Sarah's home town).

In August 2003 God provided the wonderful opportunity to come to DSC and serve as the Pastor for Preaching. We love Albuquerque and DSC, and hope, if God wills, to be here for a very long time.

Somewhere along the way, I also returned to formal education, and finished with a PhD in historical theology from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. My dissertation focused on the intersection of politics, ecclesiology, and eschatology in John Owen (1616-1683).

In addition to pastoring at DSC, I serve as a Council Member of The Gospel Coalition, help lead the NM Regional Chapter of The Gospel Coalition, and help lead preaching workshops for The Simeon Trust.

Sarah and I are blessed with four wonderful kids: Autumn, Katelyn, Gillian, and William. Our home is a busy and happy one, by God's grace. In our spare time we enjoy a very disparate blend of music, reading, dirt biking, hockey, and laughing.
Memo Ochoa
Memo Ochoa
Director of Video and Design
Staff

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I was born in the capital city of Honduras, Tegucigalpa, and lived there until I moved to the States for college in the spring of 2002.

By the grace of God, my relationship with Christ began at a young age, and led me to many translating opportunities for His kingdom while in high school. This provided a gateway to attend Pensacola Christian College in Florida. After two years, I transferred to Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, where I fell in love at first sight (cheesy but true) with my gorgeous wife, Meghan. We remained in Lynchburg, and were married in the fall of 2006. After graduating with a B. A. in Communications, specifically in Graphic Design, I worked temporarily for a marketing firm.

My heart desired to glorify God through my profession by working directly with a church or mission organization. By God's grace, we relocated to Albuquerque in the summer of 2007 to become a part of the DSC family. I greatly enjoy going to Guatemala on mission at least once a year.

Meghan and I have three kiddos, Juliet, Dante, and Jax. We like sipping coffee, bookstores, movies, watching our kids doing silly stuff, and perhaps fútbol, not football, will become the family's primary form of entertainment.
Gayle
Gayle
Finance Administrator
Staff

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I was raised in a strong Christian home with wonderful parents. I grew up in church, Christian schools, and went to Bible college. I went through some deep life trials a few years ago. During the trials, I spent time in God's Word, relied on Christian friends, pastors, and elders at DSC. I trusted them as they guided me through a very hard season of life. God's mercies are new everyday. I handle everything to do with finance at DSC. I have been on staff since 1999. My background is in finance and I'm licensed in securities and life insurance.
Chris Saiers
Chris Saiers
Technical Director
Staff

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I was born in San Francisco, CA. I've lived in Albuquerque since my parents moved back in early 1971. I graduated from Sandia High School in 1988. I became the sound technician for the University of New Mexico Collegiate Singers in 1989 and spent nine years with them. In 1991 a couple of friends invited me and my roommate to a Campus Crusade for Christ meeting. My roommate started going to church and accepted Christ in March. He started inviting me and sometime in April of 1991 I acknowledged the saving grace of Jesus Christ. I started attending Calvary of Albuquerque where I got involved with the sound ministry where, my now long time friend, Jay Fisher, was head of Audio. This opened doors for me to work at a local audio company called Hi Q. It was there that I got to cut my teeth on bigger bands and sound systems. In September of 1996, I was offered the sound tech job at DSC. I now oversee the audio, lighting, visual (PowerPoint, video), and computers here at DSC. I still works four or five concerts a year including, M88's Freedom Fest and working shows with the likes of B.B. King, Lyle Lovett, John Hiatt, Debbie Reynolds, Red, Hawk Nelson, and Whiteheart among others. My beautiful wife Koren and I, without a doubt have the most beautiful kids in the world—two daughters Micah and Elli, and a son, Logan. I also lead a community group here at DSC and co lead a men's huddle.
Debb Sanderson
Debb Sanderson
Administrative Assistant
Staff

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I was born and raised just outside Pittsburgh, PA, so you might guess that I am a Pittsburgh Steeler fan. After high school, I went to Grove City College, a Christian school just north of Pittsburgh (so still a Steeler fan). In 1980 I moved to Albuquerque (no pro team here – so I remain a Steeler fan). I met my husband, Ron, here and we have been married over 28 years and have 3 cats.

I grew up attending a Presbyterian church, and don’t really remember a time when I didn’t believe in God, Christ and the Holy Spirit and that I am a sinner, saved through God’s grace and mercy and Christ’s death and resurrection. But I had a kind of off and on relationship with “church”. For a period I believed that I had all I needed in God and Christ and had no need for a church. 9/11, although I didn’t have a personal connection to that event, somehow made me understand my need for a connection to others and strong teaching, as well as a desire for others to know Christ. We began attending another church in town here, where we became involved in an evangelistic ministry designed to introduce the Trinity and Christian living to others. We have been at DSC for several years and are so blessed by the teaching here. Being on staff is definitely the best job ever.

Together Ron and I enjoy boating, jet skiing, wakeboarding, attending motorcross races, jigsaw puzzles, traveling – oh yes – and watching football!
Julie Wesselman
Julie Wesselman
Women's Ministry
Staff

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I come from a family that has lived in Albuquerque since the 1880's. I was born here and attended school here. When I was in high school, I became interested in spiritual things and started to attend Young Life. After graduation, I attended a Young Life camp in Colorado where I was confronted with the gospel. It was at that point in time that I saw my sin and need for a savior. By God's grace, I embraced His mercy and received Him into my life. A couple years later, I went on to UNM and then graduated in May of 1984 with a Bachelors degree in Physical Education. While in College, I was involved with Campus Crusade for Christ and it was in this ministry that I began to really grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. While I was attending UNM, I met my future husband Ken. We were in class together where he attempted to take my field hockey ball away; instead he captured my heart. Years later on October 6, 1984 Ken and I were married. We have three grown children, Katie, Tim, and Chris. We have attended DSC since November of 1993. I have been involved with the Women's Ministry most of our time at DSC. There were a few years that home schooling my children prevented me from being involved. During the summer of July 2004, I was asked to take the position of Women's Ministry coordinator. It has been my pleasure to come alongside women, point them to God, and help them to be in the Word so as to see and savor Christ.
Alicia Whitacre
Alicia Whitacre
Administrative Assistant
Staff

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