- Mike WildeSenior Pastor
Mike Wilde grew up in a home where they practiced religion but had no real relationship with Jesus Christ. He made a decision to follow Christ at Oregon State while studying to become a Wildlife Biologist. While working for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife he was led to study for the ministry.
Mike met Susan his final year at seminary. Together they served at the University of Arizona where Mike served as a campus pastor. He next pastored a church in Tucson for 13 years and obtained his Doctor of Ministry at Western before moving up here to become the Senior Pastor at Laurelwood in 1996.
Mike and Susan are blessed to have two daughters and sons-in-law, two sons and daughters-in-law and six grandchildren with another one on the way. Mike is passionate about sharing God’s Word, teaching leadership to men, fly-fishing and enjoying grandchildren. Their beagle’s name is Jonah.
- Kevin KruseWorship Pastor
Kevin began his musical journey at the age of 7 when his mother introduced him to the piano (he was actually forced to take lessons!). By age 13, Kevin was leading worship in his youth group and by age 16 was playing on the worship team in “big church”.
In 2000, he attended Multnomah Bible College to study music and Bible. While there, he met his wife, Melanie, and they were married in 2003. During his time at Multnomah, Kevin continued to lead worship as well as become a studio musician and tour with a local worship band. Then in 2006, Kevin was called to Laurelwood as the Worship Pastor.
Kevin and Melanie now have two beautiful girls (Callie and Hailey) who seem to be growing up faster than they should! Kevin enjoys spending time with his family by doing things like riding bikes, going camping, watching movies, and anything they can all do together. Kevin is also a big Seattle Seahawks and Oregon Ducks football fan and roots for them any chance he gets.
- Luke JechYouth Pastor
Luke spent his high school years growing up in Laurelwood's youth group IMPACT. A year after graduating from Union High School, Laurelwood offered Luke a summer internship to work with the Youth Pastor doing youth ministry. At this point Luke never considered working in ministry but after a couple summer months he fell in love with it. The end of summer brought a desire to continue working with youth and be trained in ministry.
The next year Luke enrolled in CBNorthwest's ministry training program and in April 2014 he was hired on as the Youth Intern at LBC. Three years later he finished the program, was married to his lovely wife Julia, and continued to work with the high school and middle school youth group. In May of 2017, Luke took over as the Interim Director of Youth Ministry and was voted in as the Director of Youth Ministry in April 2018.
Luke's interests and passions include spending time with the youth, teaching, playing instruments, and quality time with his wife.
- John RawsonChildren's Ministry Director
John grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area in a non Christian home, and came to know the Lord at age 20 on July 15, 1979, at 10:50 a.m. on the playground of a little church in Stockton, CA. That fall, 2 young Junior College transfers, John and Larry, were instrumental in John's spiritual growth. John formally discipled him for 2 years, and Larry taught him how to be a believer in the glare of sports competition. Not only that, but Larry was responsible for bringing John to Portland in order to attend Multnomah Bible College. John has a B.A. degree in Recreation Education, and an M.A. degree in Pastoral Studies.
After 7 years in the Boys and Girls Clubs of Portland, John desired to go into vocational ministry. At the same time, he met his future wife Sarah. They ministered together as they dated, and were married on Dec. 13, 1991. They have continued to minister together, serving 8 years in Youth Ministry, and 15 years in Children's ministry. John has also taught in Christian schools for 9 years as a P.E. teacher and Chapel Speaker. One of John and Sarah's greatest joys is being the proud parents of 2 fine sons, Nate who is 25, and Jake who is 22.
John's goal leaving college was to serve 10,000 children in his career. Even though he has accomplished that goal, he has no desire to stop serving kids and their families.
- Sam HalsteadYouth Intern
- Debbie MillerOffice Administrator / Bookkeeper
- Jana LewisOffice Administrator
- Mike LewisElder Chair
Mike Lewis accepted the Lord 30 years ago. He has been married to his wife Rene’ for 40 years and has 3 children Kevin Lewis, Katie Doel and Keith Lewis. Mike and Rene have 5 grandchildren. They became members of Laurelwood 4 years ago. Mike graduated from Pastor Mike’s Men’s leadership class in 2014. Before coming to Laurelwood Mike and Rene were members of East Vancouver Community Church for 25 years. They wanted to worship with their daughter Katie Doel after she married David which is how they transitioned to the Laurelwood family. Mike was a part of his previous church’s council and was also a trustee for 15 plus years. Mike and Rene believe that the Lord wants to use their abilities to help further His kingdom. Currently Mike has been serving on Laurelwood’s building committee and also works as a sound technician on Bravo team. We love the people at Laurelwood and look forward to continue serving the church.
- Syd JonesElder
Syd was born in Aberdeen, South Dakota in 1952; born again in Paderborn, Germany in 1987. Married to my cherished wife, Linda, for forty two years. Three wonderful, believing daughters: Sara, Amy, and Beth, two fantastic son-in-laws, and nine perfect grandchildren. Twenty three years of military service and currently owner of Northwest Compliance Management a consulting company for the transportation industry. Graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Multnomah Graduate School of Ministry. Member of Laurelwood Baptist for the 18 years helping in Kidz Worship, adult education, small-groups, prayer and men’s ministries; and, have previously been an elder at Laurelwood.
- Steve LantzElder
Steve accepted Christ at the age of five and as he got older the book Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell helped solidify his faith. He then went on to receive a degree in Psychology from the University of Washington and a Master of Divinity in Educational Ministry from Western Seminary. Steve has been attending Laurelwood since 1988 and has served on staff in the youth ministry since 1996 including a few years as the middle school director. He has also served in the children’s ministry since 2011 and likes to use his skills in photography and video to benefit other ministries at Laurelwood as well. He has been driving a school bus for the past 12 years and tries to be a positive influence in the lives of his students. For a hobby he enjoys taking pictures of God’s creations in space with his different telescopes. He feels that his primary spiritual gift is mercy and enjoys praying for, listening to, and encouraging others which is something he looks forward to doing more of as an Elder.
- Joshua EspasandinElder
Joshua has been attending Laurelwood Baptist Church for over 20 years. In the past, he has led small groups at youth group and led an arts ministry. More recently, he has been leading the Young Adults ministry here at Laurelwood for almost 3 years. Aside from church, he works professionally as an animator for The Bible Project, a non-profit animation studio that creates videos now used in some Laurelwood services. Josh hopes to bring a new perspective to the amazing work that the Elders do, so we can be a healthy inter-generational body of Christ.
- Dave DoelElder
Dave accepted the Lord 28 years ago. He has been married to Katie for 6 years and they have 3 kids Levi, Lincoln, and Leah. Dave attended and served at his previous church for 16 years and became a member of Laurelwood shortly after moving to Vancouver in 2009. He has served as a middle school small group leader, young adult ministry lead, site development team member, preschool teacher, and Financial Peace facilitator. Dave has a heart of service and is a gifted leader at church and in his career. He and Katie love serving alongside the Laurelwood family.
- Gibran BraithwaiteElder
Gibran gave his life to the Lord 9 years ago when he first moved to Salem, Oregon. He quickly became involved in the Prayer Ministry at the Morning Star Community Church. Upon moving to Portland, Gibran became a member of the Mount Olivet Baptist Church where he became the leader of the Media Ministry and served as a Camera Operator, Director and Computer Operator. Gibran became a member of the Laurelwood Baptist Church 4 years ago while dating his now wife Angela Braithwaite. Gibran and Angela have been married for three and a half years and are the parents of two-year-old Greyson. Gibran enjoys serving on the Worship Team with Angela and has assisted in preparing the church budget for the last few years. Gibran has a servant’s heart and enjoys using his gifts to serve the church.