Get to know me.

I grew up in a stable, but non-religious family on the East Coast. We moved to California just before Jr. High, and by High School my group of friends were the ones smoking in the parking lot: looking for drugs, parties and fights. After I graduated high school, my parents came to Christ and gave me a copy of ‘The Message’, Eugene Peterson’s modern translation of scripture. I was fascinated by the person of Jesus as a concept until I met him at a retreat when I was 22 years old. My life was transformed, I started to read the Bible regularly, and ultimately took classes at a Bible College. I graduated and came back as the Director of the Bible College as I began my full time ministry vocation. I met my wife, Amy,  the day after I became a Christian, and the day after we got back from our honeymoon, I began my new job as a pastor.

After five years of taking short term mission trips to Mexico, we started a non-profit called El Puente (The Bridge) and my family moved to a small Mexican village called the Valle Las Palmas to host and train short term American teams while pursing community development work through the Mexican church. Several years (and two children) after that, we moved back to Los Angeles to plant a church for those who would never come to a church – by going to them. Our church grew steadily, and eventually took over an existing church building in the media district of Burbank. As the church continued to grow and stabilize, my wife and I began to miss the work of community development and look for more opportunities to spend time in the community with the organizations that were making a difference. We welcomed two more children during those years, to a total of four: Michael(2004), Luke(2005), Hudson(2008), and Gracie(2012).
After our eyes were opened to the child welfare crisis in Los Angeles, we became foster parents. After turning the church over, we started another non-profit, The Family Table, in order to educate the local church about the needs that exist, equip foster families with the tools they need to thrive, and empower child welfare agencies to partner with the church to serve more children. We have had a number of children in our care over the years: some who have been reunited with their families, others who were placed with family members.

After several more years, I began to desire the familiar work of ministry within a local church. I had known of Valley Vineyard since my years at the Bible College, and attended prayer meetings and other events with their church. The founding pastors had retired after years of faithful service, making room for a new team of pastors to continue  to seek the peace and welfare of the city to which he has called us. It is a privilege to be part of the team leading this church to continue our high calling to worship God, develop community, and reach our neighborhood!  
My first book (Liminal: Transitions, Thresholds, and Waiting with God in the Space Between) was published in 2020, and I love to read and write. Our family enjoys spending time outdoors and we try to visit as many National Parks as we can. I get to the beach every chance I get to paddle out and spend time in the ocean, and non-ironically take long walks on the beach.

Pastor Mike can be contacted by email at: