Gary and Michelle, Founding Pastors, are strong and steady visionary leaders who serve as a spiritual Father and Mother team. They faithfully mentor and disciple those who make New Life their church home.
They were both born and raised in Alpena - they believe in and care about this community and those who live here. They gave their lives to Christ Jesus in 1978 and quickly discovered a passion for telling others about what God had done for them. This passion grew into the recognition of God’s clear call on their lives. In 1992, Gary became the Senior Pastor of New Life, a new church plant. Michelle worked alongside him in every area as the church grew and became established. In the beginning they were both bi-vocational, but in 1999 God made it obvious that it was time to go into full-time ministry, so they left their jobs and haven’t looked back.
Together they have effectively led New Life through many growth phases, including the purchase and renovation of a new building, and most importantly, into having a strong influence in their community for Christ. Nothing gives them more joy than seeing others brought into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and discovering his plans for their lives.
Gary is a diligent student of God’s Word and ways. His straightforward approach and ability to relate the message of Jesus to everyday life, combined with practical application, down-to-earth humor and a love of history, makes his preaching and teaching impactful.
Michelle is known for her visionary insights, wisdom, and leadership ability. She is gifted in teaching and exhortation, and is passionate about unlocking the potential in others to live out all that God has intended for them. She recently launched Purely Women’s Ministries, with the purpose of helping women of all ages discover their true identity as a woman of God.
They believe that in order for a church body to be healthy and vibrant, the leaders must be spiritually healthy and whole! This core value continually motivates them with a hunger to know God and His Word more fully and to stay fresh in the things of the Holy Spirit. They regularly participate in on-going training and strongly value the accountability relationships they have developed with local pastors of like-heart.
They have three adult daughters and sons-in-love and enjoy spending time with their five incredible grandchildren as much as possible. Their interests, besides their love for the Lord and family, include gardening, canoeing, rustic camping and all things outdoors.