Elders and Deacons

Brian Christensen

Church Chairman, Elder

Brian serves as Church Chairman and as an advisor for the elder team in general. He finds great joy in serving as a resource for other leaders and for the congregation in godly decision making and practical living issues. Brian loves to encourage and model servant leadership and is most gratified when he sees leaders pursuing the example of Christ. In his spare time, Brian enjoys coaching girls’ softball, reading Presidential biographies and following college and professional football. He and his wife, Sue, have 3 children, Kyle (married to Jerica), Anne, Grace and 2 wonderful grandchildren.

Mark Kasik


Mark is involved in Men’s Ministry aside from serving on the Elder Board. His joy in ministry is to see young families pursuing Jesus Christ through the Word of God and applying that relationship in all areas of their lives. Mark spends time outside of ministry with family and loves to have them all gathered together. Mark and his wife, Louise, have 6 grown children, 4 of which are married, 5 grandchildren and 2 sons living in the Columbus area.

Matt Stoeckle


Matt coordinates Adult Sunday Bible School classes. Matt’s passion is to see the people of God learn and put into action the things that they learn from God’s Word. He particularly loves mentoring young adult men in their walk with God. Outside of ministry, Matt enjoys watching action/adventure movies, eating at a great restaurant and playing board games with friends and family. He and wife, Cindy, have 3 children, daughter Callie and twin sons, Noah and Nicholas.

Erik Weinmeister


Erik serves the body of Christ in Highland Park Children’s ministry. He loves to see people’s eyes opened to the truth contained in God’s Word. Baptisms bring him great joy as well. Erik loves to read, watch a good movie, computers and spending time with his family. Erik and his late wife Cathy have 3 children, daughter Taylor and twin sons, Collin and Zachary (married to Melea).

Les Bennett


Les serves in the area of Adult Sunday School and Adult Teaching ministries by organizing classes, helping set vision and communicating with teachers. Les loves to watch people grow in their knowledge of God’s word and apply that knowledge in the form of wisdom. He also comes alongside Adult Sunday School teachers helping to equip them to teach. Outside of ministry he enjoys camping, backpacking and running errands with his children. He and his wife, Sandy, have 4 children: Laura, Matthew, Alexis and Breanna.

Jnel Birkel

Jnel serves in Compassion/Fellowship ministry organizing and overseeing meals provided for funerals, Royal Family KIDS Mentoring and other church wide fellowship events. Jnel finds joy in serving others and meeting practical needs. She is also active in care group ministry and mentoring women in the study of the Word. She loves to spend time with her grandchildren, photography and read in her spare time. Jnel is married to Tim and they have three children: Elisha (married to Andrew Davis), Shayna, Melea (married to Zach Weinmeister), and are foster parents to one son, Jeff Coughtry. They are grandparents to 5 adorable grandchildren.

Tim Birkel


Tim serves in Sound/Worship technology running sound for Sunday morning and overseeing the sound/technology team. While not a musician himself, Tim says that running the sound board fulfills his desire to make music. He finds joy in serving others.  In addition to sound/worship ministry, he is also involved in care group ministry and men’s ministry. In his spare time he enjoys reading, music and working with computers. He and his wife, Jnel, have three daughters: Elisha (married to Andrew Davis), Shayna, Melea (married to Zach Weinmeister), and are foster parents to one son, Jeff Coughtry. They are grandparents to 5 adorable grandchildren.

Jed States


Jed serves in our Usher Ministry. You will find him on a Sunday morning at the door of the Worship Center welcoming church family and visitors alike. Jed loves to meet new people, help them find a place to sit and connect them to other attenders. Through his communication skills, Jed is able to educate people on what’s going on at church. In addition to being an usher, Jed also serves on our Safety Team, meets with other men in discipleship relationships and Bible Studies. He also goes to the Elder Meetings to pray with them for our church family. When he’s not at church, Jed can be found hanging out with his family or reading. Jed is married to Melissa and has three daughters, Adelynn, Makenzie, and Hannah.