Meet Our Pastors
When I joined the SWC staff: May 1988
What areas of ministry I work in: Preaching & Teaching, Leading the staff and church board, pastoral counseling & care
My family: My wife Karen, with whom I share love, life, and ministry (since 1988). Karen is also a nurse in assisted living. Three children: Brittany - an elementary school teacher who connects well with kids and serves the church with her keyboard and vocal gifts; Ethan - a Chemistry major, with hopes of one day becoming a professor; drumming and beat-boxing are interests of his; Gracia - soon headed off to college, enjoys drama and music, and is involved in worship at Spooner Wesleyan.
When I came to Christ: Age 15
Education: A.B. In Mathematics, with a Minor in Computer Science from Indiana State University; Master of Divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary
Previous lines of work: Computer Programer
Favorite food: Caramel Pecan Ice Cream
Snack food: Popcorn
Favorite place in the world: Weekend away in the Twin Cities doing something fun with Karen
Favorite sports team: Green Bay Packers
Bible story: Moses
Life verse: Philippians 1:6“ And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
Most people don’t know this about me: I was on a weekly radio program, starting at age 15
A favorite book (besides the Bible): Anything by John Ortberg
My favorite movie: “What about Bob?”
Mike Knox, Associate Pastor
When I joined the SWC staff: First time, 1997-2005; Second time, 2016
What areas of ministry I work in: Adult Discipleship & Connections
My family: Amy, "the other half of my orange." Twin daughters, Trisha & Rikki, and a son, Jacob. Two grandkids.
Education: B.S., Biology, Virginia Tech; M.Div., Asbury Theological Seminary
Previous lines of work: Lab Technician, Machinist, Missionary
Favorite food: Porkchops (or any meat from a pig!)
Someday I want to: Sail the world
Favorite place to pray: In the woods or on a mountain.
Hobbies: Woodworking, house projects
Favorite sports team: Sorry, I'm not into sports.
Most memorable advice someone gave me: "Don't volunteer for nuthin'!" (on joining the Army)
Most people don't know this about me: I used to raise cockroaches for genetic research
Patrick Cooper, Pastor of Student Ministries
When I joined the SWC staff: October 2013
What areas of ministry I work in: Student Ministries including children and youth
My family: I am married, no children, my wife's name is Ashley
When I came to Christ: I came to Christ at a very young age
Education: Studied Youth Ministry at Indiana Wesleyan University. Received a Bachelor's of Art in Youth Ministry
Previous lines of work: I was a manager and a salesman for a large agriculture fertilizer company
Favorite food: I love pizza and potatoes
Snack food: Chips Ahoy cookies
Favorite place in the world: Rocky Mountain National Park
Favorite hobbies: Following, playing, and watching all sports
Favorite sports team: Pro-- Chicago, College-- Indiana
Bible story: Matthew Chapter 9, Jesus calls Matthew to be his disciple and then proceeds to tell the pharisees he has come for those who know they are sick, not for those who pretend to be righteous. It creates a sense of hope for me, that I too can share in the gift of salvation as broken as I may be. It also creates a sense of purpose and meaning to my life to share this truth with as many people as possible.
Life verse: Phil 4:13 "For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me Strength"
God came through in a huge way when: I fell asleep at the wheel and should have crashed and most likely died, but for whatever reason, God protected me and used that experience to create a very deep sense of purpose to my life.
Most people don't know this about me:
A favorite book (besides the Bible): (or… A book I recommend:) The Ragamuffin Gospel (Brennan Manning)
My favorite movie: Hoosiers!
Kara Vincent, Worship Arts
When I joined the SWC staff: November 2014
What areas of ministry I work in: Worship & Creative Art
My family: My husband Zach, who ministers to college kids in Duluth, Superior, and Cloquet through Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. I love exploring, drinking coffee, and playing board games with him! My oldest daughter, Brynn, who is the most princess-y princess you will ever meet. She loves to share, sing, and jump. So much jumping. My middle daughter, Simone, who is as feisty as they come. She has a wild imagination and wants to do everything Brynn does. And our youngest son, Kallum. He's just a tiny one, but he's all smiles, all the time.
When I came to Christ: Sometime my junior year of High School
Education: A.B. In Christian Ministry with a focus on Counseling, and lots of Art classes, too.
Other jobs: Photographer, Graphic Designer, Web Designer, Crafter Extraordinaire, Reclaimed Wood Artist
Favorite food: Mexican Anything
Snack food: Trail Mix
Favorite place in the world: Kennebunkport, Maine
Favorite sports team: Green Bay Packers!!!!!!!!
Favorite bible story: Amos
Life verse: Micah 6:8 “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the
require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."
Most people don’t know this about me: My two front teeth are fake.
A favorite book (besides the Bible): I don't really read anything non ministry related... HGTV Magazine? :)
My favorite movie: The Emperors New Groove
LeRoy Drake, Pastoral Care
When I joined the SWC staff: May 2011
What areas of ministry I work in: Congregational Care
My family: Wife, my high school sweetheart, Dorene. Three children: Jackie, an RN at UW-Madison; Jeffrey, Minister in Minnesota; Jerry, school teacher and coach in Michigan. We have six grandchildren.
When I came to Christ: About age 10
Education: A.A. in Math, Miltonvale Wesleyan College; A.B. in Religion, Marion College (now IWU)
Previous lines of work: Farm Worker, Factory Worker, Lab Tech, Painter, Construction
Favorite food: Meat and Potatoes
Snack food: Trail Mix
Favorite place: Home
Hobbies: Wood Working, Hunting, Fishing
Favorite sports team: Packers
Favorite verse: Isaiah 40:31 "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and not faint."
Favorite book: Jan Karon's Mitford Series