Meet Our PastorAL STAFF
When I joined the SWC staff: May 1988
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?”
LeRoy Drake, Pastoral Care
When I joined the SWC staff: May 2011
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
Kelly Jennings, Worship and Connections Director
I grew up on a dairy farm in Central Wisconsin. I received my bachelor’s degree in graphic arts from the University of Northwestern, Roseville, MN, in 2000, where I was also a part of the women’s choir, symphonic band, and orchestra. For the past 20 years I have been a freelance graphic artist as well as a worship leader. In 2018 God decided I needed to be in Spooner and through a series of divine appointments He landed me here at Spooner Wesleyan Church where I have become a part of this amazing family as the Worship and Connections director.
Todd Keup, Reverb Youth
I was born and raised in Superior, Wisconsin. My parents started out their life and our family together in East End but moved to the country before I began my public education so I grew up near Pattison State Park. After high school I attended WITC where I received an Associate's Degree in Computer Programming, which I've been doing ever since. My wife Marcy and I started our own business and we specialize in custom software development.
After my family moved to the country in Superior we started attending church service regularly where I learned about my Creator, His son Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I am now serving at Spooner Wesleyan Church along with a superb group of people in the Reverb Youth Ministries. Dan and Marshia Tripp and their remarkable team serve the Middle School teens in our community on a weekly basis and my wife Marcy and I along with our amazing team serve High School teens. Collectively, this leadership lineup loves all of them no matter which group of teenagers each of us primarily gathers with each week.
Melissa Smith, Children's Ministries
I grew up in Barron, Wisconsin where I met my husband, Sam. We moved to Superior and got married in 2005. I went to college at the University of Minnesota Duluth and graduated in 2010 with a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education. Our first two children, Noah and Isabelle were born in Duluth, Minnesota. In 2011 I took a job as a third grade teacher in Spooner and we moved to Minong. After two years we moved to Sarona. Jonah and Annabelle were born and brought lots of excitement to our lives! I enjoy photography. As a family we love to be outdoors, on the water, and play board games. Our parents all still live in Barron and we get to see them very often. We love being involved in the Spooner community through Sam's business, i play and Quarter's Arcade, the school, sports, 4-H, Spooner Wesleyan, and other local activities. We have been involved in Children's Ministry for over 14 years and love every minute of it. We are so grateful for all the mountains and valleys we have traveled in our life and can't wait to see where God takes us!