Dr. Rick Goertzen
In 1985, Dr. Rick Goertzen earned his bachelor’s degree in Theology from Southeastern Bible College. He went on to attend The Master’s Seminary where in 1991 he earned his master’s degree in Divinity and his doctorate in ministry (D.Min.) in 2007.
Since 1983 Rick has joyfully served on the staff of five churches in the states of Alabama, Louisiana, California and Kansas.
In 1995, Rick became senior pastor at Grace Bible Church in Hutchinson, Kansas and has served through 2015. Under Rick’s leadership GBC saw the Lord take a Church Plant and grow it to a congregation of over 700 people.
In January 2016, Rick became the Senior Pastor at Shades Mountain Independent Church in Hoover, Alabama.
Rick and his wife, Kris, who has a servant’s heart to minister to women, have enjoyed over 30 years of marriage. They have three children – daughters Bethany and Sarah and son, Joshua.
Involvement in Brazil, Russia, and Africa have also been opportunities Rick has embraced. He teaches at Bible Colleges and leads pastoral and missionary training seminars , as well as ministers to and encourages pastors in these remote locations. He serves on the Board of Directors for Slavic Gospel Association. In addition to teaching and preaching, Rick has enjoyed writing. His publications include articles submitted to newspapers having two books published in the Portuguese Language, and is currently developing a book on the subject of expository preaching and pastoral ministry for Kress publications.
Rick believes there is no greater privilege than to serve our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. For Rick, that means his primary purpose is to use his gift to preach God’s precious Word.
Gary is a former CPA, Banker, Investment Banker who was called to ministry in 2010 at the church he has called home since his salvation in 1970. He’s blessed to call Janey his wife for the last 28+ years and is the father of two adult children and one daughter-in-law. He loves college basketball and football and really likes to read in spurts. His prayer for Shades Mountain in this year of change is for peace for this congregation. He is continuing to learn day by day just how Sovereign our Holy God is!
Gary is an elder at Shades Mountain and is the Administrative and Missions Pastor. Gary believes the Administrative Pastor role at Shades Mountain is very fulfilling and gives him the opportunity to work alongside the staff at Shades Mountain as well as many of its members. As well, the Missions Pastor role is a very humbling privilege of communicating and working with approximately 80 missionaries that Shades Mountain supports.
Steven grew up in a small town near Birmingham. He had incredible parents who raised him in church and he gave his life to Christ at an early age. When he left home, he went to school at Auburn University and studied Landscape Horticulture (of all things). He married his wife, Stephanie, soon after graduation and they moved back to the Birmingham area. After joining The Church at Brook Hills, they got involved with the student ministry and worship ministry. That turned into a full-time position with the worship ministry staff, and over time they felt God calling them to lifelong ministry in the local church. They followed the Lord’s calling to serve at First Baptist Jensen Beach, FL for about four years, and have recently returned to Birmingham to serve at SMIC. They are very much looking forward to being a part of what God is doing here. He has been blessed that he gets to enjoy his hobby (music) for a living. He enjoys hanging out with Stephanie and their two small children, Ava and Sam. He loves his family! He also likes BBQ, sweet tea, movies, music, board games, and the Auburn Tigers. His favorite scripture is John 3:30. “He must increase, but I must decrease.” That is his mantra for his life and ministry: “I want to pursue God’s plans and not my own.”
Over the years in his time in ministry, Steven has felt the Lord calling him to strive toward two specific things when it comes to musical worship. 1) Glorify God in everything that we do, 2) involve everyone in the congregation in worshiping Him. Those two filters help him focus the work that we do in music ministry. He strives to please the Lord in everything and then lead people as effectively as possible.
Mike was born and raised in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, where he learned early on that it’s hard to be a Wolfpack fan when you seem to be surrounded by Blue Devils and Tarheels. He grew up in a Christian home and was saved by God’s grace at a young age and has experienced God’s grace in countless ways ever since. He met his wife Robyn in 2001. They married in 2003 and moved to Louisville, KY in 2004, where Mike earned his Master of Divinity from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Before moving to Alabama he served in churches in North Carolina, Kentucky, and Georgia. Mike and Robyn have three daughters: Addie (7), Lydia (5), and Eleanor (2). Mike loves reading, writing, music, movies, college football, and laughing with his children.
Mike oversees our groups and our family ministries team and has a passion for developing everyday disciples who love Jesus more than anything and are equipped to follow him wherever he leads. He is committed to helping people connect the dots between the gospel and every aspect of everyday life, and he enjoys encouraging and equipping parents to engage their children in spiritual conversation and instruction with everyday intentionality.
Jonathan (aka. Jawoo) grew up in Lynchburg, Virginia and found his way to Birmingham in 1996. After High School he attended Southeastern Bible College. He’s been on staff since 2001 when he began interning with the High School department. He and his wife, Kristin, have three girls (Taylor, River Jane and Willow), and a dog named Zissou. He loves coffee, movies, and wrestling on the bed with his children.
Our children’s ministry, Shades Mountain Kids exists to introduce children to Jesus Christ, to develop and deepen their love for him, and to prepare them to follow him for the rest of their lives.