In His Own Words

Derek was a youth pastor at Crossroads Bible Church where he worked with Middle School, High School, and College aged young adults. Here’s just a brief look into what drove Derek and why he was so amazing at inspiring youth for Christ.
What’s your role at Crossroads?
I get the privilege of working with students. My passion is to encourage and equip young people to be wholly devoted to their Savior Jesus Christ.

What’s the best part about your role?
Seeing God truly grip a young heart and transform it to the image of His Son. Salvation in Jesus is not just a prayer, it is a life change and a personal choice to follow Jesus with our whole hearts.

Share your faith story.
I came to know the Lord at the young age of seven but it was not until my college years that the lights turned on and I understood the commitment and continual heart change that must occur to following God on the straight and narrow path. By God’s grace I am a work in progress and am trying to discover each day how to be more like Jesus.

What’s your favorite place on earth?
I generally love to be in God’s creation. Whether by the sea, in the mountains, or on a golf course, I marvel at the majestic glory of God’s creation.

What makes you laugh?
Lots of things. People in general especially the care free hearts of students. My wife and daughter crack me up on a regular basis as well.

What makes you cry?
Surprisingly a lot, I am a pretty emotional guy. What chokes me up the most is when I experience God bringing me and others back to Him through the repentance of sin.


Derek and Charity both helped to craft a rich ministry at Crossroads. Here they share their philosophy as a couple.

How did you get involved in this ministry?
We first started working with high school students at our church in Chicago. We both have such a passion to help students earnestly seek the Lord. After moving to Grand Rapids and finding Crossroads, we prayed for where God could use us most effectively. We are so thankful the opportunity was available for them to pursue our passion of serving high school students.

What is the best part about your role?
Having the opportunity to know and love each student and watching the students grow in their relationship with the Lord. Serving the Lord also produces such a supernatural joy!

What is one thing God is teaching you while leading this ministry?
He is capable of accomplishing great things through broken vessels.

What is your faith story?
We both have had the privilege of growing up with loving and supportive Christian families. At a young age we individually came into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ by having a simple childlike faith in Jesus. Over the years we have grown into a deeper relationship with our Lord. We met at Taylor University and since then have been serving the Lord together. God has us on a great journey, where in all circumstances we are giving Him the praise and choosing joy. Each day we are striving to grow in our knowledge and faith; share Christ’s love with the world around us, and love and encourage others.

What is your favorite place on Earth?
Being with friends and family.

What makes you laugh?
We make each other laugh on a pretty regular basis.

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