Pastor Chris moved to Milwaukee in 2005 to begin a PhD at Marquette University in theology with absolutely no intentions of staying longer than his degree demanded. Nine years later he has no exit strategy but rather is happily committed to staying as long as it takes to plant a healthy church in city-center Milwaukee.
Chris did not grow up in a Christian home, but came to faith as a freshman in high school through a Pentecostal family. With a calling to ministry and a deep love for learning Chris went on to study philosophy at the University of Central Florida (1998) and then completed a M.Div from Princeton Theological Seminary (2003). He recently completed his PhD in theology at Marquette (2011). Chris has worshipped and studied theology in many different Christian contexts—conservative Baptist, German Lutheran, mainline Presbyterian and Episcopal and Roman Catholic. He would describe himself as an evangelical ecumenicist that is nevertheless deeply committed to the confessional Reformed tradition.
Even though Chris has more formal education than a normal person really ought to have he takes pride in having a very diversified and at times unglamorous work résumé. He has cleaned meat saws at a butchers shop, worked as a bus boy at a Chinese restaurant, a cashier at McDonald’s, sold newspaper subscriptions door to door, worked 16 hour days on commercial fishing boats in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico, owned his own summer landscaping/ home repair business, worked as a mason, as a heating and air conditioning delivery guy, and as line cook at Chili’s restaurant, to name a few.
Chris has been married to Katie since 2000 and they have two children, Tess (2008) and Van (2011). For over 14 years Chris has been roasting his own coffee and owns a commercial espresso machine. He likes to cook all different kinds of cuisines, especially Chinese. Growing up in Florida he loves to surf when he gets the chance, but in Milwaukee most of his outdoor time is spent hanging out with the kids, working in the garden or biking and running.