My wife Erica and I are originally from Nebraska. Two years ago we made the move to Duluth to take on our first full time youth ministry position. Since moving here we have had our first child. Her name is Quinn Bartels.
As a junior in High School in 2006, a friend invited me to his youth group one Wednesday. Before this, I had never been a church goer, and I always thought that I just had to believe that God existed and I would go to heaven. That night I had an encounter with Jesus that changed my life! I got saved. From then on I attended North Shore Assembly of God and in 2007 I felt that the Lord was calling me into youth ministry. So I began to volunteer in different areas of ministry throughout High School and into college and became a youth leader once I graduated from High School.
My wife Erica and I got married in 2011 and immediately felt God leading us to a new place ministry wise. After a year of searching, we followed the Lords call for me to join a leadership college at Christ’s Place Church in Lincoln, Nebraska in 2012. During this time we worked in youth ministry, as well as volunteered with outreaches. Erica was baptized and I was baptized in the Holy Spirit during our time there as well.
After graduating from the program, my wife and I spent another year and a half volunteering and serving in that church in various ways. During that time, we began to feel the Lord leading us somewhere new again. We weren’t sure where, but we knew it was time to start searching again. I had submitted my resume to a ministry that connects with many churches and knowing that pastors/leaders have to look through hundreds of resumes; Erica and I were praying very hard that God would lead us to the right ministry position and the right church.
In March of 2014 I received a call from Pastor Rolf and we were invited to come up to be interviewed by the pastoral staff and leaders. We stayed for the church service the following Sunday and really enjoyed it. We immediately felt a connection with the students, and almost instantly knew that this was where we were called to be. Thankfully, DGT felt the same and when Rolf called me to offer us the position, Erica and I knew that God had opened a wonderful new door of ministry for us!
So in 2014, we began our ministry at DGT as Youth Directors and in 2015 I was licensed by DGT to be a pastor. Over these last two years, we have seen God move in great ways in the DGT youth ministry and we are excited about what God will be doing in the future. It's an amazing thing to be part of a ministry that God has used for 100 years!