Meet Our Team
Pastor Brody Loewen | High Voltage (Grades 6 & 7)
Brody has been attending Willingdon Church since he was in grade 2, and joined the Student Ministries team in the fall of 2017. He grew up surrounded by Christians and embraced the Gospel at a young age. By the prompting of the Holy Spirit, Brody attended Millar College of the Bible (B.A. in Strategic Ministries) and there was drawn further toward pursuing fulltime ministry. Brody is excited to be used by God to show students His love and power through Jesus Christ.
Brody enjoys designing floor plans, colourful things, drinking tea, spending time with his loved ones, and being outside whenever he gets the opportunity.
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Pastor Mark Janzen | Riptide (Grades 8-10) | Team Leader
This wily veteran believes that the adolescent years are the most exciting and foundational years of a person's life. Pastor Mark's passion is to impact students at their level and build them into active followers of Jesus. He has worked as a youth pastor for over 20 years and earned both an M.A. in Christian Studies from Trinity Western Seminary and a B.A. in Youth Ministry from Columbia Bible College.
Pastor Mark is married to his wonderful wife Tina and they have two equally wonderful kids, Noah and Alesha. In his spare time you can find Mark out with his family, playing blues guitar, camping, playing disc golf, reading, shooting archery, or watching sports.
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Pastor Jesse Criss | Encounter (Grades 11 & 12)
Jesse joined the Student Ministries team in Sept of 2015. He completed a B.A. in Biblical Studies and got his start in youth ministry at the age of 18, bringing 15+ years of youth ministry experience to the team. Jesse has a passion for connecting students to the love of God and equipping them to own their faith. He loves to eat as much great food as he can in the process.
Pastor Jesse is married to Twyla, his “better half,” and they have twin girls: Elianna (Elly) and Scarlett (Scar). Jesse and his family love going on little adventures, often centered around something new to eat or a new place to explore. He is passionate about food, comics, board games, and has been known to play a few (okay- a lot of) video games.
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Pastor Trevor Berry | Generate (Ages 18-25)
Trevor grew up in north of Toronto, but lived in Alberta for the past 10 years. He and his family have recently moved to BC and have fallen head over heels for the area!
Trevor has been married to his lovely wife Melissa since 2007. They have two kids, Cody (2011), and Emma (2014).
Trevor became a follower of Jesus in His late teens and felt called into ministry. He received a BA in Pastoral Leadership from Rocky Mountain College. Trevorserved as a pastor with the Christian and Missionary Alliance for 8 years. He has served in several roles including: church planting / youth ministry / and as a lead pastor.
Trevor loves soccer, good coffee, spending time with his family, and is thrilled to be a part of what God is going to do in the Young Adult ministry in the years ahead!
Lauren Opelka | Ministry Associate
Lauren joined the Student Ministries team in 2007, shortly after completing her B.A. in Psychology at Simon Fraser University. She started attending Willingdon in 1999, back when Pastor Mark Janzen was her youth pastor.
Lauren served as the Student Ministries administrative assistant for 7 years and now does our graphic design, runs Riptide with Pastor Mark and oversees our Volunteer screening. She gets excited about seeing the truth of God's love click for students for the first time, no matter what age they are. Lauren is into music, reading, photography, design, travel, and bad movie nights.
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Tony Castro | Ministry Associate
Tony joined the Student Ministries team in 2014 as our Worship Associate, which means that he trains our students to serve the Lord with their musical talents. His love for music was influenced by hearing his father sing from an early age, and he went on to study at a Conservatory of Music. In order to better equip himself for ministry work, Tony also studied at the Rio Grande Bible Institute in Texas. He has been working with youth in a worship setting since 2001 and he loves it! His calling and passion are in using the tool of music to minister to others through God's Word and encouraging them in their walk towards maturity in Christ.
Tony and his wife Karla have three beautiful little girls, Joanna, Janelle, and Jessica. When he's not working on music or spending time with his family, you might find Tony dominating on the Sony Playstation.
Sherie Etches | Administrative Assistant
Sherie has called Willingdon home for over 20 years and has always had a love for serving and especially for helping students find their passion in Christ! She attended Briercrest Bible College where she studied Accounting & Business Administration and now she enjoys putting her skills to use on our Student Ministries Team! Prior to working here, Sherie served as a High Voltage leader for 7 years alongside her husband of 15 years, David. They have 3 children, Nicholas, Megan & Katie who keep them very busy.
Sherie's guilty pleasure is watching Survivor with her girlfriends.
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