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Blackhawk Ministries and Blackhawk Christian School Staff


  • Amber Kern

    Children's Ministry Director

  • Arlan & Linda Friesen

    Deacon

  • Audrey Hindle

    Facilities

  • Bill & Patty Culp

    Deacon

  • Cami Wharton

    Reception

  • Chip Clark

    Worship Pastor

  • Christian Whitmer

    Outreach Pastor

  • Curtis Smith

    Elder

  • Daniel Stewart

    Music Director

  • Dave & Gail Rosner

    Deacon

  • David & Lori Miller

    Deacon

  • Don & Jane Seely

    Deacon

  • Doug Crane

    Elder

  • Ed Ritchart

    Worship & Production

  • Eric & Heidi Emley

    Deacon

  • Ethan Shaull

    Facilities

  • Jamie Mosier

    Assistant Controller

  • Jessica Clayton

    Wedding Coordinator

  • Jim & Barb Williams

    Deacon

  • Jim & Marie Doty

    Deacon

  • Jordan & Melissa Palmer

    Deacon

  • Judy Study

    Business Office

  • Karen Maley

    Facilities

  • Katie Dwyer

    Worship Assistant

  • Ken & Barbie Campbell

    Deacon

  • Koontz

    Blackhawk Ministries Service Dog

  • Leah Hilton

    Children's Ministry Assistant Director

  • Linda Pearson

    Executive Director / Head of Schools

  • Lou & Lori Toth

    Deacon

  • Mark “Weaz” Hammond

    Youth / Young Adult Pastor

  • Mark & Michelle Ahrens

    Deacon

  • Matt & Abby Brandenberger

    Deacon

  • Mike & Kathy Rowland

    Deacon

  • Milt & Monica Lengacher

    Deacon

  • Neil & Von Clay

    Deacon

  • Pastor Kevin Rivers

    Lead Pastor

  • Phil & Kathy Gallup

    Deacon

  • Phil Ferguson

    Elder

  • Rhys Barnhart

    Assistant Facilities Director

  • Rich Tavierne

    Stewardship Pastor

  • Rick Raber

    Elder

  • Samantha Maurizi

    Assistant Children's Ministry Director

  • Scott Berry

    Elder

  • Shane & Megan Steigerwald

    Deacon

  • Steve Connelly

    Elder

  • Tate Study

    Facilities Director

  • Tonya Hammond

    Communications Assistant

  • Tyler Study

    Facilities

Amber Kern

Children's Ministry Director

Arlan & Linda Friesen

Deacon

We’ve been married for nearly 33 years and have 4 adult children. Linda has been at Blackhawk since age 8. We were married in the Chapel (now the Youth Room) in 1984 and have served here ever since, aside from a 10-year stint serving at the Love Church. We currently participate in the Double Exposure LIFE Group and Marriage Matters, and teach Children’s Sunday School in the summer. We are thrilled to be experiencing the life-changing power of Jesus Christ in community with others, being loved and loving others, learning and applying God’s living Word, worshipping together, and being with others who desire to reach out to those around us.

Audrey Hindle

Facilities

Bill & Patty Culp

Deacon

We have been married 45 years this December. We have 3 adult children: Andrew, David, and Sarah, all living out-of-state (Madison, Wisconsin, Denver, Colorado, and San Diego, California), and 8 near-perfect grandchildren. We have been at Blackhawk since 1979, and are currently serving as Shepherds over 3 LIFE Groups. We’re excited to be a part of this new season at Blackhawk. We know that God has a great plan to mature us, and bring Him glory, and we don’t want to miss it.

Cami Wharton

Reception

Chip Clark

Worship Pastor

Christian Whitmer

Outreach Pastor

Curtis Smith

Elder

My wife, Jessie, and I will celebrate our 25th anniversary this year. We have 3 sons: Brooks, Jake, and Luke. All 3 attended Blackhawk Christian School since kindergarten. Luke will graduate in 2020, giving us 3 BCS alums. Later this year, Brooks will marry his fiancé, Stacie, and we will have a daughter-in-law. We have attended Blackhawk since December 1995, just 2 months after moving to Fort Wayne. Over those years, I have been involved in Blackhawk as a Sunday School Teacher, a Youth Basketball Coach, and a member of the Sunday Morning On-Stage Team. Jessie has been an Art Teacher at BCS for the past 10 years. We love Blackhawk because Jesus is at the center of everything the church does, and the people of Blackhawk are so warm and loving. This congregation helped make Fort Wayne our home, despite not being born and raised here. I work at Parkview Health, where I am the Corporate Director of Community Engagement.

Daniel Stewart

Music Director

Dave & Gail Rosner

Deacon

Gail and I have been married 36 years and have 3 grown children and 1 grandson. I currently work for the MEDPRO GROUP as an Account Executive Team Trainer. Before coming to Blackhawk, I served as an ordained Pastor of two Grace Brethren Churches. We have been attending Blackhawk Ministries for over 10 years now. I am currently serving as part of the Worship Team and play the guitar most Sundays; I also serve on the Worship Arts Team, helping with the planning and direction of our worship services. Both Gail and I have gone on short-term mission trips and have had our hearts challenged to see the need for the gospel here and around the world. We are excited to see what God is doing and will do as we reach Fort Wayne (the One Five) and the world with the saving gospel of Jesus Christ.

David & Lori Miller

Deacon

Lori and I have been married for 46 years. We have 5 adult children and 14 grandchildren, one of whom is awaiting us in heaven. We are busy and active in our careers. Lori is a Nurse Practitioner. I am an Electrical Contractor and have rental properties. For 24 years, Blackhawk has been our church home. We have served in LIFE Groups for the past 15 years and are currently leading a LIFE Group. Lori and I are drawn to young adults. Presently, we are active in Grafted. Having been adoptive parents and grandparents, our hearts are touched by the Grafted focus which resonates with our heartbeat. We love our church’s mission purpose and feel blessed to support where opportunity has permitted. We especially love to support the missionary family in Poland. I am excited to serve our church as a Deacon and covet your prayers that God will use me to accomplish His will.

Don & Jane Seely

Deacon

We are the parents of Craig and Kyle Seely, and we have 4 grandchildren. In November, Jane and I will celebrate our 50th Wedding Anniversary. We have been at Blackhawk since 1979 (about 38 years) and are currently serving on the Elder Board and with the Steward Team. We are members of the Dialogue Class and lead a smaller LIFE Group in our home that meets twice monthly on Tuesday evenings. We are currently studying Romans. We have always loved Blackhawk for the truth in God’s Word that is dutifully taught each week. It is most exciting to see what He is doing now in really growing our body both spiritually and in the new lives coming to Christ each week. Jane and I are both excited and feel privileged to be a part of this ministry.

Doug Crane

Elder

I have been married 32 years to Tammy, and we have 3 grown children: Amy (now Krebs, married to Nick), Alyssa, and Austin, and 2 grandchildren: Avery and Knox. We have been at Blackhawk for 27 years and lead a LIFE Group that meets each Tuesday. We are excited to see God continue to pour out His grace and mercy on this church. I’m most excited about our current momentum as seen in the new waves of people coming to faith in Christ!

Ed Ritchart

Worship & Production

Eric & Heidi Emley

Deacon

We have been married since 2006 and have been blessed with 3 children, each unique in their own way. Eric has been attending Blackhawk since 2000 and has served in the past with the Drama Team, Friendship Class, and Greeter Ministry, and currently serves on the Security Team. After marriage, Heidi began attending Blackhawk and has served in Blackhawk Kids every year. In Eric’s daily life, he is an IT Administrator, while Heidi works from home. We are excited about the growth of our church as we continue to speak the truth and show love to those who enter through the doors. Matthew 22:37-40

Ethan Shaull

Facilities

Jamie Mosier

Assistant Controller

Jessica Clayton

Wedding Coordinator

Jim & Barb Williams

Deacon

Barb invited me to attend the Blackhawk Church Singles Group in 1974. In 1979 I became a Christian, and later that year, we were married. During our attendance, I served several years on the Collection Counting Team and also served as a Greeter. Barb’s time was spent raising our 3 girls. Our blended family has expanded to 8 grandchildren. I am now retired from corporate life, and we spend time among our family, LIFE Group, Sunday School Class and Bible Studies. It is good to see the continued weekly decisions made for Christ and frequent baptisms which show that God is alive at Blackhawk.

Jim & Marie Doty

Deacon

Marie and I have been married 45 years and have 2 grown children and 4 grandchildren. I am currently a semi-retired CPA. I work during tax season, and garden and do yard work the rest of the year. Marie and I have attended Blackhawk for 37 years. Also, Marie and I help with the Student Ministry. The exciting thing for me is the “new-ness” that I feel about what is happening. People are making new commitments (we witness the raising of hands after every message) and getting baptized. We are on the move again, and Satan must hate it, so we need to be aware.

Jordan & Melissa Palmer

Deacon

Melissa and I have been married 16 years and have 4 children, with our 5th due in June. I am a Police Officer in the local area and Melissa home-schools our children. Melissa and I have been attending Blackhawk for over 20 years, and we currently serve on the leadership team for Grafted Ministries. We love our church, specifically that every Sunday, the proclamation of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the sins of His people and His exaltation at the right hand of the Father is taught and exhorted with a call to repent and receive forgiveness and eternal life. We love that our leaders make it known that no one is too far from God, but that through Christ, anyone can be saved.

Judy Study

Business Office

Karen Maley

Facilities

Katie Dwyer

Worship Assistant

Ken & Barbie Campbell

Deacon

We will celebrate 49 years of marriage this summer. We are blessed with 3 married daughters and 7 grandchildren. We have attended Blackhawk for 9 years. Barbie sings in the Choir. We serve together in the Bus Ministry. Ken is a substitute teacher in the Dialogue Class and serves as a Shepherding Deacon. We are excited about the growth of the church, both spiritually and numerically.

Koontz

Blackhawk Ministries Service Dog

Koontz has been trained through Indiana Canine Assistance Network, ICAN, and will be serving as a fulltime member of the Blackhawk Ministries and Blackhawk Christian Schools staff.

He is named after Deputy Officer Carl Koontz who unfortunately lost his life while serving with the Sheriff’s Office in Howard County, Indiana. Officer Koontz was a kind and loving Husband, Father, and Officer and is greatly missed. Koontz will continue Officer Koontz’s example of loving and serving here at Blackhawk.

Koontz will be of great assistance to all who work, attend, or are involved in Blackhawk Ministries and Blackhawk Christian School. Koontz will be used to provide support to students who are
struggling with various issues, such as anxiety, grief, conflict resolution, behavior, and help to develop greater empathy in our students for others, and also as a nonthreatening way to discuss difficult topics such as death, social differences, and hygiene.

We are excited to have Koontz join our staff, so please stop in and say “Hi” to our new friend.

Leah Hilton

Children's Ministry Assistant Director

Linda Pearson

Executive Director / Head of Schools

Lou & Lori Toth

Deacon

We have been married 36 years, and have 2 children: Matt and Lisa, and 2 grandchildren. Lori is an RN and Lou is a retired Electrical Engineer and full-time College Instructor. We both enjoy bicycling. We have been at Blackhawk for 32 years and served in many areas such as Choir, Awana, Deacon, and LIFE Group Leaders. Currently, we are serving in the Mosaic LIFE Group. We are excited to see people turning their lives to Christ and getting baptized!

Mark “Weaz” Hammond

Youth / Young Adult Pastor

Mark & Michelle Ahrens

Deacon

Michelle and I will be celebrating 29 years of marriage this coming September. We have been blessed with 3 wonderful children. Our 2 oldest are now married, and the youngest is finishing up his sophomore year of college. I have attended Blackhawk for over 33 years. I am currently serving on the Steward Team, using over 32 years of experience in corporate accounting and finance. I also served for many years in the Music Ministry as a part of the Choir and Worship Team. Michelle is a graduate of Blackhawk Christian School, so she has been around this place for much longer. Michelle has, and continues to serve in Children’s Ministries. It has truly been exciting for both of us to see first-hand God’s faithfulness and provision over the years here at Blackhawk. “HE” continues to use this ministry in a strong and mighty way for “HIS” purposes.

Matt & Abby Brandenberger

Deacon

Abby and I have been married for 17 years. We have 5 daughters ranging in ages from 3 to 10. I have worked for Fort Wayne Community Schools for 15 years, first as an Elementary Teacher and now as a District Technology Coordinator. My hobbies include hanging out with friends and family, basketball, golf, and making fun videos with my drone. I have attended Blackhawk since I was in middle school and Abby and I feel blessed to be raising our family in such a wonderful Christ-centered community. I am a proud graduate of Blackhawk Christian School, and we are thankful to be able to send our kids to BCS as well. We help lead the Grafted Adoption Ministry at Blackhawk and we are a Host Family with Safe Families for Children. We have helped coordinate a few Both Hands projects to raise money for Grafted and fund several adoptions in our church. We also serve with Blackhawk Kids on Wednesday nights, and I have taught on Sunday mornings at various times. We love the community of believers at Blackhawk and look forward to seeing what God has in store.

Mike & Kathy Rowland

Deacon

We have been married for 55 years and have 5 adult children, 3 of whom are serving our Lord in full-time ministry. We also have 12 grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren and 2 more arriving shortly. We have been attending Blackhawk since 1990, aside from a 9-year stint to help our son plant a church. Mike currently serves on the Care Team and is the teacher for the Excel Class. Kathy and I are excited about the direction of our church. Souls are being won, lives are being changed, and above all, God is glorified! Kathy and I look forward to being involved in the “equipping process.”

Milt & Monica Lengacher

Deacon

We have both been at Blackhawk and in the same LIFE Group for about 11 years. We began dating after Milt’s first wife, Deana, went home to heaven after a long illness. Milt has 2 daughters, both married, and 6 grandchildren. Milt serves as the Excel LIFE Group Leader, and Monica serves with the Communion Deaconess Team and is a Greeter at Door 3 on Sunday morning. Over the last 11 years, we have come to love the pure biblical, missional teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ and the ongoing closeness of our small group family. We are always asking the Lord for His vision and plan for us regarding serving the King’s family here at Blackhawk and wait in eager anticipation of future serving opportunities He brings to us.

Neil & Von Clay

Deacon

We have been married 50 years and have 3 children who graduated from BCS, and 5 grandchildren who have attended BCS. We have been members of Blackhawk since 1974 (43 years). Neil has been a deacon every year and a LIFE Group leader, first for Young Marrieds, and then for the Discovery Class. What excites me is God bringing Pastor Kevin and his family to Blackhawk, and God using him to draw people to Himself literally every week!

Pastor Kevin Rivers

Lead Pastor

Jessica and I have been married since 2006, and we have three amazing kids: Caleb, Callie, and Kya. Our family came to Blackhawk in the fall of 2016, and it’s been a joy to become a part of this incredible church family. Serving as the Lead Pastor at Blackhawk Ministries is a privilege and a responsibility that we consider a family calling God has indeed orchestrated as only He can do. Seeing Jesus made famous in our community and around the world not only excites me, but it also drives and compels me every single day to live and lead with purpose. I absolutely love helping people find hope through Jesus and seeing them get connected and equipped in His church!

Phil & Kathy Gallup

Deacon

We have been married 20 years and have 2 daughters: Adrienne (Neil) Wampole (with Avery, Brynn, and Teagan) and Tina (Scott) Cronkhite (with Scottie Cronkhite and Alyssa (Morgan) Avila). I have been at Blackhawk since 1981 and Kathy has been at Blackhawk since 1989. I am in Choir and Mosaic with Chris Mitchell. Kathy is also active in Mosaic, a Safe Families coach, Deaconess, and Nursery worker. I am energized by helping others through music in the Choir and the Men’s Octet, praying for those in the LIFE Groups assigned to me, and supporting those in the Mosaic Class. Because Kathy’s vocation is service/people helping from 9-5, she is energized by attending her LIFE Group and drinking in teaching during their gathering each week; it’s time to refill her “gas tank.”

Phil Ferguson

Elder

Sheryl and I have been married for 39 years and have 2 daughters: Rachel and Vanessa, one son-in-law James, one grandson James Phillip. We have been members of Blackhawk for 5 years and serve in Marriage Matters, Double Exposure, Cub Scouts, and Church Security Team. We are excited about the worship experience and serving in a church where lives are being changed each week, and the life community where we can connect with other believers.

Rhys Barnhart

Assistant Facilities Director

Rich Tavierne

Stewardship Pastor

Rick Raber

Elder

Diane and I have been married for 27 years. God has given us 3 sons: Caleb, Josh, and Zach. I have been involved at various levels here at Blackhawk since 1986, and I currently serve in the roles of Elder, Shepherding Team Member, and Dialogue LIFE Group Teacher. I am so excited to be at a place where my family is encouraged and challenged to model the life of Jesus every week. I am so grateful to see the multi-generational body of Christ worshipping and serving side by side. We value a church family that has helped develop three sons, who prioritize their lives to participate and serve in ways that live out the gospel in their relationships outside the walls of Blackhawk.

Samantha Maurizi

Assistant Children's Ministry Director

Scott Berry

Elder

I have been married to Laurie for 25 years, and we have two grown children: Nick and Miranda, who both graduated from Blackhawk Christian School. I am a CPA and have specialized in not-for-profit finance for the last 10 years. We have been at Blackhawk for almost 14 years, and during that time I have served as a greeter and more recently, on the stewardship team. We are excited to see God at work at Blackhawk and to have the opportunity to serve Him here. Blackhawk has great momentum, and we look forward to seeing His name raised high as we light the One Five together.

Shane & Megan Steigerwald

Deacon

Megan and I have been married for nearly 10 years. We have 3 children: Porter 4, Sloan 2, and Sebastian 1. We have attended Blackhawk Ministries for nearly 4 years. Serving the Lord through volunteering our time at Blackhawk is a big part of our lives. It’s a joy to see our church thriving through renovations and people choosing to follow Jesus on a weekly basis.

Steve Connelly

Elder

I have been married for 16 years to a beautiful woman who challenges me to become a better man of God. We have 5 boys: Donovan 15, Gabriel 13, Jadon born and deceased in 2005, Brennan 10, and Samuel 6. We have been members of Blackhawk for 10 years, serving in Blackhawk Kids, Blackhawk Ministries’ LIFE Groups, NeighborLink, Blackhawk Christian School Board Member, and BCS Cross Country and Track Coach. We are humbled to see God’s faithfulness, His provision, and the refining He has showered upon the church, and it’s ministries. We are very encouraged to see how unified the church and Blackhawk Christian School have become, and are excited to be a part of how God will use both to bless the community He wants us to reach.

Tate Study

Facilities Director

Tonya Hammond

Communications Assistant

Tyler Study

Facilities