Denise lives in Clackamas with her husband, Fred Douglas. Last fall they entered a new life stage, the “empty nest”. They are enjoying it a bit more than they expected (but don’t tell). They have two sons, Erick and Brian, both students at Linfield College and an adorable dog named Max, to keep them company. Denise enjoys good coffee, good books, good conversation, and the occasional chaos of home life when it is filled with family and friends.
Denise believes the good news of Jesus Christ is found in many places in scripture, but this section stands out to her as good news she loves to share with others:
God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. — Ephesians 1: 5-8 NLT
Brian lives with his wife, Julie, and their three kids. As a family, the intersection of creativity and spirituality is an integral part in their lives. They love to create, paint, draw, write music and poetry, throw pottery, and dance. They also love “all things nature” such as gardening, hiking, and mountain biking. If Brian doesn’t visit the trees often, the universe gets severely out of whack.
He didn’t grow up in the church or in a religious home. Instead he had some life-altering events in high school and college which convinced him that Jesus was real and worth following.
He got his Bachelors degree in Russian and Eastern European Studies from San Diego State University. Later in life, he received his Masters in Theological Studies from George Fox Seminary. Brian has also taught biblical studies and world religions in several different community colleges and universities in the Willamette Valley.
“For in Christ Jesus . . . the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” – Galatians 5:6
Omar Cifuentes nació en Guatemala y se mudo a el area de Los Ángeles, Ca en 1990, endonde conoció a sú esposa Rosie. Ellos se casaron en 1993. Buscando un futuro mejor para sus hijos, se mudaron a Portland, Oregón en 1994, pero sus hijos no llegarón hasta 19 años despues: Sucely en el 2013 y Rosie Omay en el 2015.
Omar aceptó a JesuCristo en 1992 y sirvió en algunas congregaciónes de habla hispana en el area de Portland. Viviendo en el vecindario cercano, Omar y Rosie fueron a conocer a Mt. Scott Church, endonde los planes de Omar eran de mezclarse entre la multitud e atender los servicios regulares e irse a casa- pero fue el lugar equivocado para hacer eso. Pronto estaba involucrado en varios ministerios en la Iglesia y contesto el llamado a empezar una congregación de habla hispana, la cual ahora pastorea.
Las pasiónes de Omar son el Ministerio, el fútbol y pasar tiempo con sú familia.
Por tanto, id y haced discípulos a todas las naciones, bautizándoles en el nombre del Padre, del Hijo y del Espíritu Santo, y enseñándoles que guarden todas las cosas que os he mandado. Y he aquí, yo estoy con vosotros todos los días, hasta el fin del mundo. — Mateo 28:19-20
Porque yo sé los planes que tengo acerca de vosotros, dice Jehovah, planes de bienestar y no de mal, para daros porvenir y esperanza. Entonces me invocaréis. Vendréis y oraréis a mí, y yo os escucharé. Me buscaréis y me hallaréis, porque me buscaréis con todo vuestro corazón. Me dejaré hallar de vosotros, dice Jehovah, y os restauraré de vuestra cautividad.— Jeremias 29:11-14
Omar Cifuentes was born in Guatemala and moved to Los Angeles area in 1990 where he met his wife Rosie. They were married in 1993. Looking for a better future for their children they moved to Portland, Oregon in 1994, but the kids didn’t come until nineteen years later: Sucely (in 2013) and Rosie Omay (in 2015).
Omar accepted Jesus Christ in 1992 and served in couple Spanish speaking churches in the Portland area. Living in the neighborhood, Omar and Rosie came to check out Mt. Scott Church where Omar’s plan was to blend into the crowd, just coming to regular services and going home — wrong place to try that. Soon he was involved in several ministries in the church and then answered the call to begin a Spanish speaking congregation, which he now pastors.
Omar’s passions are ministry, watching soccer and spend time with family.
Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.— Mathew 28:19-20
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.” — Jeremiah 29:11-14
Steve spent his formative years in Southern California, migrating to Northern California during college. He is a life-long learner, having obtained a B.A. and M.A. in psychology and an MBA, along with graduate study at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.
He came to full-time ministry in 1998 after 25 years in business and has served on staff at North Modesto Church of God and as the Executive Director of the Church of God Association of Northern California before coming to Mt. Scott.
Portland feeds Steve’s passions well: books, good food and conversation. He can be seen often wandering through the stacks at Powell’s (usually with several “must-have” volumes under one arm). And of course, grandkids – he and Judi have three incredible ones (pictures available upon request).
I pray to the Father of all the great family of God that out of his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you the mighty inner strengthening of his Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts, living within you as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love; and may you be able to feel and understand, as all God’s children should, how long, how wide, how deep, and how high his love really is; and to experience this love for yourselves, though it is so great that you will never see the end of it or fully know or understand it. And so at last you will be filled up with God himself.— Ephesians 3:14-19
Josh grew up in Southwest Ohio where he felt called to ministry after he became a Christian later in his high school years. He came to Portland, Oregon where he attended and graduated from Warner Pacific University in 2015 with a major in Religion & Christian Ministries. After his time at Warner and remaining in Portland for about a year, he married his wife Kelsey and two months later they moved to Hanoi, Vietnam where they lived for two years. Josh spent time serving at Hanoi International Fellowship in a variety of ways (Youth ministry, Children’s ministry, Alpha film series, and the Welcome team, to name a few). Returning to the US in 2018, Josh worked with the mobilization team of TeachBeyond to equip and help others live into their calling of serving in ministry overseas. Now Josh is serving as Mt. Scott’s Youth Ministries Director while looking to finish his Masters of Divinity online through Anderson University School of Theology.
In his spare time Josh enjoys watching and playing sports (baseball or anything that involves a Frisbee or a disc are his favorites), building relationships by playing board or card games, reading, cooking and tasting new recipes, or simply spending time with old friends or getting to know new ones.
…to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ— Ephesians 4:12
My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. — Galatians 2:20
Michelle is a graduate of Warner Pacific College, majoring in Music Education.
She has taught music in private and public schools for the past 30 years. She and her husband, Gavin, have been a part of the Mt. Scott Church family since 1993 and raised their two sons and daughter here in Portland. In addition to serving as Director of Worship Ministries, she is the choral vocal coach and accompanist at David Douglas High School and is staff accompanist and professor of piano at Warner Pacific College. Michelle enjoys attending her kids’ athletic and music events, spending time with family at the Oregon coast and coffee with friends.
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.— Jeremiah 29:11
JoAnna and her family began attending Mt. Scott Church in 2008. Growing up in a pastor’s home in Colorado, JoAnna served as a children’s worker through her teen years and felt a calling to continue working with children. Being a mother of three boys along with her study at Warner Pacific College, where she focused on Early Childhood Education prepared her well when God opened the door in 2015 with an opportunity to help in the Children’s Department at Mt. Scott. She enjoys all aspects of this ministry and loves each and every child that walks through the doors at Mt. Scott Church.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. — Philippians 4:4-6 (NASB)
Even before Kelsey could walk, she was singing. Her family would sing a prayer before every meal, before bedtime, and to Kelsey, life felt like one BIG concert. She grew up in Tulare, California where her father pastored at Tulare First Church of God. She moved to Portland, Oregon where she attended and graduated from Warner Pacific University in 2015 with a major in Worship Arts Leadership and a minor in Drama. A year after graduating, Kelsey married her husband Josh and two months later they moved to Hanoi, Vietnam where they lived for two years. Kelsey taught music at a Bilingual school to 1st through 7th graders. She also volunteered as the worship leader once a month at the international church. Returning to the US in 2018, Kelsey worked with the mobilization team of TeachBeyond to equip and help others live into their calling of serving in ministry overseas. Now Kelsey is serving as Mt. Scott’s Worship Ministries Coordinator Associate. When Kelsey is not singing, she enjoys organizing anything she can get her hands on and working with Excel spreadsheets, playing board or card games with friends, and investing in the lives of people.
This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. — Ephesians 4:13
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. — Philippians 4:8
Sharon joined our staff in July 2015. She warmly greets visitors and answers phones during the morning hours in our front office along with helping the staff with weekly tasks. Sharon and her husband Mike married in 1967 and have two children and five grandchildren.