Meet the Pastors

ANDY VOELKER
LEAD PASTOR

I grew up attending church with my family in southern Indiana and you might summarize the first 27 years of my life by saying that I knew about God, but I did not know God. I married my sweetheart, Laura, at 21 and few years later when she asked me to go to church with her I told her that "I felt closest to God when I worked outside and as long as I have two strong arms, I'm going to work on Sundays."

Well, as you might imagine, it is not a good idea to make statements like that! Just a few short weeks later I fell from a high scaffolding and severely broke both arms. It took several long months of feeling sorry for myself and nearly wrecking my marriage before I remembered those words, went to church with Laura and gave my life to Christ. God changed my heart and called me to a life of service.

In 2015 God called us (Laura, our youngest daughter Bethany and myself) to serve here at Christian Life Center. When I think of what a church should be, my first thoughts are of Christian Life Center, a church that loves God and loves people. The Bible says that the mark of a believer is love and this will be how we are known. This is what we have found here on Whidbey Island and it is a great honor to serve  a church that is loving, open, safe and committed to the Truth without compromise. 


 

TOM GOODFELLOW
FAMILY LIFE PASTOR

 If I'm honest, I don't believe I'm anything special, but I am committed and connected to a God who redefines me as more than I could imagine. In many ways I feel like James and John in Matthew 4:19, two fishermen called by a great Rabbi to be something more than they could imagine.

I remember my first real encounter with Jesus; it was when I was 9 years old. It was an encounter that changed me. I have no doubt that this spiritual moment was rooted in an intellectual decision, a decision to be reunited with the God who wants to be in relationship with me. I remember the time, the moment, the clear and logical thought progression. I was created to be in relationship with God, and I wanted that relationship. But my life didn’t change immediately, not tremendously; this isn't one of those stories. It’s been a long process of getting to know God. We’ve had our highs and our lows, both tremendous in their own ways; yet somehow, through it all, every ounce of reason and passion has led me to the God who knows me, loves me, and wants me to be more. Today, I can say categorically that I’m a believing, baptized, student-follower of the greatest teacher, the most high God.

Though I was born and raised in England, by the age of 21 my desire to follow God brought me to the United States. After six years of serving in Wisconsin, God brought us to beautiful Whidbey Island to come alongside Christian Life Center as together we see to love God and reach people. I am truly blessed that I get to do this with my wonderful wife, Erin, who is more talented at life and passionate about God than I can fathom. Together we are excited to grow in relationship with Christ as we strive to love our community.

Since I was 16 years old I have been studying Christian theology. I can't image anything more exciting. Since I was 17, I have been in various academic institutions delving deeper, and I’m still not done. There is more to learn, deeper to delve, and God just keeps welcoming my feeble dives. Discovering more about God is a lifelong venture, and I’m thoroughly invested. When I’m not finding the big questions in life, or playing with Logos Bible Software, you can find me in a coffee shop, discussing with friends the various aspects of who God is and what it means to follow him.

Living a life with Christ isn’t simply academic; it is much more. I find myself invested in a relationship with a very real God who is particularly invested in the lives of his followers. When I consider my life with God I cannot help but be overwhelmed by one astonishing fact: God is invested in me. It is because Christ gave his life as a willing sacrifice for the sins of the world, and rose from the dead as an evidence to that fact, that I am able (as are you) to have a relationship with the God who is thoroughly invested in His people. It is because of God’s investment, His love, His sacrifice, and His awesome glory that I am invested.

If you want to find out more about me, please go to www.thomasgoodfellow.us where you can find links to my social media, and read a little about my drive to find out more about our God.