Pastor Mike O'Neill, Lead Pastor
- Job title/description: Lead Pastor
- What do you love about what you do: I love seeing the ways God works in our lives together as a church. We have a great team in the pastors and staff and Leadership Team; they love the Lord, their church and their community, and they are great people to be around.
- Spouse & family member’s names: Shelly and I have been married for a few years, and we have three boys – Sean, a graduate student in Physical Therapy, Ryan, a junior at Northwest Nazarene University studying to be a youth pastor, and Brenden, an NNU freshman in Pre-Med. And Duff, our black lab.
- Brief background: I became a Christian in high school and attended Northwest Nazarene University, getting a Bachelor’s in Religion and two Master’s degrees in ministry and Missional Leadership. Shelly and I met there as undergrads (her degree is in Social Work/Psychology). I spent almost 15 years as a youth pastor in California, Oregon, and Idaho before becoming a Lead Pastor, which I’ve done since 1998. We moved to Yakima in 2010. We love being a part of West Valley Church – great people and great fun. I enjoy being with my family and friends, reading, skiing, and exercising, and playing with Duff. I am not having fun when I’m eating brussels sprouts, but I am having fun when the food is spicy.
- Favorite quote/verse:
“God give me work till my life shall end, and life till my work is done.” (Yorkshire tombstone)
“Ye different sects, who all declare, ‘Lo here is Christ, and Christ is there;’ your stronger proofs divinely give, and show me where the Christians live!” (John Wesley)
“Ring the bells that still can ring; forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” (Leonard Cohen)
“For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10, nlt)
- Factoid: I once used a bathroom stall next to Pat Boone. I shook hands with him (after he washed them), and my wife once worked as a nanny for Joan Lunden.
James Lounsberry, Youth Pastor
- Name: James Lounsberry
- Job Title: Pastor to Youth and Families
- Spouse: Bethany Kids: None (Unless you count their two cats - Crash & Rev.)
- Brief Background: James came to Christ during his sophomore year in high school. In 2005 he graduated from Northwest Nazarene University and has worked in youth ministry ever since. He married his amazing wife, Bethany, in the fall of 2005. They have lived in Yakima since 2010. James has a great passion for youth, and loves seeing them connect and grow with Christ.
- Favorite Quote/Verse: Live moves pretty fast. If you don't stop to look around once in a while, you could miss it. Ferris Buller's Day Off
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
- Fun or Funny about you: James is a total sports nut. Being born and raised in the Seattle area he loves the Mariners, Seahawks, Sounders, Sonics (before and hopefully when they come back someday), and anything that is Huskies. His dream is to retire and become an usher at all major stadiums, so he can watch his favorite teams play all year round (or figure out a way to win the lottery so he can just be a season ticket holder).
Arden Sickenberger, Volunteer Associate Pastor
- Name: Arden Sickenberger
- Job title/description: Volunteer Part Time Associate Pastor - directly responsible to Pastor Mike, Lead Pastor, for specific assignments
- What do you love about what you do?: I love to tell people that God loves them and will help them, and then pray with them; I love meeting new people and learning to know them and being enriched from their knowledge, wisdom, and experiences of living; I love WVC and all the people who make it up, and am excited about our potential to impact our community for God as we forge ahead in new adventures with him.
- Spouse and family member's names: Wife Patsy, daughter, Vicky (Dave), sons Mark (Joyce), Jeff and Fred (Helen), 8 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
- Brief background: Four years US Air Force, during which time I established a relationship with God; Bethany Nazarene College; Fifty five years ministry including pastor, registered Nazarene traveling evangelist, interim pastor, fill-in for pastors on vacation; moved to Yakima in 1981 and home based at First Church until coming to WVC in 2009.
- Favorite quote/verse: "You can't move ahead while staying where you are." - "I know the plans for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future...call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you...when you seek me with all your heart.: (Jeremiah 29:11-12)
- Something funny: In the Tacoma church there was a sweet little 95 year old lady who used a cane to assist in walking. She would often reach out and gently touch people with her cane to get their attention. Once Sunday morning as I was walking up the center aisle to begin leading the worship service she wanted to give me her last minute encouragement. So she reached out her cane to get my attention. In her weak hand the cane dropped down and went between my lower legs and tripped me. I landed flat on my face, surprised and a little stunned. When I got up we all had a good laugh. A fond, amusing memory of the unexpected joys of serving the Lord.
Casey Wilkerson, Children's Pastor
- Name: Casey Lee Wilkerson
- Job Title: Children's Pastor
- Wife: Alyssa, Son: Judah born 4-11-12
- Background: Casey grew up in Yakima going to East Valley schools before moving to Nampa, Id to attend Northwest Nazarene University on a baseball scholarship. Casey graduated with Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Christian Education. He served as children's intern and pastor in Meridian, ID for 8 years before coming the children's pastor at West Valley Church in July of 2012. I love my family, baseball, the Seahawks, reading, golf, hunting, fishing, and anything else outdoors.
- Favorite Quote: Who is discipling you and who are you discipling?
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
- Something Interesting: Alyssa and I were married August 1, 2009. and my son, Judah was born in a car, 3 years later, on our way to the birthing center.
Jason Worthington, Discipleship Pastor
• Name: Jason Worthington
• Job Title: Pastor of Discipleship
• Family: I’ve been married to Tricia for 14 years. We have four wonderful daughters - Holland, Savannah, Addison, and Brooklyn. Some might think that Tricia and I have attained some professional status as parents, while in fact we still feel as if we are treading water daily. As a father to four girls, I am continually updating my “So you want to date my daughter?” application, and looking into the purchase of a shotgun.
• Background: When I look back over my life, I cannot help but see God’s hand at every step. My Journey has taken me to the extremes - Eastern Europe as a missionary, Oregon as a worship pastor, Oklahoma as a bi-vocational pastor in church plant environments, and as a manager with Apple, Inc. Every one of these steps in my journey has played a pivotal role in who I am today - as a husband, a father, a leader, a minister, and as a disciple of Christ.
• Favorite quotes: “You will find your way through serving, not through searching” - Unknown, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” - Steve Jobs, “You know what it's like having four kids? Imagine you're drowning. And someone hands you a baby.” - Jim Gaffigan
• Something interesting: I once waited outside a room at a Serbian border crossing while my traveling companion was strip searched. That was my lucky day.