PASTORS AND STAFF
Ryan Jensema | Senior Pastor
I grew up in a family that loved and served Christ. As I grew through my teen years I began to embrace my own faith and commitment to Christ. I moved to Bellingham in the fall of 1995 to attend Western Washington University. It was then that I connected with Northwest and began helping with the Middle School Youth Group as a volunteer. I came on staff as a summer youth intern in 1997 and have never looked back. I served as the Youth Pastor for several years before accepting the Senior Pastor position in January of 2006. It has been a privilege and blessing to be a part of such a wonderful group of people seeking to follow Jesus together.
I am married to a wonderful wife Heather who I met at Western. God has blessed us with four wonderful kids who keep our life fast paced and interesting at all times. We are enjoying life together following God’s lead in our families life.
Mark Hinkleman | Executive/Worship Pastor
I grew up in a family that was at church every time the doors were opened. Like the typical church kid, I prayed to receive Christ as my savior at a VBS the summer of 1985. My faith became a significant part of my life during middle school and high school. After high school, I went to Multnomah Bible College and began working at a local church. During this time I met my wife, Jennifer, and we were married in 2001. We moved to Bellingham in 2003 to work at Immanuel Bible Church where I served for fourteen years. God has blessed us with four kids and we love living in Whatcom County. I am thankful for the opportunity to continue to serve God at Northwest Baptist Church and look forward to all the ways God is going to work as we serve Him together.
Steve Wilson | Youth Director
I have been a member of Northwest since 2002. I have also been a high school math teacher at Bellingham and Squalicum High Schools for the past 21 years, coaching various sports in 16 of those 21 years. The years I wasn't coaching I was the Posse Lead here at NWBC. Working with youth is my passion and I enjoy every minute of it. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to return to youth ministry again and am anxious to go forward with God's plan. I think it is very important for kids to learn about Jesus and have fun Christian fellowship in the middle of the week as well as on Sundays.
Cathy Paxton | Children's Ministy Lead
I grew up attending church and accepted Christ as my Savior when I was nine years old. I married my husband, Tim, in 1978, and we have lived in Bellingham since 1980. In 1989 I was searching for a church in Bellingham to help me raise my children to know and love God, and God led me to Northwest Baptist Church. As my children grew, I became involved in various children’s programs at Northwest, helping to teach my children about God. Now my three daughters are adults who love and serve God, and my passion is to partner with other parents as they raise their children to follow Christ.
Diane Bergquist | Bookkeeper
I grew up in a loving military family that didn't go to church or know Jesus. I usually went to church with friends and neighbors. I was saved when I was in middle school where I attended a church in Okinawa, Japan. My family decided that we would start attending church at Northwest Baptist. It was a great feeling that my family started to go to church and I was no longer the only one that attended church. My whole family was baptized, at once, in Lake Whatcom and I have been worshipping here ever since.
I met my husband, Eric, at Western Washington University where I received my BS in Business in 1986, and my MRS in 1987. We have two children that grew up at Northwest and they loved, loved, loved the youth group here. I was asked by my mentor, Linda Velenchenko, to help our church and serve as the bookkeeper in 2007 and I have been working here ever since. God is so good.
Kellie Schmidt | Communications Manager
I accepted Christ in second grade at VBS. I went to church with my mom and brother and continued to grow in my faith through Young Life, youth groups and The Inn at WWU. I married my husband Peter in 1992. My first experience at NWBC was in January of 1997 when I took a temporary role as secretary, while they searched to fill the position permanently. By that fall we had developed relationships with the wonderful people of NW and decided to make it our church home. Since that time, I have served in many roles including women’s ministry coordinator, bible study leader, Missions Deacon, Education Coordinator and youth camp staff. Our two children and many of our foster kids have attended NWBC as well.