Mike was born and raised in the Detroit, MI. He did not grow up in a Christian home. He did have the opportunity to attend church as teenager and professed to be a Christian during that time. After graduation from high school, he enrolled as a student at a Christian college, majoring in Accounting. During this time, he came to faith in Christ the summer between his freshman and sophomore years. Soon after, he travelled on a team where he preached and taught children the summer after my sophomore year. These two events laid another foundation for my deciding to surrender to God’s leading in preparing for the ministry.
After finishing his B.S. in Accounting, he returned to college to begin work on his M.Div. It was during seminary that he became convinced of the Doctrines of Grace, through the influence of a few of his teachers and began attending church that was solidly reformed. After completing his M.Div., he began working a full-time job while serving in different capacities within the church. Soon, Mike felt burdened to work in a church plant. In 2002, he and his wife Christina relocated to northern Illinois and began working at Heritage Baptist Church. He is a founding member of the church and has served as an Elder since the church was organized.
Mike’s role has varied over the years he and his family are committed to this ministry and its members. They were blessed to see their son, Benjamin, was born, converted to Christ, and baptized during their years of service at HBC.
Mike is a die-hard Michigan sports fan and when and occasionally takes the opportunity to attend games whenever he is back visiting family. He also enjoys golf, and is an avid shooter at the local gun range. He currently works full-time as a Project Executive for a software company and enjoys his job, but his greatest love is for the Lord and His church.
Ben grew up in Milwaukee, WI and came to faith in Christ at the age of twelve. He had grown up in a religious home for most of his life to that point, but never had a relationship with Jesus Christ. One Sunday morning at the age of thirteen, he came to realize his need for salvation when he and his family went to visit a Baptist church in the Milwaukee area. It was at that time that he came to Christ in true repentance and faith after one of the morning services. He was called to preach one year later while attending camp. It is a calling and burden that has never left and he would absolutely echo the words of the Apostle Paul and say, “Woe is me if I preach not the gospel!”
Pastor Ben has both a B.A and M.A. in Biblical Studies; is an associate member of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS); and is currently working toward his Ph.D. He became convinced of the Doctrines of Grace while in undergrad and came to fully embrace Reformed Theology at the end of seminary and during his first year as a pastor. Ben also spent eight years in the business world as a real estate broker and insurance consultant while in college and seminary. This has allowed him to gain valuable experience as a regular church member and business owner. He believes the church should be actively involved in working in and reaching the community. Pastor Ben is an active volunteer firefighter and former sheriff chaplain.
Ben and his wife Andrea have been married for 14 years and have four beautiful children: Anna, Jackson, Alyson, and Ashlee. They came to HBC after pastoring in Michigan for four years. They understand the importance of family and ministry, and desire to have their family involved in the work of the ministry as much as possible.
Whenever he has some free time, Ben is an avid golfer and enjoys playing with church members, friends, and family. He also enjoys reading, running, and taking trips with his family.