I was born in Butler, PA on October 21, 1961, the son of Hazel and Dale Pfeil, one of nine in a family of six girls and three boys. When I was 13 I experienced two crises, the divorce of my parents and leukemia. These events shook my life and sent me on a spiritual journey that brought me to yield my life to Christ.
I graduated from Girard High School in 1979 and have lived the majority of my life in Western PA and on the East Coast. I received my BA from Oral Roberts University and MDiv from the University of Dubuque Theological.
Since that time God has taken me all over the country. I’ve lived in New Brighton PA, Newark DE, Fullerton CA, and Klamath Falls OR. I have traveled coast to coast. I have been a Pastor for 29 years (This September I will celebrate my 30th year) serving to date, four congregations: First Presbyterian Church of New Brighton PA, White Clay Creek Presbyterian Church of Newark DE, Journey Evangelical Church of Westminster CA, and First Presbyterian Church – Klamath Falls OR, where I currently serve.
I have four kids, three girls and a boy, all on their own after graduating from college. Allyson, my oldest is a Nurse. Charis, my second-born, is a Graphic Designer and mother of two sets of twins. Ariel, my third child, is a School Teacher. Alan, my son, is a Computer Engineer and works for Boeing. That makes me an empty-nester and in debt for the next 10 years as I work to pay off all the student loans.
Sadly, about three years ago my wife of 29 years decided she could no longer journey with me in the ministry, so she filed for divorce. It was the most painful experience I have ever gone through. For the second time in my life, my family life blew apart. It threw me into deep grief. Fortunately, I had a church and a denomination that walked me through the grief and into recovery. I knew God would one day redeem the situation to his glory. I clung to that hope. A year and a half later I met and dated a wonderful woman, Holly Thomas, whom I fell in love with and married. We live together in Klamath Falls at the Running Y.
Outside of my work and family, the things I enjoy most are: sports (playing mostly) however I do like to watch football and root on my team, the Pittsburgh Steelers! and I like to watch golf, the outdoors, hiking, fishing, camping, good movies, trying new food, reading my Bible, watching the news, science (especially cosmology), music (I’m eclectic), art, working out at the gym, playing cards with friends, and traveling. I have a list of places I’d like to see before I get too old to travel.
I’m an adventurous, humorous, fun-loving, outgoing, and introspective person all at once. I have been a missionary to Israel through “Project Kibbutz,” and helped build the current headquarters of Habitat for Humanity. Missions are a special passion of my heart. I also have a passion to see the church live up to her calling as an authentic community of faith that expresses to others the grace they have experienced through the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s been my life’s journey to not only be saved by grace but to also live by grace, allowing grace to shape every aspect of my life and being.