Dr. Mike is the founding pastor of Lake Forest Church. He has been married to Angie since 1988, and they have two sons, Dylan and Austin. Mike earned a BA in history from the College of William & Mary and a Masters in Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary. He completed the Arrow Leadership Program under Leighton Ford.
Anything fun my teenaged boys are into (surfing, skiing, paintball); reading (recently finished a survey of Barth’s systematics; currently reading about the great early church bishops to glean leadership-of-the-large-church wisdom from the non-business category – how did these men manage to effectively lead large metropolitan churches and networks, while also clearly being men of God?); and international cultural travel (most recently two weeks in Turkey with my wife; last several years included travel to Nepal (with a hike of the first day of the Mt Everest trail), and mountain biking across the Gobi Desert in Mongolia as a stress counselor for an international team of elite marathoners).
Mike graduated with a Doctorate of Ministry from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary in 2007. His dissertation is titled 'The Transformational Leadership of St. Patrick.' Prior to starting Lake Forest in 1998, Mike worked as a youth minister for Young Life and as pastor of spiritual growth for a church plant in Memphis TN (hopepres.com).
Some of the most formative experiences of Mike’s life have been: living through the L.A. Riots with youth group members in South Central LA, spending a summer in Kenya with an African pastor, experiencing the miracle of child-birth, witnessing first-hand the death of human beings, and having a front row seat to watch people’s lives change because of the grace and power of God.
He is a freak about all things U2, Tolkien and St. Patrick. Just the mention of Chris Rock’s name makes him laugh. And if the church were just ‘for Mike,’ all the music would be techno.
To learn more about some things Mike cares about, read the paper he wrote after his 2005 sabbatical leave. Click here for a pdf version.
H.E.L.P., Helping Empower Local People, Lake Norman Area
Mike is a cofounder of this local justice initiative, which is a community organizing group of 17 diverse congregations for the purpose of empowering local citizenry with little voice, and for the faith community to take its appropriate seat at the table with government and business as co-stewards of the quality and the further development of our Lake Norman towns.
The Bin, Huntersville, North Carolina
The Bin is a non-profit, volunteer-run furniture bank that matches donated house wares to those in need, led by Ministry Partners of Lake Forest Church. The Bin is an affiliate ministry of The Ada Jenkins Center, in Davidson NC. www.the-bin.org
Children’s International Network, Bolivia Life Center, Cochabamba, Bolivia
Founded and led by John Hernandez, CIN ministers to vulnerable children in Miami, Cuba, Bolivia and Colombia. Lake Forest Church partners with CIN’s orphanage which serves homeless street children in Cochabamba, Bolivia. www.cinonline.org
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Advisory Board – Charlotte Campus
Mike earned his doctorate at GCTS, and cares about Christian ministers and pastors being well-educated biblically and theologically. GCTS was co-founded by Billy Graham, and is an inter-denominational Protestant seminary with several campuses. www.gcts.edu As 'Dr. Moses,' Mike co-taught a new class at the seminary the spring semester of 2010, titled 'Church Planting and Growth.'