Chris Walker, Associate Pastor for Youth Ministry
Chris joined our church staff in August, 2013. He and his wife Kate joined Westminster in 2009, after Chris became a teacher and athletic director at Veritas Academy in Leola, where he served for five years. They live in Leola and have four children, Alana, Drew, Annette, and Kristiana. Chris is a graduate of Hillsdale College in Michigan and Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. He planned a career in Christian education, possibly as a school headmaster. In 2012 his wife inquired whether he had given serious thought to pastoral ministry. After Chris prayed about this for a while, God opened his heart in this direction and our need for a youth pastor followed in short order! We believe God's hand positioned Chris right in our midst, to inherit leadership of a healthy youth ministry led so well by Troy De Bruin. Chris was ordained by our presbytery in fall 2013.
Send Chris an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Melissa White, Youth Ministry Assistant
Melissa joined our church staff in February 2015. Melissa assists Chris Walker in the youth ministry, helping with the planning and organization of programs, leading girls' Bible studies, and mentoring young women to grow in Christ. Her ministry to students began in high school, serving on her youth group’s student leadership team and has continued in a variety of roles and places since then. She attended Belhaven University where she received her bachelor’s degree in Art. It was at Belhaven that Melissa met Andrew, her husband and partner in ministry, and they married a couple of weeks after graduation. They now live in Manheim Township with their daughter, Kaylie. Melissa likes to spend her time baking, playing board games, traveling, and hanging out with students, friends, and family.
Send Melissa an email at email@example.com
Led by Youth Pastor Chris Walker, Westminster is pleased to introduce the following volunteer youth leaders:
Birthdate: December 3
Where you grew up: Canton, OH
In high school, I was a homebody. But I had a great youth group that I loved to hang out with.
Current job/school: mom
Favorite food: I’m a sucker for fresh berries in the summer.
Hobbies/interests: reading, running, hiking, camping, keeping up with 'all the things', always seeking ways to be a better mom
Favorite verse and why: Romans 8:28 - it reminds me of God's sovereignty. His plan is perfect. Even when I don't understand it, I can know that He uses the "good" & the "bad" to achieve his purposes.
Birthdate: April 10
Where you grew up: Leola, PA
In high school, I was either playing sports or working.
Current job/school: Financial Advisor at Everence
Favorite food: Nothing beats a good steak
Hobbies/interests: Soccer, ice hockey, running, the occasional video game
Favorite verse and why: Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. This was the first verse I ever memorized and the simple words have given me a lot of encouragement over the years.
Birthdate: December 1
Where you grew up: Greenville, SC
In high school, I was a nerd who self-identified as an amateur ornithologist.
Current job/school: Pharmaceutical Management Consultant
Favorite food: Burger
Hobbies/interests: Alpine skiing, hiking
Favorite verse and why: Psalm 51: 10-12 - Because it reminds me of my need for a savior and his promised restoration.
Birthdate: November 29
Where you grew up: Lancaster County
In high school, I was too cool for school.
Current job/school: Teacher's Aide at Wickersham Elementary
Favorite food: Shepherd's Pie, lasagna
Hobbies/interests: Soccer, traveling
Favorite verse and why: Psalm 62 & 63 and Romans 8
Birthdate: April 19
Where you grew up: Lancaster
In high school, I was in choir and played soccer :)
Favorite food: Thai chicken curry with rice!!!
Hobbies/interests: traveling, hiking, being with friends and family and having a good time
Favorite verse and why: Hebrews 4:14-16 - This verse reminds me that because of all that Christ has accomplished for me on my behalf, I can confidently approach God and not expect judgment, but rather grace for what I need!!
Birthdate: January 18
Where you grew up: Bernardsville, NJ
In high school I was on Girls Varsity Track (4 years) and Field Hockey (2 years).
Current job/school: homemaker, retired homeschool mom and freelance book designer
Favorite food: homemade bread
Hobbies/interests: gardening, baking, art
Favorite verse and why: Psalm 16:8; reassures me that the Lord is always with me whether or not I "feel" His presence.
Birthdate: July 24
Where you grew up: Lititz, PA
In high school, I was the bookworm.
Current job/school: RN at the Lancaster Rehabilitation Hospital and working on my Master Herbalist certification online with Trinity School of Natural Health
Favorite food: Grilled red pepper
Hobbies/interests: Herbs, reading, baking, singing, motorcycle rides with my husband, bird watching, hiking, camping, backpacking, etc.
Favorite verse and why: Isaiah 40:28-31 This verse has always been a reminder to me that God is in control when my circumstances do not match with my plans. He has a purpose in everything he gives me and will always give me what I need to push through.
Birthdate: July 30
Where you grew up: Pittsburgh, PA
In high school, I was a sports enthusiast.
Current job/school: I work at Math-U-See
Favorite food: Smoothies
Hobbies/interests: Golfing/hunting/camping/church softball
Favorite verse and why: Ephesians 2:8. It reminds me that I can't earn my salvation, it is only by the grace of God that I am saved.
Birthdate: July 16
Where you grew up: Racine, WI
In high school, I was a jock.
Current job/school: Financial Advisor
Favorite food: Liver and onions
Hobbies/interests: Sports, especially the Green Bay Packers, theology
Favorite verse and why: Phil. 4:4-7 - I need to joyfully trust the Lord and depend upon Him in prayer, in EVERYTHING.
Birthdate: January 1
Where you grew up: Virginia, Maryland, and Lancaster county
In high school, I was able to stay up much later. Moral: All-nighters should be consumed regularly before their expiration date.
Current job/school: Secondary science teacher, and other things...
Favorite food: horderves
Hobbies/interests: everything...except most televised sports, celebrity gossip, and roller coasters.
Favorite verse and why: Isaiah 53: 2-5, "He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.He was despised and rejected by others, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed."
Birthdate: September 3
Where you grew up: Moved around several times, but home base was Virginia
In high school, I was torn between having fun and working hard.
Current job/school: Mom and wife
Favorite food: Bagels from Ric's Bread
Hobbies/interests: Reading and cooking
Favorite verse and why: Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted among the earth." It brings me back to who God is and who I am.
Birthdate: May 20
Where you grew up: Strasburg, PA
In high school, I was a class clown.
Current job/school: Agricultural Sales
Favorite food: Hot wings
Hobbies/interests: Working outsides and playing with the kids
Favorite verse and why:
Birthdate: November 16
Where you grew up: Binghamton, NY & Leola, PA
In high school, I was a handful. And that’s putting it extremely mildly.
Favorite food: Chicken tenders (I will always be a child at heart)
Hobbies/interests: I love music, I like to write lyrics when I can. I also love the outdoors, so the more I can be outside doing something with friends, the better.
Favorite verse and why: Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." It’s always a great reminder that no matter the distance, the situation, or the current circumstances you are in, God is, and always will be with you and in control of the situation.
Birthdate: May 2
Where you grew up: Lancaster, PA
In high school, I was an avid reader.
Current job/school: Working at Hand and Stone Spa & attending Millersville University
Favorite food: white cheddar popcorn
Hobbies/interests: reading and running
Favorite verse and why: Romans 5:3-5, it became my mantra while running cross country in high school (not something I enjoyed, but was determined to do) and has become a comfort in all areas of my life.
Birth Date: September 27
Where you grew up: Kansas, Missouri, Texas, and Oregon
In high school, I was funny and immature - I'm still the same.
Current Job/School: Real Estate Sales for 30 years
Favorite food: Good Kansas City barbeque!
Hobbies/Interests: I'm a Baltimore Orioles baseball fan – I love going to games with my family! I enjoy umpiring Little League baseball and I like playing/coaching our Westminster softball team. I enjoy my job, so it doesn't feel like work! I like doing anything with my family and my two shelties. I love my God and enjoy serving him.
Favorite verse and why: 1 Samuel 16:7. The verse is just another reminder that the world looks at our outward appearance and our accomplishments but the Lord looks at the heart. It reminds me to focus more on what pleases God instead of what pleases man.
Birthdate: September 28
Where you grew up: Kansas City, MO
In high school, I was very shy.
Current job/school: Substitute Teacher
Favorite food: Mexican food
Hobbies/interests: Exercising/playing with grandchildren
Favorite verse and why: Phil. 4:6-8 "The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus". I love that promise!!! It helps me relax when I am stressed.
Birth Date: October 14
Where you grew up: Hudson, OH
In High School I was consumed with my love of sports, particularly baseball.
Current Job/School: Youth Pastor, Westminster Presbyterian Church
Favorite food: Meat. Then anything with tomato sauce and fruit pies.
Hobbies/interests: Playing just about any sport, playing board games, and just about anything else competitive!
Favorite Verse and why: I am sure this changes frequently, but I continue to return to Psalm 37:3-7. I love the psalmist's charge to trust, to rest, and to delight in our God.
Birthdate: July 16
Where you grew up: Lancaster, PA
In high school, I was younger.
Current job/school: Chief Creative Officer at HEX Performance
Favorite food: Most of it. Also seafood. And landfood. Does chicken count as airfood?
Hobbies/interests: Most of them? There's not much that I don't enjoy. Music, movies, and games are up there, though.
Favorite verse and why: 2 Corinthians 12:9 "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. - I love this because it sums up our relationship with Christ and our purpose in serving Him. It's not about our abilities; it's about God's grace, love, power, and glory. Also I love the counterculture idea of boasting in my weakness. I have a lot to boast about!
Birthdate: July 26
Where you grew up: Bradenton, FL
In high school, I was busy with classes, friends, and work.
Current job/school: Youth Ministry Assistant at Westminster Presbyterian Church
Favorite food: Crab, steak, and most sweets
Hobbies/interests: baking, playing games, traveling, hanging out with friends, spending time with my hubby, etc.
Favorite verse and why: Galatians 5:1 "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." It's just such a great reminder of what Christ has done for us and a challenge for how we should live now.
Birthdate: November 21
Where you grew up: Hudson, OH
In high school I was obsessed with The Lord of the Rings. I also wanted to be an actress. Or maybe a baker.
Current job/school: 3rd Grade Teacher at Veritas Academy
Favorite food: This is very tough. I do know that it is NOT seafood.
Hobbies/interests: reading, piano, baking and cooking, running, crafting (in a non-perfectionist kind of way), learning history, and going on small adventures.
Favorite verse and why: Romans 8 – I love the reminder of God's mercy to us, and how our salvation is nothing we can earn. We are saved and secured through the love and work of Christ.
Birthdate: December 17
Where you grew up: Erie, PA
In high school, I was a baseball player, football player, and boyscout.
Current job/school: Attorney
Favorite food: Lasagna
Hobbies/interests: Reading, cycling, shooting, archery, hiking, travelling, and sports
Favorite verse and why: Jeremiah 17:7-8 - This verse daily inspires me to be a man that God uses to speak truth, to be an example to others of him, and to encourage others.