Brad & Jessica~ Apostle Highlands Wedding Photographer ~ Bayfield, Wisconsin

Congratulate Jessica & Brad! They ELOPED in the beginning of August! Everything fell together amazingly well for them! They called Bill at Apostle Highland Weddings and it was actually available! Then they booked a minister and called me and it was my only available weekend for the whole month of August! We had an amazing time taking pictures! It was so fun to have so much time with just a bride and groom! They loved being on the golf course and it was a beautiful day! Apostle Highlands Golf Course and the Bayfield Marina in Wisconsin were the perfect spots for their destination wedding, well, elopement! :)  Thank you, you two for letting me be a part of your big day! I am honored! 

Jessica wrote a bit of their story for me for the blog and here it is!!

We met back in March of 2012 on Our first date was set up in a 2 parts, hor d’vors at one restaurant and dinner at another. The night lasted 4+ hours and it was almost purely shop talk, with us both being Engineers there was quite a bit of common ground and for once it was nice not to have to explain anything to the other person. When we hugged good-bye I asked what he was doing the next night, he said nothing but turns out he ditched bowling league to have dinner with me again. Dinner the next night was at Fratellos in Appleton, at the dam over looking the river. Dinner went quick, almost too quick. So once we wrapped that up we headed to his office so I could take a look at everything he was working on. Blown away, would be the best discription. I was baffled that I not only found a very handsome man but one that was so incredibley intelligent! The first 11 days we dated we saw each other 9 of them…living an hour apart that was quite the adventure. After that life was a blur, we have done so much together, golfing, shooting sporting clays, bowling league, softball, fishing, camping, canoeing, car repair, home remodeling, and so many other hobbies that we share. Best friends from the get-go! In 2013 we purchased a lot together with a pond on it, in hopes of soon building a house. It’s a ton of upkeep and we work side by side to get it done, couldn’t ask for a better partner. On December 28, 2013 Brad proposed while we were at a cabin at Big Powderhorn ski resort in Michigan. Seven months later we decide to elope not only for financial purposes but because we couldn’t think of anything more romantic than just the two of us sharing that moment together. No family drama, no stress, just pure happiness and love. We have high hopes of having some mini-Peeters running around soon and hope to have our house done by early spring.apostle highlands bayfield wedding photographer ps 139-2 apostle highlands bayfield wedding photographer ps 139-0443 apostle highlands bayfield wedding photographer ps 139-0457 apostle highlands bayfield wedding photographer ps 139-0206 apostle highlands bayfield wedding photographer ps 139-0274 apostle highlands bayfield wedding photographer ps 139-0370 apostle highlands bayfield wedding photographer ps 139-0390 apostle highlands bayfield wedding photographer ps 139-0040 apostle highlands bayfield wedding photographer ps 139-0054 apostle highlands bayfield wedding photographer ps 139-9989 apostle highlands bayfield wedding photographer ps 139-9862 apostle highlands bayfield wedding photographer ps 139-9938 apostle highlands bayfield wedding photographer ps 139-9780 apostle highlands bayfield wedding photographer ps 139-9832 apostle highlands bayfield wedding photographer ps 139-9849



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Kate & Sam – Ashland Wisconsin Wedding Photographer – Americinn

Being a wedding photographer in Northern Wisconsin brings it’s risks! I’m beginning to think that we could end up with snow in July or August! BUT not this day, not Kate and Sam’s day! It was one of those days that a wedding photographer dreams of! There was a good amount of time given to us to get all the images we wanted, the lighting outdoors was absolutely perfect, the people were happy and shared their emotions and the colors the bride picked for dresses and tuxes was stunning in the camera! I couldn’t wait to see what we got that day! AND WOW! It was better than I even thought! In Ashland Wisconsin at Salem Church on Beaser and at Northland College on Ellis and at the Americinn on Lake Shore we were able to bless this sweet couple with an amazing account of their day! Congratulations Sam and Kate! We are honored to have been a part of your stunning day!

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Jacob + Hannah

ashland wedding senior photographer-7487 Jacob & Hannah married at the beginning of June about one year after getting engaged. They met at Northland College in Ashland, WI in Campus Crusade or CRU. Hannah worked super hard to finish her schooling before they got married and accomplished that WHILE planning a wedding! My husband who is a pastor at Salem Baptist in Ashland and I were blessed to do their premarital counseling and I got to help Hannah with some of her planning and several girls came to our house to do her flowers ourselves! Fun!! We also got to have Hannah at our house the week she was “homeless” between the dorms at Northland closing for the summer and her marriage to Jacob. Something else wonderful and amazing is that they chose to save their first kiss till their wedding day!! AND they did!!! (my husband and I made that same commitment and sadly it only lasted a few hours!)

They are a super fun couple who loves to laugh and seemed to never stop smiling when they were in each other’s presence on their wedding day! Despite the rain and not being able to go where we wanted to for photos we had a fun time and don’t they look adorable together!? They love the outdoors and honeymooned in the Boundary Waters in Minnesota! Not my idea of a honeymoon but they loved it! Their pictures look so peaceful! Kind of makes me want to get a canoe and a tent…kind of. ;)

Blessings on your first year and the rest of your lives Jacob and Hannah! You are loved and blessed! (and yes, I know the images are in reverse order…I didn’t do it on purpose but decided I liked it this way! :) )

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Exhibit project ~ Beginnings…. {ashland wi wedding and family photographer}

As part of Creative Live’s reSTARt with Jasmine Star a group of us started a blogging group to encourage blogging and to network together. This is the first of 12 months in this project. It is called Exhibit and the topic for this month is perfectly “Beginnings”.

The last 8 months have been full of beginnings for me and our family. THIS blog with landscapes is a bit of a beginning for me, at least a first! I am branching out (no pun intended!) and trying to learn a bit of photography other than people…I still MUCH prefer people! We now live in Northern Wisconsin on Chequamegon Bay in Ashland. Chequamegon Bay is a part of Lake Superior that completely freezes. It has been a long winter with a lot of snow and ice. I miss the water on the lake and it seems like the ice has been there too long. In thinking about the “beginnings” project for this month I began seeing the beginnings of spring and got excited! Well, currently our area is completely snow covered again! But we’re not the only ones in the country that are. So…as for my post for beginnings…below are some photos that show the beginning of Spring and the end of winter…other beginnings in our lives over the last 8 month have also included: a new house, a new ministry, new friends, a new church, a new town, living in a “big town” instead of small town, stoplights on the sidewalks (new to my kids), new life, new opportunities, beginning my photography business again, new experiences, new stories–lots of new beginnings that we have really enjoyed. I hope you enjoy these few images of the beginning of Spring in our new “beginning”.


rain meant the beginning of spring…I loved the droplets that remained for most of the day on the birch tree in our front yard


this is black and white because it’s hard to see…but if you can, this is under a bridge–the more solid looking outcropping on the bottom left is ice, i loved it’s form and shape and the wood pieces that were sticking up along it and then out in the distance is the melting ice out in the bay


this again is ice sticking out, but it’s rough on the edge and it was dripping, if you look closely you can see drip! :) Also as I edited just exposure to be able to see it better the hues here just came out–it was a very sunny part of the day so I’m thinking maybe that is why the colors were reflecting under the bridge like this…not sure, but I love it!

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the last two are views along the North Shore of Lake Superior between Two Harbors and Duluth, MN. I loved the contrast of the water, the green trees and the snow on the rock! It just kept shouting to me, “Spring is coming!! Spring IS COMING!!!!” Well…it’s still coming, after all this new snow melts again, it will eventually come, right?! ;)

Please go on to the next blog post in our Exhibit group to see more on “Beginnings” from Alayna at Alayna Parker Photography, if you’d like to go backwards in the circle you can also check out Dawn from By Dawn’s Light Photography! Enjoy! :)

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Joy & Ben : Ashland, WI Winter Wedding Wonderful!

The day was beautiful up in the North woods of Wisconsin! Lake Superior was frozen and  there was a nice coating of snow, not too cold that we couldn’t be outside and the wedding party was so cooperative, fun and helpful! We had a wonderful time at the Visitor’s Center in Ashland, WI up in the tower and out front. The sky was overcast which creates beautiful light for us photographers!

Joy and Ben looked amazing, made me cry during their first look and we had a great time capturing fun images for their incredible day! I loved getting to see (though snowcovered) the spot where Ben proposed to Joy out by the beautiful walking paths!

The ceremony was so special as Pastor Rod laid his hand on theirs and prayed over them, most pastors pray over the couple’s rings, but Rod prayed over them. The rings hold no special power to keep a marriage together, it’s the couple and their dedication to Lord Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit within them that keeps them together as they seek to love the Lord and seek Him first!

The reception was at the beautiful AmericInn in Ashland that has Splashland in it and is right on Lake Superior’s south shore!

I was blessed to be a part of Joy and Ben’s amazing day! Congratulations you guys!!!

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Recent wedding photography and family portrait photography | Ashland, Wisconsin

I’ve enjoyed some recent work up here in the Northwoods! Most of the time I update my facebook page and neglect my poor blog, but here’s a bit of some of my recent work! :) Just click on a photo to see it larger, thanks!

I’m looking forward to the 2013 season! Call or email me to schedule your session or a wedding consultation! I look forward to hearing from you! 715-681-1209 or

Take care,

Jen :)

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Ashland, Wisconsin Seniors, families, brides, children…can’t wait!

So excited for this fall and the opportunity to have sessions in this incredible setting of Ashland, WI or anywhere around in Superior, Duluth (MN), Cable, Iron River (MI)…anywhere Northern Wisconsin and the surrounding area! Please contact me to book a session! We’ll have a ton of fun and I’ll be so blessed to give you great images! Can’t wait!!

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What an honor!

I had the honor of taking some pictures for what I thought would be – one photo as PART of the cover of my friend’s new book…it ended up being 3 of my photos made up all of the cover! I’m pretty amazed and excited and h.u.m.b.l.e.d!

Check out Shelly’s book, available for pre-order: 31 Nuggets of Hope   I’ve had the opportunity to read some of it and it’s wonderful!!

Here’s the cover:


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His-story in the making…

Let me take you on a little journey! I trust you will enjoy His-tory (His story) as much as I like telling the story! :)

It began around summer/fall of 2008, when we felt quite unsettled here in Chadwick and began seeking God earnestly asking Him what was up. We both felt God say to us individually, “It’s time.” It’s time to start going. We began watching and looking and waiting to see where He was going to move us over about two years time. What we didn’t expect was what He had planned for us in the waiting time. He did some amazing heart work and refining in Josh and some exciting transformation in our church. In January of 2009 God brought two amazing people into our lives. Gary and Sandy were missionaries but were home to help care for a loved one. Home happened to be in our area! As they were looking for what church they would attend, Sandy said this (our church in Chadwick) is it! She really enjoyed Josh’s preaching and I think the love the people showered them with might have helped too…but it was all God’s design! Gary and Josh started meeting on a regular basis and God had some heart work in mind for Josh in a big way. Also around that time Josh got connected with a discipleship group that Cadre (a ministry organization) and old friends of ours were leading. Dave and Rennie took Josh, and eventually me, under their wing for some intense training and mentoring. What was amazing to me was that I actually got to watch God transform Josh before my eyes. I got to see the growth–it was happening that fast!! Super exciting! BUT…after two years of waiting on where God was going to move us on, we pretty much gave up and dug back into ministry here surrendering to the possibility that God wasn’t saying it was time. That was about the time (fall 2010) that I was able to start putting into practice the photography training I had received from a ministry wife (connected through Josh’s Cadre group) and soon an actual photography business took off much faster than we ever expected! Spring of 2011was a pivotal time in our church’s growth toward health and self-sustaining status. There was a significant turn-over on the leadership board and the current group of people have God’d heart for this church, work really well together and are doing an excellent job caring for the church body, the buildings and the ministry as a whole. It has been a sweet time in Josh’s leadership here. This past summer (2011) we were able to participate in RHMA’s 50,000 mile check up and that began again the stirring in our hearts that it was time to move on from Chadwick. Again we didn’t know when or where. We could see clearly that this church needed a different guy for the church to be able to move on to the next level. We could see that by us staying there was almost the sense that we were holding the church back from breaking through the surface. But, we waited again…not realizing that the next chapter of His-story was already being written – a chapter that would alter the course of our lives, our church’s life, and the life of a church we’d never even heard of.

Several years ago (maybe 5 or more) God brought a young family into our church. The mom and son started coming first and eventually the dad started coming as well. The dad had never, ever been in a church before. He befriended Josh and they have been incredible friends. One element in their friendship that was missing was a spiritual one. The two of them would travel to Northern Wisconsin every summer and sometimes each winter to go 4-wheeling and snowmobiling. One winter not so long ago they were “skunked”–there was no snow! So, they had some time to kill and did what I guess all Northern Wisconsiners do, you go from bar to bar talking to people and drinking (Pepsi for these guys though). During that winter God began to knit Josh’s heart to these people and this culture. He went home and pulled out his trail map and asked God where would you want me to plant a church? Where would be a great location for spiritual growth and revival in this needy area? Drummund, WI is where it seemed to be. So this past summer (2011) Josh took our whole family north with this friends’ family for vacation. The day that we were going to go to Drummond, Josh said to me, “This is where I want to come, so I’m praying you’ll fall in love with it!” UGH! What pressure! Do any of you remember my reaction when we drove through Chadwick and Josh said, this is the kind of place I want to come to some day? I thought I was going to be sick! I literally almost had Josh pull over! So…Drummond…ahh…not falling in love, uh oh! As we drove through town though, we couldn’t find a single church…my heart started to soften. We pulled into a gas station and Josh asked where people go to church around here and she said they either drive to Ashland or Cable or don’t go–hadn’t been one in long time and before that it was about 5 people for a lotta years. But, she said there was something going on down across from the bar/restaurant on the corner…maybe a food pantry or youth thing, she wasn’t sure but thought that it was church related. So, we had to go that way anyway AND there happened to be people outside working on the building. Josh pulled up and a man came over and they talked for a while. Chad Weber was the guy. When we drove away. Josh snapped his fingers and said, “Awe, he beat me to it!” Chad was an elder from a church in Ashland and was leading a group of people in planting The Oaks, a church, free store, food pantry, etc in Drummond. Chad kept in communication with Josh via email and in December shared that his sending church was going to be looking for an associate pastor. The description at the time didn’t appeal to Josh and he actually forgot about it until April 12th when a job description came across Josh’s inbox that completely resonated with his heart and passions! Getting super excited about this possibility, he got to the bottom of the description and it said Salem Baptist Church in Ashland, Wisconsin! “This is Chad’s church!!” Josh said outloud! Instead of just sending a resume, Josh called the church and talked to the head pastor, Rod, and had a great conversation. Josh passed the “northern Wisconsin” test that Rod had found others who had applied couldn’t pass since they were from the south–deep south actually–they don’t know the area, the culture, the WINTER. Josh sent off his information at Rod’s request…and we waited. A prayer warrior and “senior” search committee member (she called herself that) contacted us by email a couple days later and was super kind and helpful in answering questions as we waited and praying for us and our church here. She became a dear friend quickly!

We left for our RHMA conference on April 21st not having heard any more from Salem. We asked God, okay, we begged Him to make it clear to us what we were supposed to do and where we needed to go. We asked Him to speak to us at the conference.  At conference God brought us to a point of complete surrender. Looking back now, we know that’s what it was, but at the time it was an emotional, difficult time of letting go of what we wanted and being completely willing to go wherever and however God wanted us to go–even Idaho where we’d have to raise all our finances…it was a hard, but blessed time to surrender, really waving a white flag to God and saying, “Yes, Lord!” We honestly came home from conference thinking we were going to need to start raising full support and were going to transition to church planting with our mission to Idaho. Surrendered, but not thrilled about every detail about that, not really. We were mostly thrilled at the thought that we could come alongside a super amazing family our family loves from the mission that was already there. We later found out that our mission didn’t want us to move next door to them (we wanted to!) but to plant another church 50-100 miles from them in the same region.

The day Josh got back into the office after conference the phone rang early in the morning and it was Rod from Salem asking if they could check Josh’s references. Ahhh…ok, sure. I then sent out a quick email asking our mentors for advice, really thinking they were going to all encourage us to pursue church planting with our mission…not only did they NOT do that, but they all strongly encouraged us and were very excited about the opportunity God seemed to be opening in Ashland. We’d been in this place in the interview process before so we weren’t holding our breath, but also trying not to get excited. It’s a place and a position that Josh would have only dreamed about and only God could have brought to pass. All three reference calls went well according to the people on our end. And we waited. (I know the waiting wasn’t that long, but it felt REALLY long!) May 7th Josh got an email from our boss at the mission really releasing us to allow us to accept whatever God had for us, he leaned back in his chair grateful for the release he needed and the phone rang and it was Pastor Rod from Salem asking if they could skip the next step of a phone interview and just have us come for a visit (to candidate for the position). God’s amazing timing! The date that worked for everyone was 7 weeks later on Father’s Day weekend! Talk about a wait! Those 7 weeks felt about as long as 9 months of pregnancy! Our friend on email from Salem’s search committee was a HUGE help in the waiting! Chad also emailed during that time and encouraged us about the kind of passionate people we would meet and that he “had been telling the elders about ‘Josh from Chadwick’ since last summer!” Isn’t that so GOD?!

The weekend we went up was pretty amazing! The people we met and had Q & A sessions with (3 different times) were wonderful and the staff and Josh just really connected well. We actually could see some of the gaps that they were looking for Josh to fill. Josh’s 4-wheeling friend and his family were actually visiting family in the area that weekend so they attended the Q & A and 2nd service with us, kind of hiding out in the back. One of the questions that was asked of Josh was, what was your greatest joy in ministry in Chadwick and Josh’s quick answer was to tell the story of how his friend came to accept God’s gift of Jesus’s salvation for him and choose to follow Christ! How they now did have a spiritual connection as well! Salem didn’t know our friends were there but after a while in the Q & A a man leaned forward and tapped them on the shoulder and said, you must be Josh’s buddy?! Yep! There wasn’t a dry eye in the place! It was a really special time!

The church had their vote on Sunday night. Being Father’s Day they didn’t expect too many, but to their surprise there were more there than anticipated. Josh received a message from the head elder on his phone while out on the 4-wheeler with his buddy (how funny is that!?) and the message said that the vote was a unanimous 100% yes for him to come be the pastor of Body Life at their church! Apparently this has not happened in the history of the church when calling a staff member and the church dates back to the 1880s. We consider that God’s incredible Grace to our tender hearts.

One huge joy and answer to prayer is that Josh and his buddy will still get time together and we hope they will eventually move up north near us!

Questions you may have:

What is Josh going to be doing? His position will include oversight, equipping and leadership development for small groups, other ministry leaders, etc and discipleship! There is a senior pastor who does the preaching and overall oversight, an “outreach” pastor who works with the community and evangelism, a worship/youth pastor and then Josh will be the “inreach” pastor–helping  to care for those within the church. Before we even left one of the leaders actually asked if he could be Josh’s first one-on-one discipleship guy–that was before the vote, from a man who told Josh he wasn’t sure about him before the weekend. :)

What will the church in Chadwick do? RHMA and our denomination are coming in to help decide if CEFC has graduated from RHMA and is a self-sustaining church and will assist with pulpit fill and the pastoral search. 13 years ago the denomination was thinking the church would close and maybe should. That is not the case now!!

What’s the housing situation like? We are leaving a super spruced up parsonage (newly finished floors, new central air, remodeled rooms, painted outside, new porch floor and many other things they accomplished on the house while we were here) to a nice parsonage there that has huge closets and 6 bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a basement the kids can use on a corner lot. Our neighbors consist of the head elder, his wife and 2 boys that are 5 and 7 (Liam and Aidan already got to meet and play with them!) and across the street is where Chad Weber and his family live!

What about Jen’s business? I am transitioning clients to other photographers in the area. Two of the three weddings I had booked look like they will go with other photographers. One is still deciding if I will come back or not. We would really appreciate your prayers for my business to really grow quickly up there. Josh will not be working a 2nd job so unless God has some other plan, my business needs to grow and grow very quickly!

How are the kids doing? Well, Moriah has known about the possibility of this for a long time and seems to be doing quite well with it. All but Cooper have been children that transition easily and Cooper is doing much better. Liam was able to get to a point of surrender that we had talked with him about–going where God takes Daddy without a fight–but he still has moments of sadness about leaving all he’s ever known. Aidan was really mad at first–even singing a song in the back when we were driving about it being ‘the worst day…hide all the stuff so no one can move…’ but he is coming around and thinking a bit about what opportunities might be available in a town of 10,000 instead of 450. Cooper’s pretty oblivious now, but will probably have trouble when we actually move. We plan on going the public school route. There is apparently a phenomenally academic private school and it’s not too expensive. And we’ve homeschooled before so if we find that we need to do that it will be okay. School in Ashland does not start until the Tuesday after Labor Day.

Where is Ashland, WI? Are you any closer to family? Ashland is on Chequamegon Bay of Lake Superior, about an hour from our favorite family vacation spot of Duluth, MN. Right above Chequamegon National Forest where there are trails and trails for 4-wheeling and snowmobiling. Yes, we are praying for those items. I think we will be able to see both sunsets and sunrises on the bay because of how it sits. We will have a guest room, and lots of space, so we hope to have lots of visitors! Speaking of visitors, it is quite a bit closer to Josh’s Dad (3 hours away now instead of 7plus), about a 1/2 hour closer to his mom. We will be about 7.5 hours drive time from both my Dad and siblings and my Mom.

When do you move? Josh’s last day at the Chadwick Evangelical Free Church will be July 29th and we have been told they will have an all church potluck to say goodbye and also an open house for friends, neighbors and family to come so we can say goodbye as well. Josh is officiating a wedding for our youth ministry director and her fiance on August 4th. Our anticipated move date is August 9th. Salem has told Josh to take some time to get settled, which is a big blessing. They will have an all church picnic on August 12th to welcome us.

What about RHMA and missionary support? We want to thank each and every one of you that have supported us ten dollars or thousands of dollars for us to be in Chadwick, there were so many times that your gift to us came at just the right moment, when we thought God might not provide (I know!! we of little faith!) and He did provide! Through YOU! Every time! Thank you! THANK YOU!! We have longed to come to you on a deputation trip to meet with each of you and personally thank you. It’s something we should have done but did not get the opportunity for, and for that we are sorry. RHMA will no longer be able to accept financial gifts for our ministry after August 9th.

For those of you who have prayed us through each battle, defeat and victory these past almost 13 years (it would have been 13 years on September 18th)…we are eternally grateful! We hope that you might still pray for us through the journey of this next season in our lives. Thank you!

We could not have been here without prayer and financial support! Thank you for being on our Chadwick Team all these years! We love you all and thank you more than you’ll ever know!

Here is our new contact information (phone #s coming):

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Ministry Update

Our family has some big news! It’s both sad and exciting! We are in the midst of wrapping up ministry and business here in Chadwick, IL, saying goodbye to friends and family and relocating to Ashland, Wisconsin. It’s north, very north! On Lake Superior actually.

The story we have on how we ended up knowing God surely did intend for us to move is pretty amazing and I plan to post that as soon as I can…but right now I want to share Josh’s letter he gave to the church.

Clients of Ps 139 Photography…I will be in touch soon.

20 June 2012

Hello friends,

In September 1999 when Jen and I first came to Chadwick to serve the Chadwick Evangelical Free Church (CEFC), it was with the anticipation of what God could do in a place fully devoted to Him using a couple who were fully devoted to Him.  Almost thirteen years of hard work, significant relationships, solid ministry, sizable hardships, growing and maturing on everyone’s parts and the Holy Spirit’s work have yielded a church rooted firmly in the gospel of Jesus Christ and wholly committed to God’s Word.

Hosea 10:12 (NLT) 
12 I said, ‘Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.’

The part of our story that shouldn’t be overlooked was that as a zealous 24-year-old with a lot of passion and even more rough edges, I was convinced at the time that I was the one bringing all the cards to the table and that there was nothing this church could ever teach me or help me with and that with a few years of hard work and a teaspoon of faith I’d be finished up here and off to somewhere else that needed me.  Reality has borne out the fact that God has had so much more for me through the people and ministry of CEFC than I ever had to offer you and that while hard work and faith have always been the key ingredients, time would in fact be in God’s hands and not mine and the 7 or so years that I originally thought it would take for our church to become self-sustaining would actually be much more.  Something else happened in the midst of these 12 ½ years – I found myself deeply loving a group of people and being loved by those same people.

What absolutely blesses my heart is the fact that under the headship of Jesus Christ and because of His faithfulness, our church is stronger today than it has ever been.  Not perfect, not without significant areas that need to be refined – but strong, and still growing.

So it makes sense in some ways that just shy of 3 years ago God would tell us to prepare to leave Chadwick and then this last December to tell us the time had come, but then it also doesn’t make sense because why would God move a pastor on when a church was finally doing well?  It is in obedience to the call of God that we have distinctly felt and have had confirmed through scripture, prayer, circumstance, and the counsel of Godly people that we are in fact leaving Chadwick in a little more than a month and moving on to the next place of God’s choosing for us.  In early August I will assume the role of Associate Pastor of Body Life for an evangelical church in Ashland, Wisconsin, on the shores of Lake Superior.

Please understand that we have not come to this decision easily and that we feel a deep sadness at the thought of not doing life alongside you in this next season.  We are committed to being obedient to God’s call, but that doesn’t mean that the transition will be easy.  Something else that I do want to say, though, is that I am convinced and have had this confirmed through Godly counsel, that our church not only is ready for new pastoral leadership but that it actually needs it.  I honestly believe I have led you as far as my gifts and abilities can lead you and that God actually has just the perfect man for your next pastor who will be able to help CEFC grow to the next level, spiritually and ministry-wise.  I have sought to serve you to the best of my ability and feel confident that God has used the ways that He has wired me up to be the shepherd you needed for all of these years, and now He will provide to you the man who will be best able to shepherd you in the years to come.

In my next role I will serve a church of about 300 people alongside a staff of 3 other pastors helping the church and its people realize their greatest potential in ministry and in their walks with Christ.  This is my area of greatest passion and skill and I am excited to be able to invest fully in this kind of disciple-making work for the sake of God’s Kingdom.  Ashland is a community of 9,000 people on the shores of Lake Superior in Wisconsin’s north woods.  At this time I anticipate that July 29th will be my final day of ministry with CEFC and that we will move around August 5th.  Your prayers on our behalf for the move as well as the transition to a new community and ministry will be greatly appreciated.

During the period of time that you as a church rally and work together to seek God’s man for your next pastor, please be assured that RHMA is prepared to partner with and help you in the transition.  The Great Lakes District of the Evangelical Free Church will also be available to help.  It is my intention to help have as many things in place as possible that smooth ministry and Sunday mornings should be able to continue in my absence.  I also have great confidence in the men and women who serve you as CEFC’s board.  These are Godly people who love this church and who will lead you well in the days and months ahead.

On behalf of Jen and the kids, I want to say thank you to all of you for allowing us to share life with you these last 12+ years.  Thank you for allowing me to be your pastor, for the opportunity to shepherd you and teach you and walk alongside you and help you to grow as a fully-devoted follower of Jesus Christ.  Thank you for the ways you’ve poured into my life and into the lives of Jen and the kids.  Thank you for the home you’ve provided us and for taking care of us.  Thank you for letting us serve this area alongside you.  Carroll County has made an indelible impact upon our lives and Chadwick will always be my kids’ “hometown.”

Hebrews 13:20-21 (NLT) 
20 Now may the God of peace— who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood—
21 may he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.

It has been my incredible honor to serve Christ alongside you.

As always, you are loved!

Josh and Jen

With Moriah, Liam, Aidan, and Cooper James

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