Joe was born and raised on the south side of Fort Wayne. He and his wife, Stephanie, were high school sweethearts and have been married for 27 years. They have three sons who proudly attended South Side High School. In 2006, the Johns family moved to a 100 year-old home in south central Fort Wayne to be on mission together as a family.
Joe is an avid cyclist who enjoys long distance destination rides. In 2014, he completed a solo ride from Florida to California in 30 days! Joe's other happy places include international travel, mountains vistas, and geeking out on scholarly theological journals.
Executive Director, Equipping
Geoff is responsible for determining Fellowship's overall vision and direction, working closely with Pastor Joe in that regard. His main goal is to ensure that staff and lay leaders are equipped to pursue this vision, both personally and collectively.
Geoff is an accomplished speaker and author, with a talent for leadership development and mentoring. He feels passionate about supporting and encouraging others in personal and professional growth, things which flow from his gifting as a teacher and shepherd. He is married to Erika, with whom he has two young daughters and a son.
Ismael (Izzy) Alvarez
Executive Director, Discipling
Izzy was born and raised in New York City before coming to Fellowship in 2005. He joined the church staff as a custodian, where he served faithfully for years before obeying a call from the Lord to become a pastor. In 2013 Izzy joined Fellowship's Youth Ministries team, leading the high school youth devotedly for five years.
In 2018 God called Izzy to move into his current role, in which he is responsible for helping individuals and communities grow and be united in their own respective spiritual callings.
Izzy has a passion for hip-hop, jazz, books, and helping people become the best versions of themselves. He and his wife, Sammantha, have three beautiful daughters.
Executive Director, Operations
Karen oversees an amazing team responsible for Fellowship’s Finances, Facility, Communication, and Administration, including Human Resources. Prior to coming to Fellowship, Karen worked at Parkview Hospital for eighteen years, first as Director of Rehab for Behavioral Health, then as Coordinator of Community Outreach. After Parkview, she owned and managed three different businesses. Karen’s administrative gifts and experience as a business owner make her uniquely qualified to serve Fellowship in this role.
Karen is married to Semaj and together they have nine children (all grown) and thirteen grandchildren. Karen and Semaj enjoy spending time together, especially taking road trips that include fishing and hunting for him and kayaking for her.
Director, Care & Social Services
Becky's main focus on staff is to help meet the tangible and emotional needs of those in our community. With the help of her large group of volunteer leaders, she advocates for the grieving, mobilizes first responders, organizes benevolence, and walks in compassion with those recovering from addictions of all kinds. Her heart is to equip and empower members of the Fellowship body to step out in compassion for those who need it.
Becky loves to laugh, and when she does it becomes infectious! Most of all she loves spending time with close friends, whom she calls her "surrogate family," and whom she loves dearly.
Director, Worship Arts
Gordon oversees all of the worship ministries at Fellowship, including music, multimedia, and technical arts. He also leads the Creative Team, whose main purpose is to plan the Sunday morning gatherings and create an environment conducive to worship.
Gordon is highly trained as a musician and a pastor, possessing a Bachelor's degree in Music Education, a Master's degree in Choral Conducting and Voice, and official Pastor's licensing from the Missionary Church. He was also a music educator for ten years, teaching at middle school, high school, and collegiate levels.
Gordon is wonderfully blessed to have been married to his wife Tonya for 28 years, with whom he has three children: Kienan, Kiana, and Korban.
Director, Early Childhood Ministries
Wendy is responsible for the care of children in TotTown, ranging from infant to four years old. She also oversees much of the women's ministries at Fellowship. Wendy is dedicated to partnering with parents in the development of their children's relationship with Christ.
Wendy enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren, and loves any chance she gets to travel with her husband, Ronnie.
Director, Children's Ministries
Pastor Robbie works with leaders and hundreds of volunteers in overseeing Crosstown and Upward Basketball. He also hosts a weekly men’s ministry called Authentic Manhood.
When not working, Robbie enjoys spending time with his wife and two kids, following Cardinal baseball, making others laugh, winning contests, and working on creative projects.
Coordinator of Youth Development
Mary's role at FMC is to facilitate the spiritual growth of youth in grades 5-12, alongside the Youth Ministries Director. This involves building personal, discipling relationships through activities, events, and conversations, in order to equip youth to grow in their relationships with Jesus.
Mary has called Fellowship "home" since 2016, when she began volunteer leadership of 412 (Fellowship's Young Adult Ministry). Her family—including 8 siblings—originates from Upland, IN. When she's not with her family, you'll find Mary on the soccer field, on a nature run, or at a game night with friends.
Neil joined the staff team as the Middle School Youth Pastor in October, 2019. He works with volunteer leaders to disciple youth in 5th-7th grades. He has a passion for developing Biblical literacy and discipleship relationships with each of his students.
The DeCook family has called Fellowship home since 2016. Neil and his wife Cassidy have two dogs (Kellan and Luna) and three cats (Zyler, Zola, and Kenzie)! They live in the ’06 in the Lafayette Place neighborhood and absolutely love it there! When he’s not working, Neil enjoys camping, kayaking, and riding bikes with Cassidy, video games, and playing pretty much any sport, but especially golf and baseball.
Director, Communications & Engagement
Brennan handles communication and design at Fellowship, including the website, mobile app, social media, and publications.
Brennan is also a musician who enjoys teaching piano and playing in the Fellowship worship band. He is married to Cassie—his high school sweetheart—with whom he has a daughter and two sons.
Director, Technical Arts
Kirk is a gifted audio engineer who used to own and operate his own recording studio. He now lends his talents to Fellowship in a variety of ways, including Sunday morning worship.
You can find Kirk most weekends hanging out with the tech volunteers in the booth above the Activity Center. He makes sure the staging, lights, sound and other technical matters are in tip-top shape on Sunday mornings and for any other big events in the church.
Kirk and his wife, Shawn, have one adult daughter, Alyssa.
Coordinator of Young Adult Ministries
Jordan has attended Fellowship since his youth days. He was hired on staff in 2015 as an intern, and now leads Fellowship's young adult ministry.
Jordan is also a talented guitar player, and he uses that skill to lead worship at Fellowship, both in Sunday morning gatherings and in the East End of the building in DownTown. He is married to Ashlyn, with whom he has a baby girl.
Zack Grubbs serves as Fellowship’s Finance Supervisor, making sure the church’s resources are in order and accounted for. He has called Fellowship home since 2008 and volunteers with several ministries, in many capacities.
When he’s not crunching the numbers at church or running his family’s pickleball business, Zack loves to play pickleball and golf, as well as travel all over the world with his wife, Amy. They have one dog, Foster, who is a hit everywhere he goes!
Ken oversees Fellowship's entire facility. He and his team ensure our building is clean, safe and running well. From repairs to groundskeeping to improvements and remodeling, Ken is the man with the plan.
Ken has an impressive base of knowledge in facility management and treats Fellowship buildings and grounds with the same care he takes of his own home.
He and his wife Patricia have three grown children and enjoy spending time with their seven grandchildren.
Sonsee was raised in a small town outside of Noblesville, IN and came to Fort Wayne after she and her husband, Kent, graduated from Trine University. They’ve been dating since middle school and have been married since June 2019.
Sonsee joined Fellowship in 2019 as the Communication Assistant. She works closely with Brennan, our Director of Communications and Engagement, and manages Fellowship’s social media.
Sonsee loves flowers, creating a home where everyone feels welcome, and spending time with her family (especially her young niece).
Manager of Ministry Support
Debbie ensures ministries have the support they need to serve the people of Fellowship well. In addition to serving as an excellent Ministry Assistant for the Care Ministry team and the Executive Team, she oversees the coordination of all the Ministry Assistants and Receptionists and serves as personal assistant to Pastor Joe.
Debbie loves spending time with her family, including her two married sons and seven grandchildren.
Karen wears many hats at Fellowship, providing ministry assistance to the Children and Youth teams and the Creative Arts team.
Karen is a former high school teacher who has a master's degree in Education & School Counseling. She is a mother of two, an Oma (grandmother) of four, and a proud parent of her "fur baby," a Miniature Schnauzer named Cricket.
Coordinator of Care & Social Services
A former executive pastor, Emma now works with the Social Services Team at Fellowship to provide benevolence, food security, and other forms of care for those in need.
She is a mother of four adult children, whom she loves to spend time with. When she's not with her family, Emma enjoys decorating, reading, gardening, and ministering to others.
Coordinator of Counseling Ministries
Through her leadership of Nehemiah Partners (Fellowship's free lay counseling ministry) and the marriage mentoring team, Richele serves to provide therapy to individuals, couples, children, and families as they seek to find God's healing and freedom. She views it as a privilege to walk with others as they pursue wholeness and witness God's transformational power in their lives.
Richele has attended Fellowship since 2010, and loves taveling, running, and spending time with good friends over a cup of coffee. She and her husband, Ben, have three young children.
Paul is the newest member of the staff, but he's no stranger around here. He was baptized and got married at Fellowship!
Paul’s job is to provide facilities support for Fellowship's various ministries, which includes scheduling custodian teams, setting up for events, and ensuring the security of the facility and assets. He brings over 30 years' worth of public safety experience to the team, including service as a volunteer fire chief.
Paul and his wife, Danielle, love traveling and looking for new adventures along with enjoying their four adult children and one grandson.
Global Partner Advocate
Mike has had over thirty years of experience on the mission field in Ecuador, South America. His ministry with Fellowship is to foster connection between the church and the missionaries it supports through prayer and finances.
His heart's desire is to bring an awareness of how we can all become missionaries in our neighborhoods, our city, our country, and around the world.
Jihan is the Director for Fellowship’s daycare, In The Beginning. Just as there there are elementary schools, middle schools and high schools, Jihan likes to think of In the Beginning as a Tot School — a place where small children can have fun learning, in an environment filled with Jesus! Jihan joined the staff recently, bringing her engaging leadership and organizational skills as well as her love for Jesus and discipleship. She is super excited about how God will use the daycare to make connections and reach area families.
Renee takes care of the phones and the front desk at Fellowship. She enjoys being the first point of contact at the church because she gets to meet a lot of people and learn about them!
Renee has a son, six grandchildren, and one great grandson, all of whom she finds great joy in. When she's not working she spends her time crocheting, taking road trips, and putting together jigsaw puzzles.
Bev has been working at Fellowship since 1997, first as a full-time staff person and now as a part-time receptionist. Bev’s husband, Herm, served on the Elder Board at Fellowship for years. They have attended FMC since 1990.
Bev and Herm are heavily involved in the lives of their seven grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren, with one more on the way!
Following God As He Leads
It’s not news to anyone that as we enter a new ministry and fiscal year, we are heading in without any real sense of where this year will take us! The past few months have been a roller coaster for everyone. What we do know – and of this we are certain – that God is steadfast in His position as Creator and King, and the leadership of FMC is committed to listening and following well.
God continues to call Fellowship to have a positive impact on our southeast neighbors and we are finding ways to do this. From prayer walks to food distribution to neighborhood gatherings, we are taking steps in getting to know our neighbors.
In regard to finances, it has been a season of uncertainty. When we could not meet together in the building, God was calling us to faithfulness, and you have followed in obedience. We have seen, over and over again, how God has made a way when there seemed to be no way.
It is important to the staff and leadership at FMC to steward the resources God provides for the church with integrity and intention. This year, after praying and planning, we have kept the budget fairly level. Even with some increases in maintenance costs and electricity charges, we have planned a budget with a minor annual increase of $6,844.
With God’s grace and with your support, we present a budget of $2,331,277 for the coming year. We urge you to join us in a show of faith through prayer and response to Malachi 3:10:
“BRING THE WHOLE TITHE INTO THE STOREHOUSE, THAT THERE MAY BE FOOD IN MY HOUSE. TEST ME IN THIS,” SAYS THE LORD ALMIGHTY, “AND SEE IF I WILL NOT THROW OPEN THE FLOODGATES OF HEAVEN AND POUR OUT SO MUCH BLESSING THAT THERE WILL NOT BE ROOM ENOUGH TO STORE IT.”
Thank you for the part you play in Fellowship’s impact for the Kingdom. The affirmation vote for the 2020-21 budget will be held online. It will open on August 17 and close at noon on August 24.
Visit fmc.church/vote to view the ballot and vote.
- Operations:* $434,635
- Staff Salaries: $1,130,042
- Capital Fund:** $50,000 (no change)
- Contracted Services:^ $32,020 (no change)
- Miscellaneous: $74,874***
*Operations budget includes facility, financial and administrative items that keep things running smoothly, such as utilities, cleaning supplies, office equipment, lawn care, etc.
**Capital Fund is used for major maintenance and improvement projects for the building and grounds, such as roof repair, HVAC components, carpet replacement, etc.
^ Contracted services allow us to decrease our salary budget through using independent contractors for some needs.
***Payroll Taxes, Ministry Support
- Children/Youth: $68,000
- Creative Arts: $40,914
- Care & Social Services: $42,475
- Missions*: $245,765
*Includes global and local
- TOTAL: $2,331,277
- Increase of $6,844.00
Join the Elder Team for a Q&A via Zoom on August 19 at 6:30pm. Meeting ID: 819 7047 9459.
Q. Does this budget allow for hiring new staff?
A. We do not have plans to hire any additional staff. If we have positions that are vacated, we will rehire for those positions.
Q. How are staff salaries set?
A. Pay ranges for each of the staff positions is set by utilizing resources from Church Law and Tax that take into consideration the position, size of church, budget of church and geographical setting. Individual salaries take into consideration the person’s skill, education and years of experience. The process is a cooperative effort involving the Executive Director for Operations, Fellowship’s Administrative Committee and our Elder Board.
Q. What is the Administrative Committee?
A. It is a group of Fellowship members who lend their experience and knowledge to provide guidance for the operational functions of the church. There are three subcommittees: Finance, Human Resources and Facilities. The members of the Administrative Committee are appointed by the Elder Board. Current members are:
- Finance: Dick Emmelhainz, Scott Figgins, Caroline Shatto
- Human Resources: Sharon Bynum, Matt Floor, Ron Knox
- Facilities: Larry Johnson, Jerry Noble, Bill Prasuhn
Q. What is the difference between a governing elder and a shepherding elder?
A. The elders are charged with the spiritual and financial health of the church. They continually and intentionally cover the church, its members and attenders in prayer and are available for support and guidance.
Governing elders sit on the board and are involved in the process of evaluation, discussion and voting on key issues of these areas.
Shepherding elders continue in their commitment to the spiritual health of the church but do not participate in voting.
In addition to his role as Shepherding Elder, Steve and his wife Monti serve the FMC community as Marriage Mentors and Coaches. Steve’s greatest joy from being an Elder is being available to pray with people who are hurting or in need. He continues to ask God that FMC would be a people of unity, embracing our diverse nature and seeking out each other’s best. Steve is the Assistant General Manager at Alro Steel and loves to get on his motorcycle whenever possible.
Marty and his wife Karen serve the Fellowship community in a variety of ways through marriage mentoring and other volunteer roles. Marty’s ongoing prayer is that Fellowship will accept the vision that God has for us to be a true multi-cultural church that embraces all who come through our doors. Marty works for Fort Wayne Community Schools.
Governing Elder- Administrative Elder
Greg is the owner of Sage Insurance Advisors, specializing in Medicare, health, life and long-term care insurance. He loves being outdoors, cycling, running, fishing, boating and working around the house. Greg and his wife, Elizabeth, have been part of the Common Ground community for many years, occasionally serving as teachers.
Greg and Elizabeth have been married for 23 years and have two adult daughters: Kristi, a communications expert in the Air Force and Katelyn High, who is married and living in the area.
Greg’s vision for FMC is that we would be “an increasingly diverse community of believers who are growing in spirit and knowledge, and eagerly spreading the love and truth of Jesus beyond the walls of Fellowship.”
Tim is a landscape architect and business owner, operating a small landscaping company, Cornerstone Landscaping Group. He and his wife LeAnn long to see our church body engage in intentional mentoring, so they volunteer as Marriage Mentors. LeAnn also leads Daughter of the King for teen girls and both Tim is active in the leadership of Authentic Manhood. Together they have four kids.
Tim views his role on the Elder team as: "helping discern, oversee, protect and support the divine purposes God has for this church body. I don’t necessarily dream of a different FMC, or ‘something better,’ but one that continues the legacy of ‘stretching’ ourselves - getting uncomfortable sometimes - in our pursuit of God’s something-out-of-the-ordinary for our people. I dream of Jesus changing us, making us more like Him. God has been leading this body in a special way for over 30 years. Let’s courageously continue to follow!”
Governing Elder- Secretary
Mark is a Service Engineer for Navistar who enjoys hanging out with family and friends, fixing cars, inventing things, solving problems and helping missionaries. He serves with our Middle Schoolers in Uptown on Sundays, attends Authentic Manhood, ministers with the post-service prayer team, and is part of a small group.
Mark says: “There are many things I could list that I love about Fellowship, but one is what a diverse community we are and how each of my kids (5 adopted and 1 biological) have always felt like they belong here. We love our church and celebrate what the Lord has done here, and anticipate the great things the Lord will be doing in us in the years ahead.”
Mark is married to Greta, a long-time member of the Fellowship worship team, and together they have six kids: David, Justin, Anya, Hasya, Yabsera, and Yihun.
Ben is a civil engineer for City Utilities where he analyzes water and sewer systems. While he enjoys his work and is proud of being able to provide our community with quality water, Ben’s first priorities are living Jesus, discipling others, and loving his family.
Ben’s dream for Fellowship is that we would be “a body that is in tune with the Holy Spirit, following in obedience where He is leading. I dream of a body that is united while being uniquely shaped by our differences. I believe this will be attractive to a world that wants to see Jesus, because it will no longer be our outward identity (social, economical, racial) that defines us, but rather our identity in Christ.”
Ben is married to Richele, who serves on the Fellowship staff as the Coordinator of Counseling Ministries. They have three young children and affectionately refer to their family as “Team G.”
Steve and his wife Cindy were among the founding members of Fellowship and over the years have served in a variety of roles, including leading the Common Ground community, Prayer Partners and marriage ministries. Steve’s greatest joy is hearing the stories of how God is working in the lives of those in Fellowship's community.
His ongoing prayer for us is that “we as a body will see and think about God clearly, because I am convinced that when that happens we will be transformed more and more into His likeness.”
During the week, Steve is an engineer.
Keith is a native of Fort Wayne and has worked for Fort Wayne Community Schools for 39 years. Currently he is a case manager at Arlington Elementary where he also coaches track & field, cross country and basketball. Those who know Keith also know his strong sense of humor!
Single, without biological children but with huge compassion for young people, he has many “heart” kids – those he has been honored to mentor and to whom he is a father-figure.
In addition to mentoring, Keith enjoys traveling. Vacations for him can be anywhere that he can experience the new and different. His travels include Africa, Spain, United Kingdom, Hungary, Japan, France, Canada, Mexico, Jamaica, Bahamas, Hawaii and most of the US states.
His dream for Fellowship is to see us continue to support and be involved with the Southeast quadrant of Fort Wayne and its residents. “I want to see our church continue to grow as a diverse body of people who love each other as Christ loves us. I want all who attend to know that our church is their home!”
Jordan was born and raised on the south side of Fort Wayne. He is married to Carmen and the have 3 wonderful kids: Violet, Levi and Olive. Their family is very involved in their neighborhood and Jordan enjoys reading about theology and culture, playing sports and living life with his family.
Jordan has volunteered as a small group leader and as a leader at The Planting, as well as participating in other areas at FMC. Jordan’s heart for FMC is to see the body become more unified as Kingdom people and to see us know and understand the Bible in new and deep ways together. Jordan works for Bethel University in Church Partnership, which is affiliated with the Missionary Church denomination.
Created with an image by Steve Halama - "untitled image"