Rev. John Botkin
Pastor John was born and raised in the suburbs outside Cincinnati, Ohio. God brought him to faith through a VBS week at age 8, and began calling him into Christian ministry at 15 (when he was still known as ‘Johnny’). After high school, Pastor John attended Cedarville University where he completed work for his Bachelor of Arts degree in Biblical Studies, with a minor in philosophy and religion. Upon graduating, John married the love of his life, Melinda, and moved to Louisville, where he studied at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. There, John and Melinda had their first son, Joshua, and John eventually graduated with an Advanced Master of Divinity degree in theology (2003). Pastor John was then called to pastor Crossway Christian Church in January of 2003. Since then, He and Melinda have also had three more children – Rebekah, David, and Elizabeth. John has also served as Moderator of the Bay Area Baptist Association.
Some of Pastor John’s heroes/influences/favorite authors in ministry include (in no particular order): Alistair Begg, Robert Murray M’Cheyne, Charles H. Spurgeon, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, John Owen, Jonathan Edwards, John Calvin, George Whitefield, D. A. Carson, Tom Carson, John Piper, and Mark Dever. He enjoys reading, listening to jazz and classical music, and most of all spending time with his family. When he finds the time, Pastor John also blogs at Magnify Christ.
Pastor Joe grew up in southern Michigan, where at the age of 10 he was called by God to trust in Christ during a Bible camp. After high school, Joe attended the University of Michigan and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Engineering degree in Industrial & Operations Engineering.
Upon graduation, Joe married his high school sweetheart, Leigh. Shortly after, he was commissioned in the US Navy and moved to California where he served aboard the USS FRESNO (LST-1182). Joe later moved his family to Great Lakes, Illinois where he worked on staff of Commander, Naval Reserve Readiness Command, Region THIRTEEN. Joe continued his military service moving back to Michigan where he served as the Commanding Officer, Naval Reserve Center, Saginaw.
In 1999, Joe left the active component of the Navy and started working full-time at Nexteer as a Product Engineer. He continues to serve in the Navy Reserve and in 2009 completed a yearlong deployment to Baghdad, Iraq.
Joe, Leigh and their five children began attending Crossway in 2007. Having previously served as an elder in another church, Joe began training to serve as an elder at Crossway. In November 2008, Joe was approved by the congregation to serve as one of its first elders.
Joe enjoys reading, hunting, gardening, music, playing the guitar and wood working. But most of all, he enjoys being a husband and home schooling Dad.
Pastor Richard is a Bay City native, growing up in the Lutheran church. After attending High School, Richard was drafted into the US Army in 1970.
While serving with the 101st Airborne division in Vietnam, Richard’s faith reached a new level. Though saved as younger boy, Richard found himself “all alone and at the end of his means.” It was then that Richard began to pursue God and his will for his life with a greater intensity and commitment.
When he returned the States, Richard’s renewed commitment to the Lord was expressed in his service to the local church. Over the years Richard has served in several ways – teacher, trustee, education board members, VBS teacher, church treasurer, building and grounds committee members and more.
A high-point in Richard’s life was marrying his wife, Denise, in1992. Together they have six grown children, Dorrie, Clair, Stephanie, Danielle, James, and Christopher.
After previously serving at a sister church, Richard came back to Crossway in 2004. Feeling God’s call on his life, and at the encouragement of Pastor John and the members of Crossway, Richard began to pursue a leadership role in the church which would grow into the official position of elder. Over the next few years, he trained both informally and later formally for eldership.
In November 2008, Richard was approved by the congregation to serve as one its first elders.
Richard enjoys studying the Bible, spending time with is wife and family, hunting, and strong, black coffee.