I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
Pastor at New City of Nations Church
Campus: All Campuses
Erik was raised in a non-Christian home in Southern California. He came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ at the age of 19 through the gospel witness of a church college group. Growing up in a multi-ethnic school and neighborhood, Erik believes that the Lord prepared him, even before his conversion, to be involved in cross-cultural ministry. His parents rented several rooms in their home to foreign students attending UCLA. Erik has always had friendships with and an interest in people from various ethnic backgrounds.
Erik has a B.A. in Christian Ministries from University of the Nations in Kona, Hawaii, and an M.Div. in Intercultural Studies from Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. He served with Youth With A Mission (1986–1991) as a missionary/student—ministering in several different countries in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. While he was with YWAM, he met Charlotte, who became his wife in 1993. As part of his seminary training, Erik & Charlotte lived in southern India for six months, training rural pastors and researching the Gujarati people through Hindustan Bible Institute in Chennai.
Erik came to Bethlehem in 2002 with seven years of pastoral experience. He had served as a youth pastor for several years in Salem, Oregon (1991–1993), and he also served at Village Baptist Church in Beaverton, Oregon, as the Associate Pastor of Missions & Young Adults (1995–2000). At Village, Erik was involved in missions education, mobilization, and the leadership of two annual short-term missions trips to unreached people groups. He also offered support to the five ethnic fellowships and an International Students ministry at the church. Erik was also on staff with Delta Ministries International (Portland, Oregon). At Delta, Erik provided logistical coordination and training for church-based short-term teams ministering internationally.
As Bethlehem’s Pastor for Global Outreach (2002–2011), Erik helped develop missions curriculum for both short-term teams (10 days to three months) and mid-term missionaries (four months to two years). Erik has been a Coordinator and Lecturer for the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement Course. He is currently a Doctoral candidate at Fuller Seminary.
Erik & Charlotte have three daughters (Anna, Kathryn, and Clara) and live in Roseville, Minnesota. In 2012, Erik transitioned out of his role as Pastor for Global Outreach and entered Bethlehem's Church Planting Residency as training to plant a church in the Twin Cities. In the fall of 2012 he launched New City of Nations Church.