John was born and raised on the west side of Traverse City. He attended Traverse City Central High School and graduated in 1985. John then attended and graduated in 1989 from United Wesleyan College in Allentown, Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science degree in Pastoral Ministries and a minor in Psychology. In college, he was very involved in student government, serving as the junior and senior class president. He was also a key member of the college basketball team, winning three league championships in four years.
His passion for the local church and the call of God is evident in every area of his life. Many describe John as a passionate, personable, out-going, and humorous person. His life-application messages are filled with deep Biblical truths and humorous observations from his own experiences. His love for the outdoors and quality time with his family are also very important to him.
John’s wife Michele grew up in western New York on a dairy farm and was very involved in high school sports and her local church youth group. At the age of 16 she felt a clear call from God to be a pastor’s wife. John and Michele met each other the second day of college. They we were engaged and married in the spring of 1987. Their marriage is the fulfillment of two individuals who God called to serve in ministry and they have done so over the past twenty years.
Together, John and Michele have led two very successful student ministry programs spanning fifteen years, and then started West Side Community Church in the fall of 2002.
The Clarks consider their family to be a priority and enjoy their time together. The joy of their marriage has been their four children, ages 16 to 26. Their children are very involved in sports, extra-curricular activities and the student ministries at West Side. They spend a lot of time as a family playing games and hanging out on the deck. They are very involved in the community and enjoy their home on the west side of Traverse City.
Director of Operations
David was born and raised in Traverse City. He is the second oldest of 6 brothers and 2 sisters. Prior to serving as Director of Operations at West Side, David was partner in a local small business. During that time, he met and married his beautiful wife, Morgan. They both enjoy living in Northern Michigan and spend time boating, swimming, hiking, and being with friends and family. David and Morgan are passionate about ministering to orphans both locally and around the world. They have opened their home to several foster children for emergency and long term placements. In 2012 they traveled to the Democratic Republic of Congo where they were blessed to adopt their twins Nyah and Kaleb. David and Morgan recently had a third child named Maxwell. They are very excited to find out how God will use them to further minister to not only orphans but simply the disadvantaged of the world.
As Education Pastor, Rick plans and oversees Adult Ministries classes on Sunday mornings and weekday evenings. The goal of Adult Ministries is to help people connect with others and grow in their relationship with God. Rick is passionate about the study of God’s word. He wants people to learn to read and understand the Bible on their own. He has led inductive Bible studies for over forty years. Rick is also passionate about helping marriages. Rick and his wife, Sharon, lead seminars to help strengthen marriages. Rick is passionate about helping people grow emotionally and spiritually. He is an avid reader, both non-fiction and fiction. He and his wife even owned a Christian bookstore for seven years before he came on staff at West Side. Biking is one of Rick’s primary hobbies as well as kayaking and snowshoeing.
Rick’s favorite verse is Romans 8:1 “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” As a recovering perfectionist, Rick loves knowing that God in His grace accepts him just as he is. It is not because of anything he has done; it is because of what Jesus has done for him.
Family Ministries Pastor
Stephen is our Family Ministries Pastor who oversees children, youth, and adult ministry. He loves meeting new people, learning how they are gifted and what they are passionate about, and then getting them plugged into a passion area. He has a huge heart for families and marriages, as well as outreach and missions. He is addicted to coffee, the Detroit Tigers, Michigan State sports, and the Green Bay Packers. Stephen enjoys being outside, fishing, and hunting (aka…sleeping in the woods). His wife Hannah and their four children like playing games, traveling, and watching Kid Snippet videos on YouTube.
Sr. High Youth Pastor
Andrew is very passionate about the Senior High and Junior High demographic, and studied Youth Ministry at Grace Bible College. He loves people and the relational side of ministry. One of the highlights of working in ministry is connecting with students and people one on one and Andrew looks forward to seeing people grow and playing a part in that through mentorship and discipleship. Andrew also has a passion for taking the Bible and making it more understandable and presenting that to people in a way that gets them excited about Jesus and promotes their personal and spiritual growth. Andrew takes a lot of his philosophy of ministry from his dad, and loves that he has the opportunity to work alongside him and help lead at West Side. Outside of ministry, Andrew likes anything that has to do with any sports; watching or playing. In fact he says that if he wasn’t in ministry he would want to do some sort of sports management or broadcasting. He also likes all things creative whether that be cooking, writing, or building and wishes that he could play or write music. He and his wife Nichole also enjoy spending time together doing ministry or hanging out with friends and family.
Early Childhood Director
Stacie enjoys serving families with young kids and connecting them to our church body and to each other. She is privileged to show kids Jesus in the church setting and be His example out in the community. Her passions are to create fun spaces for kids to gather and using quality resources to discover Jesus. Nursery, preschool and Kindergarten are essential years to a child coming to know Jesus. Her prayer is that Kid Side is where kids feel safe and know they matter. She is thankful for the opportunity to share Jesus with the kids and families at West Side!