Director of Youth Ministry

I have one of the best jobs in the world—getting to know, encouraging, and mentoring middle and high school students, as well as guiding them into a deeper relationship with Christ. One of the reasons that I am so passionate about youth is because in high school, I was invited to attend a youth group for the first time by my wrestling coach and later introduced to Christ by two of the youth leaders. I continued on in a small group Bible Study with those youth leaders and some other high school friends. God used those two men to make a huge impact in my life, and eventually, I decided that I wanted God to do something similar with my life. The fact that God knows each one of us intimately, loves us no matter what, and wants to be in relationship with us is what I long for each student to know in their innermost being. Psalm 139 says it well: “O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.”

Ezrah Schmeelk with family

I grew up in Seattle, Washington and eventually attended Northwest University in the Seattle area, where I obtained my Bachelors in Youth Ministry. By this time, I had also met and married my wife, Christa. She and I met teaching a sixth-grade Sunday School class at our church. After I graduated, we moved to Missoula, Montana, where I accepted my first position as Director of Youth Ministries. It was in Missoula that we had our two boys: Finn (born in 2008) and Rafe (born in 2011).

Shortly after Rafe was born, we began to feel God pulling our family in a different direction, which ultimately led to me to this wonderful church in Waunakee, WI. We are so excited to have landed in such a generous and loving community. We love having our boys in such great schools and in an equally amazing church family. We also enjoy camping and hiking together each summer at Devil’s Lake, taking our annual pilgrimage to the Milwaukee Public Museum, hiking up Gibraltar Rock by Lodi, having coffee and treats from the day-old basket at Prairie Café in Middleton, having homemade sushi nights, and Friday Night Dessert Night.

I would sincerely love to connect with you and/or your student! Please call or email me so that we can set up a time to chat—which is one of my favorite parts of my job.