Zach grew up in Chapel Hill, NC, where he also went to college. During his childhood, church was optional and Jesus was a footnote. Nonetheless, he grew up happy, with loving parents. God came for Zach when he was 16 and started reading the Bible. Jesus leapt off the page as the wisest, most loving, and just person Zach had ever encountered. Zach’s enthusiasm for Jesus has never waned. If you ask him a question about anything remotely related to Jesus, come prepared with a comfortable seat and a snack.
Zach met his wife Vanessa at summer camp in the mountains of North Carolina. They married immediately after college. They have four children: Haley, 8; Liam, 6; Lucy, 4; and Claire, 2. They spent the first eight years of their married lives as members of Valley Hope Church in the NC mountains, where they learned to love Jesus’ bride in all of her flawed beauty, and grew together as God worked in their lives. They moved to Corvallis in 2015 to serve at Calvin, and have enjoyed it immensely.
When he is not pastoring, changing diapers, reading stories, or wrestling with his kids, Zach enjoys reading, basketball, ultimate frisbee, hiking, amateur home improvement, and pretty much anything he gets to do with Vanessa (he will even consent to a trip to Target if it means getting a date night).
director of children’s ministries
Vanessa grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, and enjoyed opportunities to play music, go to the theater often, play a variety of sports, and attend a Christian summer camp each year. She met Jesus at camp and saw how his followers carried a hope and joy that set them apart. In college at Ole Miss she attended RUF, a Presbyterian college ministry, became a Young Life leader, and had her first real job as a trip leader for Ole Miss Outdoors. The highlight of college was meeting and planning a life with Zach.
She enjoys photography, playing frisbee, crafting, painting, watching movies, baking, playing games, and dancing around to Disney songs. These days her time is spent working through all the children’s books at the library, planning girl scout meeting, or trying to turn ordinary moment into magical ones for her kids. Vanessa says, ” I love to be around people all the time. It gives me energy to have things to do each day and people to pour into. I am excited to put some of that to work at Calvin: helping drum up enthusiasm for the Asante program, leading Women’s retreats, and with children and families as the director of Children’s ministry.”