My wife, Kerri and I have been at Salem First Baptist Church since 2008. We both grew up in Oregon but then served in Colorado for 24 years before God brought us and our four kids back to Oregon. I love the church and especially enjoy seeing SFB fulfill its calling to love and serve our city and beyond. I enjoy teaching God's word, reading books, working outside, gardening, sitting and talking with people over a cup of coffee, hanging out with the grandkids or doing anything with Kerri.
Jeff Poush is the Associate Pastor at Salem First Baptist Church. He has been on staff since 1994 when he started as an intern leading the college ministry. He graduated from Willamette University in the top 1% of the lower 1/3 of his graduating class. He directed the ministry of Campus Ambassadors at Willamette University for 12 years before joining the church staff full time. Currently, he is enrolled in the fast-track program at Western Seminary, with a goal of completing his degree in only 15 years!
Jeff grew up in the church and made a personal commitment to follow Christ as a sophomore in high school. After attending a weekend camp with a friend, he was challenged to take his faith more seriously rather than simply passively attending church. Through the mentoring of a teacher, God’s Word became alive for the first time and a passion for ministry began to grow in his heart. As a freshman enrolled in the Navy ROTC program at the University of Washington, God used an encounter with an abusive church to reveal Himself to Jeff in a powerful and life-altering way. After transferring to Willamette University, Jeff led his first person to Christ and his passion for ministry was fully ignited!
Jeff has 3 children and 1 wife. He has been married to Tammy since 1999. She has never been happier. Josiah joined the family in 2002, Jeremiah in 2005 and Sierra in 2008. Jeff enjoys watching the Atlanta Braves and anything associated with baseball. Elizabethan poetry and Corinthian Architecture are two things he knows absolutely nothing about. He does like making people laugh.
Jeff is also the fearless leader of Upward Basketball!
Leon Chriestenson is the pastor of Men's Ministry, Missions, and Mentoring. He has experience in farming, management, business ownership and as an insurance agent. After 17 years working full time in the insurance industry, Leon went back to school and graduated from Denver Seminary in 2008. After graduation, he had the joy of serving as a transitional/turn-around pastor, successfully leading two churches through a transition time. In 2012 Leon & Lynn moved to OR and started attending SFB. In 2013, he joined the staff at FBC.
When growing up, Leon attended church sporadically. Church had no appeal to him. He often chose the broad path that led to destruction. By the grace of God, in his late teens he heard the Gospel in a new way, bowed his knee and accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. He realized that he was chosen by God and precious in His sight.
Leon has been married to Lynn since 1977. They have 5 boys that were born in a 6 1/2 year span. Life was exciting-- especially when they were all teenagers and playing sports. They now have 9 grandchildren and are blessed to be a part of their lives. Lynn and Leon love to hike, bike, garden and do yard work. Leon enjoys the opportunity to build, equip and hang out with people.
Care & Evangelism
Stephanie Thorp is the Children’s Ministry Director as SFB and has been on staff since 2012. She worked as the Nursery through 2-year-olds and special events coordinator here at SFB before taking on her current position as Children’s Ministry Director. She is currently working towards earning a degree in Family Psychology at Corban University.
When Stephanie was 10 years old, her mom accepted Christ as her savior and began attending church and Stephanie followed her example not long after, at the age of 12. As a sophomore in high school, she furthered this commitment and began to develop her personal relationship with Jesus Christ and made Him the compass for her direction in life.
Beginning with serving as an Awana Cubbies leader as a high schooler, Stephanie has always enjoyed working with children in the church and impacting their lives for God. She also loved serving on the Mom2Mom leadership team here at SFB for several years. Her heart is to see all children at SFB become deeply rooted in their faith, develop a close relationship with Jesus, and grow in community with one another. Stephanie loves partnering with parents and helping to equip them in the process of raising their children to be followers of Christ.
Stephanie has been married to her husband Josh since 2005 and together they have four daughters, Madison, Makenzie, Ellie, and Hailey. They enjoy spending time together as a family with trips to the beach and Sunriver, visiting Disneyland, and hanging out together at home playing games or enjoying a family movie night. When time allows, she loves to share a good meal with friends or hit up a local coffee shop with a good book.
As Director of Women’s Ministries at Salem First Baptist Church, Janice Adams believes she is just a few inches from heaven here. This role fills her desire to come alongside women to help them discover all they can be in Christ. From the age of 15 she has been involved in leadership, in counseling, directing YMCA camp/youth programs, short term missions, hospice/ grief/ divorce and cancer support, preschool training, Parish Health ministry, non-profit fundraising/development and many areas of family education including being a wife, mom and grandmom. Since 2009 God has used these experiences to provide “continuing education” to serve in her role at SFB. Formal education was at Biola University where she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Christian Education and Multnomah Seminary where a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Studies with an emphasis on women was earned in 1997.
Janice’s parents always made sure she “went to church”; but it was her maternal grandmother ‘s life of faith that influenced her and all 12 grandchildren in their journey to know Jesus as personal Savior. . .a decision Janice made at 12 years old. Later at YMCA camp she recommitted her life to Christ, and to full-time service on whatever road God had planned.
Janice has three adult sons who have brought her three beautiful “daughters.” Together they have blessed my life with two grandsons, a granddaughter, one granddog--and “grand” they are!! “Grandchildren are the most precious joy-makers God ever created,” Janice says. If she were to spend a lazy afternoon of “pampering, “ it would include: wildly playing with grandchildren, checking in on forever friends, a long walk on a warm day, digging in the dirt, a bowl of ice cream and strawberry shortcake or popcorn and a movie with someone I love.”