Lead Pastor- Chad & Jennifer Nelson
Chad and Jennifer Nelson and their three children, Quinn, Marin and Reade, returned to Michigan in June 2016 to plant a church in Mount Clemens. Chad has served in full-time ministry since 2004 and Jen is a special education teacher. In their spare time, they enjoy trying new restaurants, traveling, and hanging out with their family.
Since going into full-time ministry, Chad and Jen have been driven to see their community infused with grace, hope, and the purpose that comes with knowing Jesus. It has been their dream and vision to plant a church in Mount Clemens since 2010. In 2012 a new challenge stood between them and their vision: Multiple Sclerosis. Chad was diagnosed not long after they moved to Missouri to lead a church and MS became a part of their daily lives. Chad had trouble thinking and communicating clearly and experienced extreme fatigue, migraines, and hearing loss. That said, when God has a big plan he makes big moves. This led them to the most unexpected miracle of their lives: Chad was radically healed of MS in April 2016! They are excited to see how God uses their story of healing to bring hope to people and glory to God.
Chad and Jen want people to know that following Jesus is a lifelong pursuit that is best done in community. They know that The Church has been a painful and unwelcoming place for many people and are making it their mission to lead a community of believers who are authentic, respectful, vulnerable with one another, and radically loving. They believe The Church is a place where hard conversations can and should take place with grace and humility.
Teaching Pastor- Ben & Tara Ophoff
Ben and Tara Ophoff have come to Journey from Grand Rapids, MI. They have two boys, Brayden and Jaden, as well as a daughter and son-in-law, Skylar and Tony Smith. In addition to being a Teaching Pastor at Journey Church, Ben is also the Director of Spiritual Life at Tri-Unity Christian School while Tara is both a hairstylist and photographer. In their spare time, they enjoy touring small towns, drinking coffee, and sitting on the deck together.
Together, Ben and Tara have a deep passion for communicating God’s redemptive heart to hurting people and to sharing His restorative plan for marriages and relationships. They have experienced both of these firsthand as God divinely saved their own marriage from the brink of brokenness and separation. They believe God’s Word says it best in Jeremiah 29:11 when it says, “For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord...plans to prosper you and not to harm you; to give you HOPE and a FUTURE!”