Rick Elzinga – Pastor Rick received Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior on February 25, 1962. His heart's desire ever since has been to be a faithful servant of the Lord and to live out Christ's lordship in every area of life. While teaching elementary and middle school in Concord, California, Rick completed seminary and came to Southwest Hills Baptist Church in 1984 to be the interim pastor. It's been a long interim! Now over 30 years later, his desire is to continue to commit his life to the shepherding and development of the people of Southwest Hills.
He also puts a very high priority on doing his best to help each of his family members become more and more like Jesus. His wife Diane is a homemaker who ministers by teaching English to internationals and helping people in the church who are hurting.
Rick and Diane have four children: Stephen, who lives with his wife Sonja in Salem and uses his law degree to serve Christ in the political realm; Naomi, who lives with her husband Andrew in Bend, where he serves on the staff of Grace Bible Church; AJ, who lives with his wife Sabrina in Maple Valley, Washington, where he serves in the leadership of a small Bible school; and Mat, who graduated from Oregon State and is pursuing a career in police work.
A large part of Rick's ministry is praying for people and equipping them to understand and live out the Bible. He also loves to open doors for people to minister so they can develop as leaders. God uses him to start new ministries, raise up leadership teams to lead those ministries, and then step out of the way and let them lead. When he's not spending time with the church or with his family, Rick loves to hike the Columbia Gorge, walk in Greenway Park, or read.
Two scriptures have particularly shaped his ministry:
"For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake." – 2 Corinthians 4:5
"We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect [complete] in Christ." – Colossians 1:28
Kerry Francetich – Counseling, Care & Children's Pastor Kerry has been on the staff at Southwest Hills since July 1989. He has a bachelor's degree from DeVry Institute of Technology in Phoenix, and worked as an electronics engineer for 6 years before moving to the Portland area in 1984. He attended Western Seminary, earning a Master of Divinity degree in 1989. While attending seminary and shortly thereafter, he taught at Oregon Polytechnic Institute in Portland.
His main responsibilities at Southwest Hills are to give oversight to the counseling, care, and children's ministries. Kerry is a certified Biblical counselor (certified by the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors in 2008) and has hundreds of hours of counseling experience. He is dedicated to helping the hurting through Biblical counseling and to training many Biblical counselors at Southwest Hills and throughout the Portland/Beaverton area.
Kerry lives in Tigard with his wife Rosalie. They have four children and four grandchildren.
Jim Polensky – Youth Pastor Jim has served as Youth Pastor at Southwest Hills since 2001. He and his wife Celeste made SWHBC their church home when they moved to the Portland area to attend Multnomah Biblical Seminary in 1987 as newlyweds. Jim holds a degree in Business Finance from Oregon State and a Masters of Divinity from MBS.
Jim is a native Oregonian, born in Albany in 1961. He was raised in a loving and moral Catholic home but in college found himself lost in worldly pleasures. After a deep spiritual conviction that you could have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ and inspired by the 'Love Chapter' 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, Jim decided to go God's way not his own destructive way. In May 1982, Jim became a follower of Jesus Christ and was later baptized.
Jim's focus in ministry is to help people have a passionate relationship with Jesus. Through the Youth ministry, he engages individuals to use their spiritual gifts to the glory of God.
Jim and Celeste have two children, Kyle (1989) and Melissa(1992) and enjoying traveling.
"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma." – Ephesians 5:1-2
Joel Lundy – Pastor of Administration Joel has been on staff at Southwest Hills since July 2005. He graduated from Prairie Bible Institute in Alberta, Canada in 1979. He and his wife Cathy were married in 1981 and have four children.
The Lundy family has worshiped at Southwest Hills since 1994. Prior to coming to Southwest Hills, Joel served in various capacities at Tualatin Bible Church. These included serving as Elder, Church Administrator, Personnel and Property Manager. Prior to Tualatin Bible, he served as part-time Youth Pastor at Sherwood Baptist Church.
Joel has extensive experience in the financial services industry. He was a Series 7 licensed Financial Planner for 10 years. For 20 years he was President of a software company he founded which provided investment performance software for large mutual fund and insurance companies. Using this background, Joel has taught classes on biblical financial concepts at Multnomah School of the Bible. Within the church, He has helped many people work through various financial difficulties and challenges.
Coaching and teaching are important ministries for Joel. He coached the Southwest Hills Mustangs High School girl's basketball team for 5 years and was head coach of the High School boy's basketball team for 9 years. Joel also teaches math classes for Cor Deo Christian Academy.
Along with taking care of the financial/business aspects of the church, making the church an attractive place to worship is one of Joel's goals. He has added seasonal hanging baskets and flower beds along with upgrading the church landscape. His green thumb began while managing a nursery during his college days.
Joel has a passion to see all believers be conformed into the glorious image of Christ – the Father's grand agenda for each believer.
"For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son." – Romans 8:29a
"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me;" – Galatians 2:20a
Mitch Lamotte – Pastor of Evangelism & Missions I praise God for allowing me the privilege and opportunity to serve Him by mobilizing, equipping, training and uniting God's people; encouraging them to live out their faith daily by proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ the message of salvation. "But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." – 1 Peter 3:15 My passion is for all Christ followers to fully understand and embrace the reality of the gospel and to be empowered by the Holy Spirit to be his witnesses. "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." – Acts 1:8 For every believer to realize as disciples of Jesus Christ, our focus is to see him glorified in every situation and stage of life. This calling to walk by faith, trusting Christ, is often our greatest witness to the world and those God has placed in our sphere of influence.
In his late twenties Mitchell placed his faith and trust in Christ; his anchor verse is Matthew 4:19 – "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." Since that time, his life mission has been to increase the number of believers who actively serve our Lord by boldly and lovingly sharing their faith, living out the victorious power of His resurrection. Mitchell wants every believer to experience their unique calling and purpose and to realize the mission God has granted each one personally. He desires all believers to understand that missions is a mindset, not a trip somewhere. The role of every Christian is to proclaim the name of Jesus Christ as Lord in our Jerusalem (locally) and to the ends of the earth (globally). Not all believers are called to become full time missionaries, but all are called to the mission of seeing our Lord Jesus worshiped, honored and praised in our homes, our communities and to the ends of the earth.
Isaac Pauley – Director of Music & Media Isaac has served on staff at Southwest Hills since July of 2015. Raised by God-fearing parents in Monterey, California, he was saved in 2000. From that moment forward, he has had a growing passion for serving the Kingdom, particularly through music. He started taking piano lessons at age 6, followed by violin at age 10. At age 12, Isaac gained his first experience playing in a worship band at Monterey Bay Christian Middle School.
In high school, he continued his training as a classical violinist and violist, participating in local and state level honor orchestras. He also took on a leadership role in the Trinity Christian High School worship band.He graduated from George Fox University in 2015 with a BA in Music Education. While leading in the GFU Worship Arts Ensemble, he discovered his calling to serve God in the church through music.
Isaac’s vision for music ministry is to help other musicians use their God-given talents to glorify the Kingdom, as well as help people connect with God through music and song. In addition to leading the church in song on Sunday mornings, Isaac is also responsible for the church’s online presence, maintaining the church’s website and social media platforms.
Isaac married his wife Jackie in May 2015, and moved to Beaverton less than a month later. He enjoys cycling, hiking, photography, and stand-up paddleboarding. In addition to his duties at Southwest Hills, he teaches students one-on-one in violin, viola, piano, voice, and music theory.
“Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright. Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings! Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts. For the word of the Lord is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness. He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.” — Psalm 33:1-5
Hannah Soohoo-Hui – Church Secretary Hannah grew up in Bellingham, WA, spent three years living and working in Switzerland with Youth With A Mission, and then moved to Portland to attend Multnomah University in 2011. She met her husband, Nathaniel, at Multnomah and they were married in the summer of 2013. She graduated with a degree in Biblical Studies and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) in 2014, and then worked as a medical receptionist for over two years.
Hannah has attended Southwest Hills since she and her husband were dating, and has been a member since 2013. She is currently involved in the Young Adult Ministry, serves in the High School Youth Group as an adult leader, and teaches a 2-yr. old Sunday School class. She loves seeing lives transformed by the truth of the Gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit, and helping Christians use their gifts to serve God and other people. One of her gifts is administration, and she feels blessed to be able to use it to build up the church.
Nathaniel and Hannah currently live in SE Portland. She enjoys hiking, reading, drinking tea, traveling, hospitality, and learning to play the harp.
"The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing." – Zephaniah 3:17
"You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock." – Isaiah 26:3-4