Occupation: I have spent four-and-a-half years as pastor of Church of the Lakes. We have services in the Tropic Theater in downtown Leesburg. Altogether, I have spent 21 years as a pastor in Leesburg, mostly as a youth and children’s pastor.
Career passion: I love being part of someone’s transformation spiritually, emotionally, physically, and financially. Hope is waning in our culture, and we’ve lost trust in everybody. With that comes hopelessness. Bringing hope into someone’s difficult day is rewarding.
Honors: In September, the Leesburg Partnership awarded me with the Greg Padgett Citizen of the Year award. Honestly, this award isn’t about Mike. It’s about our church body who create wonders in the lives of others.
Community involvement: Our church opened a teen center called Thrive. We have ping pong tables, a basketball court, and a snack bar. Every afternoon, about 35 teens hang out there. Our church also gave money to Leesburg High School (LHS) to install a new sound system in the football stadium. We also started a program at LHS and Oak Park Middle called ‘The Rock,’ and through that, we provide students with free school supplies, toiletries, and hygiene products.
Serving as chaplain of the Leesburg Police Department: I have done a ride-a-long with every patrolman. This provides them with a forum to talk about their problems in a safe and confidential manner. We also care for their spouses, who had difficulty watching the news during the riots. We made comfort baskets and delivered them to 60 spouses. There were lots of tears.
Hidden talent: I spent a few years in college doing musical theater. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough talent to make a living. God got hold of me and said, “you’re not going in that direction.”
Hobbies: I work out three days a week with Al Cardiello at Infinity Fitness, and play pickleball two to three times a week. I can bench press 455 pounds. I’m 51 now, and my goal is to be someone over 50 who bench presses 500 pounds.
Pet peeve: People who drive slow in the left lane. I preach about that from the pulpit.
Favorite quote: Matthew 5:16: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good work and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”