Raised in Central Illinois in a multi-generation farm family, I learned the work ethic of farming, but a severe hearing loss at age 3 prevented me from carrying on the family tradition. A preference for the outdoors and a love of creativity drew me to University of Illinois where I graduated in landscape architecture.
Fresh from school, I started my second business in 1976 as a landscape contractor (my first business began at age 14 when I was raising and selling pumpkins, Indian corn, popcorn and more). In partnership with my brother, that business expanded into a retail garden center, tree nursery, wholesale greenhouse, and lawn care for 600 clients. Getz’s Edgemor Nurseries became a leader in the regional industry in horticulture, design, and employee development.
In 1988, God placed a prompting in my wife Sara. Through her prayers, God led me to attend Dallas Theological Seminary. Somewhat as a fish out of water among pastoral students and scholars, I found my niche in church planting.
In 1993, my wife Sara and I and our 3 children planted a church in northeast Fort Wayne in a movie theater. The church focused on reaching the unchurched. It grew to 250 and its own building before I left to join the Missionary Church national office and launch the Pastoral Leadership Institute (PLI).
PLI was an online training vehicle for helping lay leaders who felt the call of God to vocational ministry to get the theological and practical education needed for pastoral ministry licensing and ordination. In 2012 PLI celebrated its 10th anniversary and recognized several dozen graduates who entered pastoral ministry, chaplaincy, and the mission field.
In 2007, I launched a new concept, an organic, disciple-making network. Designed to strategically reach 10 cities on the Interstate 5 corridor of Oregon and Washington, Field 5 soon grew to over a dozen states and became known as Field USA (FUSA). This became a creative think-tank for moving from a pastor-teacher church paradigm to an Ephesians 4:11, organic, multi-generation discipleship network paradigm. My specialty has been in “legacy coaching” an unique ability to ask questions that unlock a person’s log jam and empower them to increased effectiveness.
I live in Fort Wayne, IN, with my beloved wife, Sara Jean. We have 3 adult children and 5 grandchildren. I enjoy exercising my landscape architecture gifts in my backyard and following my esteemed University of Illinois Fighting Illini. I enjoy any time that brings together history, horticulture, culture, and architecture.