Thank you for taking a moment to read our Chapel Website. Although these are not exactly “fun facts to know and tell”, I thought it might be useful to fill in a few blanks about myself. I was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania, the second of eight children. After graduating college, I “migrated” west to Anaheim, California where I completed a degree in Theological Studies at Melodyland School of Theology. Immediately following graduation, I moved to Berlin, Germany with the intent of serving in a church there for a one year commitment. The “one year” extended itself into a grand total of 22 1/2 years. Many fond memories of my time there have worked their way into my life’s data base. Beyond normal church ministry, it was also a joy and privilege to be able to travel and minister in other parts of Germany, as well as in many other European countries. I met and married my wife, Ali, in Berlin. Through what I describe as a real God-Thing, we were led to come to Chapel in the Pines in Twain Harte, Ca. in May 2000 and have been serving here ever since. Along with our two children Jeremy and Joelle, we are blessed to be a part of this vibrant loving church family.
Both my wife and I grew up here in Tuolumne county. I attended Cornerstone Christian School and began attending Chapel in the Pines when I was 5 years old. I have called this amazing church home for the last 27 years and have been blessed by all the wonderful believers here whom I now consider to be my family.
After graduating high school in 2000, I worked for my dad (Bob Porter) in the logging industry before I joined the Army in 2004. I served in Iraq as a Sniper Team Leader and in 2009, after being injured by roadside bomb, was medically discharged from the Army and began to pursue an education in theology.
Before I go any further, I have to brag about my family just a bit. 🙂 My wife Lacy is my best friend and is an amazing wife, mother, and woman of God. Together we have three wonderful children; Jayden (8), Ashton (41/2) and Cally (3). My children are a gift from God and each one is well on their way to developing a vibrant and solid relationship with their Savior. I am blessed every day by how God makes Himself real to them. My children love our church and if you have ever visited our church, chances are you have seen AND heard them after Sunday service as they turn the main sanctuary into their playground. I like to think that the joy they express in their play is one of the ways they worship their Father in heaven.
I recently graduated from The Kings University with a BA in Theology with an emphasis in Christian Ministry. I look forward to furthering my formal education in the future, but right now my wife and I are focused on serving here at Chapel in the Pines as we continue to learn what it means to be a conduit of God’s love to the people we encounter both in and outside of the church. Our passion is to see people commit their lives to Jesus Christ and to help them become all that He has called them to be.
Both my wife and I love to meet new people, so if you see us at church, around town, or anywhere in between, please don’t hesitate to come introduce yourself. We would love to hear your story and get to know you better!
Debbi has been on staff at Chapel since 1991. She started doing computer input bookkeeping, then became the full charge bookkeeper. In the mid 1990’s she became the church secretary. Then in 2010, when Bill Cook retired she was asked and honored to become the Administrator.
Debbi would tell you she loves lists and spreadsheets, but even more she loves Jesus and His people. She is a little obsessed with punctuality and efficiency, but always has time to stop and love on anyone who comes by.
Debbi and her husband Terry have been married since 1989 and have four adult children who have blessed them with 2 grandsons and 4 granddaughters. The grand babies are probably her biggest and best distraction.
I’m Ali Ortmann and I’ve been on staff since 2006. I was the Children’s Administrator and Junior High leader for ten years and I’m currently working as the book keeper. I was born and raised in Berlin, Germany and moved to Twain Harte, California in 2000. I’ve been married for 20 years to my loving husband Dennis and we have two kids together, Jeremy and Joelle. We strongly feel that God has led us here to serve Him and enjoy loving on the people at Chapel in the Pines and being part of this wonderful community. We love California weather, the beautiful mountains and just His creation in general.
Originally from Kentucky, Jen Collie has been serving in children’s ministry for over twenty years. She and her husband Dave have two energetic children–Silas (10 years) and Myah (8 years). When she is not baking chocolate chip cookies, Jen loves to hike, read, write and host neighborhood parties with her family. Jen considers it an honor to serve the Chapel family by training and equipping volunteers to teach and lead children to grow up in the Lord. Jen knows firsthand what a joy it is to help kids know Jesus!
Pastor Wayne was born in Nebraska in 1934 and moved west following the Great Depression years. He finished grade school and high school living in the San Francisco Bay area.
Following his upperdeucation he was obligated to serve in the US Army for 2 years. Within a year after being discharged he met and married Helen, a Canadian nurse in Redwood City. They have 2 sons and a daughter, all of which are married and have given them 2 grandchildren.
In 1979 the family moved to the Sonora area. He was involved in a business partnership in electronics for a short period of time.
In 1985 he was unemployed, so volunteered to assist Pastor Russ Peters in completing construction of the new Chapel. Following that, at Alva Peters recommendation to her son, Pastor Steve, that Wayne be hired on as the Church Administrator.
Wayne has felt called to minister to the wounded and hurting and the primary focus of his ministry is counseling and healing.
I’m Kerryann and my family started attending Chapel in 2002 after having come to an Easter play production. I love theater and have been active as either a cast member or a director in our Christmas and Easter plays ever since. My husband Larry and I have three kids, Cheyanne, Samuel and Ayla, who were also part of the kids and later youth programs where they also participated in VBS and Youth group mission trips. I also love serving the Lord by leading worship once a month at Chapel. My greatest joy is to work with our kids on Wednesday nights. We play games, learn about God and work on special projects.
We are Anaiah and Aimee Kirk and honored to serve at Chapel in the Pines. We met in fourth grade, got engaged in College and have been married for ten years with two beautiful kids, Amelia and Warren who are very much part of our ministry in the youth. Since we were young, we both have had a desire to work with youth and lead them into a lasting relationship with Jesus Christ. Both being working professionals (Anaiah a supervising correctional counselor at a prison and Aimee an elementary school teacher) our approach is simple: to do life with them by loving, teaching and being transparent with them. With Gods help, we humbly desire to walk out what we preach in our everyday lives showing young people how it is possible to serve God and be a light to the community we live in. Finally, we like to have fun with our youth group and our family. As a family, we enjoy skiing, backpacking, fishing, traveling, and homesteading our six acre abandoned apple orchard. Anaiah has written a book titled “The Life I always wanted”, and has plans to release his second book in time, a book about walking a pure life.
We are Stephen and Shelah Ball and we have a son named Thomas. Stephen grew up at the Chapel and has been actively serving God in any way possible. He has always been involved in our Children’s ministry, first, he was a helper and later on became a teacher. He also has a passion for coffee and is blessing us with making us lattes on Sunday morning and on Wednesday night. Shelah grew up at Word of Life and is a very gifted musician and worship leader. She is serving God by leading worship once a month at Chapel. We are heading up our summer kid’s program called Children’s Church we also teach a Junior High class on Wednesday night. It is a privilege to serve God in any way he has called us to.