Leadership

Elders

Westside Bible Fellowship is led by a team of elders who serve as pastors or spiritual shepherds. The elders are responsible to oversee, shepherd and lead the flock by both example and instruction (Acts 20:17-35). They are raised up by the Holy Spirit and recognized by the body for the work they are doing and for their qualifications as described in the New Testament (1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9).

Plural and equal are two important words that describe our chosen elder-led form of church leadership. We believe the New Testament clearly teaches that the local church should be led by a plurality of elders (Acts 14:23). This provides important accountability and special protection against false teaching and allows us to take advantage of the varied spiritual gifts, ideas and counsel that different elders provide. Our elders serve as equals on a team where no one of them has more authority than the others. For more details, read the Church Leadership section of our Church Handbook.

Kennedy Hawkins

kennedy hawkinsKennedy spent the first sixteen years of his life in Laguna Beach, CA. When his parents divorced, he moved to Junction City, OR. While a student at Oregon State, he trusted Christ as his Savior, and Christ radically transformed his life. He married his wife Frances in 1987, and they have three sons. Kennedy and Frances have been part of the Westside fellowship since 1989. Kennedy has been involved in ministry in many areas, including being a Care Group leader, deacon, treasurer, Eagle Fern Camp board member, youth leader, Director of Youth Ministries, and Elder. Kennedy appreciates Westside’s serious commitment to the Scriptures, the love shown by people and their strong desire to follow Christ, and the sense of authentic community. He has a passion to see three things occur in the fellowship. First, he wants Westside to continue lifting up the name of the Lord Jesus. Second, he wants Westside to be a place where people continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ. Third, he wants to see the Gospel transform lives with many people coming into the Kingdom of God. In his spare time, Kennedy likes spending time with his family, enjoying fresh powder days on his snowboard, and hiking in the Columbia River Gorge.

Dan Hickman

dan hickmanDan grew up right here in the Hillsboro area, attending Hillsboro High School. He met his wife, Amy, in the high school youth group at Westside where they both grew up. They were married at Westside in 1999 and have two sons and two daughters. Dan is a business owner in Hillsboro. He and Amy have been involved in high school youth ministry, and currently serve by hosting a Care Group in their home and are actively involved in music ministry on Sunday mornings. Dan has always appreciated the multi-generational approach that Westside takes. He says, "As a young man growing up, I benefited tremendously from the older men around me and the opportunities to encourage others. Seeing the older generation show love for the younger generation at Westside, and visa versa, has been a legacy that I'm passionate about fostering." Dan is excited about what God is doing at Westside in showing love to those around us and seeking to share the good news about Jesus. In his spare time, he enjoys playing with his kids and practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Herb Kirchem

herb kirchemHerb grew up on the east side of Portland. He is married to Sherrie, and they have two adult sons. Herb works as a manufacturer's sales representative. He and Sherrie began fellowshipping at Westside in 1982. Herb preaches regularly and leads worship music. He is also responsible for organizing the Care Groups and training and encouraging the Care Group leaders. When asked what he appreciates about Westside, Herb said, “I love the fact that Westside has so much diversity in ethnicity, age and socio-economics, but that we are united by our common love for Jesus.” Herb likes the phrase from our mission statement that says we are seeking to become true worshipers of Christ in all areas of life. Says Herb, “If we as individual believers and as a body do that, we will make the Gospel of Jesus very attractive and see many come to faith in Christ.” Herb enjoys fishing and hunting, playing basketball and watching all kinds of sports.

Dick Papworth

dick papworthDick was born in Ohio but grew up in a suburb of Chicago. He met his wife Nita while both of them were serving in missions with Operation Mobilization. They have been married for over four decades and have been blessed with two adult daughters and ten grandchildren. Dick and Nita are missionaries to one of the least-reached people groups in the world today. Dick and his team evangelize and disciple this people group through the use of mass media. Dick and Nita came to Westside in 1987 and love the people who are part of the fellowship and are seriously committed to serving them. Dick says, "While not a perfect church, Westside is greatly blessed with godly leadership, a culture of love and caring, and a strong emphasis on Bible teaching." Dick preaches regularly and also helps people on an individual basis. He is passionate to see people respond to God's great love for them by wholeheartedly loving, studying and obeying the Bible. Dick also maintains the church website.

Mike Raichart

mike raichartMike moved many times during his childhood but lived most of the time in the Denver area. When he was 18, he put his faith in Christ. That same summer he met the young lady who would become his wife. He and Karen were married three years later. The Lord blessed them with two sons, and they now have six grandchildren and two foster daughters who have chosen to remain in their family. In 2002 they began attending Westside and jumped in with both feet and began serving in various ways. They quickly gained a great appreciation for the communion (Lord’s Supper) service. Says Mike, “We had never attended a church where a one-hour service each week was dedicated to the Breaking of Bread in remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice for us. It remains our favorite time each week.” As an elder, Mike wants to see God work in the hearts of people in the body so each one continues to mature in Christ, becoming all that He intends them to be. One of Mike’s favorite ministries at Westside is greeting newcomers at the registration table with Karen. He is also the liaison between the elders and several other ministries.  In addition, he meets with a small study group and, on occasion, individuals for counseling. Mike and Karen spend considerable time caring for foster kids in their home. In Mike’s leisure time he enjoys being outdoors, gardening, golf and traveling.

Deacons

A team of deacons also has a unique and important role in the Westside leadership. The deacons are appointed by the elders and serve in many significant physical and spiritual ministries in the assembly. They must also be biblically-qualified (1 Timothy 3:8-10).

DeWayne Clover

dewayne cloverDeWayne was raised in Orange County in Southern California. Although he did not grow up in a Christian family, he began attending Sunday School at a church near his home. There he heard the Gospel and trusted Christ as his Savior. In 2002 DeWayne and his wife Nan moved to Oregon and began attending Westside. DeWayne says he especially values Westside’s diversity and sense of family. He would like to see people in the fellowship grow deeper in love, grace and depth of biblical understanding. As part of his service as a deacon, DeWayne oversees the Sunday morning ushering and greeting ministry, helps with building maintenance and repairs and provides other practical helps. He is employed by several small businesses in the construction and painting trades as office manager and in sales. In his spare time, he enjoys hunting, fishing and home repair projects.

Nate Ferguson

nateferguson2015Nate grew up in Aloha with the exception of 3 years as a toddler in Kenya where his parents served as missionaries. He and his wife Ruth married in 2006, and they have two young boys. Nate and Ruth started attending Westside in 2006. In his service with the deacons, Nate serves as church treasurer. He is also sometimes involved with the youth, assists in leading Care Groups, counsels at Eagle Fern Camp, and provides leadership or support for special events. Nate appreciates Westside and says, “I believe this expression of the church is unique and encourages all believers to be involved in the workings of church, sharing in each other’s lives, and encourages being a witness in everyday life. You can't do church or Christianity without one another.” He has a strong desire to see God move us as individuals to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ so together we will spread His message and carry out the vision of the church. He concurs with Westside’s mission to "Seek to preach the gospel and become true worshipers of Christ in all areas of life." Nate focuses a lot of attention on his family. But he also enjoys hunting with other Westside guys, camping with his family, riding his bicycle to work, working on household projects with the help of his boys, and beekeeping with my father-in-law.

Paul Kauffman

paul kauffmanPaul grew up in the Cedar Mill area. He is married to LuAnn who has an adult married son. Another of her sons died in an automobile accident. In the late 70s, Paul stopped attending church and instead immersed himself in whitewater rafting. He was struggling spiritually and began to just focus on himself and enjoy nature. In 1993, he realized he needed to get back in fellowship with God and find a church. He says, "I attended about 5 different churches in the Hillsboro area. Some were too big or too small. Some had a lot of programs for different groups of people, but none of them were as focused on biblical teaching as Westside Bible Fellowship. There was a real "family feel" to the place, with lots of interaction between people of different ages." Paul's focus soon changed from himself to loving God and people around him. He still enjoys whitewater rafting with friends and using his rafting skills for ministry, but rafting doesn't drive his life anymore. He has been involved in youth ministry for over 20 years, including Westside and Eagle Fern Camp.

Rick Lorenz

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Garth Page

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Keith Pagel

keith pagelKeith grew up in Forest Grove and first attended Westside in 1978. After a 10-year absence in Norfolk, Virginia, he returned to Oregon with Martha whom he married in 1990. They have two teenage daughters who are competitive swimmers. Keith is a physician with the VA hospitals in the Portland area. In addition to his work with the deacons, Keith leads a weekly Care Group. He and Martha also lead our Bridges senior high youth ministry and host their Care Group in their home. Keith values the sense of community and close friendships that exist at Westside. He has a passion to see more people in the congregation authentically follow Jesus.

Women's Council

"Women of Westside" includes a variety of wonderful ministries organized by women for the women of our church and community. The Women's Council provides overall leadership and oversight for these ministries.

Gemima Cerpa

gemimacerpa2015Gemima lived in Tehuacán, Puebla, Mexico until she was 17 years old. She was blessed to be raised in an evangelical church with her parents and siblings. She and her husband Alex married on Christmas Eve 1994 at Westside. She says, “It was the most beautiful Christmas Eve wedding I could have ever dreamed of!” Gemima and Alex have two adult children. Gemima first attended Westside with her parents in 1991. She appreciates Westside because the teaching is based on the Bible and she is being transformed by the Holy Spirit. She says, “My heart wants to share this happiness with many people around me so they may come to enjoy His everlasting peace and overflowing love.” Gemima has a passion to see all her Christian brothers and sisters at Westside grow to have a deep desire to serve and share the love of Christ everywhere. In addition to her service on the Women’s Council, she is one of the leaders in The Power junior high youth group. She enjoys spending time with girls and women while doing projects such as sewing, crafts and baking and also reaching out to neighbors, widows, the elderly and the sick.

Ruth Keller

ruthkeller2015Ruth hasn’t strayed far from her childhood home. She grew up in Aloha and attended Butternut Creek Elementary, Brown Junior High and Hilhi. She is married to Dan, and they have three children. Ruth says, “My family is my special interest at the moment. I love to cook and enjoy creating new recipes with Dan.” Being a part of the Westside fellowship since 1998, Ruth likes the fact that people here are real, friendly and open. She says it is like a family, and people genuinely care about each other. Westside is a multi-generational church, and she would like to see all age groups connect with each other and for the older to mentor the younger. Ruth and Dan faithfully served as leaders in Power (Junior High ministry) for 13 years. They now help lead N3CTR, our young adults ministry, help make the coffee that many people enjoy on Sunday mornings, and serve in the nursery. Ruth is also our very capable church secretary.

Sherrie Kirchem

sherrie kirchemSherrie grew up in Forest Grove in a house that was next door to her grandparents, and she considered it to be a special privilege to live so close to them. She is married to Herb, one of Westside’s elders. They have two adult sons, Tyler and Travis. Sherrie and Herb began attending Westside in its very early days when it was meeting in the basement of a home in Aloha. Sherrie especially appreciates the family atmosphere and commitment to Scripture that are such a part of life at Westside. She has a passion to see people brought to Christ and to grow in their relationship with Jesus and with the body of Christ. She is committed to helping women find a place to serve and grow. As part of her service with the Women’s Council, Sherrie helps oversee different ministries that involve women, including the annual women’s Christmas brunch and women's retreats. She also teaches Sunday School and serves on the Sunday School leadership team. For hobbies, Sherrie enjoys gardening and spends time with the Five Oaks Garden Club. She takes part in a neighborhood book club and raises rabbits.

Andrea Otto

andrea ottoAndrea was born in Newfoundland, Canada and moved to Forest Grove with her family when she was 10. She is married to Ben, and they have three daughters. Andrea is a full-time wife and mom. She first attended Westside in 1991. After living and working out-of-state, she returned to Oregon in 2002 and came back to Westside. She loves Westside because it is such a welcoming fellowship and feels like a huge extended family. She says, “I know I can count on my Westside family to support me. Westsiders know how to show the love of Christ in practical ways.” She also loves the diverse representation of ages and ethnicities worshipping and serving together, the focus on Bible teaching, and the encouragement for people to study God's Word for themselves. She wants Westside to be known as a church that loves as Jesus loves and where people can see evidence of the love, joy, peace, and kindness that can only come through God's grace. In addition to her service with the Women’s Council, she serves as a video projectionist, Lifeline small group leader, and a nursery and Sunday School volunteer. In her spare time, she loves to read, do crafts, and organize anything and everything!

Teri Otto

teri ottoTeri grew up in a small community north of Tillamook, Oregon with parents who planted a church in the town of Idaville. Teri and her husband Wally married in 1967. They have three grown children and six grandchildren. Teri and Wally began attending Westside in 2001. They especially like the solid, passionate and uncompromising teaching from the Word of God. Teri has a special desire to see people at Westside connect with one another on a deeper, more personal level. In addition to her service on the Women’s Council, she regularly serves on Sunday mornings as a greeter and in the nursery. Her interests include spending time with her grandchildren, reading, gardening, and "Otto-style" camping.  

Sheri Van Egmond

sherivanegmondSheri grew up in San Diego, California. She is married to Robert, and they have two married daughters and three grandchildren. Sheri and Robert enjoy spending time with family and camping in their RV. They joined the Westside fellowship in 1999. Sheri says this about Westside: “God's truth is taught at Westside, His Word is taken to heart and believers are striving to live His Word out in our lives to bring glory to the Lord! The sweet Christian fellowship that we share is precious. We are a family!” Sheri wants to see the Lord continue to work in the hearts of people of Westside, strengthen their faith and draw them closer to Christ so they wholeheartedly follow His ways. She wants to see people live out genuine Christian love and unity in a way that brings glory and honor to Christ (Colossians 3:12-17). In her service with the Women’s Council, Sheri is closely involved with organizing women’s events, decorating, and mentoring women and young ladies. 

Other Leaders

A number of other teams provide leadership for various ministries. The team concept has the advantage of bringing together and maximizing the gifts and vision of a group of committed people.