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Youth Minister of the Month

Brian Wilde - Countryside Christian Church - Wichita, KS
March '14

Although born in Iowa, Brian was a military brat who along with an older brother and younger sister, spent most of his childhood in Virginia. It wasn't until the military moved the family to Kansas in 2001 that they started attending church. God led them to Countryside Christian Church, where Brian found The Lord and gave his life to Christ. In high school Brian picked up a guitar and taught himself to play. By the time Brian graduated high school in 2006, he was already leading worship in the church youth service and sharing his faith at school in Bible Club where he was co-leader.

After graduating high school as Valedictorian, Brian attended Wichita State University on a full scholarship. Before his sophomore year began, Brian transferred to MCC. It was there he met his beautiful wife, Alli. After graduating in 2010, they married. Today, Brian is back to where it all began- at Countryside Christian Church, where he serves as their Youth Pastor. He and his wife Alli have a puppy named Penelope and are avid WSU Shocker fans.  Brian is a great speaker and passionate about investing in the lives of students.  He currently serves on the Oasis Youth Conference Committee and is actively engaged in the ministry of Manhattan Christian College.

All of us at Countryside Christian Church are pleased MCC has selected our Youth Pastor, Brian Wilde, as March Youth Minister of the Month.  Brian is a very talented and gifted staff member.  He not only serves as Youth Pastor but also develops our Web Page, Weekly Beat (our Sunday morning video announcements) and leads worship when it is needed.  Brian brings versatility to the Countryside staff.  He challenges the students through creative communication of God’s Word and making the practical application.  Brian is just beginning his ministry journey but many lives will be added to the Kingdom  of God because of his passion, personality and love for God. -Clark Tanner, DD, Senior Pastor at Countryside Christian Church

Chris Ensley - Marion Christian Church - Marion, KS
February '14

Chris has been serving in the ministry since he graduated from MCC (2003) and KSU (2004). He is currently serving at Marion Christian Church in Worship and Youth Ministry.  Chris and his wife, Jessica (also an MCC alum), along with their two girls, Shaliah (6) and Anani (2), are involved in all types of ministry opportunities within the community of Marion.

Recently, God called Chris and Jessica into an additional ministry opportunity with Feeding the Orphans. Feeding the Orphans helps to care for orphans in Ghana, Africa and here in the United States.
Through the years and to this day, Chris loves to follow after God’s heart and watch His work and plan that has been laid out in front of him.  It is an exciting journey!

“I have a dual role with Chris.  He is my son-in-law and also our youth pastor and praise and worship leader.  That means I see a lot of him.  It also gives me great insight into what makes him tick.  He has a passion for his family.  He is a loving husband and an incredible father, and I find that to be something that is missing in way too many homes today.  He has a passion for youth.  He sees so many of them that are a product of a dysfunctional family, and in way too many cases, he is the father that they never had.  He started a community youth group in our little town of 2,000.  I don't imagine that there are many youth groups that run about half of the cities kids, but Chris has been able to accomplish this.  He is relational in his evangelism which creates multiple opportunities to minister to so many youth.  He substitute teaches many days a week, and it is through this outlet that he has gotten to know every single student in our town.  He will drop whatever is going on just to make a difference in a student's life.  He is active at King Solomon Church Camp and takes several youth each summer.”  -Carl Helm, Senior Minister of Marion Christian Church

Cody Waterman - Northland Christian Church - Topeka, KS
January '14

Cody Waterman, a 2006 graduate of Manhattan Christian College, has been investing in the lives of students and their families since being a student at MCC. He currently serves as the Student Minister at Northland Christian Church in Topeka, KS. He is married to Amanda Waterman, a 2007 graduate of Manhattan Christian College, and they have two children, Ryder (3) and Josie (1). Cody has a passion for challenging students to serve within the local church, their community, and around the world. He is a talented leader who effectively equips adult leaders to disciple students.

About one year ago God challenged Cody and Amanda to expand their family through adoption. They began working with Lifeline Children Services in the process of adopting a child internationally. Through God’s guidance and provision they were paired with Sylas, a 1 year old boy with down syndrome from Hong Kong. It was in October that they received official approval from Hong Kong to adopt Sylas. Cody and Amanda are hopeful for the opportunity to officially bring Sylas home in the next few months. They are still waiting on God to provide travel expenses for when they fly overseas to meet Sylas for the first time and bring him home.  If you would like to make a donation to their family for these expenses, please mail a check to: Northland Christian Church, 3102 NW Topeka BLVD, Topeka, KS 66617. *Please put Acts 2:45 - Waterman Adoption in the memo line.

"As a Lead pastor, I want to surround myself with a staff team that loves God passionately and loves people genuinely; and Cody Waterman exemplifies both!  Cody is the real deal! He understands vision and direction and moves people at Northland to that end. He is moldable and teachable. Most of all, he is a leader who makes decisions based on his relational and biblical convictions.  I love that I have the chance to work alongside him and am so impressed watching him mentor and pour himself out into the lives of young people, one of them being my son! If Cody was a super hero, he would give Captain America a run for his money!" - RD Cogswell, Northland Christian Church

Jason Schmidt - Oakley Christian Church - Oakley, KS
December '13

Jason Schmidt came to Oakley Christian Church in May of 1998 and has led the youth programs as the Youth Minister for the past 15 years. Jason, raised in Aurora, Colorado is a 1995 graduate of Manhattan Christian College. Jason has been active in leading adult small groups, teaching High School Sunday School, leading Deacons, a host of other things and of course overseeing a thriving youth program for Middle and High School aged kids. The Cave, the OCC Youth Outreach Center, has been a labor of love for Jason and is well known in the community as the place for kids to get loved on by other adults (coaches) that Jason has mentored into his youth ministry program. Jason is very mission minded, having taken his high schoolers on mission trips each summer as well as leading an adult mission trip to Haiti in 2012. He has been married to his lovely wife, Wendy for almost 16 years. Jason and Wendy have four great children, Tegan (12), Will (9), Eli (6) and Jonah (1). What Jason likes best about his ministry is watching God work in peoples’ lives.

"Jason Schmidt is a rock solid youth pastor.  For many years now he has impacted the youth in the Oakley Christian Church, while he has also built relationships with the entire community.  Although he ministers in a small western KS town, his vision, leadership and heart for people continues to grow and yield fruit. In fact, his ministry not only touches western KS it also reaches into the world through all the youth he has sent out into ministry.  His faithfulness to Christ, his family and his call to ministry has made a serious impact on so many lives and I am thankful to not only call him a fellow pastor, but a good friend."  -Kevin Ingram, President of Manhattan Christian College

Todd Hutchison - Pathway Church - Wichita, KS
November '13

Todd Hutchison has been working with students and their families as a Student Pastor for the past 22 years.  He currently serves as Next Generation Pastor at Pathway Church in Wichita, KS, where he leads the children and student ministry team.  Todd also serves on the NAV leadership team and preaching team at Pathway.  Todd continues to sharpen his leadership skills by serving on the Board of Trustees at Manhattan Christian College and Christ in Youth.  He has been married to his lovely wife, Sara, for 19 years.  Todd and Sara have four children, Gracie (15), Emma (12), Kate (10), and Cole (4).  After 22 years in student ministry, Todd is still passionate about seeing God move in the hearts of young people.

"Todd has an unusual ability to not only lead relationally, both students and volunteer leaders, but to organize ministry in such a way that students are drawn to Christ, to His Church and to moving out in ministry beyond the Church.  Moving beyond a traditional “Youth Service” or “Youth Group”, Todd’s ministry to students is about directing and overseeing 20-25 youth groups within one church that are led and “pastored” by volunteer leaders.  He still enjoys hanging out with students, but he realizes that real growth and development happens when students are in smaller groups.  In a ministry that weekly draws more than 300 High School students, he knows that multiplying leaders is the only way to continue to grow.  It’s pretty exciting and energizing for me to work with someone who has more than 20 years experience working with students, and who is still energized and looking for new ways to make it happen.  He is not only a brother in Christ, a great Student Pastor, but a good friend."

Larry Wren, Executive Pastor, Pathway Church


Eric Schneider - Christ's Church of the Valley - Scottsdale, AZ
October '13

Our October Youth Minister of the Month (YMM) is Eric Schneider of Scottsdale, Arizona.  Schneider was raised in Wichita where he met his wife of 3 years. He received his degree in Bible and Youth Ministry at Manhattan Christian College.

For a 24 yr old, Schneider has an impressive resume.  After graduating in 2011 Schneider moved from Kansas to Arizona where he started as a yearlong intern in the youth department at Christ’s Church of the Valley in Peoria. Shortly after his internship he became an Associate Pastor. Schneider has worked his way up to become the Youth Pastor of the CCV Scottsdale campus. His duties include all junior high and high school activities at CCV,coaching youth soccer, and partnering with his wife in her ministry as a junior high teacher. In the recent past, Schneider has proven to be a vital resource and partner with Manhattan Christian College.

"I've known Eric for a number of years now. I've enjoyed watching him grow and mature in his walk with Christ and also in his leadership skills. He has always demonstrated a passion for ministry, and a specific passion for ministering to students and challenging them to be the best they can be for Christ. His love for Christ and for youth combines in a special way as he ministers to youth at CCV Scottsdale." -Kevin Ingram, President of Manhattan Christian College


Brian Kindley - Wildewood Christian Church - Papillion, NE

"Most students go to college when they graduate high school, but the percentage of Wildewood students that attend Christian colleges and universities is larger due to the ministry influence of Brian Kindley.  His commitment to creating opportunities for students to engage in the leadership and ministry of the local church provides a gateway for these same students to hear the call of full-time ministry.  These opportunities range from leading worship for youth group to mission trips to Honduras.  This creates the desire to know Christ and to make Him known.  The Kingdom has been greatly impacted by Brian’s direct influence on students and those who go on to lead in the church in the future."  
- Ron Wymer, Senior Minister

Brian Kindley was born in November of 1972 in Oklahoma where he spent his youth.  He attended college in Nebraska where he met his wife, Dawn.  His first ministry was in the Portland, OR area which was followed by a ministry in Seattle, WA.  From there he was in youth ministry in St. Joseph, MO until he moved to Papillion, NE in January of 2008 as the youth minister of Wildewood Christian Church.  He has built the youth ministry into a dynamic program.  Brian has had the privilege of seeing a number of his students graduate high school and attend Christian college including Manhattan Christian College.  He serves on the Oasis Teen Conference board with Manhattan Christian College and the Christian Student Fellowship board, for state universities in Nebraska.  He also partners with the MCC summer camp teams and is the dean for one of the high school weeks at Covenant Cedars Christian Camp.  Brian and Dawn have two children, Jadyn and Jaxon.  He is a wonderful father and husband.