Renee grew up winters in Fremont, Nebraska and summers in various National Parks due to her father’s occupation as a geology teacher and National Park Ranger. Living in different National Parks gave Renee an appreciation for the beauty of the great outdoors, a love for travel and a joy in meeting new people. She grew up in a family heavily involved in their local church ministry. Her math teacher husband Tom and her were married in 1986 and they have two married children.
Renee’s career has consisted of teaching K-12 visual arts in both public and Christian school settings for 33 years. Her educational background consists of an undergraduate degree in Advertising in 1986, a B.A. in Education K-12 Visual Arts in 1987, both from the University of Nebraska at Kearney; Masters in Educational Leadership from Southwestern University of Minnesota in 2009, and in December 2018, completed a MA in Pastoral Ministry from Wesley Seminary in Marion, Indiana.
Renee views her call to ministry the same as her call to teaching, which echoes a statement by the artist Michelangelo; “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” The idea was already there, inside the hunk of stone, whether by divine providence or Michelangelo’s own imagination. His eyes and hands were merely the vessels by which that idea—the art—was brought forth into the physical world as he or God (or both) originally intended. Renee enjoys walking beside people, particularly teens and young adults to help them identify their God given calling and then assist in equipping them for that call. She has served at Mitchell Wesleyan Church as a leader in youth ministry, teaching and missions for many years.
Renee is appreciative of the support and encouragement from Reverends Keith Nash, Wayne Mueller, Will Kallhoff, multiple pastors that have served at the Northwest District Youth Camps and the late Reverend Brian Anderberg.