Welcome to Redemption Gateway Student Ministry

We look forward to connecting!

Who are we?

Redemption Students is our ministry environment for students 6th-12th grade.

What we do?

We meet every Wednesday from 7:00-8:45pm at Redemption Gateway. We are committed to bringing the Gospel through intentional relationships to all of the students who come through our doors. A typical night includes time for students to hang out and get connected, followed by worship and teaching in the Box. The bulk of the night is spent in grade and gender specific small groups led by adult mentors. This time is meant to build long lasting relationships and help students connect the Gospel to their own lives.

Our team of leaders is committed to creating a culture that values our students.

We want to be a place where every name of every student is known.
We want to be a place where the unique story of each student is loved.
We want to be a safe place where students' hearts are centered on Jesus.

Josh Watt

Students Pastor
About Josh Watt

I’m married to my best friend Aubrey. She is a beautiful wife and loving Mom, and she makes coming home sweet. I’m Dad to my three boys: Elijah, Roman, and Jude . As a family we like to eat and when we are not eating we are usually thinking about what we want to eat next.

I became a follower of Jesus at a FCA baseball camp as a high school senior. On July 4, 2000, God gracioulsy showed me that my attempt to find joy in this life apart from Him was silly and utlimately sinful. From that day I began the lifelong process of following Jesus. It is interesting though how God often has to take things away from us in order for us to know Him deeper.

After college, I moved away for graduate school. I moved away from home, family, friends, and everything comfortable. I had nothing left to distract me…. so for the first time I opened the Bible and read it cover to cover. For the first time in my young faith, Jesus was bigger than just my personal savior. He was the center of my story, the center of the Bible, the center of human history, and He was the center and source of all joy. I have never recovered from this truth.

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Joshua Ruiz

Worship Director
About Joshua Ruiz

I am a born and raised Arizona Native.  I come from a crazy blended family of 8 (3 brothers, 2 sisters).  I’ve lived most my life in the east valley, attending Red Mountain High School and graduating from Skyline High School in 2001.  Immediately following high school I was employed at Empire Machinery (a Caterpillar Machinery Dealer) and have been there since.  I attended Southwestern Bible College in Phoenix AZ (now known as Arizona Christian University) for two years before changing gears after meeting my wonderful wife Lauren Ruiz and marrying her January 22, 2005.  By God’s grace our marriage is hoppin’, resulting in our 4 crazy great kiddos: Aidyn, Isabel, Violet, and Nox.  We run pretty fast through our daily lives, not really leaving much possibility for a boring day in our home.  Group gatherings, good food, and good time spent together minister to our souls.

I grew up in a small Baptist church in Mesa where I came to the saving grace of Jesus Christ at a young age.  Growing up knowing the truth and goodness of God, I found myself in great distress in my late teens and early twenties as I struggled to live out what I swore so deeply to believe, sadly proving to have significantly weaker flesh than the Christians I considered true believers.  God’s grace however was much deeper than the depths of my sin, and learning that truth has brought me to greater love and worship of Him.  My life is His and I long to serve him until my dying breath.  Should it ever be said  that I am a passionate worshipper of God, it would have to hold true that the greatest sinners always make the greatest worshippers.  Its why I sing so loud!  To Christ be all glory!  I’ve had the privilege of serving God’s people in worship leading for over 15 years now, and look forward to many more.  I love the church, I love serving the body of Christ, and love serving in youth ministries!

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Bob Powers

6th Grade Boys Mentor
About Bob Powers

I married my best friend and the love of my life in 1997 and we have been on an exciting adventure ever since.  We have 3 wonderful daughters and 5 especially wonderful grandchildren and are blessed to be an important part of their lives.  Arlene and I were on staff with International Messengers, a non denominational mission agency, for about five years and learned the importance and love of being involved in ministry wherever the Lord has us.  I have been involved in children and young teenagers ministry for more than 15 years and am continually challenged and excited to see what our Lord Jesus in doing in these young lives.  The crowning joy for Arlene and I was finding Redemption Gateway.  We love our church, having abundant opportunities to serve and all the special friends we have met there.

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Derek Powell

6th Grade Boys Mentor
About Derek Powell
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Evelyn Garay

6th Grade Girls Mentor
About Evelyn Garay

I have been married to Alex since August 2008. God blessed us with four beautiful children Andrea, Noah, Gabriel (who is in heaven), and Sophia. I am very fortunate to be a stay at home mom.

I currently serve in hospitality on Sundays, work for Kids Crew childcare, and now I’m blessed to have the opportunity to serve God and glorify his name by becoming a mentor for our Student Ministry.

I grew up Catholic and the only thing I experienced was emptiness. In 2014 I was invited to Redemption Gateway by my neighbors. The minute worship began, I fell in love with God. I was baptized two months later because God opened my eyes to his unchanging grace. I saw the light of God’s power and I felt something in my heart was different. My priorities in life had changed. I really wanted to know God and it gave me a great hunger to pray and study the Bible. I no longer felt emptiness because the Holy Spirit was with me. I’m forever grateful that when Jesus went to Heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit to convict us of our sins and to give us power to be a witness for Christ.

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Carie Shinn

6th Grade Girls Mentor
About Carie Shinn

I am an Arizona Native and I married my best friend and high school sweetheart in November 1994.  We have four amazing children: Jordan, Jessica, Trenton and Kohl.  Our two oldest daughters are college students, Trenton is in 8th grade and Kohl is in 5th grade.

I grew up in a Catholic home and our parents took us to church occasionally, My parents divorced and our church attendance dropped significantly, but I knew enough to know that I “believed in God”.  In high school, I started working for a small family owned business.  The owners were the type of people that honored God with their marriage, their business, and their whole lives.  I noticed something was different about them and when they invited me to church, I wanted to go.  I continued attending and got plugged into an Adult Sunday School Class as well.

God used the circumstances in my life and my time at that church to show me that it wasn’t enough to just believe in God; I needed to accept Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior.   I gave my life to Christ when I was 23 years old.  My life has been drastically changed.

Our family has faced some very difficult circumstances in the past; I know without a doubt it was God’s strength and grace that got us through those times.  We have seen God’s work in our lives in miraculous ways.

While I am, and always will be a work in progress, I desire to honor God with my life.  I am so excited to join Redemption Student Ministry as a mentor to the Sixth Grade Girls.  Our family also serves with Redemption Kids on Sunday Mornings.

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Theresa Toth

6th Grade Girls Mentor
About Theresa Toth

In 2009 I married Dan, the love of my life. He is the most kind, humble, patient and crazy funny guy that I have ever known. He makes me “stop” and realize how beautiful life is. I have three children. Paul, Brad and Ariel. Paul and his wife Megan have blessed me with three beautiful Grandchildren, Savannah, Addelyn and Henry. I cherish the moments I spend with each of them.

I recall attending church a few times while growing up. I believed that there was a God but did not know I could have a relationship with Him. After a series of events years later, He grabbed my stubborn heart and turned my life right side up. My relationship with Him continues to grow each day. God brought me to Redemption Gateway and I have never felt more alive.

I’m a caretaker by nature and enjoy the times that I can make a difference in the lives of others. I love seeing God work on the hearts of the young people that He has placed me with. When I watch the students put their faith in Him it melts my heart and I know I’m where I’m supposed to be.

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Ian Boggs

7th Grade Boys Mentor
About Ian Boggs

I have been married to my wife Angela (who also volunteers as a mentor) since I was 19 years old.  We have two children, one of which is in the student ministry.  I grew up the son of a

pastor in southern California with my two brothers.  I value very much the opportunity to get to know the kids in our church and point them toward Jesus.

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Lisa Aiello

7th Grade Girls Mentor
About Lisa Aiello

My husband and best friend, Augie, and I have been married since 1996. We grew

up, met and married in upstate New York. Shortly after getting married, we

moved here and have lived here since 1998.  I am a stay at home mom.   We have

three children, Jacob, Noah and Ava.

Although I grew up in a Christian environment and felt the love of Christ in my life

very early it wasn’t until my mid-twenties that the LORD revealed to me the

reality of my own sin and how much I desperately needed Jesus.  He called me to

turn back to the faith I was familiar with and cherished as a child and earnestly

begin to seek Him. I stand in awe of how He faithfully redeems and restores.  The

more I know Him, the more I love Him and desire to glorify Him.

I have been serving in the student ministry since 2015 and feel blessed to be able

to share Christ with Redemption students.

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Donna Kaplan

7th Grade Girls Mentor
About Donna Kaplan

I have been married to my high school sweetheart, Jeff, since 1993.  We have three wonderful children, Will, Jack and Caroline.  I was blessed to grow up in Christian home where I became a believer as a child.

God has been faithful to me in each stage of life.  I am humbled He has chosen to love me so

extravagantly and graciously. I have always been passionate about teaching children.  My degree is in education and I taught school for 9 years before staying home with our children when our first was born.  After becoming a mom I became passionate about the godly call of motherhood and fellowship with other moms. I have previously served in kid’s ministries and mom’s ministries, but joined Student Ministry here at Gateway when we moved here in 2014 from New Mexico.

God has given me a passion for teens as my own children enter this stage.  I am eager to see the gospel impact and faith grow in the lives of my own children and the students in our ministry I am honored to be able to get to know and love the girls in our group and have a part in their faith stories as God grows and nurtures them in this amazing ministry.

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Megan Tyler

7th Grade Girls Mentor
About Megan Tyler

I am married to my husband Curt for almost two wonderful years. We met through Redemption Gateway’s Young Adults ministry and have both been going to this church for about three years. I became a believer at the age of 15 and immediately fell in love with Christ. His overwhelming grace and  unfailing love captured my young heart. I love working with 6th grade girls, they are silly, loving and so thirsty for the Lord. I am so happy I get to share not only my experiences with them but the Gospel as well.

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Austin Staheli

8th Grade Boys Mentor
About Austin Staheli
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Daniel Toth

8th Grade Boys Mentor
About Daniel Toth

My beautiful, amazing wife Theresa agreed to marry me back in 2009 on a beach in Maui.  Best decision of my life. My daughter Ariel is a constant joy. I appreciate the depth of her heart. I spent my childhood and adolescent years in Mesa, AZ. My parents did a good job keeping me plugged into various churches while I was under their roof. As I set out on my own, the concepts obtained through the years of continued exposure influenced my decisions. Good thing too. Life can become pretty complicated between the ages of 17-23.

As I grew older, I returned my focus to the Gospel but approached the subject from a legalistic viewpoint. At one point, I felt satisfied that I was suppressing my outward sin, showing up to the right events and making the appropriate sacrifices. That kind of satisfaction leads to a perception of entitlement to God, at least for awhile. However, in time, I became aware of my inward sinful nature and my inability to rein in the rebellion in my heart. As I grappled with the futility of it all, God set me on a path that ultimately led me to understand how broken I was and the true value of His grace. As Jesus continues to work on my heart and mold my life, I’m humbled to have the opportunity to share His love and sacrifice through the Student Ministry.

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Juan Williams

8th Grade Boys Mentor
About Juan Williams

I am blessed with a wife Daphne, and two sons Hezekiah and Israel.

In my youth my life was marked by selfishness. My focus was purely on myself and what I could get out of life. In 2003 Christ came into my life and saved me and showed me that life is not about myself but it’s about him and his will. Now I live my life in the hope of Christ and serving him.

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Angela Boggs

8th Grade Girls Mentor
About Angela Boggs

I am married to fellow mentor, Ian Boggs. We will be celebrating our 20th anniversary this September. We have two great kids, Aden and Logan.

My heart has always been with students. Through the last several years, I have served students both in church and at House of Refuge. I am so thankful that the Lord has put so many great students in my life. They truly make my heart dance.

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Stephanie Scallon

8th Grade Girls Mentor
About Stephanie Scallon

I have been married to my husband, Greg since April, 1998. We have two wonderful

and sometimes crazy children Sydney and Will. My family started attending church when I was in elementary school and in 6th grade during sunday school I went forward to “pray the prayer” and God saved me. My faith has always been the one sure thing in my life. God has grown me in my faith since that day through trials and mistakes I’ve made. He has continually shown me his love, grace and protection. I am always amazed to look back at my life and see God’s hand in so

many moments. I’m grateful that he continues to grow me and teach me things through his word and by using others in my life (even though at times it’s not fun). It’s very humbling to think that I get to be part of God’s story and share with others his never ending grace and love.

Student ministries is a blast! Grateful is the word that keeps coming to mind as I think about getting to walk beside these young teens as they navigate through this crazy life with all it’s silliness, sin, doubts, fears and questions. It’s a blessing to help them see God’s truth in it all and pray for them, love on them and be part of their story.

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Mike Hagan

9th Grade Boys Mentor
About Mike Hagan

I have been married to my lovely wife Melynn for 2 years and we have two dogs Bentley and Oliver.

I grew up in a Southern California, Christian home and surfed most of my young life. God saved me when I was in 10th grade after a high school church service. After I became a Christian, I spent a few years at a legalistic church but finally God brought me to a Jesus centered church to learn more and more about grace. I moved out to Arizona when I was 22 and have been at Redemption Gateway ever since. Through Gateway, my marriage, and life in general, God has shaped me through His son Jesus and I am grateful for that.

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Arnold Ruiz

9th Grade Boys Mentor
About Arnold Ruiz

I married my fun, hard-working wife, Ai, in 2008, and we have been blessed with three wonderful kids: Ava, Asher, and Aila. We enjoy food, family, and learning new things, or any activity that involves these things.

I grew up in and around church, but that did not save me from experiencing the sin and brokenness of a fallen humanity, nor the pain and strife and confusion that comes from living in a fallen world. For we have all been sinned against and we ourselves have sinned against others. And I was not exempt from this reality. Indeed, left to myself, I have an incurable propensity to seek after my own good and my own desires at the expense of others, in direct rebellion against the One who created me to do otherwise.

But thanks be to God that He found me and rescued me from the grip of sin and death! By God’s benevolent grace I have found his son Jesus Christ to be beautiful, wise to the utmost, patient, profoundly loving, and powerful to save. So I look to him as my supreme guide. And my trust in Him has not been misplaced. He is a friend to sinful people like me, a rock in times of trouble, a glad giver of guiding knowledge that helps me navigate through this world, and a source of incomparable joy. By nature I am rebellious, and I wrestle and struggle and fall and doubt. But He is ever merciful and faithful to me; he is my peace and my sanity.

I love to teach and to tell people about what Jesus Christ has done for me and how awesome He is. Nothing and nobody can thrill a heart like He can. In my current phase of life, God shows me about himself most through my relationships as a husband and father, in my friendships with his body the church, and by seeing the futility and pain in the world caused by living in rebellion against Him.

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Paul Swiatkowski

9th Grade Boys Mentor
About Paul Swiatkowski

I am an Arizona native and married to my highschool sweetheart, Megan. We have three children. For the first 27 years of my life I served myself and my family. During a hunting trip with some friends, God changed my life. In 2012, I started attending my first church ever, Redemption Gateway. Since then, God has used the body to do great things in my life. My wife and I currently foster teens. I manage a bank for Chase and enjoy anything outdoors.

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Susanne Grattopp

9th Grade Girls Mentor
About Susanne Grattopp

I have been married to my high school sweetheart since 1998. We have 3 kiddos, Lauren, Joshua, and Brennan. We have lived in Arizona for the last 11 years and have been attending Redemption Gateway since it first started. In my free time, which doesn’t seem to be a lot these days, I love to travel with my family, hike, or do anything outdoors.

I grew up in a military family and then married a military guy, which I said I would never ever do. God knew better though. As a first born, military brat and wife, I’ve always had an independent nature and like to do things on my own, not thinking I need much from anyone else. However, through some dark times in high school and college, God brought me to my knees, showing me my desperate need for Him. Jesus grabbed my heart at 17 and I am thankful He continues to find me moldable. He is daily refining me through being a wife and mother and I am continually reminded of my need for Him.

Seeing how my husband was truly shaped by his mentors in student ministries when he was in Jr. High and High School, gave me the desire to be a part of Student Ministries at Gateway. I love our students at Gateway and am thankful to be a part of the 8th grade (almost 9th) girl’s lives. It is a blessing to be able to walk through this crazy time of life with them and point them to Jesus.

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Melynn Hagan

9th Grade Girls Mentor
About Melynn Hagan

I married my husband, Mike, two years ago, after meeting him here at Redemption Gateway. We currently have two dogs that we love as our kids.

I was raised in the church and had several “Come to Jesus” moments as a young kid.  However, my faith was not real; it was based on fear and the idea that I needed to perform to earn God’s love. God broke me down my freshman year of high school and showed that I was not truly saved by revealing the hardness of my own heart. Over several months, He continued the process of breaking me down by taking away precious idols until I cried out to him on Christmas day of 2008 and surrendered to Him as my Lord. Since then, my life has been radically changed by His love and grace.

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Brandt Dary

10th/11th Grade Boys Mentor
About Brandt Dary

I was born and raised near Seattle, WA and moved to Arizona twice (once in 2001 for about two years, and back in 2008). I’ve been attending Redemption church since the beginning.

I thought I became a Christian back in high school because I said a sinners prayer and called myself a Christian. I tried to live a good life, when others were watching, but I was not a new creation.

On March 23rd, 2003, I went to a church in Surprise, AZ and for the first time, I found out that I wasn’t a good person, and if I were to die, I would not be headed for heaven. A celebrity guest-speaker, Kirk Cameron (Growing Pains, Fire Proof) opened up the 10 Commandments and helped me see that I was a lying-thief, and a parent dishonoring sinner.

It was shortly after that when the Good News of Jesus Christ dying on the cross for my sins actually became GOOD NEWS. Since then, God has been cleaning me up and allowing me to serve Him in sharing the Gospel on the streets, being a husband and father and in everyday life.

My wife and I have one daughter, one son. I make a living as an iOS developer.

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Clay Tyler

10th/11th Grade Boys Mentor
About Clay Tyler

I was born in Nashville, Tennessee and moved to Arizona when I was seven years old. I was homeschooled up to 5th grade and attended Junior High at Fees Middle School and Santan Junior High. I went to high school at Basha High School and graduated in 2007. After high school I went to ASU and graduated with my Bachelor and Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. In 2012, I found out about Redemption Gateway through a friend and I’ve been attending ever since.

I met my wife Ashley at a community group at Gateway and about a year later we started dating. A year after that we were engaged and were married on April 18, 2015!

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Haleh Dary

10th Grade Girls Mentor
About Haleh Dary

I have been married for even years to my awesome husband, Brandt. We have two super cute babies Mariah and Gideon. I am from Washington and moved to Arizona in 2009.

I did not grow up in a Christian home, although my mom taught me a little about God. We were not a church going family and didn’t have Him involved in our daily lives. Around 14 years old I had a desire to find out more of who God really was. I started attending an LDS church near my house, read the book of Mormon, then decided to read the Bible. During my journey God saved me around age 16. He revealed to me that I had broken all of his laws and for the first time in my life my need for Jesus and to actually obey him finally made sense to me. I then wanted to obey God because I loved Him and wanted to please Him.

For the past 6 years or so I’ve been attending Redemption Gateway. In addition to attending, I have been serving in youth group for the past few years to an awesome group of girls.

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Lauren Ruiz

10th Grade Girls Mentor
About Lauren Ruiz

I married Joshua January 22, 2005. We have 4 kids, and live in a constant state of chaos. I don’t think we would know what to do with ourselves without the whirlwind of crazy.

I am a stay at home mama and I love anything and everything crafty. I was raised Catholic and often have to still fight the urge to cross myself. I didn’t have a real relationship with God or fully understand what it meant to be forgiven until after my first daughter was born. In a moment of pure exhaustion and defeat God grabbed ahold of my heart, and I’ve been his grateful daughter since. I have truly enjoyed growing in faith and community here at Redemption. I’ve never experienced anything like it, and am looking forward to many years to come.

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Megan Swiatkowski

10th Grade Girls Mentor
About Megan Swiatkowski

I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart and best friend, Paul, since May of 2006. We have three beautiful children, Savannah, Addelyn, and Henry. We are also a foster family!

Our family has been at Gateway for almost four years. When we first started attending, I believed in a distant God who would one day be pleased with me if I could be “mostly good,” or at least appear that way. I lived for the approval of man, consumed by anxieties of comparison and perfection. God used the teaching and relationships here to pursue and reveal himself to me. I now know that through Jesus, God is anything but distant. He wants to walk in close relationship with me. Everyday I am humbled and reminded of my brokenness, yet encouraged and overwhelmed by his redeeming love and grace.

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Aubrey Watt

10th Grade Girls Mentor
About Aubrey Watt

Josh and I got married in July 2007, just about 11 months after we first met.  We moved to Texas the weekend after our wedding and we spent 3 years there. In 2010 when our oldest son Elijah was 8 weeks old, we moved back home to Arizona.  In 2012 our second son Roman was born, and in 2013 our third son Jude was born.

God saved me in 2004.  He opened my eyes and I could finally see.  I could see my brokenness, my hopelessness, and my inability to make myself happy, but I could also see His love, His tenderness, and His pursuit of me even though I didn’t deserve it.  God used the Bible and a few wonderful people to shape my understanding of Him and His grace through Jesus Christ.

I co-lead a wonderful group of high school girls!

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Keri Garza

11th Grade Girls Mentor
About Keri Garza

I have been married to my high school sweetheart, Eloy, since July 1994. We started our married life in Illinois but knew we wouldn’t stay. So on December 26, 1996, the coldest and snowiest day of the year, we packed up all we owned in the back of a u-haul and started our journey west! We have never regretted our choice.  We waited on the Lord’s timing to have children and after 8 and 9 years of marriage, we were blessed with two boys, Malachi and Evan.

I come from a very large Catholic family and I am the oldest girl of 10 kids (7 girls / 3 boys).  I remember most of my adolescents attending mass but when my mom became a Christian (via TBN.. the Lord works in mysterious ways!)  we started attending a Free Will Baptist church.  Because of my Catholic upbringing, knowing more than God’s rules made it hard for me to ever see that I was good enough, though I thought I was saved because I went to church and said a prayer. It wasn’t until I was a mother that I truly understood a fraction of God’s unconditional love for me. Since then, Jesus continues to show me my need for Him daily.

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Evie Heller

11th Grade Girls Mentor
About Evie Heller

I’m married to my husband Joseph. He is a wonderful husband that provides well for us and loves me and our kids so much. Our kids names are Josias, Elisha, and Joy. I am a stay at home mom and love playing make-believe and building towers with legos/magnablocks with our boys. Our little girl is newborn and I love holding her and snuggling when I get the chance. Our boys also love being big brothers and caring for their sister as well.

I was graced with a family that loved God and taught me who he was. God saved me at a very young age and has kept my faith strong in Him through all these many years. In high school I developed a wonderful group of friends that challenged me to step out in my faith by applying God’s word to my life and speaking out about him to friends and even strangers at malls (yes we were those people that would walk up and talk to you out of the blue). In college I studied Wayne Grudem’s book “Systematic Theology” which helped me grow from a spiritual child into an adult that understood better who God was and how he continues to work in my life.

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Colby Bennett

12th Grade Boys Mentor
About Colby Bennett

My wife and I have been married for nearly 8 years and we have two awesome little ones at home, Brody who is 3 and Quinn who just turned 1. I enjoy fly fishing, playing basketball, and I dabble in woodworking. I love date nights with Nikelle and watching my kids go through their new stages.

I became a Christian in the summer of 2005, right after graduating high school. I had an idea of who God was before this but the concept of grace never grasped me or influenced my life until that summer. Looking back on my high school years I often wish I had a mentor to constantly point me to Jesus. That is what I hope to do with the students I interact with in student ministries, constantly point them to the Cross. Nikelle and I have been mentoring students for over 6 years now and I feel so blessed to be a part of this ministry.

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Luke Brandt

12th Grade Boys Mentor
About Luke Brandt

I am married to Heather, the most perfect fit God could have for me. We have a blessed blended family with 3 kids: Janiece, Ciera, and Titus

I grew up in church and almost seemed to be living there at times. There was not a time that the Bible was not impressed upon me and shown to me with people living it out. I really became aware of God about Jr High but preceded to do it on my own as I believed that I was superman capable and only needed to associate with God to add Him to my identity. This continued past college until the birth of my first child where the Lord shook my world, woke me up, and showed me being His child was more than just calling myself one. All of what I did needed to show Him.

Since then I have been pushed, stretched, and grown being shown that He is the center of it all. I am a glorious work in progress that He does not give up on. He has placed it on my heart to invest into younger people and show how Jesus is better.

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Joe Heller

12th Grade Boys Mentor
About Joe Heller

I’m married to my love Evie. She is a beautiful wife and wonderful mother to our two boys. Our boy’s names are Josias and Elisha. Having two boys we like to wrestle, play make-believe, and build towers with legos/magnablocks.

I was graced with a family that loved God and taught me who he was. God saved me at a very young age and has kept my faith strong in Him through all these many years. In high school I went on several missions trips to Africa and Mexico. On these trips I met so many people who had never even heard about this ‘Jesus’ we were speaking of. Hearing this and seeing so much pain and suffering taught me to be thankful for how much grace God had given me. God continues to work in my heart and teach me to live my life as a servant for Him always.

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Nikelle Bennett

12th Grade Girls Mentor
About Nikelle Bennett

I’ve been married 7 years to my husband, Colby, who also serves in the youth ministry. We have two crazy kids, Brody and Quinn, that I get to stay home with and run my photography business. I love to hang out with my family, be outside as much as possible, and try new restaurants!

I grew up in a Christian home and was involved in an amazing youth group during my teen years. Those years being involved in youth ministry (mostly having a mentor and a group of christian girlfriends that could encourage and challenge me with my faith) really grew my faith and relationship with God earlier on. Because I was so blessed through that ministry and saw what an impact it made in my life, God gave me a heart to mentor and serve in Redemption’s youth ministry.

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Heather Brandt

12th Grade Girls Mentor
About Heather Brandt

I started with Redemption Students when my daughter was in 6th grade (4, almost 5 years ago).  I have been married to Luke for 6 years and we met through second mile’s community group. I work part time as a medical assistant in an urgent care and also make cake pops as a small business on the side.  I have a 15 year old daughter, Janiece, 11 year old step-daughter, Ciera and 2 year old son, Titus.

I grew up in what I thought was a Christian home going to church on Easter and Christmas until God opened my eyes and saved me at 27 from horrible decisions and headed down a dark path! I am grateful for the people God put in my life to help me mold me into the person I am today and strengthen me in my walk with Him.  I love being apart of these high school girls lives and sharing my story and bad decisions that I made to help them strengthen their walk with the Lord!

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When is stuff happening?

Here is what’s happening with Student Ministry:

  • June 7 – June 14 | Hot Summer Nights
  • June 21 – July 19 | OFF – Summer Break
  • July 19 | FUSE Registration Opens
  • July 26 | Student Ministry Kick-Off
  • August 16 | FUSE Registration Closes
  • August 25 – 27 | FUSE Weekend
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