Leadership at Celebration
Leaders at Celebration are trusted servants. We don’t throw our weight around or drive the people, but to love and serve the Lord and his people. We are are a working team, responsible for important priorities and tasks that need to be done. We are keepers of the culture of Celebration — a culture that takes our mission, vision and values seriously.
Steve Garcia - El Jefe
Steve is our Senior Pastor. He was part of the launch team that caught a vision for a thriving Christ-centered church in the urban east Denver. In 1998, they began and the rest is history. An old youth guy at heart, Steve feels Celebration Community Church is just a youth group for grown-ups. He has a counseling degree from Grace Seminary and Master of Divinity degree from Denver Seminary. Steve loves guitar playing, biblical languages, smoking ribs in his back yard, and his wife, Bonnie, three sons, and two doggies.
Jill Jones - Associate Pastor
Jill started as an attendee at Celebration, then a faithful member, a church elder, and finally, our Associate Pastor. Originally from the South, Jill went to school in Chicago before moving to Denver to do inner city ministry. Jill earned her Masters of Divinity Degree from Denver Seminary, and she loves traveling, learning, reading, dancing, and hanging out with her husband, Roger, and their two children, Julia and William.
Wes Scheu - Pastor of Worship & Youth
Wes came to Celebration in 2005 when he heard that the church needed a new worship director. He figured he should visit the church before applying for a job there, and after his first visit, he says, "I could just feel the Spirit at work in the church and wanted to be part of what He was doing there." Well he's been here ever since, transitioning from part time worship director to full time pastor of worship and youth, finding the love of his life Erin, having three amazing children, Isaiah (7), Brynna (5), and Lydia (1), and getting ordained this year. A lot has happened since he found us. Wes hopes that the Lord has him at Celebration for many years to come. Who knows what might happen next :) On top of all that, Wes loves hanging out with friends, cooking, reading fantasy novels, and is an avid fan of the Broncos!
Kathy Swigle - Children's Ministry Director
Kathy Swigle (Miss Kathy) has been our Children's Ministry Pastor since 2009. Before that, she worked for Denver Public Schools as a teacher and literacy coach. Wherever she is placed, she brings her watering can (figuratively speaking) to encourage hearts around her to find joy, and to live a purpose-full life. She's loves Jesus, coffee (too much, we think), her family (Bret, Ellie and Gracie), and people! Kathy's greatest strengths are positivity, woo, communication, development, and empathy.
Ruth Folkerts - Office Administrator & Pastoral Assistant
Vince Crespin - Youth Ministry Director
Vince began attending Celebration in 2009 just prior to entering Colorado State University. For the past five years, Vince has worked in various capacities at Celebration including as a Summer Servant and a Pastoral Assistant. He presently serves as our Youth Ministry Director. In addition to his role on staff at Celebration, Vince is enrolled in the Master of Divinity program at Denver Seminary.
Charlene Redwine - Creative Arts Director & Youth Ministry Intern
Charlene began attending Celebration in 2015. On the first Sunday she visited, she immediately felt at home and knew God had led her to the community she was looking for. In 2016 she began serving as a Summer Servant and now her work has grown to serve on staff as the Youth Ministry Intern and the new Creative Arts Director.
Before all of that, Charlene was born and raised in the Dominican Republic as a missionary kid. In 2005, her family moved to Indiana where she lived for almost 10 years and attended college. After graduating from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in illustration, she obeyed God's call to Colorado the following year. Outside of her work in ministry, Charlene enjoys drinking cups of tea in the winter, taking her Golden Retriever on walks in the summer, and eating ice cream all year round.
Beth Killebrew - Communication & Coordination
Beth came to Celebration following several years at a large, suburban EPC church, happy to find a smaller sister church in her neighborhood. Her goal is to help others connect at Celebration and she does that by focusing on Communications, sending out the Celebration Weekly (our weekly email) and producing our Sunday bulletin and monthly newsletter, among other things. She also helps to coordinate our worship services and keeps a close eye on our church calendar. Beth is happily married to John MacPherson. Away from church, she enjoys biking, hiking and travel, as well as dancing the Cowboy Cha-Cha with John. (They're still working on the 2-Step!)
Brad Cornish - Stewardship Team
Brad and his family were among the first to help start Celebration. He likes all sports and is the softball coach at George Washington High School. His favorite movie is Field of Dreams. Not surprisingly, his favorite book is The Baseball Encyclopedia.
Sara Crippen - Discipleship Team
Sara Paz Crippen is the Discipleship Elder and married to Tyler Crippen, the Worship Elder. They have been married since 1996. Sara and family came to Celebration in 2011 and have felt so at home. Sara, originally from New Mexico, enjoys Colorado's seasons, camping, going to kid's soccer games, hanging out with her husband and 3 kids, reading almost anything interesting, and walks with their dog, Ollie. She is a teacher and Senior Team Leader in Denver Public Schools. She is so grateful to be at Celebration and to be
part of "The Bored" of Elders.
Tyler Crippen - Worship Team
Tyler began attending Celebration with his family in the fall of 2011. He is married to Sara and they have been blessed with one beautiful daughter, Maria, and two awesome sons, Sammy and TJ. Tyler grew up in Denver and after attending college outside of Chicago he has lived his whole adult life in the city he loves to call home - the Mile High City! He has taught in Denver Public Schools in the inner city since 1999 and he enjoys his job as a physical education teacher because it combines two of his passions: sports/physical activity and working with children. Tyler loves running, spending time with Sara and the family, cheering on his children at their soccer games and cross country meets, trips to New Mexico to visit Sara's family, family trips to Estes Park, and playing the keyboard with the Celebration worship team.
Ryan Harrison - Acts 1:8 Team
Celebration has been Ryan's home ever since 2001 when a group of DU students told her Celebration was the place to be, and she agreed to check it out one Sunday in September. In 2007 after a year in Boston, Ryan joined the leadership team as the Acts 1:8 elder and after a brief hiatus is back this year. After soccer camps, Habitat for Humanity builds, and petting zoos, she can't wait to see how Celebration will "do something beautiful for God" in this season.
Teresa Hood - TLC Team (Tender Loving Care)
Attracted by our nickname 'the party church', Terese attended Celebration and immediately felt a comfort that she had never felt before in church. She has fallen in love with the people, their honesty and especially the joy in worshiping God. She likes to cook and listen to both classical (Johannes Brahms) and contemporary (Chris Rice) music. She recommends the books 'The Hole in Our Gospel' and 'Tattoos on the Heart'. She would like to spend a day with Jesuit priest Gregory Boyle.
Whitney Kaucher - Youth Ministry Team
Whitney has been attending Celebration since 2009 when she was both thrilled and relieved to find a church home shortly after moving to Denver from New Mexico. Nearly simultaneously she was introduced to Pastor Wes Scheu and got involved in Celebration's youth ministry where she has been serving ever since. She says, "the kids are awesome and easily teach me as much if not more than I teach them." Whitney and her husband, Kevin, like to mountain bike, trail run, and otherwise play in the mountains. They also enjoy their dogs.
Jazmin Lopez - Children's Ministry Team
Jazmin is a mother of two kids, Natalia (6) and Joaquin (3), and is married to Jonathan Alfonseca. They started coming to Celebration in 2013. She first join the MOPS program at Celebration and she later decide to come to church with her family. She loved the community environment and was able to connect right away with different women. After their first visits she was able to see a huge spiritual growth with in her family and decided to call Celebration their home church. She is also a Board Member of Mile High Ministries. In her spare time she enjoys connecting with people and arts & crafts.
Kaye Mathews - Clerk of Session
Kaye has had a fun time getting serious about God at Celebration for over 15 years and serves as our Clerk of Session. This official sounding title just means that she liaisons with our two denominations: Disciples of Christ and the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Kaye works in the environmental sector and in her spare time enjoys detective novels, international travel, antique hunting, and exploring the Colorado mountains. Kaye’s daughter, Kelly is a nurse in San Diego, CA and her son, Ben serves in Celebration's youth and young adult ministries here in Denver.
Jon Mayberry - Acts 1:8 Team
Heidi Messer - Stewardship Team
Heidi and her husband Jeff have been attending Celebration for nearly 17 years. Heidi loves having fun and sharing life with the people in the Celebration community, and previously served as the Party Elder. She works at a non-profit organization and has three grown children (Kelsey, Kendall, and Conor) who grew up in the church and are now living in other states. Heidi loves road biking, going to City Park Jazz in the summer, and reading great novels. She has also been a high school gymnastics judge for over 30 years.
Russ Powell - Welcome Team
Joe Sprague - TLC Team (Tender Loving Care)
Vanessa Zimmermann - The Party Team