Jack is the founder and lead pastor of Canyon Springs Church. He has been married to his best friend since 1987 and together he and Jilane have four children, the latest they adopted from Haiti. Jack and Jilane have been all around the world including Haiti, Belize, Uganda and the Dominican Republic which has given them a front row seat to see God do the amazing.Jack is the founder and lead pastor of Canyon Springs Church. He has been married to his best friend since 1987 and together he and Jilane have four children, the latest they adopted from Haiti. Jack and Jilane have been all around the world including Haiti, Belize, Uganda and the Dominican Republic which has given them a front row seat to see God do the amazing.
More About Jack, From Jack
I grew up in Orange County. I guess that makes my mom one of the Real Housewives of Orange County. (It just got weird didn’t it) Our family wasn’t quite as good looking as the people on that show, however, we did have our share of drama. Not compelling TV drama, just typical family stuff. My parents fought, my dad drank and my sisters and I grew up scared. Back then we all blamed our problems on my dad. I’ve learned enough about life since then to know that there are many factors when relationships go bad, but it was more convenient to blame him.
Then a new dad came into my life. My heavenly Father. I know, I know, that sounds super religious but that guy changed my life. I went to a concert that I didn’t like, and they talked about religion that turned me off, but I felt like God was calling my name so I walked forward. From that moment I knew God was going to make a difference in my life. I can’t tell you how I knew, I just knew. I just had no idea how big a difference.
I grew up as a frightened outsider, but Jesus replaced my fear with confidence. He restored my relationships with my family. He even patched up my relationship with my dad to the point where my father was my number one fan. I find it ironic that today I connect to thousands of people every year speaking and writing, when I spent my childhood afraid of my shadow. Age and experience and hearing other people tell their stories has shown me that God has this way of doing the ironic. He used all those painful moments to mold me into the person I am today. I think I do what I do today, not in spite of my past, but because of it. That’s just what God does. At least the God that I have come to know. I’m guessing you may have been introduced to an angry, judgmental God who wants to hold you to a to-do list. If that’s the God you’ve been introduced to, I’m sorry. The one I serve came down to earth as an everyman, and wants to love everyman (and woman). I don’t know where you are at in your spiritual journey. You can be on step one or step 101 or you may want nothing to do with God at all. Either way, it doesn’t hurt my feelings. But let’s take a walk together and see where we wind up. You just may run into a Dad who can start the rebuilding process like he did with me. Or maybe you don’t need rebuilding. Maybe you just need some encouragement along your path. Either way, let’s start the journey.
Stuff & Random Tidbits About Jack
- Favorite Movie of All Time: Signs (It’s about a really cool pastor who fights aliens. Plus it depicts what I believe about faith)
- Favorite Animated Movie: How to Train Your Dragon (I’ve watched it so many times I can’t get my kids to watch it with me anymore)
- Favorite Sports: Football and football (we call it soccer, but the rest of the world knows it by its real name)
- Favorite Candy Bar: 100 Grand
- Favorite Superhero: I grew up watching Aquaman. Still waiting for his movie to come out
- Favorite Hobby: Getting into sporting events without paying for a ticket. So far I’ve begged my way into several bowl games, basketball games and baseball games by holding a sign that says, “I need one free ticket. I’ll buy you a beer.” The last event I begged my way into was a baseball game at Fenway Park. Pretty cool, or pretty cheap. You decide.
Learn More about Jack on the Canyon Springs Church website.
Jonathan Schmitz come to us from in Deer Park, Washington. He grew up in a Christian home and believed in Jesus from a very young age. But it wasn’t until after he graduated high school that he really started pursuing his call to share the gospel.
His first step was attending Calvary Chapel Bible College, and from there he went to work at a summer camp in Maine (called Chop Point). He worked there for three summers and also started a living room bible study in the off-seasons. Sandy, a friend from home, joined Jonathan as a counselor at the camp for his third summer. Jonathan and Sandy moved back to Washington and were married that following February. Jonathan worked at Calvary Chapel Spokane Valley for several years. They also spent some time serving at Calvary Chapel Phelan in California but returned home to help with The Vine Community church plant in Deer Park. Since then, he has been teaching God’s word to anyone who will listen, leading worship wherever God calls him and making disciples.
Jonathan and Sandy have been married for 17 years and have three children: Josiah, Asher, and Talia.
Chad Richards is the Youth Pastor and Director of our High School and Middle School ministries. Chad studied at Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, California where he obtained his B.A. in Religion, Ministry, and Leadership. He is currently working on his Masters at Bethel Seminary, San Diego. Chad and his wife Megan love sharing the message of God’s love with our young people and are expecting their first baby girl in October. Chad likes surfing, golfing, movies, reading, and officiating weddings.
More About Chad, From Chad
I was born in Orange County. I fell in love with the Lord in Middle School because a friend invited me. He said there was games, girls, and music. What kind of Middle Schooler wouldn’t love that?! I got baptized in Middle School and started following the Lord wholeheartedly. In my freshman year in High School I walked away from my faith. I got pulled into a different lifestyle of drugs and addiction. It led me down a dark path. Finally, I got pulled out of the darkness and back into God’s love. It is out of that experience that moves me to reach the youth. I have a burden to reach kids and share God’s love, truth, and grace with them. I know that it leads to the ultimate freedom ?
Stuff & Random Tidbits About Chad
- Favorite Sports Teams: Go Kings Go
- Mac or PC: Mac
- Hobbies: Surf, snowboard, read, movies (huge movie buff and love talking about film).
- Favorite food: Korean BBQ
- If you had one wish, what would it be: I would wish to be Jesus and then grant Chad Richards more wishes
- Hometown: Mission Viejo, California
Lesley is the assistant children’s director at Canyon Springs and the director of Kids Crew, our special needs ministry. She is passionate about helping teach kids about God and learning how to be in relationship with Him. Lesley and her husband Matt started attending Canyon Springs 3 years ago after eagerly seeking a church that had powerful sermons, great music, and a variety of children’s programs for their growing family. Since starting at Canyon Springs, she has volunteered in Kids Crew, women’s ministry, small groups, and our young families ministry.
More about Lesley, from Lesley
I grew up in Scripps ranch if you can believe it! That’s right! I went to Jerabek and Scripps High School. My parents have always been a great example to my sister and me about how to have a healthy marriage, how to work hard, play hard, enjoy life and love the Lord! Church was a big part of my life growing up but we didn’t attend a church locally and when I got into high school my “church friends” and “school friends” were 2 very separate groups of friends. I yearned to have accountability and friendships with people from my church at the school I attended. I think this was another one of the big drawing points to Canyon Springs. We love running into members of our church in the community and we are excited that our kids will go to school with so many friends from their church.
I went to college at Indiana University where I met the love of my life, Matt. Together we found a church we adored and grew stronger in our faith both individually and as a couple. I got my masters in Occupational Therapy at Rush University in Chicago because I had a strong desire to help children with special needs. That is still my passion today and I continue work part time with children who have a wide range of disabilities including developmental delays, autism, Down syndrome, and congenital disorders, to name a few. Over the last couple of years, the Lord has been pressing upon my heart to not only help more children come to know God, but more specifically help children with special needs find a way to learn about and know Him more. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14. I am honored to be apart of the children’s ministry at Canyon Springs and I am excited to see all the ways God continues to move in these children!
RANDOM FACTS AND TIDBITS ABOUT LESLEY
- Favorite food- Mexican, hands down! California burrito, anyone?!? Mmmmm
- Cats or dogs?- Dogs
- Random fact- I played field hockey in college. We even flew on the private IU jet to a game, it was awesome.
- In my free time- I chase my 3 kids around. It’s exhausting and the best gift I have ever received (Peyton-5, Lincoln- 2.5, Beckett- 8 months)
- Favorite music- country, and anything played by Jonathan Schmitz of course!
- Best vacation ever taken- 2 weeks in Europe with just my husband. No phones, no internet, no distractions and lots of exploring. It was glorious!