Duane Emry: Lead Pastor
Duane’s favorite thing to do is hang out with his wife, kids and dogs. A close second is hanging out with his church family. As he likes to say, “Being a church family means we must live life together.” And now that phrase, “live life together” has become YCC’s mantra.
After high school, Duane enlisted in the Air Force and spent six years serving as a navigation systems specialist and then an avionics technician, even working on the “Doomsday plane,” the E4-B. When he got out of the service, he began a career as an investment advisor. He was happy with the work, but three years later, God gave him a gentle kick in a different direction.
He was laid off at the same time as a friend asked him to join his fledgling men’s ministry. He worked as an administrator for that ministry before moving into youth and then worship ministry. Slowly, God guided him into seminary and then into his current position as Lead Pastor at Yamhill Christian Church.
Although Duane grew up in Tigard and graduated from Tigard High School, he earned his B.A. from Southern Illinois University and a M.A. in Economics from the University of Oklahoma. Then in 2010, he earned a second M.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies from Western Seminary in Portland.
Looking back on his life, Duane admits that he didn’t choose ministry, it chose him. But, he can’t think of anything he’d rather do. “Ministry,” he says. “Is possibly and probably the most rewarding job you can do.”
When Duane has free time, he LOVES watching sports on television. He also likes to build things, especially big things like home remodeling projects and adding rooms to his house. Besides that, he likes golf and loves coaching and playing soccer. But at the end of the day, it’s all about hanging with his family; his wife, Kelly; his kids, Iyana, Bella and Ian; and the family’s dogs, Marvin, and Junior.
Jim Ramos: Associate Pastor
In November 2010, while sitting in a coffee shop in Sisters, Oregon, God called Jim to change the focus of his ministry from youth to men. His assignment: to transform the lives of men and those they love, because when a man gets it—everyone wins. Following that epiphany, he resigned from his associate pastor position and launched The Great Hunt for God. His most recent venture is The Man Card Podcast. Today The Great Hunt for God/ Man Card Podcast has impacted men not only in Oregon, but numerous other states, and countries as well.
Jim and Shanna came to YCC battered and broken after twenty-five years in ministry. They visited YCC and soon felt that this was a place where they could find comfort and healing. Before long, they decided to make YCC their home church.
In 2016, Jim felt a call to return to local church ministry and accepted the part-time associate pastor position at YCC. Jim Graduated from Morro Bay High School (1984).He has a BS in Psychology from Santa Clara University with a Minor in Business Management (1988), done course work for his Master of Divinity degree at George Fox Theological Seminary, and is the author of several books including a favorite among men, The Field Guide: A Bathroom Book for Men. He’s a credentialed Director for Youth for Christ (1989-95), was ordained in the Church of the Nazarene in (1995-2012), founded The Great Hunt for God/Man Card Podcast (2011-present) and was commissioned as a minister at YCC in 2016.
When he isn’t juggling his many responsibilities at The Great Hunt for God, podcasting with his latest venture, or serving at YCC, you might find him hunting and fishing with his sons, working out in the gym, or hiking with Shanna. He and Shanna love sipping coffee with friends, eating at one of their favorite local restaurants, searching for Goodwill treasures on a luxurious date night, or relaxing at their time-share on some tropical beach in February as far from the Oregon gray as possible.
James and Marie Dezellem: Youth Pastors
James and Marie are defiantly Oregonians. Okay, Marie was born and raised in Vancouver, Washington, but James grew up in Gresham. Really, is there any difference? Marie eventually crossed the river and attended college at George Fox University, graduating summa cum laude with a BA in Christian Ministries and a BS in Nursing. She is currently pursuing a graduate certificate in Bible and Theology from Western Seminary. James attended college at Eastern Oregon University, graduating with a BS in Business Administration.
While in high school, James sang in the choir and worked at a local ice cream shop. Since then, he’s worked as a program director for Empowered Kids, a driver for TriMet, and is currently working for a construction company in Yamhill. While in college, Marie worked as a program director for Royal Ridges Retreat, a summer camp for kids. For the past five years, she’s been working as an emergency room nurse at Salem and Legacy Salmon Creek hospitals.
Did you notice that they both worked at kids’ camps? Coincidence? I think not. God directed their paths and brought them together at a counselor recruitment event at Corban University. During that event, they spent time chatting and getting to know each other. And, the rest is history. They were married in January 2014 at Brush Prairie Baptist Church in Washington.
When it came time to decide where they were going to live, Marie suggested Yamhill. She had served as a volunteer youth leader at YCC from 2009 to 2013 and had grown to love the community and the congregation. When James came to visit, he was overwhelmed by a sense of belonging and support. And again, God was leading events. YCC was in transition and in need of a Youth Pastor and Marie and James wanted to work in youth ministry. Following several long discussions with Duane, James and Marie decided to come and serve our congregation together.
“We think teenagers need stable, loving adults in their lives. It is a crucial time, when they are discovering who they are, where they are going, and whether or not they are willing to go where God leads them. We are excited to be a part of that process and to see how God matures each one of them in the years to come.”
When they aren’t working or ministering to the YCC youth, James likes to study political philosophy and theology and Marie likes to read, ride horses and coach pole vaulting. Together, they enjoy hiking, camping, and working on their new house in Carlton.
John Koppen: Elder
John was born in Chicago and lived in Northern Illinois until he was eleven. In 1959 his family moved to east Portland when his dad was transferred west. He spent his teenage years in the Boy Scouts of America, including two summers on the National Training staff, training the cream of the crop of Scouts from across the nation.
He graduated from Portland State University with a B.S. degree in Philosophy and Psychology. After college, he worked as an administrative assistant for a church, a bank officer, and a coin dealer. He wanted to raise his children in the country, so in 1977, he moved his family to Yamhill and went to work as a mill worker for Stimson Lumber Co. in Gaston. He retired from Stimson after 31 years.
John and Beverly have been married for 47 years. Together they have raised four children and were the foster parents to many more. They have been attending Yamhill Christian Church since 1981, and John has been in a leadership role for nearly all those years. For the past 31 years, he has led a monthly worship service at Friendsview Retirement Community in Newberg.
For three years, he and Beverly have spent one term each year teaching at Indian Bible College in Flagstaff, Arizona. Today, John enjoys spending a lot of time with his wife, kids, and their 15 grandchildren. When he isn’t with his family or helping out at the church, he enjoys traveling with Beverly, camping, canoeing, Lionel trains, writing poetry, and is a history buff. He is also the nation’s foremost author and historian on Boy Scout neckerchief slides.
John’s heart is for service and mentoring of others in the family of God. He believes there is no retirement in the service of the Lord and wants to give his life away investing in others. John’s life verse is “What will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?” (Matt. 16:26a)
Eric Jochim: Elder
Eric Jochim describes himself as a hands-on kind of guy. This ‘can do’ attitude revealed itself early, during his middle grade and high school years. While living in the Bay Area, he worked as a janitor for his parents’ travel agency, a mechanic for their limousine service and as a baby sitter for his younger brother and sister. During school breaks, he worked on his grandparents’ ranch (no electricity!) and his great aunt’s ranch. When he was only thirteen, he bought and rebuilt a military Jeep, which was the same car he used for his behind-the-wheel driver’s test when he was sixteen. In high school, he also ran cross-country; his team ranking second in the nation.
In 1967, he moved to Corvallis to attend Oregon State University. Motivated by the high cost of out-of-state tuition, he graduated in four years and earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering Technology. After graduation, he took a job with Baker Rock and he, along with his wife, moved to Beaverton. In 1974, he started his own company, Columbia Excavating. Ten years later, he sold Columbia Excavating and started a new company, Northwest Earth Movers, which he sold in 1990.
After all that, it was time to move back to California. He bought land near his great aunt’s ranch and went to work helping his brother, Brad, start Piranha Propellers, a propeller manufacturing company. Piranha Propellers, which uses their patented, replaceable-blade technology, is still in business today. During those years, he bought a D Sports Racing car, learned to drive it and raced in the 1993 Sports Car Club of America’s national finals. He also helped build the Thunderhill Raceway Park in Willows, California.
After twenty years of living single (he divorced in 1973), he met Marla on a blind date. Their mutual interest in horses led to a second and then a third date. They were married in 1994. Eric returned to Oregon and the couple started attending YCC, Marla’s home church. In 2011, Eric and Marla started talking about adopting more children (Marla has two boys from her first marriage). In 2014, they were blessed by the addition of two girls, Keyandra and Aumi, to their family.
Eric admits that the girls’ arrival has changed his life. Before they came, his priorities were construction, the ranch, riding horses, reading and Marla (not necessarily in that order). After the girls came, his focus changed to his new responsibilities as a father, his walk with the Lord, and his new responsibilities as an elder. As an elder, he hopes he can help the people of YCC share the biblical message of Christ and strengthen their walk with the Lord.
BJ Talbott: Elder
More information coming.