The Mountain Church seeks to be a family centered and saturated in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Although we desire to be a family in our honesty, transparency, intimacy and love for one another, we are not a closed, exclusive, or inward focused faith community. We aspire to be a church where those who are skeptical or curious can ask questions about God and the claims of Christianity. Christians and non-Christians both experience doubt and we seek to maintain an environment in which they can express themselves and are taken seriously. We welcome all people to join us as a learning, growing community.
For a more in depth description of the phrase "Gospel-centered family" learn more about our vision and core values.
The Mountain Church is in the process of being planted in the city of Des Moines. In the early Spring of 2015, 6 people began praying for a gospel movement in Des Moines that would bring life changing joy, community formation, and peace and prosperity to the city. As we continued to pray, more individuals, couples, and families became interested in the mission and vision for the future. In January of 2016 the team began gathering each week at the Englehart's to share a meal, study how the gospel changes and shapes everything, and dream about what the church could be.
In May, the gatherings had outgrown the Englehart's house. We needed to find a bigger space that would facilitate the adults and growing amount of young children. In June, we began gathering at Highline College. We rented one classroom for adults, and another for kids. For 8 months we gathered at Highline College until we needed more space for adults and a more organized space for the kids. In February of 2017 we began renting space from the Des Moines Campus of The Gathering Place (Formerly Lifepoint Foursquare Church). By God's grace we will continue to grow as we seek to know Jesus and make Him known in our city.
In the Scriptures, mountains were often places where people encountered and experienced God. Throughout the biblical narrative, the glory of the Lord, (meaning the presence of His infinite and supreme greatness, worth, and beauty), is described as coming down on the mountain. God would reveal himself, offer instruction, and dwell among his people. Ultimately, the very image of the glory of God came down to the earth and was made manifest to his people in Jesus. In the gospel narratives, Jesus taught his disciples, communed with the Father, and commissioned the apostles on a mountain. Jesus came to make encountering and experiencing God possible through his life, death, and resurrection.
The name for The Mountain Church came out of this imagery and symbolism. We aspire to be a church where all people can encounter, experience, and enjoy God in Jesus. Just as Mount Rainer's iconic beauty can be viewed all around the Puget Sound and city of Des Moines, we pray the Mountain Church will be a city on a hill, a contrast-community, to share our passion for God's glory and show the difference the gospel makes.
Nathan grew up in a small town in Michigan. He grew up in the church, but pursued academic success and worldly things just as much as he did a relationship with God. While serving as a Bible camp counselor after his sophomore year of college, God revealed to Nathan that being a follower of Jesus required all of himself. In faith, he jumped fully in, transferring schools and obtaining a Bachelor's degree in Youth Ministry & Bible.
After graduating in 2006, Nathan moved to the Seattle area for a year long youth apprenticeship at Boulevard Park Presbyterian Church. When he completed that, he was hired as the Youth Pastor for Grace Church in the summer of 2007. He met his wife Megan there, and they were married in 2009. After 8 years of the Schlauds serving at Grace, Nathan transitioned out of vocational ministry.
The Schlauds remain very passionate about seeing people fully surrender their lives to Jesus Christ. They joined with the Engleharts and Finns to help plant the Mountain Church, desiring to see people's lives completely reoriented around the Gospel. Nathan and Megan love pouring into people and sharing their lives with them. They love being a part of the Mountain Church family and continue to seek to follow Christ more intimately every day.
William grew up in Des Moines, where he's now lived for the past 30 years. Although raised attending church, it wasn't until high school that Jesus saved him. Through joining the music team at his church, he saw a passion for God in other musicians that led him to faith in the gospel. Since then, William has faithfully served or led in the church for 15 years.
William and his wife, Kelly, were led to help plant The Mountain Church from its beginnings. A teacher and coach by profession, William has a passion for training and encouraging others how to apply the gospel to their life and make much of Jesus with their life. He currently leads music at our Sunday Gatherings as well as a Gospel Community. William and Kelly have been married for 8 years and have two daughters. The Finns love Des Moines, opening their home to others, and serving with The Mountain Church.
Daniel grew up in West Seattle and would've rather done anything else than be a part of a church. Daniel loved playing sports, watching the Seahawks or Mariners, or sleeping in, more than being with the church. It wasn't until high school that Jesus saved Daniel from the legalism and moralism he believed was "Christianity." Prior to faith in Jesus, he believed that his identify, worth, and goodness was found in what he did or did not do. The gospel changed his heart, mind, and identity and by God's grace, he continues to explore and apply it to his everyday life.
Since being transformed by the gospel, Daniel loves the Church and sharing the message of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection to instruct, change, and shape everything. In 2011, he married his high school sweetheart, Stephanie, and began teaching youth and college students about Jesus in Southwest Louisiana. The Engleharts moved to Des Moines and began the process of planting The Mountain Church in 2015.
Besides Jesus, the church, and his family, Daniel loves Des Moines and food. If you would like to connect with him, use the Contact Us form on our Connect page!