Gary, one of our Omaha church pastors, became a believer of Jesus Christ on a ride from Chicago to Iowa in 1971 while he was hitchhiking from the East Coast. In 1979, Gary was recognized as a pastor in Ames, Iowa. It was in Ames where Gary met his wife, Patty. They were married in September 1981. Gary and Patty have seven wonderful children and five grandchildren. Gary served as a pastor in New Jersey and Florida before moving to Omaha, NE to help start Candlewood with Rory and Kathryn Whitney in 1995. Gary also works with Celebrate Recovery and Candlewood Care Care at Candlewood Church.
At the age of twenty-nine, Rory Whitney, one of our Omaha church pastors, came to a saving faith in Jesus Christ his Lord and Savior. He and his wife Kathryn were married on Jan. 8, 1977 and have had the privilege of raising seven children. Rory and his family, along with Gary Osborn and his family, moved to the Omaha area on November 1, 1995 with the prayer and dream that God would establish a church that would be part of “seeing the whole world changed, one person at a time with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Steve, one of our Omaha church pastors, accepted Christ as his savior in junior high. After drifting some from his faith in college, he married Erika 15 years ago, and the two began to get closer to God. They have been serving at Candlewood for many years now, and are currently raising their four sons and daughter. Steve helps with administrative functions in the church, and was recognized as a pastor by Candlewood Church in early 2017.
Trevor, one of our Omaha church pastors, was raised in a Christian home and understood the gospel at an early age. It wasn’t until college however, with Candlewood’s sister church in Ft. Collins, CO that he understood what it meant to give his whole life to God. Trevor, and his wife Dynell, moved to Omaha in 1999 and have been serving at Candlewood since. Trevor helps lead Candlewood’s Youth Group, has three daughters and two sons, and was recognized as a pastor by Candlewood Church in early 2017.
Xavier Rodriquez, one of our Omaha church pastors, moved from Mexico to Omaha, NE in 2007 for school, where Jessica (now his wife) was the first person he met on campus. Xavier experienced the unconditional love of God from the people in Candlewood Church’s UNO college ministry, which helped him decide to turn from his sin and towards Christ. Xavier helps Candlewood’s Media Team, has two sons and two daughters, and was recognized as a pastor by Candlewood Church in early 2017.