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LEADERSHIP TEAM

We are here to serve

MEET THE TEAM!

NORM BYERS

LEAD PASTOR

I am grateful to God for all the delight in my life. “Everything good is from Him!”  I have a wonderful wife, Brenda. No question God, designed her for me! We have been blessed with three beloved kids: Jared, Jalynn, and Janssen. It is challenging being a father…especially with kids that are adulting! “But God gives more grace…” Discovering how to be a better husband and father continues as a labor of joy for me.   

I get pleasure out of my work, first of all teaming with an amazing group of people at Genesis Church which exists to know Christ and make Him known. Also, I get to be involved with bigger picture stuff by impacting culture through church planting with the team at Converge MidAmerica. I enjoy both the daily local church setting of encouraging, leading, and caring for people, and also I get jacked up by getting to dream about what could be and then acting on it. A current goal of mine is to continue working at becoming more self-aware and bettering my leadership serve.

Educationally, I earned a BA in Communications from Cedarville University in 1992, a Masters of Divinity from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary in 1998, and was ordained by First Baptist Church of Hart in 1999.   

My hobbies are exercising 4 or 5 times a week, cooking tasty things, and during football season, watching my Detroit Lions often snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

SCOTT GARDZIELLA

EXECUTIVE PASTOR

I joined the Genesis team in 2020 after serving as the Lead Pastor of a church in the Lansing area for 28 years. I enjoy providing direction and support to our staff, volunteers, and ministries. It is a privilege to be part of a team that is bringing life to Petoskey by knowing Christ and making Him known.

My journey with Christ started at a young age, but as a freshman at Wheaton College I questioned whether God was real and the implications for my life if He was. Jesus won that wrestling match when I surrendered to Him and to His call to full-time ministry. After graduating from Wheaton I spent some time in youth ministry before completing my M.Div. at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. 

I have a passion for helping the disconnected connect with Jesus and His church, and I take great joy in teaching from the Bible and in coaching people through relationship and conflict issues. I love spending time with my wife, Tammy, our grown kids who are scattered around the Great Lakes, and watching the NFC North battle it out in football. Go Bears!

JOHNNY WHITCOMB

NEXTGEN PASTOR

I joined the staff of Genesis Petoskey as students’ pastor in June of 2019, but I’ve called the Petoskey area home since elementary school. I love living in Northern Michigan close to family and friends, and serving my Lord Jesus through the local church!

I discovered the teachings of Jesus and became His disciple in high school, and that has led me to know new and abundant life, freedom from sin, and an eternal purpose: To know Christ, and make Him known! Following Jesus also led me to Moody Bible Institute in Chicago where I earned a degree in pastoral ministry and met my wonderful bride: Daeun Whitcomb. She’s the best.

Knowing Jesus and making him known to students in today’s world is no small task, but it is a vital one. I am passionate about equipping students to step into their unique callings from God, and teaching from the Holy Bible – the authoritative word of God! I am also passionate about ultimate frisbee, running, and trivia nights around town. Let’s hang out!

DEBORAH GRAHAM

OFFICE MANAGER

I have loved calling Genesis my home church for many, many years. It has been a joy to serve in hospitality, set-up, prayer, and women’s ministry. When the position of full time Office Manager became available in late 2019, I was delighted to come on board. 

I thoroughly enjoy using my administrative, organizational, and people skills to serve God and His church at Genesis. It’s my heart to be always ready and willing to help with projects and all manner of tasks to help ease the burdens of others in the office and the church at large.

Outside of my work at Genesis, my first passion is spending time with my family of four children and 9 grandchildren. We love traveling and camping together, Sunday dinners, board games, and lots of FaceTime when we’re not together.

Additionally, I enjoy a vibrant small group, ‘The Tuesday Night Lovelies’, who encourage prayer, spiritual growth, and accountability.

Together with Daryl Michael, I co-facilitate both DivorceCare® and Single and Parenting® here at Genesis. I love having so many ways to put my love for Petoskey, my passion for people, and my dedication to serving others to use!

ZACH PORTA

DIRECTOR OF WORSHIP AND CREATIVE MEDIA

I am excited to be a part of what God is doing in and through Genesis Church!

Kim and I along with our two girls, Evyn and Ollie, have lived in the Petoskey/Harbor Springs area for 5 years. When Kim and I were dating, we would drive over from Gaylord and pray that God would allow us to be here in this area one day, and here we are! We have always loved this place and the people.

My experience with leading worship began in high school. It has been an amazing journey that I am continually growing in and blessed by. I am passionate about worshiping our Father in spirit and truth and look forward to seeing what God is doing with the worship culture at Genesis!

CATHY MILLER

DIRECTOR OF KIDS AND FAMILY DISCIPLESHIP

My husband, Marc, and I are so excited to be joining Genesis Church! We have a heart for reaching out to the community around us and especially to families with children. We are thrilled to be moving to this area, along with our three adult children and their growing families.

I have served in some capacity in ministry to children most of my adult life, both as a volunteer and professionally, in established large churches, and brand new church plants.

We were previously located in West Chicago, Illinois, during which time we were on the launch team of a church plant, serving children and families, as well as actively serving in our community. Over the past five plus years, I had the blessing of building the children’s ministry of that new church from the ground up. Now, I am blessed and privileged to continue serving the Lord in this capacity at Genesis Church!

My passion is to help parents embrace their most important role – to be the primary spiritual leaders of their children and, through their families, to know Jesus and to make Him known!