What are you looking for?

  • All
  • Media
  • Sermons
  • Staff
  • Events
  • Community Programs

Our Staff

Make Disciples of Jesus who Love God, Love Others and Serve the World

The Staff and Elders at Forward Church are on mission to make disciples who love God, love others and serve the world with a vision to be the light of Jesus in our region and around the world.


Site Pastor - Church Planting

Khalil Abdelahad


Office & Property Manager

Krista Brown

Krista loves being the hands and feet of Jesus in practical ways and finds joy in doing this through her role as Office and Property Manager.  With entrepreneurship in her background, she has also discovered she has a strong passion for faith-based leadership and enjoys feeding into her team here at Forward.  When Krista isn’t at the church you can find her working on her latest DIY project at home or spending time enjoying the outdoors with her two girls and many animals.  Krista has a passion for world travel and sharing God’s many masterpieces with her girls.  Next time you are nearby, pop in and ask her where her next adventure is taking her.

Administrative Assistant

Tammy Bull

From a young age it was clear that Tammy was a passionate extrovert who really loved getting to know people and hearing their stories. It is her joy to greet people in the front office and to use her gift of organization to serve the rest of the staff in her position as Administrative Assistant. In her search for understanding God’s truth, she regularly participates in Discipleship Groups, facilitates Bible Studies, and continues her pursuit of her undergraduate degree at Heritage College and Seminary. On Sunday mornings, she can be found upstairs snuggling babies and speaking words of encouragement to their caregivers. 

Associate Director, Children's Ministry (On Maternity Leave)

Kristen Christopherson

Kristen loves to have fun and eat snacks and therefore finds kids ministry the most exciting place on a Sunday morning. After spending her university summers at various camps she applied for her first kids ministry job after graduating and has never looked back. One of her favourite parts of the job is planning Camp Forward, especially when it involves colour coded spreadsheets. She can’t stand the taste or smell of coffee but will happily enjoy a big bowl of ice cream anytime of year. Outside of work she enjoys reading, being in nature and spending time with her family.

Student Ministry Intern

Bethany Clemens

Bethany is currently getting her Bachelor of Religious Education in Youth Ministry at Heritage College and Seminary. She has been attending Forward for nine years now and has served as a youth leader for four years.  Bethany’s spiritual giftings are faith, shepherding and evangelism. She has a deep desire to see youth come to know God and to live holistically in Him. Bethany also loves photography, digital art and the great outdoors!


Sean Dawdy

Sean Dawdy has been a member of Forward Church since 2006. Sean accepted Christ as his personal Saviour at the age of twelve. Spiritual Gifts include leadership, encouragement and wisdom. Sean and his wife, Jennifer, have three children.  

Lead Pastor

Derik Fuller

Derik is passionate about introducing people to Jesus and helping them see how Jesus changes everything. Derik and his wife Amanda are both originally from the Tillsonburg area and have spent their lives living in and ministering to people in Southern Ontario. He loves his three kids, the Dallas Cowboys and Toronto Raptors. Although he doesn’t drink coffee himself, he’d be happy to buy you a coffee and hear your story, so feel free to drop him a line and set up a time to chat.

Lead Pastor

Kirk Giles

Kirk is passionate about helping people grow as disciples of Jesus as well as developing more leaders for the mission Jesus has called us to. His journey through life has given Kirk a great desire to support those who are hurting and looking for hope. Kirk has been serving the local church since he was a kid, where he even sang a solo at church (but was never asked to do that again). He is a big fan of the Blue Jays, Raptors, and Buffalo Bills – and endures the Maple Leafs.

Camp Forward Director

Laura Gobbels

Laura is passionate about the work that camp can have on both children and youth. She has worked in a variety of overnight camps, retreat centres, and day camps to teach others about Christ. Laura is in her final year at Heritage College and Seminary where she is taking a Bachelor of Theology. She loves deep conversations and loves to sit and listen to other people's story.


Peter Graham

Peter Graham has been a member of Forward Church since 1994.  Peter accepted Christ as Saviour after picking up a used Bible at a marina grocery store while on vacation and reading the New Testament for over two months. He has served on Forward’s Global Engagement Team and in Youth Ministry, Men’s Ministry, as current chair of the Finance Committee, as vice-chair of the Board for two terms and as a Bible teacher.  Spiritual Gifts include teaching, encouraging and mercy.  He was a partner of Graham Mathew, Chartered Professional Accountants, for 35 years.  Peter and his wife, Nancy, have three adult children.


Curtis Heaton

Curtis Heaton has been a member of Forward Church since 2013. Curtis grew up in a Christian home where he made a profession of faith at the age of 4 and was baptized at the age of 11. He is married to Valerie and together they have three children, Kathleen, Evelyn and Sullivan. Both Curtis and Valerie have served together in worship ministries, discipleship groups and marriage ministries at Forward. Curtis has worked in the real estate and telecommunications industry for the past 12 years and recently completed a Master of Theological Studies degree and a Certificate in Biblical Counseling at Heritage Seminary. He is now serving in Forward’s biblical counseling ministry. Curtis is passionate about discipling others in their journey with Christ and is gifted in the areas of shepherding/counseling, wisdom and administration.


Rich Huisman

Rich Huisman has been married to Rachel for 28 years and has four kids:Joshua, Noah, Isaiah & Emma. They’ve attended Forward for 14 years and served in Kidztown, the Nursery and Alpha. The family is passionate about fostering and have fostered for over 10 years. Rich has recently completed a Masters in Christian Leadership program, authored a book called the “Leader’s List” and has a consulting business that helps businesses in terms of their leadership & vision. 


Gord Jackson

Gord Jackson came to Christ at the age of 17 after a friend invited him to attend a youth group event, and has been attending Forward Kitchener since 2016. After more than 30 years in vocational Christian ministry, Gord transitioned to a career in Volunteer Management in 2017, and currently serves as the Coordinator of Volunteers at the Lisaard and Innisfree Hospice. Along with his wife, Liz, he serves on the Hospitality Team, and leads a Discipleship Group. Spiritual gifts include encouragement and leadership. The parents of three grown children, Gord and Liz are enjoying being new grandparents this year.

Production Associate

Robin Karkafi


Administration & Logistics Assistant

Ann Marie Kellestine

Ann Marie started attending Forward Church in 1995 when she relocated to Cambridge to finish her music degree at Heritage College.  Over the years, she has put her music degree to work by being involved in the music ministry both in and outside of Forward. In 2003, she joined the staff and has put her love of organization, multitasking and being detail oriented to good work. Though her role has changed some over the years, her desire to serve where God has planted her has not. She considers it a privilege to be a part of the ministry work here at Forward and her greatest joy is in assisting others.  She enjoys puzzling, a good book and time spent with family and friends.

Director of Children's Ministry - Kitchener

Alyssa Marchese

Alyssa recently graduated from Mohawk College in the Child and Youth Worker program. She has volunteered in Kids Ministry at Forward Kitchener since March 2023. Alyssa is passionate about walking along side families as they raise their children to love God, love others, and serve the world. 

Worship Director, Kitchener & Communications Director

Matt Marchese


Co-Director, Student Ministry

Brittany McDonald

Brittany loves to create spaces for youth and young adults to challenge their faith through engaging in God’s Word, worship, small group discipleship, and prayer in a variety of different contexts. She has been at Forward church since birth and has been a part of most ministries within Forward Church her whole life. She loves a good cup of coffee with friends and exploring God’s creation through swimming, hiking, and paddleboarding. Brittany loves to lend an ear to those walking through difficult seasons and appreciates coming alongside youth and young adults in their discipleship journey.

Children's Ministry Director

Neil Moody

Neil loves kids, always has, always will, and being a big kid himself helps him do that. Serving in kids ministry has been a priority in his life since he was a teenager and he has a heart to see families grow together as disciples of Christ. He enjoys finding creative ways to make the Bible come alive for kids. Neil loves connecting with anyone who is involved with or interested in kids ministry. He also enjoys good coffee, watching tennis and can always be counted on for a Dad joke.


Caleb Moody

Caleb has a desire to serve the world and carry out Christ’s mission through the “behind the scenes” details. Caleb has grown up in and around ministry and has served in various different roles including Facilities, Tech, and Children and Camp Ministries. He is also a sports enthusiast and loves talking about anything sports related. Caleb is a recent post-secondary graduate and has career ambitions of breaking into the multimedia journalism industry.

Director, Women’s Ministry & Prayer

Rachel Nichols

Rachel desires to help women grow in their love of God and engage in meaningful ways with others around them. Her heart is to spur others along their discipleship journey no matter what life stage they are at. She knows how important prayer is and counts it a joy to serve others in this way. When not in the office, you can find her spending time with her husband and two daughters. She enjoys cooking, and the conversations that happen in the kitchen over food. Whether walking, running or exploring, Rachel loves spending time and being with God in nature.


Rob Noseworthy

Between fishing and kayaking you will always find Rob during his down time enjoying the water along with his wife Susan.  He oversees cleaning, maintenance and set ups at our Cambridge and Kitchener sites. Rob treasures meeting with his men’s prayer group and growing in his personal walk with God.   Rob is known for his high cleaning standards, and he shows love in all the different jobs he does at the church, and to all who come through the doors.  In need of a good cup of coffee?  Rob is your guy, always providing the perfect brew or iced option to anyone in need.

Pastor of Community Engagement

Andrew Nunn

Andrew desires to see the Church step out and serve in Jesus' name. In his role, Andrew seeks to show people just how uniquely God has created and positioned them to bring the hope of Jesus to the world around them. Connecting with people who are far from Jesus or searching Spiritually gives Andrew energy. Outside of work, Andrew is the husband to Laura and the father to four incredible and energetic kids. Andrew loves sports of all kinds, with a particular affinity for Spikeball.

Pastor of Care

Greg Patus

Greg has been in ministry in the KW region for over 30 years and counts it a privilege to serve the people of our community. He loves to hear people’s stories and walk with them in the difficult and often confusing seasons of life, helping them to see how God and His Word applies to their situations to bring hope, healing and transformation. Greg also serves on the board of an international mission agency and enjoys time and activities with his kids and grandkids.

Adult Ministry Pastor - Cambridge

Kevin Pent

Kevin is honoured to be included in what God is doing in the lives of adults through the various ministries he oversees. Being part of people coming to faith and growing into Christlikeness fills him with gratitude and wonder. Speaking of wonder, when not working, Kevin loves to be outside, experiencing the wonder of God’s creation throughout the distinctly four seasons of Ontario. A deep read, an engaging conversation, or a competitive tennis game also round out for him the joy-filled experience of this miracle we call life. (By the way, he also loves his wife, two adult kids, even his chocolate lab!)

Connections Director

Jennifer Pent

Jenn is passionate about helping people engage with others, with opportunities to use their gifts and abilities, and with their best next steps to grow in faith. When she’s not in the office, you’ll usually find her immersed in the garden or a good book, exploring some of her favourite Ontario small towns, or flexing her creative culinary muscle in the kitchen with her husband (and head chef), Kevin.

Facility Maintenance

Verne Pharoah

Verne has been a well-loved staff member here at Forward for 22 years and has been heavily involved in serving since 1986.  Verne takes great joy in serving behind the scenes in his Facility Maintenance role.  He is known for this wood working abilities and helping others. Verne’s favourite place to be is at home with his wife or anywhere that he can be surrounded by his 6 kids and 13 grandkids.  Verne loves God and loves serving His people.  Over Verne’s many years of working at the church he has quietly and softly invested into the lives of other staff and people within our church family.  Verne loves diving into his Bible, taking what he has learnt and making sure that eternal consequences come from that.  Need something done right? Verne is your guy!


Craig Pilkington

Craig Pilkington has been a member of Forward Church since 2003. At the age of five, Craig asked Jesus to come into his heart. He was baptized in his early teens in order to be obedient to the Bible and to publicly declare his relationship with Jesus. Craig serves in Forward’s Student Ministry. Spiritual Gifts include giving, administration and mercy. Craig has a degree in mechanical engineering and has industry experience in robotics automation and custom software development. He is a partner in Calculated Design, a custom software development company. Craig and his wife, Jaclyn, have three children. Craig has served previously as an Elder and has held the position of vice-chair and chair of the board.

Site Pastor - Kitchener

Darryl Siemens

Darryl loves the city of Kitchener and connecting with people, but his primary passion is to see people become fully devoted disciples of Jesus. He grew up in a Christian home and has been involved in ministry in one form or another since high school. During his off time, Darryl enjoys going to local coffee shops, reading books on culture and theology, and discussing all things Marvel and Star Wars. He is married to his incredible wife Stephanie; together, they enjoy raising their two young kids.

Finance & HR Assistant

Clazina Sommer

Clazina considers it a privilege to work in God’s Church with the amazing staff of Forward Church. She has a love for numbers, spreadsheets and budgets that makes others’ eyes glaze over and is very thankful for the finance team that she works with. She has attended Forward since 1991 and has worked at Forward since 2015. She has five amazing kids and three beautiful grandkids. She enjoys travelling, camping and spending time in her RV.

Worship Pastor

Keith Sparrow

Keith desires to engage people in meaningful worship experiences by drawing their full attention to Christ. Growing up in a ministry family, he has been involved in some form of ministry, especially music, since he could sit upright. He loves participating in almost any sport but has a particular affinity for golf. Keith is also always up for a coffee and an opportunity to chat, catch up and loves to hear how God has been working in and through people's lives.

Kitchen Co-ordinator

Becca Tagalog


Co-Director, Student Ministry

Nate Tucker

Nate is studying for a Bachelor of Pastoral Theology degree through Heritage College and Seminary. Nate desires to shepherd youth towards a life of Christ. Coming to Christ through youth group, Nate has experienced the power youth ministry can have in one’s life. He enjoys conversation with others and is always open to meeting for coffee at the nearest local spot to discuss deep theological topics or how the football game went on the weekend.



Dave Van Wijngaarden

Dave Van Wijngaarden is the blessed husband of Sue and father of two children on loan from his heavenly Father, John and Grace. They have attended Forward Church for over 9 years and are so thankful to be a part of this amazing church family. Dave has been a member of Forward Church since 2015. Dave accepted Christ at an early age but truly started to strive be a disciple of Christ in his early twenties. He grew up in the Reformed church and has served as an Elder, part of a pastor search committee, youth ministry, and other leadership roles within the church. Dave also serves by assisting a D Group in our Student Ministry.
Page Water Mark