The Ekklesia Staff Team
BRIAN BEHRENDS | Discipleship DIRECTOR
Brian was born and raised in the great state of Alaska. He went to school in Minnesota for a couple years before moving west to join the 12th man. Brian loves the Lord, loves his wife, loves his job, and really loves chipotle.
Life is good.
Julie Burleson | Discipleship Director
Julie serves as the female mentor support director for The Intensive and as the Ekklesia female community group director. She also helps to coordinate outreach events and is a member of the Ekklesia teaching team. Julie is from San Diego, and has a degree in Psychology from Point Loma Nazarene University. She loves distance running, baking, reading, Pinterest, and she makes the best chocolate chip cookies in the world. Her very-bearded husband Josh is her partner for all of life’s adventures.
Uriah Garay | Worship Director
Uriah has been working at Ekklesia since Fall 2015 as the Worship “Minstrel” aka Director of rock n’ roll aka Worship Director. He is newly married to his wifey Junella, the father to her two incredible little girls, and now are expecting a baby boy this Winter! Uriah likes Sun-lit walks on the beach because he thinks the moon is over-rated. He has been in love with Jesus since we was a wee little lad and has been playing music since the age of 5, while leading worship for the past 10 years. Uriah lives by the motto “you can’t Fly if you don’t wing it”.
Garret Shelsta | Ekklesia Pastor
Garret has worked for Ekklesia for 3 plus years. He is originally from Colorado and is an Alumni of Azusa Pacific University. He loves the Denver Broncos, music, theology and pop culture. His wife Aubrey is too good for him and his kids, Selah (6), Noa (4), Jonah (2) and Malachi (6 months), are cuter than you were when you were a child.
RACHEL SCHEFFER | Administrator
Rachel is the team’s task master and makes sure everyone is up-to-date to on all the things all the time. Rachel is a Western Alum and has lived in Bellingham pretty much since 2009. She is currently getting her Masters in Counseling online and someday hopes to have her own private practice here in town. She and her handyman husband Austin, love spending time with family and friends. And they especially love watching movies, taking ferry rides, and being outdoors together in the beautiful PNW.
molly martin | Discipleship + Volunteer lead
Molly is our newest member to our staff team! She helps oversee our volunteers, supports our female leaders and more! A California native she moved up to Bellingham to go to Western, where she recently got her degree in Communications. Molly has been an active part of Ekklesia for over 4 years now and interned with us last year before coming on staff. Molly loves houseboats, the San Francisco Giants and getting food at Aslan. Basically Molly is a boss.
Ekklesia Interns 2017-2018
Benjamin piehler | MINISTRY INTERN
Ben grew up as a typical homeschooler in the Renton suburbs with four older brothers. Ben has been a part of the Ekklesia community for a long time and has helped lead small groups for a while too. He loves awkward conversations, unnecessary philosophical disputes, smashing his opponents in pong pong, and olive oil. He somehow managed to graduate from Western last spring, and is now primarily focussed on tuning his Instagram aesthetic.
jenai Kirkpatrick | Ministry Intern
Jenai is from the remote city of Wenatchee, Washington. She recently graduated from Western Washington University with her BS in Psychology, focusing on the cross-cultural implications of psychology. She is also the only girl on the Ekklesia Intern team this year, please pray for her. Jenai also recently earned the title as goofball level pro, she can't pick a spot to live, is undecided in everything except Jesus and enjoys long walks on short piers.
jacob Streissguth | media INTERN
Jake has been a member of Ekklesia for a little over a year now before interning. Originally from Ridgefield, Washington, Jake graduated from High School at Columbia River High School as well as the fire cadet program. EMT Certified in Washington State 2014-2016. Self-Taught computer nerd, gamer, etc. Lover of a good rom com, chocolate chips, and a good steak.
Josh Lease | Ministry Intern
Josh has been a member of Ekklesia since 2012. He is from Spokane, WA (shout out to the 509) and moved to Bellingham in 2012 to attend Western Washington University. He graduated with his BA in communications in 2016 and also earned his elementary teaching credential in the spring of 2017. Josh enjoys meeting new people and being relational. He loves Jesus, music (especially hip-hop), Seahawks, basketball, and family.
Jared Martin | Ministry Intern
Jared grew up just outside of Lynden with 4 brothers and 1 sister. This year he is interning with Ekklesia and helping out at the Intensive.He loves traveling and learning about other cultures. He graduated from Concordia University with a degree in Theology and is currently attempting a Master's in Divinity. He enjoys awkward situations, puzzles, outdoors, and exploring.
nathan ford | ministry intern
Nathan was born at a young age in Port Orchard Washington. In a house with a father, a mother, and a twin sister (it’s not as interesting as it sounds). Eventually one thing led to another and he ended up in Bellingham at Ekklesia. Nathan enjoys music like most people enjoy Netflix. He is a pretty decent drummer as well as a pretty awful singer. His favorite movie is Stuck in Love and his favorite food is coffee. The three words that best describe Nathan’s lifestyle are eat, pray, and love.