The Ekklesia Staff Team
Garret Shelsta | Ekklesia Pastor
Garret has worked for Ekklesia for 5 plus years. He is originally from Colorado and is an Alumni of Azusa Pacific University. He is an Ennegram 3, an avid lover of the Denver Broncos, music, theology and pop culture. Garret is married to Aubrey who is the the most wonderful parter to adventure this journey with. He has 4 kids Selah (8), Noa (6), Jonah (3) and Malachi (1), who are all cuter than you were when you were a child.
molly martin | Ministry Director
Molly has been on staff with Ekklesia since Fall 2017 and supports our female leaders, oversees our volunteers, and is on the Ekklesia teaching team! A California native, she moved up to Bellingham to go to Western. Molly has been a part of Ekklesia for 6 years since her freshman year at WWU and interned with us before coming on staff. Molly loves houseboats, the San Francisco Giants, and winning... because she is a 3 on the enneagram. Basically Molly is a boss.
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 married to his wifey Junella, the father to two incredible little girls Laela (9) and Nevaeh (7), and now to the happiest baby boy ever, Hezekiah! Uriah has been in love with Jesus since he was a wee little lad and has been playing music since the age of 5. While leading worship for the past 12 years, his greatest passion is to see musicians and singers grow into worshippers. Uriah lives by the motto “you can’t fly if you don’t wing it”.
matt garza | Communications Director
Matt is a local Bellingham, Washington native. He went to bible college in Southern California and has been working with us since March of 2018. He does all of Ekkelsia's graphic design, photography, and videography work as well as running all social media accounts. Matt enjoys drawing, reading, painting, going to the beach, and listening to Justin Vernon. His biggest inspirations are Virgil Abloh, Rem Koolhaas, and Jon Contino.
Julie Burleson | COMMUNITY GROUP PASTOR
Julie serves as the pastor of small groups for Ekklesia and CTK Bellingham. 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.
Josh Lease | Community Group Director
Josh has been attending Ekklesia since 2012. He is from Spokane, WA but he moved to Bellingham to attend Western Washington University in 2012 as well. He graduated with his BA in Communications in 2016 and he earned his Elementary teaching credential in the Spring of 2017. Josh is a 2 on the enneagram but often feels like a 3. He loves Jesus, talking, laughing at his own jokes, music, Seahawks, basketball, being indecisive, and food.
Ashley Ranson | Administrator and worship lead
Ashley serves as the Ekklesia admin and female worship lead. She was born and raised in Orange County and later moved to Spokane, WA. WWU brought her to Bellingham but the community kept her here. Ashley is a 9 on the enneagram so naturally she will never be good at making decisions for herself, but happy to help you with all your problems. A few must knows about her; she’s the #1 Justin Timberlake fan, loves middle schoolers for some reason, obviously Gryffindor, and communicates mostly through facial expressions.
Ekklesia Interns 2018-2019
Elizabeth Hand | MINISTRY INTERN
Elizabeth grew up in Ferndale, Washington with one mom, one dad, one sister, and two cats. She loves reading, drinking excessive amounts of coffee, and wearing mix-matched socks. Elizabeth has no idea what she wants to do with her life, but is trusting Jesus to help her find it. She identifies as a Hufflepuff and a 9 on the enneagram.
Jordan Anderson | Ministry Intern
Jordan is a desert baby who found her way back to the ocean. Born a Bellingham native, but raised in Eastern Washington. She is a hairdresser in Fairhaven and has felt a call on her life to step out of the workforce and into ministry. She identifies as a Slytherin and a 2 on the enneagram. She loves pop punk/alternative music, food, laughing, and hiccups aggressively in times of stress. Her favorite place to be is outside in the trees and near the ocean.
Taylor Hansen | Ministry INTERN
Taylor grew up in the small community surrounding the picturesque Lake Tapps, WA. She is an only child whom you can often observe sharing. She is almost never stoked about early mornings, except when given the opportunity to travel and bake. She graduated with a BA in Food Science and minored in German at Oklahoma State University (Go Pokes!) Following her graduation, she participated in a year long exchange program in Germany with the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program. She thrives on quality time with friends and family, is overly entertained by puns, is a proud Food Geek, and has recently discovered a passion for farming. Enneagram: She's a 2. Also, #Ravenclaw
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 now currently attempting to get his Master's in Divinity. He enjoys awkward situations, puzzles, outdoors, and exploring.