Meet our staff
Pastoral Care Pastor (part-time)
Bob is a legend. Bob has been part of Real Life for over 50 years. He and his wife, Norma, moved to the Region from West Virginia in search of a job at the mill. After 35 years of being a clerk at the mill, Bob retired and began serving as a volunteer at Real Life. His attention to detail and care for people soon turned that into a role of caring and serving the families of Real Life. We love Bob and think he may have forgotten more people than everyone else on staff knows combined!
Bob and Norma have been married for 62 years and have 4 grown kids, 8 grandkids, and 1 great-grandkid.
Family & Mission Pastor
Rich grew up in Northwest Indiana and came to Real Life 15 years ago as a single dad. He found Christ here and several years later began volunteering with our students. That nudge started the journey of him eventually joining our staff part-time, to today where he oversees all our Family Ministry and all our Mission efforts as a Church. Rich loves to learn and loves having his mind stretched. In fact, after a career in the Meat Industry, he earned a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and then added a Master’s in Pastoral Ministry and a Master of Divinity in Missional Leadership. More than anything Rich loves investing in leaders who invest in our next generation of leaders.
He’s been married to his beautiful wife Missy for 12 years and together they have five grown children and three amazing grandkids (who they love snuggling up close and spoiling). Their family gatherings are epic and highlight the tight and crazy bond they share. When he’s not scouring the waiver wire, Rich is talking about his his 3-time Real Life Fantasy Football Championship.
Scott considers himself something of a Mutt because he is from everywhere and nowhere. Born in Africa to missionary parents and then living all over the US has given Scott a unique perspective on life. Scott has several degrees (a Bachelor’s in both Business & Theology from MidAmerica Nazarene University and a Master’s in Christian Education from Nazarene Theological Seminary), but he’s much prouder of the fact that he can hold his own with a power tools, and even prouder that he’s a husband to his wife of 20 years and dad of three great kids (2 boys and a girl). After 15 years of ministry Scott became the Lead Pastor of Real Life in July 2012.
Scott is passionate about teaching the Bible, seeing people genuinely follow Jesus in a radical way, and building leaders who build leaders. Don’t ask him about his love for the Cardinals in Cubs country.
Scott lives in Portage with his wife Andrea, and their three children.
Tim was born in San Diego and got addicted to tacos and old VWs while growing up all over Southern California. He graduated from Olivet Nazarene University, where he met Sharon, started a band, and then went to work full-time for Youth For Christ. Tim started leading Worship, singing and songwriting when he was 12 with a borrowed guitar in a youth group. We eventually found him years later singing jingles and leading worship in Chicago.
Tim and Sharon and their kids Kylie, Kacie, and Kody have been a part of the Portage community and Real Life since 1996. To find him, you can email him, hit him up on Facebook or run into him at any of the four Taco Bell restaurants here in the area.
Student Ministry Pastor
Reed is the newest member of our Pastoral Team and has been with us since April 2016. He’s a recent graduate of Olivet Nazarene University where he earned a degree in Youth Ministry. He’s passionate about students, loves to meet new people and loves it when students find out they have gifts and can lead. Reed was raised in Cincinnati, is a huge sports fan and played baseball and football in High School and College. He’s been married for almost 3 three years to his fantastic wife Ariel.
He loves weird office memorabilia. Give him something ridiculous and he’ll love you forever.
Pre-K Director (Part-time)
Christine Hurd has made Real Life her home since 2004 and has had the honor of serving in the PreK Ministry since 2015. Monday – Friday of each week you can find her working as the main teacher for our Preschool partnership with the Portage Township YMCA; Arrow Early Learning Center.
Christine is passionate about teaching young children. She loves the beach, even though she has a fear of deep water (she’s working on that one!). Christine loves to learn and is always letting God teach her and help her grow.
Christine and her husband Bert have lived in Hobart for 27 years.They have 4 amazing children and 5 awesome grandkids. Christine is excited to lead the amazing team of people who teach and demonstrate the love of Jesus to your kids.
Elementary Director (Part-time)
Cathy is a kid at heart who is passionate about kids & families. She is in her tenth year as an elementary teacher at a local public school, and has taught specifically in the area of high ability for eight of those years. She has served in Kids Ministry for over twenty years; sixteen of which have been at Real Life Community Church. She currently serves on staff part-time at Real Life as the Elementary Director. She uses her artistic talent to bring fresh ideas and create inviting spaces for kids. She and her husband Shane have two amazing kids and are actively involved in the community.
Nursery Director (Part-time)
Nancy Talmage serves as the chief infant and toddler champion at Real Life. She grew up on a farm in Michigan and graduated from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago with a degree in Christian Education. Nancy has led the teaching and caring for birth-three year old children for twelve years at Real Life.
Nancy’s passion for introducing the youngest ones to Jesus’ love comes from her own experience of giving her life to Jesus at a young age. She oversees a team of volunteers who provide excellent childcare so parents can connect to the Sunday morning experience in the Worship Gathering. Nancy is honored to serve alongside amazing childcare volunteers. She loves children and is happy to serve you and your family.
Nancy and her husband Trevor have two teenage sons and have lived in Portage for over 25 years. She enjoys beautiful flower gardens, coffee or tea with friends, cooking from scratch and spending time with her three men.
Office Manager & Bookkeeper
Laurie has attended Real Life for 22 years and been on staff for over 17. She has had many different administrative roles at Real Life, but the one that fuels her the most is being behind the scenes supporting the staff and volunteers to do what they’re passionate about — she loves when things come together and truly enjoys being part of the process that makes that happen. She and her husband John have an amazing daughter and are natives of the Region — born and raised in Portage. When it’s not work, it’s family, fishing and the beach.
Facilities & Maintenance
She and her husband Tom have been married since 1977. 1981 was a big year. They had their first child (twins came a couple years later), started attending Real Life, and began the journey of following Jesus. Since then Debbie’s done a bit of everything–served in the Women’s Ministry, Vacation Bible School, Student Ministry, the Nursery and way back in the day, Bus Ministry. She’s our longest-tenured staff, working here for over 30 years!
Debbie loves the behind the scenes part of her job where she gets to help and serve people by making our campus a comfortable and clean space so people can get closer to God. When she’s not with one of her three grown girls, her husband or her four teenage grandkids, you’ll find her hiking trails, going to the beach to watch sunsets and cooking.
JR was born in Gary, Indiana, and grew up in a Christian home in Portage. He attended Portage High School but graduated from Calumet Baptist School, where he attended his senior year. At Calumet Baptist he met Michelle McKinley, and they were married while attending Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. After graduation with a major in Christian Education, they lived in Illinois for a few years working at Moody and then moved back to Portage to start a family. JR enjoys spending time with his family, fishing, and working on old cars. JR is the third in a line of JRs (that is his full name–just initials), and his son carries the name for the next generation. If you’re old enough, you’re already asking, “Who shot JR?”
JR and his family started attending Real Life Community Church 9 years ago when they realized a need for more opportunities for their kids. He took on the role of Facilities Manager 7 years ago and enjoys helping people while maintaining and improving the church’s facilities. JR and Michelle live in Portage and have two grown children, JR IV and Rachel, and a black lab named Molly.
Operations & Production
Trevor graduated from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago where he majored in Communications/Bible. After graduation, he took a job at Moody staging audiovisual productions.
On a Sunday morning in 1992 his life was radically changed when stepped foot for the first time inside the doors of Real Life. A greeter embraced him and once he found a seat in one of the orange pews, he knew he was home. In October of 2000 he joined the Real Life staff.
Trevor is a long-standing board member at the Portage Township YMCA where he currently serves as the Chief Volunteer Officer.
He is passionate about serving in ministry and creating environments for people to encounter God. Trevor and his wife Nancy live in Portage with their two teenage sons, Andrew and Michael.
Trevor has experienced heartache and pain (cue the Foreigner music) as a result of being a loyal Detroit Lions fan from an early age. Don’t hold it against him.