My journey into ministry started as a leader of my Youth Group and a camp counselor. Little did I know that the Senior Pastor of my church, Rev. Rudy Bauder, would become much more than the Pastor trying to help us keep our youth group afloat. He would become one of the most important mentors in my life. After graduating High School I went to Multnomah Bible College where I received my Bachelor of Science in Biblical Education. Over those four years I grew in my knowledge of the Word but had not been able to put roots down in any one ministry long enough to learn important lessons. With a handful of volunteer youth ministry positions behind me, I left college looking for an internship opportunity.
It was during this time that I met my beautiful wife Rachelle Charmaine Lemon. After three and a half months of dating we were engaged on August 6, 1996. Shortly after our engagement, I found an internship at a church near Seattle, WA. I trained under Peter Badgette and alongside two great friends, Dave Faggau and Josh Kline, fellow soldiers in the land of internship. After my first 5 months of Internship, Rachelle and I married on January 4, 1997. Second only to salvation, this was the greatest event in my life that has strengthened me and blessed me (us) in the ministry. During my four years of internship, there were some hard lessons learned--one of which lead to my departure from Alderwood Manor Community Church.
With one toddler at home and a baby in the oven, Rachelle and I walked through a time in the desert. It was during this one and half year period that God orchestrated my reunion with Pastor Bauder. Seeking mentorship in the ministry, I asked Pastor Rudy if he would take on the role of my disciple. He agreed and for one great year we met weekly to talk about life and ministry. My greatest ministry lesson came in one of the hardest times in my life; Pastor Bauder taught me the secret of contentment. There were many lessons and a lot to work out in my life, but this one lesson has yielded more fruit in my life and ministry than any other. Our family is now blessed to have three wonderful children, Madison, Ashton and James.
God called me back into ministry and out of the Pacific Northwest. Rachelle and I moved to Newbury Park, CA, and I began working full time as the Pastor to Junior High Students at the Conejo Valley Evangelical Free Church. Over a four year period, God used me to bring together a divided youth group. Just as this goal was reached, God called us to part ways with our church. It was a difficult move but one that was clearly lead by God.
After 9 months of searching for our next ministry, God lead us to the Evangelical Free Church of Yucca Valley! Our time here has been a huge blessing and growth opportunity for me. I have had the privilege of learning the art of shepherding from Pastor Bill while working with one of the best volunteer youth staffs I have ever known. God bless us all as we each continue to seek His will for the future ministries He will call us to.
For most of my life I lived in the beautiful rain soaked Pacific Northwest. I was born in Moses Lake, WA to Mike and Anna Jean McDaniel, my loving Christian parents. I have an older brother Matthew (by 2 years) and a younger brother Micah (by 9 years). Micah was born with Down Syndrome, which God has used in great ways in the lives of everyone in our family. As anyone with a family member with special needs knows, the blessings far outweigh the negatives, but it is not an easy road. We lived in Aberdeen, WA from the time I was four. It was during my junior year of High School that God used His Spirit and the encouragement of others to call me into full-time ministry.
Marcus McDaniel and Family