Lisa Oetken

Lisa Oetken

I grew up in a small town in northern NY with my mom and 4 younger siblings. I always felt called to ministry but had no idea what that would look like. I attended Kingswood University in New Brunswick, Canada where I traveled on summer ministry teams for 3 summers. In 2005, while serving at the youth camp in Wisconsin I met Jeremy Mavis and Loretta Sunderland who invited me to do my internship with them at Hayward Wesleyan Church. That 9 month internship was a pivotal moment in my life. I learned so much about ministry and my passion for children and youth ministry grew even deeper. I was so tightly embraced by the Hayward community that it felt like home. 

In 2006, I graduated from Kingswood with a BA in christian education and a minor in christian counseling. I then took a position as youth pastor in Wisconsin Rapids where I met my husband and moved to Marshfield. I spent the next several years doing daycare out of my home while raising my three daughters Kaitlyn, Hannah and Eliana and my step daughter Aurora. I continued to stay involved in ministry serving as a volunteer for children’s church, overseeing a preschool program and leading a women’s ministry among other things. Still, Hayward felt like home and I would bring my family to visit from time to time. 

Several weeks after one of these visits, I received a call from Chad McCallum asking if I would consider moving back to Hayward and taking on the position of children’s pastor. With much prayer and the Lord paving the way every step we took, my family uprooted and moved to Hayward in less than 3 months. It’s a long story with lots of leaps of faith, but we are so grateful that we chose to jump. 

I love this community and this church. I love teaching children God’s word and watching them grow in their faith. I love hosting events for families that bring them closer together and closer to the Lord. Hayward felt like home to me from that first day that I walked into youth group as a young intern and I am so grateful that the Lord has brought me back here to serve as the children and family pastor.

Nursery Coordinator
Pam Gerken
Pastor of Worship and Disciple Making
Ryan Wilson