David Bartosik preached for the first time to the Hillcrest Bible Church congregation as the new lead pastor Sunday, July 14.
He told the Observer a week prior he would discuss with them the Gospel of John because “what better place to start than talking about Jesus?” Overall, he wants to teach them, “You can worship God anywhere,” even beyond the walls of the church.
The church hired Bartosik after a year-long search. His first day was Monday, July 8.
Bartosik took the place of former lead pastor, Eric Vander Pleog, who resigned to lead a church closer to family in South Carolina. Bartosik moved his young family here from California – his wife and three children who are adopted.
Originally from Hawaii, Bartosik calls the tropical island home. He loved the people out there and “loved the experience.”
“When it came time for college, I had an opportunity to stay but decided to head to southern California,” Bartosik said.
He ended up at Biola University, a southern California private Christian university in La Mirada, just outside Los Angeles. Bartosik said he studied business management and later started pursuing hospitality, graduating in 2006.
After working at a Mariott, then Disneyland for a time, Bartosik started volunteering at his church — Richfield Community Church in Yorba Linda. While he loved the sales environment, he wanted something more fulfilling, and something about volunteering at that church awoke something inside of him.
“There was this shift … the opportunity to be apart of telling people about Jesus and getting paid to do it,” Bartosik said. “I remember reflecting on the bigger picture and thinking ‘How do I want to spend my life?’”
He then went to the Talbot School of Theology at Biola University around 2009, the same year he married his wife Casey. Bartosik recalled that she worked three jobs to help put him through school.
“She is way too good to me,” he said with a smile.
Bartosik and his wife then soon traveled to eastern Europe and spent a year in the Republic of Kosovo working with a church.
In 2011, Bartosik graduated with his Masters of Divinity and went back to work as an adult ministries pastor at Richfield Community Church in 2012 – and for the next seven years.
But, eventually Bartosik felt the call to bring his love for people and the Bible elsewhere. He said he misses that southern California church, but it was time for him to find a new way to express his love for the Bible.
What brought Bartosik to Oregon, he said, was the family-oriented vibe.
“There’s organizations that place pastors and help connect different faith communities so in that processes, I got connected to the leadership here,” Bartosik said. “Through a few conversations, I felt like it could be a fit.”
Bartosik sat at his new desk, discussing how worship isn’t limited to the confines of a church building.
“The church isn’t what our address is … for me it’s beyond these physical properties,” he said. “I look forward to being apart of our team to help facilitate that.”