Pastor Stiekes was called to pastor Gateway Baptist Church in April of 2017. Growing up as the son of an independent Baptist pastor in southern Michigan, Pastor Stiekes accepted Christ at a young age, and by his junior year in high school he had committed his life to teaching and preaching the Word of God. After studying Bible and Speech at Bob Jones University, he went on to earn a Master’s degree in Speech, during which time he served as an associate pastor at Grace Baptist Church in Starr, SC for four years. Upon graduation, he joined the faculty at Northland Baptist Bible College in Dunbar, Wisconsin. While at Northland he married his wife, Rena, who also holds a BA and MA from BJU. Together they served on a ministry team helping to plant Grace Baptist Church in Iron Mountain, Michigan.
After only three years at Northland, the Lord opened the door for Pastor Stiekes to serve as Youth Pastor at Fourth Baptist Church in Minneapolis, MN, and to earn his MDiv at Central Seminary. He graduated from seminary and was formally ordained by Fourth Baptist before the Lord called him to pastor Bethany Bible Church in Hendersonville, NC for almost thirteen years.
During those years of shepherding Bethany Bible, Pastor Stiekes earned a Master of Theology degree from Erskine Theological Seminary and later took a two-year educational leave to earn a PhD in New Testament Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. While in Wake Forest, he served as part time music minister of a small church.
Pastor Stiekes returned to Bethany and continued pastoring until January 2016 when the Lord called him to join the faculty of Bob Jones Seminary, where he teaches courses in New Testament, biblical exposition, and worship, as well as serves as the director of the Doctor of Ministry program and assists with administrative planning.
Pastor Stiekes and Rena have five children. Anne Katherine and Caroline (married and living in TX and IN), Audrianne and Micaiah (current students at BJU) and Emmaline (in high school).
Learn more about the 25-year history of Gateway Baptist Church here.