Shelter Cove Community Church is currently undergoing a transition of leadership. The Board of Directors has approved Jeremy Oldenburger to be lead pastor and have offered their unanimous recommendation. Dr. David Seifert will retire March 2014.
“What I love about our church is the focus on God’s Word, the team I get to work with and the people who come through our doors … It’s an amazing opportunity.”
If there is one thing that is evident when you meet him, it is that Pastor Jeremy Oldenburger delights in people. With an infectious grin and a talent for humor, our six-foot-five giant of a pastor simply beams with a joy that comes from the Lord.
Pastor Jeremy was born on November 6, 1975 in Glendale, California to John and Joleen Oldenburger. Jeremy spent his childhood as a “preacher’s kid” in Sacramento, where his father served as a pastor for 30 years. He says that he enjoyed a “fun and stress-free” childhood, playing sports with his two brothers, John and Joshua, in the front yard and watching movies every Friday night with the family.
Jeremy graduated from El Camino High School before moving on to study Communications at Sacramento State University. It was during this time that Jeremy heard the Lord’s call for him to serve in the ministry. While he was serving in the high school ministry at First Covenant Church, God used Jeremy to lead a young man to Christ. He says of the event, “I told him about the Lord, asked him where he was at, and if he’d like to receive Jesus as his personal savior, and he said ‘yes.’” Jeremy says he was so surprised by the man’s answer that he almost talked him out of it. After this, Jeremy realized that the Lord wanted him to put his talents and his passion for people to greater use. He changed his major from business to communications and went on to attend Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, where he obtained his Masters of Divinity.
Another life-changing event occurred for Jeremy while he was in college—Jeremy met his wife, Kelli, at a Halloween party for his church college group. He says, “She was dressed like a princess. I was dressed up like a freak.” In June, they will have been married thirteen years. “[Kelli] is a great friend, a great wife, a great supporter to me,” says Jeremy. He and Kelli “just deeply love” their children and their “greatest prayer is that their kids would love, serve, and know Jesus with all of their hearts.” From all that Jeremy says about his family, it is clear that they come second only to God in his affections. He describes his son Jake, age nine, as being “very, very sweet” and “kind-spirited.” Drew, seven, is “tenderhearted,” and Hallie, three, is “full of giggles” and “continually on the move.” Even when asked what he does with his spare time, Jeremy will unhesitatingly say that he loves to spend it with Kelli and his kids.
Jeremy also enjoys spending time reading the Word, working in the yard, exercising, eating sushi and spending time with friends. He says he likes listening to other people’s stories and finding humor in life. Jeremy has an obvious talent for making people laugh, but he says that what makes him laugh is the endlessly amusing happenstances of life. Things like trying to potty-train his youngest daughter. Jeremy laughs at himself, saying that he tries not to take himself too seriously.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Gal. 2:20
As for his first love, Jeremy was fortunate to meet his savior, Jesus Christ, at a young age. Jeremy accepted Christ when he was six years old, having prayed with his dad to know Jesus. He says that one attribute of God that continuously amazes him is His grace, His “overwhelming grace and forgiveness.” Jeremy quotes Galatians 2:20 as being his “life verse” and says that Joshua 1:9 and Philippians 4:13 are also among his favorites. “God proves that He is faithful through friendships, in finances, in the midst of challenges. That I can truly trust God,” says Jeremy. When asked where he sees God’s blessing in his life, he replied, “People. Specifically, the people of Shelter Cove. Our family feels very loved and supported here at the church.” When asked how God has surprised him in recent years, Jeremy says, “He surprised me with a family.” Also, he says that having a physically disabled child and an adopted child is not what he would have planned for himself, but that his family is “way better, way better than [he] ever could have dreamed.”
Jeremy came to Shelter Cove nine years ago as Pastor of Student Ministries and has become a loved, integral part of the church family. He affirms his passion for the church saying, “What I love about our church is the focus on God’s Word, the team I get to work with and the people who come through our doors … It’s an amazing opportunity”. Again, Pastor Jeremy’s love for people shines through in everything that he says. He highly admires Pastor David’s legacy of teaching straight from God’s word, as well as his work ethic and desire to expand the kingdom. In looking towards the future, he says he is excited to expand the support and pastoral team, but mostly that he is excited for “God using Shelter Cove to transform the city—that lives would be transformed because of the ministry of Shelter Cove. That thousands would be transformed because of what we do… With God leading us, there are limitless possibilities!”
The Family of Shelter Cove will have the opportunity to affirm Jeremy Oldenburger as Lead Pastor on the Weekend of July 27-28.
To learn more about Shelter Cove’s transition plan, please visit the Transition Plan page.