Ministry Team @ Hope

So here we are! The Ministry Team @ Hope!

Here is a little bit about each of us. If you have any questions about the ministries that we lead or about what we wrote in our bios, feel free to click on our picture to email us directly.


  • Hello! About me? Well, how about we do this in sound bites (feel free to ask questions later): born in California, raised in Minnesota/N. Dakota by my mom, B.A. in Music from Concordia College, MN, seminary both at Wartburg Theological in Iowa and Luther in Minnesota earning my M.Div., served as Youth Pastor in Las Vegas, NV, thanks to my buddy Mike I played a bit with The Second City Comedy Club, a professor at Waldorf College, a mission Pastor in Wisconsin and now here at Hope in Michigan, currently doctoral work at George Fox. I play a few instruments (started the violin in 1st grade) and played guitar in a band or two, been to 15 countries, husband to Brenda, father to my three AWESOME girls…questions?

    Most Embarrassing Moment: 1st job leading a staff activity, I’m in the middle of a circle of 20 church staff people…and fog horn went off (gas)….oh my

    Verse: Matthew 5:44 “…love your enemies…” - I believe the gospel really IS that radical!

  • Hi! I’m a native New Yorker, born and raised in Queens, Long Island. After graduating from college in Ft. Wayne, Indiana and seminary in St. Louis, I came to Oakland County, Michigan – and never left! I’ve served churches in Farmington, Novi and Royal Oak, been a part-time hospital chaplain at Oakwood in Dearborn and a police chaplain in both Novi and Royal Oak. I’ve also done some work with our Southeast Michigan Synod (group of congregations) over the years. After 43 years of full-time ministry, I retired in 2015 and since then, I’ve been working part-time with the folks at Shepherd’s Way in South Lyon. Coming together with Hope is a bit like coming full circle – I team-taught confirmation classes here with Pastor Vic back in the ‘70’s. I’ve been married to Deana since 1973 – she’s from Iowa, and we met and married in Farmington, where we were both working in the same congregation. We have two married sons and a two-year-old granddaughter who keeps us young! We’ve lived in Novi since 1977, and currently share our home with a dog and two cats who take turns making our lives interesting. We love to travel – I’ve visited 48 of the 50 states, and look forward to seeing Alaska and Hawaii some day.

    Most Embarrassing Moment: When I was younger, my sermons were a bit longer than they are today. After going on at some length one Sunday, a little voice from the rear of the church – my young son – called out, “Amen, Daddy, Amen!” I have a feeling that the rest of the congregation was in agreement.

    Favorite Bible verse: These days, it’s Romans 12:21 – “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

  • Chris childers

    worship, music & the arts minister

    G'day Mate, I was born in Auckland New Zealand at a terrifyingly young age to both my parents.  I grew up the 4th son of an evangelical minister/missionary. So life was really against me from the get go.  I caught the performing arts bug at a very young age and all through my school career went on both national and international tours with various musical/performing arts groups.  I have been blessed with many opportunities to work in local church ministry and also para-church ministry groups since the age of 18.  In my early twenties I moved back to New Zealand, studied contemporary music and started my first band.  We were very blessed for two of our singles to have success on national christian radio. After touring both nationally and internationally for the next four years, I felt called to a local church ministry in Las Vegas and remained in the Vegas area for the next 10 years.  That was until I felt called to the Metro Detroit Area to work at Hope... I am writing this bio while enduring my first mid-western winter and I'm really starting to question the whole "calling thing"... That being said I am completely excited to see what God is doing here at Hope. 

    Embarrassing Moment:  Performing an entire worship service with my zipper down.

    Favorite Bible Verse:  "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth..."

  • Brenda zahn

    worship coordinator

    Even though I was born in Iowa and lived there for 10 years, I consider Minnesota to be home because I lived there from 4th grade through college.  I studied music education at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN--yes, way up "nort" next to Fargo don'tcha know.  I met my husband Rob in college and we were married after graduating.  I have taught general music, choirs and private piano and voice lessons from Kindergarten to High School in Iowa, Nevada, Minnesota, Wisconsin and now Michigan.....whew!  I have three beautiful girls--one in high school, one in middle school and one in elementary school.  I enjoy making music, watching movies, making puzzles, painting and creating things, and attending dance recitals and gymnastics meets.  

    Most Embarrassing Moment:  After attending my high school 10 year class reunion, I went out for dessert with some close friends.  I ordered a cookies and cream milkshake....I thought something was very funny....milkshake sprayed out of my mouth, across the table and landed on the silk shirt of my friend's husband who did not look very happy. Needless to say, I do not order cookies and cream milkshakes anymore.

    Favorite Bible Verse:  Jeremiah 29:11  "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

  • Susanna Muzzin

    Children, Youth & family Minister

    I was born in Indiana, but raised in Maine, and I lived on the east coast until I married my grad school sweetheart and moved to Michigan to be with him.  Michael and I have one daughter, Elspeth, who is a student at Michigan State, and one yellow lab, Harley. I'm a candidate for ordination in the ELCA, studying through Luther Seminary in Minnesota.   When I’m not working or studying or vacuuming dog hair, I love to read science fiction and poetry, knit, learn everything I can about physics and astronomy, and garden. 

    Most Embarrassing Moment: Well, it's not my MOST embarrassing moment, but there was that time that Pastor Rob made me laugh, snort, and fall over during church while my mic was live.....

    Favorite Bible Verse:  This keeps changing!  Right now it is 1 Corinthians 1:25:  "For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength."

  • jennifer erven

    Interim Parish Administrator

    I was born and raised in northwest Indiana.  I attended Purdue University for undergraduate school and Ohio State University for graduate school… Boiler Up and Go Bucks!! I met and married husband Kirk in Ohio and then later moved to Michigan. We have three kids – Isaiah, Elijah and Rebecca. As an engineer turned math teacher turned mom turned substitute teacher and now part time service minister, I have enjoyed many different roles! I have been a member of Hope since 2002. I enjoy walking my dog Lola, reading, watching movies, listening to music (louder the better) and yoga. I spend time ‘up north’ every summer enjoying swimming, beautiful stars, campfires on the beach and smores, of course!

    Most Embarassing Moment: Downward facing dog pose in yoga class (really quiet)… passing gas (not so quiet)… nuff said!

    Favorite Bible Verse: Colossians 4:5 “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity”

  • marcy bard

    nursery director

    My name is Marcia Karen Bard and for short I am called Marcy.  I was born November 2, 1942 in Detroit to Harry and Sarah Swarts. I have one sister named Joanne Gail Pevos. I have been married to my husband Harvey for 41 years and I proposed to him.  We have two adult children. Our son Aaron is married to Emily and they have two boys, Joshua Holden 7 1/2 and Issac Max six years old. Our daughter Debbie is married to Korey Bahash and they also have two sons, Zachary Hayden, 9 and Andrew Dylan, 6. I worked for the Farmington Schools for 23 years, the last 6 of which were for the Head Start Program.  I love working with kids!

    Most Embarrassing Moment: occurred several years ago when we attended a New Years Eve Party.  I was wearing a long skirt with a top and the elastic in the waistband broke while we were dancing.

    Favorite Bible Verse: is about Moses parting the Red Sea.

  • ed battiste

    property manager

    I grew up mostly in Perrysburg, Ohio. From there I attended Capital University in Columbus and was a member of the last class of ELTS before it became Trinity Seminary.  Along the way I became rather proficient in the building trades and woodworking and was in business with my brother for a time. I then took a call to and served for 20 years at a church in Greenville, Ohio before coming to Farmington Hills in 2007.  My wife and I have four adult children and have had a slew of big dogs along the way.

    Most Embarrassing Moment: I've never been embarrassed.

    Favorite Bible Verse: Micah 6:6-8 "With what shall I come before the Lord and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?...."

  • danny morris


    I was born in Pontiac, Michigan and raised in Keego Harbor. I attended West Bloomfield schools where I was a stinker. After high school I joined the Marine Corp, active duty four years. I am married to my wonderful wife, Jeanette and have one daughter, Danielle. I was a journeyman carpenter for over 25 years but am now retired. I am very active in my church, Grace and Peace in Pontiac. I play guitar and keyboard in the church band. I enjoy bowling and aeronautics. I have worked here at Hope for over eight years and enjoy my job and the people here at Hope very much.

    Most Embarrassing Moment: While working at Hope one day I approached a group of people with their backs to me. As I got closer I noticed their beautiful long hair, I asked “Could I help you ladies with something”. They turned around and much to my chagrin they were all men, some with facial hair!  Very embarrassing!

    Favorite Bible Verse: Psalm 23 "The Lord is my shepherd....."