Get to Know Our Family
Meet the people who make up YWAM Louisville. You will see that each member is passionate about Jesus and their role at YWAM. Each of our team members offers their unique gifts to the mission of YWAM making us a well-rounded team ready to serve the world. We hope you get to know us a little bit better and why we love working for YWAM.
Andy & Carmelita Landers
Tennessee / Missouri
It doesn’t take long to figure out what matters most to Andy. Loving Jesus, loving his family, reaching the nations, and developing leaders all top the list. As base director, Andy’s timely with truth when we need a challenge and full of stories from around the world. Carmelita is an administrative genius and discipleship guru who keeps things running smoothly around here while being “mom” to pretty much everyone around. She’s passionate about doing things with excellence and making people feel welcome. Andy and Carmelita have been in YWAM since before most of us were born, but we try not to point that out too often.
Jose & Marissa Aguilar
While Jose and Marissa were still dating, they went on a mission trip and heard about YWAM. Just like the wise old adage, “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes moving across the country to join YWAM,” in a matter of months the two got engaged, got married, and signed up for DTS. That’s no surprise to anyone who knows them: this couple doesn’t back away from a challenge, tackling a new venture with tenacious faith – and a board game with fierce competitiveness. Marissa brings beauty and excellence to any task she’s given and grace to those around her. She’s brimming with giftedness, from drama to gymnastics to administrative finesse, and when we say she’s the type of person who would give her only coat to someone who doesn’t have one, we’re not talking hypothetically. Jose’s passion is the louder kind – he doesn’t shy away from challenging others to surrender their lives to God, the way he has. Jose lends technical savvy to our online presence and worship teams, and he’s the one we call when the wifi goes down or a computer is on the fritz. Their daughter, Norah, is a sweet addition to not only the Aguilar family, but our base as a whole. If you want to learn how to find joy in the small things, hang out with this girl.
St. Paris, Ohio
Randy seems to be happiest when he’s helping someone else, which makes the rest of us happy, too. His heart to serve keeps his leaders sane; he loves making others successful and has an uncanny knack of remembering anything, down to the detail. Randy’s a quiet guy in a noisy crowd of YWAMers, but listen up or you might miss something deeply insightful or truly hilarious. He’s also got the most-imitated laugh around and crazy SnapChat cred.
Micah’s heart to honor God and people is evident in all he does. Everywhere he goes he carries deep gratitude for who God has been to Him and what He has done in his life. He is free spirited, adventurous and willing to try just about anything! He is someone who loves people and will make you feel like the funniest or wisest person in the world. Micah finds such joy in the little things, like Reeses peanut butter cups, playing basketball and baking sweets (to feed his never ending sweet tooth), and his genuine positivity is an overflow of the reality that he is full of the joy of the Lord. Word on the street is he’s got an intense high five, but we all know that’s just another way he expresses the exuberant love and joy that’s inside of him.
When Luke walks into the room he brings joy with him. This guy always has a smile on his face, and it’s contagious. He reflects the heart of God in the way that he loves people. When you meet Luke, you have an instant friend. He exudes excellence in all tasks set before him, not just thinking of how to do tasks well but how to make them even better. His heart to serve and go above and beyond comes from the security he’s found in knowing Jesus personally. His personality is full of excitement and his brain is full of fun facts about pretty much anything. Don’t let Luke’s stature fool you, his friends around here say he’s a teddy bear!
Neil & Juanita Brangers
Kentucky / Ohio
2015 was a big year for these two, not only because they came to DTS and saw the Lord totally rock their lives, but also because in that DTS Neil and Juanita became friends, not knowing that three years later they’d be saying “I do”. They bring a special kind of flavor to our base and have huge hearts for discipleship. You’ll always find Juan ready with a cheesy joke, especially ones involving octopi and how many tickles it takes to make them laugh. Though we love her sense of humor, we are even more blessed by her ability to encourage and build up the people around her, unafraid to stop everything and pray for anyone. And don’t let her first name throw you off—if she’s flinging foreign phrases, they’ll be Amish-style German, not Spanish. Now, you won’t find Neil speaking Juanita’s Dutch lingo, but if you listen closely you may hear a bit of a Kentucky accent. Neil has a nag for details and we see that played out in the way he meets practical needs around the base, sings with the worship team, invests in people, and shoots hoops in his free time. In high school Neil wasn’t particularly interested in God, but God was interested in him. He once found himself in a chapel service where our director, Andy, was inviting students to come to Nicaragua that summer. God started stirring Neil’s heart and before long he was going to church, pursuing Jesus, and signing up for that Nicaragua trip. Now he's a full-fledged YWAMer.
Tiara crowns others with care and compassion, so her name fits her well. She’s the type of person who asks you how you’re doing and you can tell that she really wants to know – so watch out, because if you cross paths with her you’re going to get a whole lot of love, truth, and encouragement. You’re also likely to hear ridiculous jokes at the most unlikely times. She has a passion for evangelism and making Jesus known, all over the world but especially right here in the United States. She has a powerful voice—she is passionate, caring, joyful, loving, and inclusive. She has a way of making others feel like family, and we’re so glad she’s a part of ours too.
Derek & Steph Culp
Ohio / Pennsylvania
Like the miles she’s logged training for half-marathons, Steph leaves dependability and order in her wake. She faithfully oversees our accounting office, embracing what could easily be an overwhelming job with grace and finesse, so that all of us can carry on without the lights being shut off or the food running out. Derek’s always got a story. His favorite is the story of what God's done in his life, and he tells it every chance he gets. He also always has a joke, so at first we didn’t believe him when he said he’s been to clown college, but it’s true: he’s got an actual diploma from the prestigious Giggles & Grins Clown Alley. It’s no surprise, really, because Derek loves to bring joy to people. Derek and Steph are both solid leaders who disciple others and have a heart for hard-to-reach places. Derek says, “I married up.” We think they both did. Their children, Judah, Selah, and Hadley, have a contagious joy. We dare you not to crack a smile when one of these cuties gives you a grin.
Hannah has to be one of the most thoughtful people we’ve met. She loves her friends with a quiet commitment that’s quick to find ways to bless. And if any of that thoughtfulness stems from her tendency to get bored if she’s sitting still, channeling nonstop energy to serve others remains an admirable trait. The interests that Hannah has dipped her talented toes in are many and varied. She’s a natural athlete, known to “accidentally” run several miles while most of us are still sleeping. She’s a gifted musician – that’s her upright bass keeping the girls’ house classy. And you never know when her creativity might churn out a fresh batch of kombucha or a newly-repaired small appliance. Hannah’s quick with a laugh, but she’s serious about prayer, which makes her someone everyone wants on their team.
Columbia City, Indiana
Silas is the kind of guy that really loves to fix things. Not because he sees problems, but because he sees value. This is clear by the way he serves and fights for others, not letting anyone (or anything) slip under the radar. He sees things that could easily be missed down to the finest detail. This may explain his car detailing job he had before joining staff with us… but his appreciation for American muscle cars may explain that as well. His zeal for the Lord has given him a passion to walk in obedience, value integrity and hold truth as the standard for his life. Silas is also a fan of a good game of basketball, especially when a Mountain Dew is on the line.
Anyone who knows Amanda will definitely agree that this girl has a gift for bringing joy, lots of laughter, and a zest for life. Amanda has an eye to see and care for those who might feel unseen, and an ability to include those who might otherwise feel left out. With a personality as flavorful as hers, you might be surprised to hear her favorite snack is a good old handful of saltine crackers, but that just goes to show even more that Amanda is someone who can find wonder and joy in the simplest things.
Jeremy is a loyal friend and deeply committed to people. He is generous, faithful and always willing to lend a helping hand. He is intentional in seeking others out and leads in humility and vulnerability. His heart desires to walk in obedience to the Lord and He won’t hesitate to call others and himself up to a higher standard while speaking truth, life and encouragement over those around him. You’ll probably find Jeremy playing sports (as long as it’s competitive) or enjoying a good cup of coffee while strategizing his next 3 moves in a board game. You can always count on him to be down to hangout wherever and whenever, and we think he’s a lot of fun!
Richard & Kelly Hyde
Alberta / Montana
Richie’s the only guy you can tell to take a hike without being offensive. He’s known for going on overnight hikes without bringing water, but he tells us that’s normal for Canadians. Richie’s really a citizen of the world; he’s lived in eight different countries and knows a thing or two about traveling. He is also a hard worker with a knack for organization – so if you ever need a schedule made or a problem solved, you know who to call. Kelly’s tiny hometown isn’t on most maps, but she swears it’s an actual place and we’ve decided to believe her. Kelly pours her creativity into painting, cooking, exploring the outdoors, and the thousands of ways she styles her hair. Richie and Kelly’s story all began with the card game Spades. Richie’s analytical, logical brain paired with Kelly’s visionary, creative one compliment each other well and make them a dynamic duo.
While Madison passionately loves her home state (as well as meatloaf, clouds, and happy tears), she’s not in Kansas anymore – and we’re so, so glad! If we’re talking about someone with a big heart who invests fully in whatever is in front of her, we’ll definitely mention Madison. She is a leader at her core and always brings a positive attitude into the room. With a personality as bubbly as hers, it’s no surprise that she is a La Croix fanatic. She is always down for a new adventure, especially if it leads to a local coffee shop. Madison adds joy, order, and intentionality to our community, and we are thankful God has brought her to be a part of our family!
Aaron’s the type of person who can see the good in any situation. You can count on Aaron to be able to find beauty amongst a mess as he’s a constant place of encouragement, and you can count on what he says to not just be genuine, but true. Aaron loves sports and has a passion for sweet kicks, so if you ever need recommendations on what shoes to buy next, he’s your guy. We see his passion for true worship and honoring God in the way he pursues friendships, cheers people on, cares for people, and walks in joy. Aaron is the kind of guy you’d want on your team, so we’re glad the Lord has led him to YWAM Louisville!
Marny Rey Ketcham
Charlotte, North Carolina
Marny is a ray of sunshine and a thoughtful friend; spend five minutes with her and you’ll instantly feel at home. She freely speaks her mind yet manages to do it with gentleness and compassion; in other words, whether you need a kick in the butt or a shoulder to cry on (or both!), she’ll be there for you. Marny is committed to hearing the Lord speak and obeying what he’s said; that’s taken her around the world and brought her here to serve in Louisville. She is creative and insatiably curious, unafraid to ask questions and learn new skills. She’s also full of fun, so it’s no surprise that few people call her by her real name, “Margaret.” Her nickname is like her wild red hair: it suits her, and we like it.
New Holland, Pennsylvania
When some wise old proverb-writer said “Still waters run deep,” they were probably referring to Karen Kulp. “KK”, as she’s inevitably called, won’t be the first or loudest voice to chime in to a discussion, but what she shares comes from a deep well of relationship with Jesus and passion for discipleship. Karen’s faithful and determined, happiest when she’s directly involved in seeing people grow in our training schools. But she does get a little anxious when her stash of peanut butter starts to run low.
Anyone who meets Audrey can see that she has a peaceful countenance and a sweet soul. Get to know her a little more and you’ll discover the fire in her spirit. Audrey had her life planned out before DTS. After five months committed to growing with God, she found more life than she had ever dreamed was possible. She embodies what it means to find fulfillment and satisfaction in the Lord. Her love for culture, adventure, and travel has taken her to university, a job in Korea, surfing in the Pacific, and right here to Louisville. When Audrey commits to something, she’s all in. Her depth and personality add a unique richness to our family.
Port Charlotte, Florida
If laughter is the best medicine, people who hang around Collin should be pretty healthy. He’s gifted with a hysterical sense of humor, so you won’t have a shortage of laughable moments and memories if you spend time with him. He’s not without a serious side, though, and even his ability to make people laugh comes from his genuine personality. Collin is both hard working and tenderhearted, fearless and caring. He genuinely loves and fights for others, and he’s your guy if you need someone to take on a task with joy and a light heart. So Collin’s strengths are evident. But break out the chocolate and you’ll discover his weakness in a hurry.
Hunter & Lexi Mast
Ohio / Iowa
Hunter and Lexi met in 2017 when they came to do their DTS. 3 years later, they went from strangers, to friends, to dating, to husband and wife. Hunter is always up to help with anything, lend a listening ear or help solve problems. He knows how to encourage the people around him and consistently speaks truth into their lives. His love for people is almost matched by his love for pizza, ice cream and Reese’s (but the love for people definitely wins). Lexi is one of those people that can walk into a room and bring a gentleness and calmness to any situation. Though she may be quiet, she is a prayer warrior that truly desires to fight for and with others in their battles. Not only will she pray for you, but you may find a super encouraging note in your mailbox—she is intentional about investing in the people around her. We’ve learned a lot from Lexi, including the fact that grapes are better frozen! Both Lexi and Hunter build up the people around them and if you spend some time with these two, we guarantee you’ll leave feeling seen, heard, and cared for.
Jarrett grew up on a dairy farm with four big brothers, so it’s no wonder he’s learned how to stand his ground. Jarrett exhibits true humility; we saw this during his training schools, when he was forced quite literally to slow down and lean on others after spraining both ankles simultaneously. Jarrett is dependable, hard-working, and full of grace that’s freely extended to others. His heart is not only made of gold – it’s full of love for those around him. He brings joy, enthusiasm, and a sense of wonder to everything he’s a part of. And here’s a pro tip to make Jarrett your best friend: treat him to a Mountain Dew. He’ll love you forever.
Ever meet someone who can walk into a room and with her comes energy and joy? That’s Kendra! Kendra is a bundle of creativity, laughter and compassion. It’s no surprise with her joyful heart and outgoing personality that it’s natural for her to love people deeply and be intentional in relationships. And not just relationships with people, she is intentional to pursue Jesus and proclaim His name boldly because she knows He’s the One who has rescued her. From Kendra’s fiery heart for the Lord, to her fireball personality, we love the spice she brings to our YLou family.
Michael & Rachel Miller
Michael possesses a steady spirit that helps people feel at ease when they’re around him. He has the ability to see outside of circumstances and encourage all of us towards hope. He’s a huge fan of all things sports, especially soccer, the Buckeyes and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Michael loves Amish food, so surprise him with a fry-pie or some Trail bologna and he’ll be a happy guy. Rachel is the kind of person who can easily sense how others are feeling and won’t hesitate to be a listening ear or a helping hand. She has a servant’s heart, and she will go out of her way to make sure someone feels included and loved. If you ever need fashion advice, Rachel is your girl. Get to know her and you may catch yourself getting an ab workout from all the laughing (we hear she’s got some pretty classic crazy faces that will make you die of laughter). If there was ever an efficient couple, that would be Michael and Rachel. Not only are they efficient but they seek out quality and live generously. If you’re invited to their house, there will likely be good coffee, food and conversation.
Bri has both a talent and a passion for photography and capturing beauty through photos. Similar to the skill needed to take an awesome photo, those who know Bri well say she’s fierce, bold, and adventurous. And not just that, she is a humble learner who has a strong sense of stability because she roots herself in her identity as a daughter of the King. Though she typically doesn’t wear a lot of jewelry, she’s always had a love for unique rings and can bring some serious competition to the volleyball court. We’re so thankful Bri is a part of our YWAM family!
When you first meet Abigail, she may seem quiet and reserved but once you get to know her, you’ll find out that she's funny and witty. Abigail is incredibly faithful and doesn’t take short cuts. Her no compromise attitude extends from getting work done to walking out in truth. She is passionate about art and is fierce competition on the volleyball court. She loves clouds, hot Cheetos and blue Powerade. She brings stability in addition to her many gifts to our YWAM family, and we’re so glad to have her.
When we first met Gabi on one of our Mission Adventurers, she had just had knee surgery. Still, she trekked through Nicaraguan neighborhoods with us, sporting her robotic-looking knee brace and signature smile. I guess it’s no wonder that her name means “God is my strength;” we’ve seen her walk that out through life’s ups and downs. Gabi’s friendliness makes everyone feel like they belong, and when we say she’s “all in,” we’re not kidding. In her free time, you’ll probably find her reading anime or writing poetry while drinking a matcha latte.
Hertford, North Carolina
If you’re looking for Isaac, there’s a good chance you’ll find him on the stage. Isaac loves using his musical gifts to serve the Lord in worship and is passionate about seeing others encounter God and worship Him alone. Not only do we see him worshipping on the stage, but Isaac is someone who we see worshipping the Lord with his life, living for an audience of One. You can see this in his humble heart and his willingness to follow and obey the Lord in even the smallest of things. Whether you like Hot Cheetos and lots of laughs like Isaac does or not, he’ll be your friend in an instant. People say Kentucky is the northernmost southern state. Isaac definitely keeps us southern and we wouldn’t have it any other way!
Our friend Anna is rarely seen without a smile on her face and a compliment on her lips. She has one of those sweet personalities and infectious laughs that make her a joy to be around. She’s also a deeply passionate person – passionate about Jesus and passionate about seeing injustices like sex trafficking abolished. It’s a passion that extends to a few more trivial things, like kittens, red lipstick, and all things Disney, but don’t let her bubbly side catch you off guard – Anna combines her inquisitive nature with a sharp mind and a zeal for truth, and she’ll fight, hard, for those she loves.
Gabe & Madisyn Smith
Iowa / Indiana
Gabe and Maddy’s interests are very different but they compliment each other well—like in the way they exude hospitality, their willingness to run the 2nd mile for others and how they don’t give up on people. Our friend Maddy overflows with loyalty and a joyful care for others. She channels her creative energy into wholehearted service, as well as laying down some perfectly-timed deadpan humor. Maddy leads by example: she leads herself first, making the tough choices in obeying Jesus, and others naturally follow. You’ll often find her playing with kids or sipping a mug of tea. Gabe was a kid on a youth group mission trip when he first made YWAM Louisville’s acquaintance. DTS brought him back, and now he’s a full-time part of our staff family. Gabe’s a good guy with a ready smile and a servant’s heart, attacking the task at hand with enthusiasm and excellence. He’s a natural leader and oozes creative energy, so if you’re wondering what he’s up to on any given evening, he’s probably connecting with a couple of friends, leading a spontaneous worship night, or diving into a book that’s too thick for most of us.
Cassidy’s story of winding up at YWAM Louisville is a unique one: while many students come to DTS to learn about missions, Cassidy learned about DTS on the mission field. She spent several years with her family in a Muslim-majority nation, which might explain her maturity and tenacity. But it’s her depth of relationship with Jesus that marks her the most. Anyone who meets her knows that Cassidy is full of passion – whether it’s people, prayer, or a round of Settlers of Catan, she’s all in.
Clayton, North Carolina
Megan is one of those people who will treat you like you’re already friends the moment she meets you. She truly has a gift to make those around her feel like they matter, which often looks like a message letting you know she’s thinking of you or an actual gift to communicate the same thing. She is wild, loyal, adventurous and her extravagant generosity is a beautiful reflection of God’s heart for people. Coffee shops, longboarding, road trips and the lake are some of her favorite things. If you’re ever around her, we dare you to try and not have fun. There’s never a dull moment with Megan! She adds vibrancy to our community we wouldn’t be the same without.
Hannah Joy Thomas
Hannah Joy is a southern belle with a sassy streak that might surprise you. Her name is a perfect depiction of who she is — joy follows her into every situation she finds herself facing. Her bright personality and genuine excitement about life have the ability to immediately brighten any room, and her sharp wit is a tool that often aids her in her quest to bring people together through laughter. Hannah Joy is a diligent and dedicated servant, passionate about being a voice for the voiceless and seeing justice brought to young women who were robbed of it. She’s also constantly looking for new screamo music to add to her repertoire, so if you have any recommendations, be sure to send them her way.
Jake & Gail Troyer
Ohio / Spain
Jake and Gail deeply treasure each other and the people around them. They care for others in the ways they freely open their home, creatively bless, actively listen, and believe the best in people. Jake met Jesus in the middle of the night during spring break in a beach house in Florida, and he’s never been the same since! He has a hunger to walk closely with Jesus and a passion to share God’s heart with others, whether that’s praying for their healing, encouraging others in their walk, or sharing what God’s been revealing to him personally. It’s hard to find a time when Jake isn’t smiling, either because of God’s goodness or a joke he finds hilarious (even if everyone else finds it cheesy). Gail is a gentle sunbeam, bringing warmth and beauty to those around her through joyful creativity and deep relationship. She’s a worshipper through and through, whether it’s writing songs that honor Jesus, delighting in His creation with her photography, or celebrating what God has done in the people around her. Gail has many talents, but she’s quiet about it, so you might have to bribe her with Chick-Fil-A to get her to show them off. Together, Jake and Gail are unstoppable.
Cody & Heather Tyler
Amelia Courthouse, Virginia
Heather came to DTS in the spring of 2010 with stories about her amazing boyfriend, Cody. By the time Cody came to DTS a few months later, he was Heather’s amazing fiancé. Now they’ve joined our staff family, firmly attached as “mister” and “missus” – and just as amazing as ever. Cody’s known for his love of music, cinematography, family and late-night Taco Bell runs. Heather embodies a depth of compassion for others, attention to detail, and care for excellence. The two have shared Jesus in Nicaragua, central Asia, Germany, and east Asia – and the list goes on. Their sons, Landon and Kenston, are both tenacious in their own ways.
Just take a few moments with Kate and you’ll immediately see that she’s a passionate person. It’s even evident in the way she talks a mile a minute! More than anything, she pursues truth and is serious about obedience and surrender to the Lord. Kate is a loyal friend and an avid iced chai drinker—and since she used to be a barista, don’t be afraid to ask her to make you one! Kate has a love not only for hand-crafted beverages but also for the seeing Jesus made known among unreached people, especially in South Asia. Kate is as likely to be kickin’ it with her grandma as anyone her age. We think she’s remarkably mature for her age, so maybe that’s why; she just says she has an “old soul.” Either way, her depth and commitment make her a solid friend for anyone of any age.
Amelia Courthouse, Virginia
Hannah was in community college, working at Chick-Fil-A, and planning to be an elementary school teacher with a pretty normal life until she heard a couple share about YWAM at her church. That day, she made a decision to do DTS and hasn’t looked back since! She is dependable, compassionate, courageous, faithful, tender-hearted, thoughtful; and a lover of music, movies, Hot Cheetos, and iced coffee. She has a way of making those she talks with feel seen, valued, and accepted. We’ve seen her perseverance and “no quit” attitude in the way she endured and fought to join our staff family. Ask her to share her journey and we guarantee you’ll leave the conversation encouraged!