Pastor Jerry was born and raised in Michigan graduating from Manistique High School in 1972. After high school he spent four years in the U.S. Coast Guard and in the summer of 1977 he began studying for the ministry at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. (Hear Pastor Jerry's testimony in Revelation Series Part 25—Saved by Grace.)
That fall he met and became engaged to Karen Horner from Indianapolis, Indiana; four months later, they married in February 1978. (In the sermon Parable of the Wedding Garment you can hear how they met.) Karen is an occupational therapist working in the Bradley County Schools in Tennessee.
Their daughter Hannah married Mickey Ortel; their son Jeremy married Laurel Towles and their youngest son Joshua married Amanda Hayes. They have six grandchildren.
Jerry has a BA in theology from Andrews University an MA in religion (homiletics and soul-winning) from Southern Adventist University and completed a Doctor of Ministry in Expository Preaching from Andrews University in 2008. His hobbies include reading, golfing, skeetshooting and cheering on the Colts. His greatest delight is spending time with Karen and their family.