Rev. Van Dickerson
Meet Our Pastors
Pastor Michael Angelo Pilla
Pastor Van Dickerson
JESUS IN THE CITY FELLOWSHIP
Pastor Norton Lawellin
After growing up in a drug infested neighborhood of Chicago, Pastor Van Dickerson, eventually relocated to Minneapolis where he found Jesus. Van is a strong godly Christian man, a son, a father, a grandfather and a recovered addict. Van is a quiet man, but God has other plans and has brought him to a place where his old habits, can now help reach those lost souls caught in the web of addictions. It is with that purpose in mind that Van works at Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge, a faith based drug and alcohol treatment facility. God has transformed his life and now he wants to continue helping others as a pastor of JICF. Van says; "I have found that my life is so much richer when I have someone to share what I have learned."
As the Mentoring Pastor, Bible Study leader and also a speaker at Metro Hope Recovery Center, in Minneapolis, Van is committed to reaching out to those who are homeless, impoverished, mentally ill, and suffering from addictions. Van states; "through outreach, mentoring, and counseling, we can assist others in the transformation of their lives. We are focusing on meeting people’s spiritual, emotional, psychological and physical needs at JICF."
Van is currently enrolled at Minneapolis Community and Technical College where he is pursuing his AA degree in Addiction Counseling with a Human Service background. After completion at MCTC, Van anticipates attending Metro State University to recieve his 4-year degree. For fun, Van is leading a Men's basketball group in the gym located at the Oliver Building; two Saturdays a month, while serving at Metro Hope Ministries, and as a recreational planner and with the MNTC Basketball League.
Van states with conviction; "I will continue my walk and continue sharing my testimony, to make a positive change in the lives of those that God has chosen to put in my path. Praise God, and I look forward to meeting you soon at JICF."
Dale and Roberta are both retired and in the twilight years of ministry, and yet they are still going strong. They have been married for 50 years and love serving the Lord. Starting out in life Dales family, while hard working was poverty striken, but this taught young Dale how to survive. Roberta, the oldest of nine children, was raised in a preacher’s home.
Early in their marriage Dale and Roberta both knew that God had major plans for them in ministry. After having three children through fifteen years of marriage, Dale was striken with a debilitating cluster of headaches, but our faithful God healed Dale and shortly thereafter Dale and Roberta moved from Illinois to Minnesota, where Dale entered college in preparation of their future in ministry. Dale finished his studies with three Bachelor of Sceince degrees in: Pastoral Studies, Christian Education, and Psychology, while Roberta holds an AA degree in accounting.
During their journey with the Lord, they have experienced many trials and tribulations, including Dale being disabled, and family members becoming addicted to drugs. Through many years of experience, Dale and Roberta have worked with church based programs similar to Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and they have also co-lead children’s churches.
Dale has been an education leader, Associate Pastor, teacher and Bible Study leader, a Men’s fellowship leader and mentor for men in recovery. Roberta has served as a teacher, Women’s Ministry leader, and volunteer at a women’s recovery program, while working with the children. Through these experiences God given them empathy and compassion for the work they do at JICF. Dale and Roberta both state; "We love serving the Lord, and hope that God will give us many more years to serve Him!"
Pastor Norton Lawellin grew up in South Dakota where he was very fortunate to have been raised by godly parents that taught him that attending church and trusting in Jesus would have a very positive outcome on his life. But even though Norton attended church as a youth, it wasn’t until he attended a Bible Study in college that he made his own personal decision to accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior.
During college, their small Bible Study group visited the Navigators in Colorado Springs for basic Bible training, where they served as counselors for Billy Graham events.
Norton has always had a God given talent for music, which led his career path to the music industry and to his current role at JICF as Worship Pastor. Norton has been a worship leader at several churches in the past, and also served on church councils for six years in several capacities: treasurer and President.
Norton as extensive training in church leadership, especially in the positions of Worship Arts and Christian Theology. This experience has proven valuable since he has joined Jesus in the City Fellowship in early 2012, and has since become an Ordained Minister.
Norton states; "I believe God is planning big things at JICF!" The JICF Worship Team consists of two permanent singers, a guitarist, a bass guitarist, a saxophone player, and our drummer who has been with JICF for 18 years. We have four other pastors who teach, mentor, and lead small groups and chapel services.
Norton says; "JICF is a Bible teaching church with sound theology. It's a pleasue and a privilige to serve with the staff at JICF and I look forward, with anticipation each day, of what God might bring to us!"
Kristen “Krissie” Hirt is a former business owner, corporate executive, mortgage banker, and entertainer in the special events market. Her father and oldest brother were both Lutheran ministers and she was raised knowing about the Lord, but it wasn’t until she reached adulthood that she accepted Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of her life, and she and her husband received the call to help bring His love to a desperate world.
When asked why she joined the Board of Directors of Jesus In The City Fellowship, Krissie explained, “I first attended JICF services at the request of a friend and fellow musician to fill in when the regular praise and worship team wasn’t available. What I found there was a family of people, led by Pastor Michael, who had a huge heart for Jesus and for going out to bring the Gospel to the lost. It was as if each person in the Fellowship was an active minister in his or her individual community, and this wonderful, loving group of people would come together on Sunday to worship and be fed by the Word. I found myself attending services there more and more often, and learned the true depth of their commitment to bringing the saving grace of Jesus Christ to the hurting and disenfranchised of inner-city Minneapolis. JICF seems to be an umbrella for an ever-expanding variety of urgently-needed ministries, ranging from providing Bible studies and worship music to addiction recovery organizations, small groups to minister to abused women, individual mentoring for those who are struggling in life, programs to adopt families living in poverty and show them God’s love through providing them with an amazing Christmas experience, events aimed at bringing urban and suburban pastors together to bring unity to the Church, classes in Christian leadership for those who want to minister, and life skills for those who have never had the opportunity to learn how to manage their finances and set goals to enable them to rise out of poverty! With the encouragement of our pastoral team, one of my personal callings is to connect with the Native American people, a wonderful and unique community that is in such desperate need of Jesus Christ.
I am so excited to see what the Lord has in store for Jesus In The City! Of one thing I’m certain – our team will bring the heart of Jesus to those who are in the greatest need in a committed, humble and joy-filled way. Why don’t you join us?”
Pastors Dale & Roberta Rader
Serving & Mentoring Pastors
Director of People of Hope,
Pastor Michael Angelo Pilla was an international award winning jewelry designer an goldsmith before being called to Urban Ministry. Pastor Michael grew up in St. Paul's Lower East Side, also known as "Little Italy." He came to Christ in August 1988.
He received his calling to Urban Ministry in 1992; but he was reluctant to leave the jewelry industry so abruptly. However, he surrendered to the Lord and this moment marked the beginning of Michael's journey into ministry, which led to him to attend Bible College/Seminary for preparation to fulfill the work, which God had called him to do.
As he was studying in the Book of Isaiah (Isaiah 58:6-14), God spoke to Michael and gave him the vision for "Jesus in the City Fellowship (JICF)." In the weeks that followed, the Lord revealed His broad vision to Michael: "bring healing to the inner city of Minneapolis."
Having completed his training in Ministry, Theology and Evangelism; Pastor Michael received Bachelors Degrees in Ministry, and Masters degrees in Biblical Theology and Christian Apologetics.
Pastor Michael has a passion for reaching the broken hearted and those who are not walking with Jesus Christ.
As Senior Pastor of JICF, the ministry continues to fulfill God's vision to bring Christ into the lives of families, men, and women in Minneapolis. Pastor Michael welcomes the opportunity to meet you and encourage you to develop a close, personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If you have already invited Christ into your heart, then Pastor Michael and his staff can assist you, and the entire family, in strengthening your relationship with God.
Jeff was born in New York City and graduated from a small-town Ohio high school. He came to Minnesota to attend the U. of Minn. Institute of Technology. He started, as a Physics major, then a Math major, then a Russian Language major and eventually quit school. He joined in the trends of college life, marching against the Vietnam War, exposing himself to radical thought, trying different philosophies and religions, immersing himself in the drug culture. But even after hitchhiking and hopping the rails around the country, he still left empty, lonely, and without a purpose in life. He spiraled down into gloom and despair, with no prospects in life, he was getting high every day.
BUT GOD: Jeff met his future wife Jane in South Minneapolis in 1973 and they were married in 1975. He heard the true gospel for the first time in 1974 and the two of them gave their hearts to Jesus in early 1978. They raised 3 children, Lisa, Aaron, and Kevin, and served in various churches. To support his family, Jeff worked at many high-tech companies as a technical writer. He managed to complete a degree in Technical
Communications from Metro State in 2005.
But it was not until Jeff connected with Mark Johnson and Forerunner Ministries that his journey in God was significantly changed. In the mid ‘90s, Jeff began playing saxophone and flute in worship teams in churches, coffeehouses, home groups, and on the streets.
As part of an evangelistic team, Jeff traveled to outreaches and cities across the country and overseas with the love of God. In New York City, New Orleans, Atlanta, Hollywood, Duluth, Minneapolis, and the Ukraine, he played his horn and ministered on the streets to the homeless, the addicts, and the lost.
Now in Jeff’s later years in retirement, God opened yet another door of ministry to men recovering from addiction. Jesus in the City Fellowship and Metro Hope Recovery Center where he mentors many guys coming out of alcoholism, drug addiction, and depression. Jeff leads weekly Bible Studies and a monthly chapel service as well. He is part of the worship team and the leadership team.
Rev. Jeff Boyer
Teacher and Mentor