“In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of His appearing and His kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction.” – 2 Timothy 4:1-2
Jeremiah was born and raised in Cottage Grove Oregon, just a few miles from Eugene Oregon and Julie is a California native. She grew up in Santa Monica California where she was a competitive gymnast state wide and later was a national competitor and captain of the Santa Monica High School Cheerleading team. Jeremiah was a wrestler in high school and self-proclaimed king of all fishermen. Upon graduation he entered the US Navy.
In 1992 Julie traveled to San Francisco to go to school at Santa Clara University. During this time Louisa Chinquetti shared her faith with her in the mall and 9 days later she was baptized into Christ. Julie was the first Campus student baptized on the Marin County mission team under the leadership of Preston and Sandy Shepherd.
In 1993, while traveling back from leave from the US Navy, Jeremiah had a catastrophic car accident. He was driving from Oregon back to San Francisco where he was stationed and had left too late at night. Around midnight he fell asleep at the wheel and his car hit a guard rail at 80 miles an hour bursting every window in the car and sent his car flipping end over end over a bridge and landing upside down in a pond. As the water rushed in and he was upside down, panic struck. Flashes of his life passed through his mind at lightning speed. His only thought was “am I really going to die now? I am not ready!” He believes that in that moment God helped him remember how to take his seat belt off and free his leg from where it had been stuck. He swam out the window and realized that he had not been injured at all! Even though the accident could have easily taken his life, and probably should have, if not for God’s plan. His car was absolutely destroyed but the driver’s seat seemed as though it were protected somehow and he walked away completely unscathed. Later, on the Naval ship, he had some time to think as he was “recovering”. A movie was playing that began mocking Jesus and what would usually not bother his conscience at all disturbed him deeply. As he got up to turn it off he saw a Bible under the TV. A Bible on a naval ship was rare indeed! He, with bated breath, afraid of what he would read, he opened the Bible with a single stroke. Not one flip of a page was needed. God had something to say. He read what was before him, Jeremiah 7:1, “These are the words that came to Jeremiah from the Lord…reform your ways and your actions and I will let you live….” As if seeing that God was speaking to him by name wasn’t enough, the reminder of his near death experience left a mark on his soul. In that moment he knew that God was real and it marked the beginning of Jeremiah’s journey toward God and his impending spiritual future.
Julie went into the ministry in 1996 as a single woman to co-lead the Teen Ministries for the entire San Francisco Church at it’s pinnacle of over 2700 members under Russ and Gail Ewell. The teen ministry was a great joy to her and grew by God’s own hand to its own heights of over 200 teens and 65 teen leaders.
In 1997 after being honorably discharged from the United States Navy, Jeremiah was met and invited to church by Fernando Morales of the San Francisco International Church of Christ as a Teen worker in the same ministry that Julie was in. Jeremiah was baptized on January 14th, 1998. He went into the Ministry 1 year later in 1999.
In 1999 Jeremiah and Julie, as singles, were asked to lead a sector of approximately 100 members in downtown San Francisco. Julie left the teen ministry to lead with Jeremiah. They led there for about a year and then were transferred, still as singles, to Hayward on the east bay to lead a hurting sector. They led this “heart of the bay” sector for a total of about four years. It was in Hayward that they began to date and then married a year later on February 10, 2001. The following year they were blessed to see the birth of their first child Meghan Clark.
In 2004 they came out of the ministry and returned to Eugene Oregon shortly after it had been planted by the Portland Church under Kip and Elena McKean. Jeremiah began to pursue a degree in Speech and Language Pathology which was being paid for by the Navy College Fund. He obtained his Masters degree in 2009. However this period marked some of their hardest times spiritually as they “wandered in the deserts” of building their own lives and paneled houses.
Julie worked many long hours as she single-handedly supported the family by building two businesses, one on eBay and also a real estate business after having obtained a real estate broker’s license. And in this time their second child was born, Dylan Clark. After laying down their dream of ministry and taking up their subsequent successes in the eyes of the world, their dreams and ministry training would call to them as they saw some of the difficulties in the ministry in Eugene. Jeremiah said once, “you never loose your ministry eyes” and he hadn’t. Ron and Tracy Harding had the incredible faith to call them back into the full time ministry. In June of 2009 they took up their calling and began to lead the Mighty Eugene Church. It was truly an answered prayer…a 10 year old prayer. Jeremiah had prayed from the beginning of his walk with God that he would be sent to lead the church planting in Eugene Oregon for the sake of his family. As Jeremiah and Julie led in San Francisco it was the plan that they would indeed lead the church planting to Eugene in 2002. But it would not be so. The planting was cancelled indefinitely, and indeed was never sent from San Francisco. So as the Spirit enabled, Jeremiah and Julie took up their dream and destiny of leading the church in Eugene. It was in these moments that they fell in love with the ministry again. It was a time of healing and hope, and their third and final child, Zachary Clark, was born shortly after their return to the ministry.
They lead the Eugene International Christian Church for 3 1/2 years until the Spirit called again and would blow them to the Washington DC International Christian Church under the leadership of Ron and Tracy Harding. They took over the campus ministry at Howard University and built one at the University of Maryland. The two ministries totaled 6 members at the start and it grew to 23 disciples in just 10 months. It was here that they learned how to build a church under the Harding’s. More healing and more hope was found in DC.
And because God never looses his dream for anyone, even when they loose it for themselves, he very graciously called them again, and this time to lead the mission team to Denver, Colorado, yet another dream fulfilled. Julie had always wanted to lead a church planting in Denver and Jeremiah loved that idea (being a mountain man at heart). And so in the coarse of one year they have moved their family from one side of the country to the other, from Eugene to DC, and then from DC to Colorado. God has already blessed them with 6 people added before they have even had their inaugural service. With great sacrifice, the DC International Christian Church, with Gods help, has accomplished what has been said to be impossible. A church of 67 disciples raised up the leaders, provided the people, and raised the money to send off a church planting on its own! We truly stand in the present tense of History in the making. The DC church was willing to believe and to sacrifice anything it would take to birth this new church. And the Clarks are so grateful and honored to lead it.
Thank you DC Church!
Jeremiah and Julie Clark