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Our Story


Pastor Mike Brueckner

Lead Pastor

I am so thankful to Christ for calling me to Himself. I recognize that I am a sinner saved by grace. I was born and raised on the mission field (Mexico and Germany). I am so thankful for parents who loved me enough to tell me that it wasn’t enough to have a good upbringing—without Christ, I was the worst of sinners in need of The Savior. The gospel transformed my life, made me new in Christ, and I am continuing to grow in Him.

My amazing wife, Rachel and I were married in 1999. We now have 4 children, Emily, Erica, Elayna and Jaykin. I love my family so much! They are a constant reminder to me of the grace of God—getting what I do not deserve. They are such a blessing and committed to the ministry to which the Lord has called us.

The Lord called us to the Elk River area eighteen years ago where I have served as school chaplin, youth pastor, children’s pastor, worship director, and missions pastor. A few of the other things we have done in the area are drive truck and bus, coach basketball, and work in quality control. The Lord has most recently called us to Church of Hope as Senior Pastor where I began March 1, 2017. Our family is so excited about what the Lord has done, is doing, and is going to do here.

A few years ago, the Lord made it very clear to us that we are to be separated to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Therefore everything we teach, promote, and live needs to flow from the fountain of the gospel. I enjoy spending time with my family, teaching, singing, playing guitar, reading, listening to sermons, spending time with friends, traveling, and playing and watching sports.

Kyle Swenson

Youth Pastor

My wife Julie and I have been a part of Church of Hope since just after it started in 2006. We spent 2007-2008 serving as missionaries sent by Church of Hope in Quito, Ecuador and it was in Ecuador that God affirmed my call to work with youth. After our return, we jumped in and started helping out with the high school group while I worked as a Technology Education teacher in Forest Lake. Not long after we returned from Ecuador, our current youth pastor left and Julie and I took over as youth directors for the next few years. After three years of running the youth group, we were able to hire a full time youth pastor and we stepped back to being just volunteers for the next 3-4 years. Then, again in the summer of 2016, Church of Hope asked us to step into leading the youth group. I am still a full time teacher, now at Wayzata High School, however I felt the Lord leading me away from the small cabinet shop that I have owned and run on the side for the last eight years so I could put as much time into the youth group as possible. I am passionate about empowering students to impact others for the kingdom of Jesus Christ and having them lead a life worth of the calling they have received. Check out what exciting events we have going on at the youth page of our website.

Julie Swenson

Office Administrator & Children's Ministry Director

As a stay-at-home mother of three and wife to a wonderful but busy man, I feel the world’s pressure to have everything figured out and together. The truth is, I don’t. At Church of Hope, my family walks the journey with other families doing life in this chaotic world. Our common ground is the hope that we have in Jesus through God’s Word. We’re about being real through the ups and downs of life and would love to have you along for the ride as we reach out to our community and beyond to share the good news of Jesus Christ!

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