Crossroads does not have a “senior pastor” or “lead pastor.” Crossroads is team-led by three co-senior pastors: Noah Filipiak, Derrick Knox, and Curt Wright, who share leadership with a Pastor Team of 7 that includes Will Berti, Linda Gardner, Kyle Lake, and Justin Miller.
In alphabetical order by last name:
I grew up in Metro-Detroit and graduated with a degree in Mathematics from Michigan State University. I met my best friend, Sara Elizabeth Nees, while attending Michigan State. We married in 2011, lived a few years in Michigan City, Indiana, and moved back to the Lansing area in 2015. Sara is a PA at Sparrow Hospital and is actively involved with the youth group at Crossroads. I am currently teaching High School Algebra and Geometry at Holt High School. I have been teaching and coaching football since 2010. I am passionate about seeing young people grow in maturity and personal responsibility. I am currently attending Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and pursuing my Master’s in Divinity, one class at a time for the rest of my life. I love old books and new books, deep theological conversations, and pursuing God as he has revealed himself to us in the Bible. You can find me with a bumper sticker that reads, “Everyone is a Theologian.” I love Crossroads and I understand that I am limited in understanding God because of my historical and cultural setting. I am thankful for our pursuit of being a multi-ethnic Church because we serve a multi-ethnic God.
Teaching Pastor, Co-Senior Pastor
I planted Crossroads back in 2006. I graduated from Cornerstone University in 2004 with a B.S. in youth ministry and Bible and graduated from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary with an M.A. Interdisciplinary in 2009. I was blessed to be raised in a Christian home and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior at a young age. I’ve seen his faithfulness through the many ups and downs of life and am convinced he is the true path to life for every person on this planet. My deepest passion in ministry is to see people enter into this saving relationship with Jesus Christ. My aim as a leader is to create a church where anyone, from any walk of life, can come to church and relate and meet Jesus. I’m also passionate about Crossroads becoming a multiracial church, as well as transforming Lansing’s urban areas with the Gospel on a holistic level. I live in an impoverished neighborhood and spend a lot of time there as an urban missionary. I blog at AtACrossroads.net where I tackle difficult and controversial subjects that keep people from Jesus.
Pastor of Administration
Pastor Linda was born and raised in Muskegon, MI., in the godly home of John and Ruth Gardner. She has one sister, Lady Debra A. Burrel; three children Pastor Derrick E. Knox, Jr., Roslyn N. Hanks, and substitute mother for Jauron K. Leefers. The three of them have provided her with 8 wonderful grandchildren! She also has one daughter-in-love, Lady Nikkeya V. Knox, one brother-in-love, Suffragan Bishop Avery Burrel.
Pastor Linda has a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science Education and is a Basketball Letterwinner from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is a Licensed and Ordained Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Lord has called her to the ministries of helping people understand the God given gift of being Single, reclaiming the unchurched, reaching the lost, teaching/preaching God’s Word, and church administration.
Pastor Linda’s most notable achievements are being obedient to God’s call on her life, being a mother and a nana. She is most grateful to God for who He is. Her favorite scripture is, Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”
Children’s Ministry Co-Director
I grew up in New Jersey and went to college in Pennsylvania. I have an undergraduate degree in Library Science with an emphasis in K-12 schools. My graduate degree is in Educational Media. I have worked at Potterville Public Schools since 1988 and have just retired. I am a widow. I have two wonderful kids (and their spouses) through whom God has truly blessed me. Jared and Hannah Green (plus wonderful grandkids Levi and Lauren) and my daughter Megan Doolittle (with grandson Edward) attend Crossroads. Since my kids were born, I have been active in nursery ministries, Sunday School , Awana and vacation Bible school programs. Before I came to Crossroads, we attended DeWitt Community Church and South Church here in Lansing. I have been teaching inductive Bible studies (Precept Ministries) for the last 10 years. My passion for the children’s ministry is that children know the truth of the Bible and become familiar with its stories and people.
Children’s Ministry Co-Director
I grew up right here in Lansing, Michigan. I come from a very large family with 12 siblings, and through the loving efforts of a local church in my neighborhood, accepted Jesus Christ into my heart at a young age during Vacation Bible School. As a teenager, and a few years after that, I became very involved in Children Ministry, and developed a passion for working with young children. I felt called to share the love of Christ with kids and blessed to be given the opportunity to create awesome memories for them and their families. It came as no surprise to those that knew me that I pursued a degree in Early Child Development, and my love for working with children and their families holds strong still today. I joined Crossroads church with my daughter Stephanie and her 2 children (Antonio & Gabriella) in 2015, and am thrilled to be part of its growth.
Favorite Bible Verse: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
I am Detroit native raised on the northwest side of the city. I grew up in a urban community surrounded by drugs, violence, poverty, and complete brokenness. Early in my childhood I knew that I wanted to serve the younger generation after witnessing many of my friends being torn apart by the woes of the city. At the age of 19 I gave my life to Christ and began serving the youth at my local church. During this time the Lord made my heart tender for evangelism and discipleship while living in the city. I am also passionate about Hip Hop and using the musical gifts the Lord has given me for his glory. I will be attending Grand Rapids Theological Seminary in the fall to further my college education which initially started at Wayne State University. I am thankful for my beautiful wife Alexandria for walking with me throughout the years and her complete support to follow the Lords call here in Lansing. I am very excited to labor alongside my brothers and sisters at Crossroads Church while witnessing Gospel transformation in the urban context.
I grew up in Northeast Oklahoma and went to school at the University of Oklahoma where I majored in Architecture and Construction. After graduation I promptly went into the ministry (that makes perfect sense right)? I came to Michigan in 1998 where I was a campus minister at Michigan State. There I met my wife Sara and settled in Lansing. I have previously been the Senior Pastor of a church for 8 years, done mission work and have planted a church myself. I am excited for this season of my life where I am serving at Crossroads and hope to be used of God to grow his Church and help us move forward in faith.
Odd Fact about me: I am obsessed with Sonic restaurants…
Melvin Dwayne Palmer is a devoted husband to Tiffany Palmer and father of 11 children and 1 granddaughter. He enjoys ministering to God’s people through his gift, and spending time with his family. He’s been a Music Ministry leader for 20 years. He teaches youth how to be effective music ministry leaders led by God. He loves teaching them the importance of using and understanding the gifts that God has given them. Melvin believes just as Jehoshaphat and his army believed. Through Music Ministry lives are being changed, and the devil must flee. Melvin has played with various artists in Blues and R&B including 112, Case, Dramatics, Sunshine Anderson, Tone Treasure, Maurice Davis, James Smith, and Aaron Lindsey. He was an original member of Funkalinium. He has played and toured with various gospel recording artists such as Michael Fletcher, Rance Allen, Clark Sisters, Flint Cavaliers, Bishop Neil Roberson, Cherry Givens, and Givenairs.
Shepherding Pastor & Music Minister, Elder
I graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2007 and moved to Altoona, Pennsylvania where I worked with the Coalition for Christian Outreach campus ministry organization. I’m currently enrolled in Grand Rapids Theological Seminary’s Urban Cohort. While doing full time campus ministry at Penn State Altoona University I obtained a graduate degree from Geneva College in Higher Education. In 2011 I moved back home to Michigan where I could not have been more excited to be hired by Crossroads Church to be the Praise and Worship music leader. In addition, since moving home I have experience working in Children’s Protective Services for the State of Michigan which gave me perspective on our broken world that I did not expect. As a result of that perspective, I have see the need for the church in a new way. Since 2013 I have been confirmed as an elder at Crossroads and work full time as a Shepherding Pastor and Worship Leader. My specific passions are articulating and encouraging people to understand that God cares about all of his creation and is going to redeem and reconcile all things to Himself i.e. teaching a Biblical worldview that is holistic and makes sense. Included in this vision for life I am specifically passionate about racial reconciliation, evangelism, and of course music! I am blessed to have the support of my wife Alicia in ministry and I truly love and feel called to our church community.