Steve Mizel

Lead Pastor, Elder

Give us a glimpse into your family.

I am married to Lauren, my best friend. We have been married for over 25 years and have three incredible children. We enjoy hanging out, watching movies, playing board games, and laughing together. Oh, and we love to eat anything Lauren makes (she bakes magical stuff and her salsa is incredible).

What’s your story? How did you get here?

Well, I guess that story starts when I went to college. I was a California boy, Lauren was a Kentucky girl, and we met at a small college in Dubuque, IA. I was a skeptical agnostic. She had been raised in a great home with parents who loved Jesus. I was a rude, loud skateboarder – and she wasn’t impressed. She was friendly, but we really didn’t like each other much that first year. At the same time, God was quietly working to undo me with his grace. My life was a mess and a good friend encouraged me to read the Bible. I did – and became a believer. After that, I found that Lauren and I suddenly had a lot in common, and, in fact, were kind of crazy about each other. We were married between my junior and senior year in college. We moved to St. Louis and I went to work as a teacher and later as a principal. After 17 years in education, I went to work for our church, The Journey, as the family pastor. After a couple years of that, I moved to Edwardsville to start a new site for the church called The Journey: Metro East, which, in 2011, became Trailhead Church. It’s been an incredible trip, and you can read more about that story here. Read Steve's blog

What are your favorite reads and why (aside from the Bible)?

I love pretty much everything by C.S. Lewis. He writes the kind of stuff that engages me and challenges me to think about and feel the complexity of life. Till We Have Faces, is my favorite Lewis novel. It is a powerful retelling of the ancient Greek Cupid and Psyche myth, examining the soul’s desperate desire to be united with infinite love. After that, I have a lot that I enjoy, so it’s hard to pick favorites. Other authors that I love would include: Flannery O’Connor, Kurt Vonnegut, Tim Keller, Larry McMurtry, Chuck Palahnuik, John Steinbeck, J.R.R. Tolkien, William Faulkner, and many others.

Lori Louderback

Executive Director, Deacon - Creative Team

Brian Pacheco

Director of Worship & College Ministry, Deacon

Dan Free

Elder, Director of Care and Counseling

Den Hanabarger

Elder, Men's Ministry Director

Kevin Monke

Elder, Finance Team

Joe Groppel

Church Planting Resident

Sarah Hanabarger

Deacon, Women's Ministry Lead

Jason Hoang

Deacon, Community Groups Director

Kraig Hufstedler

Deacon, Creative Team Lead

Lauren Mizel

Deacon, Hospitality Lead

Lynnae Robinson

Deacon, Admin Team Lead

Tom Hubler

Deacon, Building Trustee and Maintenance

Aaron Newcom

Deacon, Assimilation

Josh Jackson

Trailhead Student Ministry Lead

Keith Danaher

Deacon, Hospitality

Jen Harsy

Volunteer Lead