Get to Know Our Family
Meet the people who make up YWAM Louisville. You will see that each member is passionate about Jesus and their role at YWAM. Each of our team members offers their unique gifts to the mission of YWAM making us a well-rounded team ready to serve the world. We hope you get to know us a little bit better and why we love working for YWAM.
Andy & Carmelita Landers
Tennessee / Missouri
It doesn’t take long to figure out what matters most to Andy. Loving Jesus, loving his family, reaching the nations, and developing leaders all top the list. As base director, Andy’s timely with truth when we need a challenge and full of stories from around the world. Carmelita is an administrative genius and discipleship guru who keeps things running smoothly around here while being “mom” to pretty much everyone around. She’s passionate about doing things with excellence and making people feel welcome. Andy and Carmelita have been in YWAM since before most of us were born, but we try not to point that out too often.
Jose & Marissa Aguilar
While Jose and Marissa were still dating, they went on a mission trip and heard about YWAM. Just like the wise old adage, “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes moving across the country to join YWAM,” in a matter of months the two got engaged, got married, and signed up for DTS. That’s no surprise to anyone who knows them: this couple doesn’t back away from a challenge, tackling a new venture with tenacious faith – and a board game with fierce competitiveness. Marissa brings beauty and excellence to any task she’s given and grace to those around her. She’s brimming with giftedness, from drama to gymnastics to administrative finesse, and when we say she’s the type of person who would give her only coat to someone who doesn’t have one, we’re not talking hypothetically. Jose’s passion is the louder kind – he doesn’t shy away from challenging others to surrender their lives to God, the way he has. Jose lends technical savvy to our online presence and worship teams, and he’s the one we call when the wifi goes down or a computer is on the fritz. Their daughter, Norah, is a sweet addition to not only the Aguilar family, but our base as a whole. If you want to learn how to find joy in the small things, hang out with this girl.
St. Paris, Ohio
Everyone wants to be Randy’s friend, which is no surprise; if you met him you would too. He is fiercely loyal, deeply thoughtful and faithful in all he does. He makes people feel seen and championed in every season, he truly loves others well. He is also AMAZING with details and logistics, which keeps his leaders sane. Randy might seem quiet at first but get to know him and you’ll discover how hilarious he is. He’s so worth knowing.
Abbey can make anyone feel safe and seen. She’s a loyal and faithful friend that will tell it like it is. She likes to cook things like vegetarian curry but watch out because she can handle the heat. If she could, she would be holding a baby 24/7 and has a big heart for kids. A big fan of mac and cheese, chai, matcha, singing, old Taylor Swift and warm temperatures above 80 degrees, this Miami girl is always down for fun hangs but will also go deep with people. She brings unique strengths to our staff and we’re so grateful she’s here.
Micah’s heart to honor God and people is evident in all he does. Everywhere he goes he carries deep gratitude for who God has been to Him and what He has done in his life. He is free spirited, adventurous and willing to try just about anything! He is someone who loves people and will make you feel like the funniest or wisest person in the world. Micah finds such joy in the little things, like Reeses peanut butter cups, playing basketball and baking sweets (to feed his never ending sweet tooth), and his genuine positivity is an overflow of the reality that he is full of the joy of the Lord. Word on the street is he’s got an intense high five, but we all know that’s just another way he expresses the exuberant love and joy that’s inside of him.
When Luke walks into the room he brings joy with him. This guy always has a smile on his face, and it’s contagious. He reflects the heart of God in the way that he loves people. When you meet Luke, you have an instant friend. He exudes excellence in all tasks set before him, not just thinking of how to do tasks well but how to make them even better. His heart to serve and go above and beyond comes from the security he’s found in knowing Jesus personally. His personality is full of excitement and his brain is full of fun facts about pretty much anything. Don’t let Luke’s stature fool you, his friends around here say he’s a teddy bear!
Neil & Juanita Brangers
Kentucky / Ohio
2015 was a big year for these two, not only because they came to DTS and saw the Lord totally rock their lives, but also because in that DTS Neil and Juanita became friends, not knowing that three years later they’d be saying “I do”. They bring a special kind of flavor to our base and have huge hearts for discipleship. You’ll always find Juan ready with a cheesy joke, especially ones involving octopi and how many tickles it takes to make them laugh. Though we love her sense of humor, we are even more blessed by her ability to encourage and build up the people around her, unafraid to stop everything and pray for anyone. And don’t let her first name throw you off—if she’s flinging foreign phrases, they’ll be Amish-style German, not Spanish. Now, you won’t find Neil speaking Juanita’s Dutch lingo, but if you listen closely you may hear a bit of a Kentucky accent. Neil has a nag for details and we see that played out in the way he meets practical needs around the base, sings with the worship team, invests in people, and shoots hoops in his free time. In high school Neil wasn’t particularly interested in God, but God was interested in him. He once found himself in a chapel service where our director, Andy, was inviting students to come to Nicaragua that summer. God started stirring Neil’s heart and before long he was going to church, pursuing Jesus, and signing up for that Nicaragua trip. Now he's a full-fledged YWAMer.
Franklin is a faithful and genuine friend. He values deep friendship and invests in those around him. He is the kind of guy who is down for anything, but especially a mean game of chess, so challenge him if you dare. But as much as Franklin loves a good game of chess, he loves God’s Word even more. He is passionate about it and it is clear in the way he lives his life based on it. He is a learner who runs after truth, and stewards the things he is given well. Franklin walks in the freedom the Lord has given him and it’s contagious!
Tiara crowns others with care and compassion, so her name fits her well. She’s the type of person who asks you how you’re doing and you can tell that she really wants to know – so watch out, because if you cross paths with her you’re going to get a whole lot of love, truth, and encouragement. You’re also likely to hear ridiculous jokes at the most unlikely times. She has a passion for evangelism and making Jesus known, all over the world but especially right here in the United States. She has a powerful voice—she is passionate, caring, joyful, loving, and inclusive. She has a way of making others feel like family, and we’re so glad she’s a part of ours too.
Troy & Hannah Carpenter
Michigan / Indiana
Contrary to popular belief, Troy and Hannah met before either of them came through YWAM Louisville and they also did their schools at separate times. Both Hannah and Troy are creative in their own ways. Troy has a knack for woodworking--from building shelves to building his own custom guitar. Speaking of which, he can pick up just about any instrument and play it. His talent is put to good use, because he loves worship and has a passion for leading it. Don’t be surprised if you see Hannah up there right alongside him. Her passion for worship is robust. With her vocal skills and his multi-instrumental talents, they are a powerhouse team. Though Hannah may seem quiet, when you get to know her you will find that she loves to goof around, is a popcorn enthusiast (and has perfected her own secret recipe), and is an example of hospitality. Hanging around these two, there is sure to be some laughs and sweet memories.
Romy was a dental hygienist before she decided to do a DTS. She is marked by passion and intentionality. She brings a balance of vibrant joy and genuine depth everywhere she goes. Romy can make anyone feel like an instant friend and help them find a way to laugh in any circumstance. Don't be surprised if your conversation with her starts off with jokes, turns into tears, and ends with uncontrollable laughter. You’ll also probably discover how much she loves spontaneity, Queen Elizabeth II, Hamilton, all things quirky, and especially Corgis because she really loves them.
Kathryn, a Louisville local, adds so much to our staff family. She is someone who carries hope and is passionate in the things she puts her hands to. She’s the kind of person who can take an idea, run with it, and make it flourish. She loves having fun, especially in the form of a good car jam sesh. You might also catch her bopping to a musical soundtrack, because musicals are her favorite! Kathryn loves people and getting to know them, so if you’re ever around, chat with this lady if she doesn’t get to you first. We love the flavor she adds to this base!
Derek & Steph Culp
Ohio / Pennsylvania
Like the miles she’s logged training for half-marathons, Steph leaves dependability and order in her wake. She faithfully oversees our accounting office, embracing what could easily be an overwhelming job with grace and finesse, so that all of us can carry on without the lights being shut off or the food running out. Derek’s always got a story. His favorite is the story of what God's done in his life, and he tells it every chance he gets. He also always has a joke, so at first we didn’t believe him when he said he’s been to clown college, but it’s true: he’s got an actual diploma from the prestigious Giggles & Grins Clown Alley. It’s no surprise, really, because Derek loves to bring joy to people. Derek and Steph are both solid leaders who disciple others and have a heart for hard-to-reach places. Derek says, “I married up.” We think they both did. Their children, Judah, Selah, and Hadley, have a contagious joy. We dare you not to crack a smile when one of these cuties gives you a grin.
Hannah has to be one of the most thoughtful people we’ve met. She loves her friends with a quiet commitment that’s quick to find ways to bless. And if any of that thoughtfulness stems from her tendency to get bored if she’s sitting still, channeling nonstop energy to serve others remains an admirable trait. The interests that Hannah has dipped her talented toes in are many and varied. She’s a natural athlete, known to “accidentally” run several miles while most of us are still sleeping. She’s a gifted musician – that’s her upright bass keeping the girls’ house classy. And you never know when her creativity might churn out a fresh batch of kombucha or a newly-repaired small appliance. Hannah’s quick with a laugh, but she’s serious about prayer, which makes her someone everyone wants on their team.
Luke is trustworthy and faithful in commitment. We see this in how he pursues the Lord and in how he cares for his Crocs (#crocpolish). Luke enjoys reading and playing games so whether it’s cards or Catan, he’s in for a solid game night. If you really want to bless him, bring along some Taco Bell with plenty of fire sauce to said game night. Although, if you forget the sauce, odds are Luke has a stash nearby. And we can’t talk about playing games without also mentioning Luke’s love for sports. As far as they go, soccer without a doubt takes the podium for him. We love Luke’s goofy traits, but that’s not all there is to him. Luke is a man who takes initiative and sees things through. He’s a great leader and he leads with passion, responsibility, and creativity. We’re grateful to have this guy on staff!
Anyone who knows Amanda will definitely agree that this girl has a gift for bringing joy, lots of laughter, and a zest for life. Amanda has an eye to see and care for those who might feel unseen, and an ability to include those who might otherwise feel left out. With a personality as flavorful as hers, you might be surprised to hear her favorite snack is a good old handful of saltine crackers, but that just goes to show even more that Amanda is someone who can find wonder and joy in the simplest things.
Jeremy is a loyal friend and deeply committed to people. He is generous, faithful and always willing to lend a helping hand. He is intentional in seeking others out and leads in humility and vulnerability. His heart desires to walk in obedience to the Lord and He won’t hesitate to call others and himself up to a higher standard while speaking truth, life and encouragement over those around him. You’ll probably find Jeremy playing sports (as long as it’s competitive) or enjoying a good cup of coffee while strategizing his next 3 moves in a board game. You can always count on him to be down to hangout wherever and whenever, and we think he’s a lot of fun!
Richard & Kelly Hyde
Alberta / Montana
Richie’s the only guy you can tell to take a hike without being offensive. He’s known for going on overnight hikes without bringing water, but he tells us that’s normal for Canadians. Richie’s really a citizen of the world; he’s lived in eight different countries and knows a thing or two about traveling. He is also a hard worker with a knack for organization – so if you ever need a schedule made or a problem solved, you know who to call. Kelly’s tiny hometown isn’t on most maps, but she swears it’s an actual place and we’ve decided to believe her. Kelly pours her creativity into painting, cooking, exploring the outdoors, and the thousands of ways she styles her hair. Richie and Kelly’s story all began with the card game Spades. Richie’s analytical, logical brain paired with Kelly’s visionary, creative one compliment each other well and make them a dynamic duo.
While Madison passionately loves her home state (as well as meatloaf, clouds, and happy tears), she’s not in Kansas anymore – and we’re so, so glad! If we’re talking about someone with a big heart who invests fully in whatever is in front of her, we’ll definitely mention Madison. She is a leader at her core and always brings a positive attitude into the room. With a personality as bubbly as hers, it’s no surprise that she is a La Croix fanatic. She is always down for a new adventure, especially if it leads to a local coffee shop. Madison adds joy, order, and intentionality to our community, and we are thankful God has brought her to be a part of our family!
Aaron’s the type of person who can see the good in any situation. You can count on Aaron to be able to find beauty amongst a mess as he’s a constant place of encouragement, and you can count on what he says to not just be genuine, but true. Aaron loves sports and has a passion for sweet kicks, so if you ever need recommendations on what shoes to buy next, he’s your guy. We see his passion for true worship and honoring God in the way he pursues friendships, cheers people on, cares for people, and walks in joy. Aaron is the kind of guy you’d want on your team, so we’re glad the Lord has led him to YWAM Louisville!
Marny Rey Ketcham
Charlotte, North Carolina
Marny is a ray of sunshine and a thoughtful friend; spend five minutes with her and you’ll instantly feel at home. She freely speaks her mind yet manages to do it with gentleness and compassion; in other words, whether you need a kick in the butt or a shoulder to cry on (or both!), she’ll be there for you. Marny is committed to hearing the Lord speak and obeying what he’s said; that’s taken her around the world and brought her here to serve in Louisville. She is creative and insatiably curious, unafraid to ask questions and learn new skills. She’s also full of fun, so it’s no surprise that few people call her by her real name, “Margaret.” Her nickname is like her wild red hair: it suits her, and we like it.
New Holland, Pennsylvania
When some wise old proverb-writer said “Still waters run deep,” they were probably referring to Karen Kulp. “KK”, as she’s inevitably called, won’t be the first or loudest voice to chime in to a discussion, but what she shares comes from a deep well of relationship with Jesus and passion for discipleship. Karen’s faithful and determined, happiest when she’s directly involved in seeing people grow in our training schools. But she does get a little anxious when her stash of peanut butter starts to run low.
Anyone who meets Audrey can see that she has a peaceful countenance and a sweet soul. Get to know her a little more and you’ll discover the fire in her spirit. Audrey had her life planned out before DTS. After five months committed to growing with God, she found more life than she had ever dreamed was possible. She embodies what it means to find fulfillment and satisfaction in the Lord. Her love for culture, adventure, and travel has taken her to university, a job in Korea, surfing in the Pacific, and right here to Louisville. When Audrey commits to something, she’s all in. Her depth and personality add a unique richness to our family.
Port Charlotte, Florida
If laughter is the best medicine, people who hang around Collin should be pretty healthy. He’s gifted with a hysterical sense of humor, so you won’t have a shortage of laughable moments and memories if you spend time with him. He’s not without a serious side, though, and even his ability to make people laugh comes from his genuine personality. Collin is both hard working and tenderhearted, fearless and caring. He genuinely loves and fights for others, and he’s your guy if you need someone to take on a task with joy and a light heart. So Collin’s strengths are evident. But break out the chocolate and you’ll discover his weakness in a hurry.
Zach is someone who lives out childlike faith and reflects the heart of Jesus in the way he leads out in humility, loves everyone, and really listens. Almost as much as he loves people, he loves food. In the 10th grade he lost his ability to taste and smell, which the Lord healed during his DTS outreach through simple prayer! Some friends might tell you a story of when he decided it was a good idea to eat a spicy pepper (why not when you can’t taste, right?). Long story short, he couldn’t tell the difference between what was sweat and what was tears. Aside from his aversion to spicy food, there aren’t many foods this guy would turn down. Zach also loves adventure and discovery, and loves to make people laugh. So whether you need a listening ear, a good laugh, a dose of adventure, or just want to share a good meal, get to know this guy-- you will be glad you did!
Hannah is a true northerner who has a passion for peanut butter and hydration. Those who know her well will tell you that she enjoys peanut butter on most things, and will freak if she doesn’t have water nearby. But as much as she loves peanut butter and water, she loves a good laugh even more. Hannah knows how to fill a room with laughter; joy is a gift she carries that impacts those around her and welcomes them to be themselves. She is real, authentic, and tender hearted. She is also a humble learner with a “whatever it takes” mentality, especially in her relationship with the Lord. So whether you need a friend who knows how to bring on the chuckles, an example of faithfulness to look to, or a spoonful of peanut butter, Hannah’s your gal.
Jarrett grew up on a dairy farm with four big brothers, so it’s no wonder he’s learned how to stand his ground. Jarrett exhibits true humility; we saw this during his training schools, when he was forced quite literally to slow down and lean on others after spraining both ankles simultaneously. Jarrett is dependable, hard-working, and full of grace that’s freely extended to others. His heart is not only made of gold – it’s full of love for those around him. He brings joy, enthusiasm, and a sense of wonder to everything he’s a part of. Pro tip to make Jarrett your best friend: ask him if you can treat him to a chocolate milkshake.
Ever meet someone who can walk into a room and with her comes energy and joy? That’s Kendra! Kendra is a bundle of creativity, laughter and compassion. It’s no surprise with her joyful heart and outgoing personality that it’s natural for her to love people deeply and be intentional in relationships. And not just relationships with people, she is intentional to pursue Jesus and proclaim His name boldly because she knows He’s the One who has rescued her. From Kendra’s fiery heart for the Lord, to her fireball personality, we love the spice she brings to our YLou family.
Michael & Rachel Miller
Michael possesses a steady spirit that helps people feel at ease when they’re around him. He has the ability to see outside of circumstances and encourage all of us towards hope. He’s a huge fan of all things sports, especially soccer, the Buckeyes and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Michael loves Amish food, so surprise him with a fry-pie or some Trail bologna and he’ll be a happy guy. Rachel is the kind of person who can easily sense how others are feeling and won’t hesitate to be a listening ear or a helping hand. She has a servant’s heart, and she will go out of her way to make sure someone feels included and loved. If you ever need fashion advice, Rachel is your girl. Get to know her and you may catch yourself getting an ab workout from all the laughing (we hear she’s got some pretty classic crazy faces that will make you die of laughter). If there was ever an efficient couple, that would be Michael and Rachel. Not only are they efficient but they seek out quality and live generously. If you’re invited to their house, there will likely be good coffee, food and conversation.
Tori is a proud Texan with a firecracker personality. They say everything is bigger in Texas, and Tori’s spunk and heart match that; or in other words, she is Texan sweet. Tori doesn’t know a stranger; she deeply invests in people and fights for them, seeking God’s heart of love for them. And not only does she faithfully fight for relationships, but that faithfulness can also be seen in the tasks she takes on, always preferring to take the long way if it means the task will be done well and with excellence. Tori is full of laughter and joy, and is an example of generosity. She’s a sweet addition to our staff family!
Bri has both a talent and a passion for photography and capturing beauty through photos. Similar to the skill needed to take an awesome photo, those who know Bri well say she’s fierce, bold, and adventurous. And not just that, she is a humble learner who has a strong sense of stability because she roots herself in her identity as a daughter of the King. Though she typically doesn’t wear a lot of jewelry, she’s always had a love for unique rings and can bring some serious competition to the volleyball court. We’re so thankful Bri is a part of our YWAM family!
When you first meet Abigail, she may seem quiet and reserved but once you get to know her, you’ll find out that she's funny and witty. Abigail is incredibly faithful and doesn’t take short cuts. Her no compromise attitude extends from getting work done to walking out in truth. She is passionate about art and is fierce competition on the volleyball court. She loves clouds, hot Cheetos and blue Powerade. She brings stability in addition to her many gifts to our YWAM family, and we’re so glad to have her.
When we first met Gabrielle on one of our Mission Adventurers, she had just had knee surgery. Still, she trekked through Nicaraguan neighborhoods with us, sporting her robotic-looking knee brace and signature smile. I guess it’s no wonder that her name means “God is my strength;” we’ve seen her walk that out through life’s ups and downs. Gabrielle’s friendliness makes everyone feel like they belong, and when we say she’s “all in,” we’re not kidding. In her free time, you’ll probably find her reading anime or writing poetry while drinking a matcha latte.
Hertford, North Carolina
If you’re looking for Isaac, there’s a good chance you’ll find him on the stage. Isaac loves using his musical gifts to serve the Lord in worship and is passionate about seeing others encounter God and worship Him alone. Not only do we see him worshipping on the stage, but Isaac is someone who we see worshipping the Lord with his life, living for an audience of One. You can see this in his humble heart and his willingness to follow and obey the Lord in even the smallest of things. Whether you like Hot Cheetos and lots of laughs like Isaac does or not, he’ll be your friend in an instant. People say Kentucky is the northernmost southern state. Isaac definitely keeps us southern and we wouldn’t have it any other way!
If you want to know what a true friend is, Anna is your girl. She is full of life and adventure, always bringing excitement and joy wherever she goes. She is a master of finding the fun side of things, but she is also someone who loves people enough to speak the hard truth, and she does it so graciously that you walk away full of hope. Spend a few minutes with her and you’ll know that Jesus is her deepest desire; she has found Him worthy of everything. Anna’s passion runs deep and is contagious, like her laughter.
Gabe & Madisyn Smith
Iowa / Indiana
Gabe and Maddy’s interests are very different but they compliment each other well—like in the way they exude hospitality, their willingness to run the 2nd mile for others and how they don’t give up on people. Our friend Maddy overflows with loyalty and a joyful care for others. She channels her creative energy into wholehearted service, as well as laying down some perfectly-timed deadpan humor. Maddy leads by example: she leads herself first, making the tough choices in obeying Jesus, and others naturally follow. You’ll often find her playing with kids or sipping a mug of tea. Gabe was a kid on a youth group mission trip when he first made YWAM Louisville’s acquaintance. DTS brought him back, and now he’s a full-time part of our staff family. Gabe’s a good guy with a ready smile and a servant’s heart, attacking the task at hand with enthusiasm and excellence. He’s a natural leader and oozes creative energy, so if you’re wondering what he’s up to on any given evening, he’s probably connecting with a couple of friends, leading a spontaneous worship night, or diving into a book that’s too thick for most of us.
Clayton, North Carolina
Megan is one of those people who will treat you like you’re already friends the moment she meets you. She truly has a gift to make those around her feel like they matter, which often looks like a message letting you know she’s thinking of you or an actual gift to communicate the same thing. She is wild, loyal, adventurous and her extravagant generosity is a beautiful reflection of God’s heart for people. Coffee shops, longboarding, road trips and the lake are some of her favorite things. If you’re ever around her, we dare you to try and not have fun. There’s never a dull moment with Megan! She adds vibrancy to our community we wouldn’t be the same without.
Hannah Joy Thomas
Hannah Joy is a southern belle with a sassy streak that might surprise you. Her name is a perfect depiction of who she is — joy follows her into every situation she finds herself facing. Her bright personality and genuine excitement about life have the ability to immediately brighten any room, and her sharp wit is a tool that often aids her in her quest to bring people together through laughter. Hannah Joy is a diligent and dedicated servant, passionate about being a voice for the voiceless and seeing justice brought to young women who were robbed of it. She’s also constantly looking for new screamo music to add to her repertoire, so if you have any recommendations, be sure to send them her way.
Jake & Gail Troyer
Ohio / Spain
Jake and Gail deeply treasure each other and the people around them. They care for others in the ways they freely open their home, creatively bless, actively listen, and believe the best in people. Jake met Jesus in the middle of the night during spring break in a beach house in Florida, and he’s never been the same since! He has a hunger to walk closely with Jesus and a passion to share God’s heart with others, whether that’s praying for their healing, encouraging others in their walk, or sharing what God’s been revealing to him personally. It’s hard to find a time when Jake isn’t smiling, either because of God’s goodness or a joke he finds hilarious (even if everyone else finds it cheesy). Gail is a gentle sunbeam, bringing warmth and beauty to those around her through joyful creativity and deep relationship. She’s a worshipper through and through, whether it’s writing songs that honor Jesus, delighting in His creation with her photography, or celebrating what God has done in the people around her. Gail has many talents, but she’s quiet about it, so you might have to bribe her with Chick-Fil-A to get her to show them off. Together, Jake and Gail are unstoppable.
Just take a few moments with Kate and you’ll immediately see that she’s a passionate person. It’s even evident in the way she talks a mile a minute! More than anything, she pursues truth and is serious about obedience and surrender to the Lord. Kate is a loyal friend and an avid iced chai drinker—and since she used to be a barista, don’t be afraid to ask her to make you one! Kate has a love not only for hand-crafted beverages but also for the seeing Jesus made known among unreached people, especially in South Asia. Kate is as likely to be kickin’ it with her grandma as anyone her age. We think she’s remarkably mature for her age, so maybe that’s why; she just says she has an “old soul.” Either way, her depth and commitment make her a solid friend for anyone of any age.
West Chester, Ohio
Cole is the kind of friend who is ready to slow down, listen, and drink a good cup of coffee. He’s someone who values deep friendship and has a gift for making others feel welcomed and heard. Cole worships the Lord simply by the way he loves God and others–but you can also find him on the guitar leading others in literal worship as well. Though Cole may seem reserved, don’t be fooled; Cole has a competitive flare. Whether it’s with boxing, soccer, or a game of Sudoku–he’s ready to win. But, even in competition, he has others in mind. He cares about relationships and walks in humility. Cole brings so much to our base!