The Fortunes arrived in Cedar Rapids in November 2020, all the way from Denton, Texas -- Justin's hometown. Justin spent five years at Denton Bible Church, where he was a volunteer student leader, Student Ministries intern, on staff as the Student Worship Coordinator, and most recently as the Student Ministries Guys Discipleship Coordinator. His ministry philosophy is focused on using small groups and relational discipleship to shepherd students and leaders toward Christ. Justin and his wife Jessica were married in May of 2017 and their daughter Elouise was born in June of 2018. Justin is excited about jumping headfirst into a church that is so family and relationally focused. He can’t wait to not only share the gospel of Christ with everyone but to share his own life as well. Justin said, "From the time that I was a student, I have always had a deep passion for youth ministry. I've seen the ministry of Jesus brought to fruition by meaningful Gospel-based relationships with students, volunteers, and co-workers, and it's nothing short of worshipful and life-giving." In his spare time, Justin loves to write stories and poems, play music, and build things in my workshop. He warns people to not let first impressions fool you. He declares that he is a world-class goofball.
Julie comes from the small town of New London, Iowa, with a whopping 46 students in her graduating class. Sports were a key part of Julie’s high school life - basketball, volleyball, and softball. She continued playing basketball at Mount Mercy University, right here in Cedar Rapids, where she met her husband Justin. Julie has served as a Middle School sponsor since 2010. She said, “I love how middle school students are a beautiful combination of kid and adult. They still have childlike energy and zeal but are beginning to think deeper and find their niche. I love watching the transformation process that happens both physically and spiritually. Many students really make their faith their own and it is a blessing to watch it happen.” As a Ministry Associate, Julie is excited to encourage and challenge students to grow in their faith and to make their faith their own. She looks forward to reading God’s Word with them and watch it come to life in their eyes. For fun, you guessed it, Julie, Justin and their daughter Aria, like to be active and play and watch sports together. She also loves to read and walk her dog!
Andrew was raised in Marion and basically grew up at NCBC. Following high school, Andrew spent two years with Operation Mobilization on Logos II, one of OM’s mercy ships. Andrew and his wife Erin knew each other in high school and began dating when he was a senior. They were married in 2007. Andrew taught math at Jefferson High School for nine years, as well as coached tennis there for five years. Andrew believes that more discipleship happens in the home than anywhere else. He is excited to empower and equip parents to lead their family to think, feel, and act like Jesus. He is looking forward to syncing up all our children’s, student and college ministries toward the common goal of discipling our kids toward Christ-likeness. Andrew’s home is self-described as busy and loud with three boys – Tommy (2014), Charlie (2016) and Joey (2018), with another one due in January 2021. IF he had free time, he loves fitness and exercise, hunting and fishing, as well as reading and good coffee… but with rambunctious kids, those activities are few and far between. Andrew and Erin do love to cook together, so they try to carve out time for that whenever possible.