Michael Lee / Lead Pastor
Michael was born in South Korea and lived in Argentina before moving to the U.S. where he grew up in Seattle. His ministry experience has spanned three decades and has included being a church planter, pastor, and professor in both Seattle and Los Angeles. He graduated from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (D.Min.)and Gateway Theological Seminary (M.Div.). He enjoys drinking good coffee, hiking, fishing, and anything outdoors. Michael is married to his best friend, Mink, and together they have three children: Karis, Kayla, and Nathan. His family goal is to be the same person at home as he is in public.
Robert Gorini / Worship Pastor
Robert was born and raised in Central Florida before moving his family
out to the Seattle Washington area in 2021. He is married to his wife Nicole and together they have two children. Through service to his local church and community, Robert has developed skills in the areas of worship renewal, pastoral care, and education. As both practitioner and academic, he has developed a unique worship methodology which blends academic rigor with pastoral sensitivity. Robert holds a Master of Theology (M.Th.)from Brewer Christian Graduate School and a Doctor of Worship Studies (D.W.S.)from The Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies.
Sara Hwang / Children's & Young Adults Pastor
On a trip to the rural western countryside of South Korea at the age of twenty-one, Sara was called into ministry and hasn't looked back. Sara was born in Daegu, S. Korea, and was raised in Seattle before moving to Boston for four years to complete her undergraduate studies at Boston University. After graduating, she moved back to Korea for about a decade, working full-time in children's ministry. She's married to Chris and have two high-energy boys, Zion & Leon. Sara has a secret gift and knows the best dessert places in town. Ask her!
John Lee / Experience Pastor
John was born in Federal Way, Washington and has lived in the Pacific Northwest all his life. His ministry experience began here at Encounter Church and is still serving faithfully. John finished his undergraduate at the University of Washington and then attended Gateway Seminary to finish his Masters in Theological Studies. He is married to his beautiful wife Susie with toddler Rainier. He enjoys hiking and fly fishing. John believes in the power of the local church and continues to guide others in growing Gospel-centered disciples.
Christian Griffith/ Youth Pastor
Christian was born in Landstuhl, Germany. Though his dad’s military career caused his family to move a lot, he considers Charlottesville, Virginia his hometown. In August 2023 Christian moved from Virginia to Washington with his wife, Avanna, and his two-year-old Bernedoodle, Swarlie. Christian spends most of his free time running and reading. He also loves basketball (Go Warriors) and is obsessed with Christmas. He will graduate with a Master of Divinity from the Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology in May 2024.
Eric Go / College Director
Eric was born in Richland, WA and his parents moved to the Seattle area
when he was just a toddler. Before Eric committed to intern, he was in the Digital Marketing field. Eric has been attending Encounter Church for years and has a part of many ministries, such as, setup & breakdown, guest services, and AVL. Eric's hobbies include gaming, building computers, modifying cars, tennis, and cooking. Eric's family just grew in number last year. He's married to his beautiful wife Feiya along with his son Eleazar, and two dogs Ein and Fin.
Phyllis Knoll / Facilities Manager
Phyllis began her life in Lynnwood, WA and one of the rare Washington natives. She's been serving the church in various roles for the past 17 years from Book-keeper, Administrator to her role now. She's married to an amazing husband Mark and have a beautiful adult daughter, Joanna, who just graduated from the University of Washington. As soft spoken as Phyllis is, she makes it possible for us to Worship every weekday and weekend.
Matt Nielsen / Sound Technician
Matt was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. He works as a Logistics Specialist for a seafood company called Aqua Star and has faithfully been a part of our team since 2016. He is currently engaged to his girlfriend of five years along with his giant fur baby, Oscar. Matt is a fan of Seattle sports, loves playing music with friends, gardening, skateboarding, and golf. His hobbies have recently extended to carpentry, painting, and landscaping.