garrett nates

lead pastor

Garrett serves Oxford Bible Fellowship as the lead pastor, with primary responsibilities for vision, preaching and leadership development. His passions are to help people come into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ by connecting the transforming power of God’s grace to their everyday life and to unleash a generation of leaders who, by the power of the Holy Spirit, will change the world for Christ. Prior to joining the Oxford Bible Fellowship staff in 2015, he served for 14 years at College Church in Wheaton, IL.

 

Garrett and his wife, Naomi, met during their high school years in Colorado Springs, CO. He attended Biola University in La Mirada, CA and Wheaton College Graduate School in Wheaton, IL. They have four active children: Ezekiel, Landon, Moriah, and Breck.  


Their family enjoys being outdoors in God’s creation, snow skiing in Colorado, soccer anywhere there is open space and anything to do with Chicago sports. 


Contact: gnates@obf.org


Derek whalen

pastor for local and global outreach

Derek joined Oxford Bible Fellowship staff in 2010.  He loves the vitality of Oxford Bible Fellowship that is expressed in the mix of community people and college students. Derek attended Cedarville University for undergrad and received his masters in systematic theology from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. 


He and his wife, Christy, have three kids: Derek, Deanna and Charis. Their family loves just about anything sports, outside activities, and spending time together. Even though he has lived in the Midwest for most his adult life, he remains a true fan of all his home town sports teams....Philadelphia!


Contact: dwhalen@obf.org


EMANUEL ISTRATE

pastor for student ministries

Emanuel joined the Oxford Bible Fellowship staff in July 2016.  He previously served as an associate pastor at Crossroads Community Church in Carol Stream, IL.  Emanuel is passionate about the Gospel and excited to be a part of God’s work in the lives of students. Emanuel attended Moody Bible Institute for his undergrad and is currently pursuing a master's degree in theological studies. 


Emanuel and his wife, Melissa, met during his time at Moody.  They have three children: Moriah, Ezekiel, and Eden. As a family, they love being active outdoors, spending time with friends and family and, traveling to new places. Emanuel loves watching and playing all sports but has only one true love, and that is soccer! 


Contact: eistrate@obf.org


JUSTIN KAILER

Ministry associate for STUDENT MINISTRIES

Justin joined the Oxford Bible Fellowship staff in January 2019.  As Ministry Associate for Student Ministries, he supports the Pastor for Student Ministries, primarily by developing and teaching curriculum for our middle school students. He loves seeing how the truths of faith take hold and change students' perspectives and priorities in life.


Justin began attending Oxford Bible Fellowship while studying economics at Miami University, from which he graduated in 2013. He then served with a missions’ organization in the country of Fiji for a year before returning to Oxford and marrying his wife, Alexandria. Justin loves playing sports and is an avid fan of all Pittsburgh’s professional teams and Liverpool F.C. He also enjoys board games, learning about church history, reading fiction, and spending time with friends. 


Contact:  jkailer@obf.org


ANGIE DUNN

director of children's MINISTRY

Angie joined the Oxford Bible Fellowship staff in 2014. As director of children's ministry, she desires to see children come to know the Lord and grow in Him as well as equip parents to train their children in what it looks like to follow Christ with their lives. Angie earned her bachelor degree in science and masters degree in secondary education from Xavier University and is a former high school physics teacher. 


Angie and her husband, Rich, have three children: Ella, Caleb, and Joshua.  They have been attending Oxford Bible Fellowship since 2007. She enjoys spending time outdoors with her family and gardening. 


Contact:  adunn@obf.org


ELLEN HERNANDEZ

MINISTRY ASSociate for children's ministry

Ellen joined the Oxford Bible Fellowship staff in September 2018. As children’s ministry assistant, she provides help and support to the director of children’s ministry. She loves making the Bible practical and understandable for small children. 


Ellen grew up in Oxford and started attending Oxford Bible Fellowship when she was two years old! Ellen earned her bachelor’s degree in anthropology with a minor in Spanish from Miami University. Prior to working at Oxford Bible Fellowship, she was a missionary in Mexico for 14 years.  Ellen and her husband Oscar have two children: Ana and Josh. Ellen enjoys painting, cooking, being outdoors, and spending time with her family. 


Contact: ehernandez@obf.org


NAOMI NATES

Director of communications

Naomi joined the Oxford Bible Fellowship staff in January 2019. 


Naomi grew up in Latin America and as a teenager traveled to various countries every summer for mission trips. In May 2001, Naomi graduated from Wheaton College with a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education and married Garrett. In that same month they began full time ministry and Naomi worked as a specialized teacher at a local school in West Chicago, IL. The Lord blessed them with 4 children in 5 years and she became a full-time mommy. 


Naomi enjoys all the joys of being a "soccer mom," cooking up satiating meals for family and friends, and serving the Lord as a certified yoga instructor and health coach. 


Contact: nnates@obf.org


Sue McGuire

MINISTRY ASSISTANT

Sue joined the Oxford Bible Fellowship staff in January 2014. As a ministry assistant, she provides help and support to the staff and members in administrative tasks. 


Sue’s husband Mike is retired military, and they have two daughters: Erin and Kelly, and two schnauzers: Stanley and Stella. Sue enjoys experimenting in the kitchen during winter months and gardening and boating or just being outdoors in the warmer ones.


Contact: info@obf.org


STEVE GIFFORD

director of facilities AND OPERATIONS

Steve joined the Oxford Bible Fellowship Staff in October 2017.  As bookkeeper, he works with the church staff and an off-site accountant to manage the church’s finances.

Steve grew up in Oxford and attended Miami University where he earned his Business degree, but more importantly, where he met his wife, Sarah. After years of following Steve’s career in automotive engineering through Michigan, Kentucky and Indiana, Steve and Sarah are happy to be back home in Oxford among family and friends. Their children, Josh and Maddie are both active duty Marines stationed in California and North Carolina, respectively.


Contact: sgifford@obf.org

Charis Whalen

first impressions team leader

Charis joined the Oxford Bible Fellowship Staff in August 2020. As a first impressions team leaders, she provides oversight to our first impressions team. 


Charis moved to Oxford with her family in 2010 and has called OxBF her home since then. As a third-year student at Miami University studying Journalism and International Relations, Charis' heart for people and communication is why the First Impressions team is such a great fit!













Zach Schlake

worship ministries assistant

Zach joined the Oxford Bible Fellowship Staff in August 2020. 


As the worship ministries assistant, he records music and produces the online services as well as coordinating technical components of in-person gatherings. He is passionate about music, and he loves worshipping alongside others and using his gifts to glorify God. 


Zach has been attending Oxford Bible Fellowship with his family since he was in 2nd grade. He is currently a senior at Talawanda High School and plans on pursuing music as a career. 












Elders

Page Farmer

Garrett Nates

Daryl Nelson

Sam Perry

Jeff Blakeley

Bob Mack

Derek Whalen


Contact: elders@obf.org