Born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan; Mike attended Central Michigan University on an athletic scholarship and graduated with degrees in Marketing and Advertising in 1986. He worked with several West Michigan advertising agencies before studying at Concordia Theological Seminary where he received his Master of Divinity degree in 1994. He served for nine years as a pastor in the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. From 2003 to 2013 he worked as a Marketing Director for two prominent evangelical publishing houses in Grand Rapids: Zonderan and Baker Publishing Group. Mike and his wife Mary, have five children and he presently serves as a Sub-Deacon in the Antiochian Orthodox Church.