Leadership

Elders & Staff

Staff

Philip Miles

Lead Pastor

Philip became the Lead Pastor of Sunrise Church in 2019 after serving for 8 months as the interim Pastor.

Philip became a Christian when he was in middle school. He determined that he wanted to serve God in service to his church when he was in high school and after high school, he attended Arlington Baptist College in Arlington, TX and received his bachelor's degree in Pastoral Studies.

He met Kari, his amazing wife, at Arlington Baptist College in 1997. They were married in 1999 and now have four wonderful kiddos: Gavin, Gunner, Mayleigh and Griffin. The Miles family has served in ministries from Florida to Washington and Texas to Michigan and they love calling Midland home.

In his free time, he loves spending time with his family  creating ways to have fun and trying to invent new ways to be competitive with one another, boring his wife about whatever podcast he's into, fixing things around the house, playing guitar, golfing and Seahawks football.

TJ Marshall

Youth and Worship Minister

TJ joined the staff of Sunrise Church as the Youth and Worship Leader in 2021.

TJ became a Christian in 1997. He served faithfully for about 15 years as a lay leader at a previous church in Bay City as a youth pastor, worship leader and associate pastor.  It was there that, as a teen, he met Andrea. They were married in 2009 and have three young kids: Chasen, Kenzee and Kaylee.

Before joining the staff at Sunrise, TJ had a long career installing HVAC insulation. In his free time, he loves spending time with his family, being outdoors and camping, playing board games, playing guitar, brushing up on American history or apologetics and secretly indulging his enjoyment for Star Wars, Star Trek and lots of other things sci-fy and nerdy.

Melissa Roberts

Office Manager

Melissa joined Sunrise as a member and the staff in 2015.

Melissa  met her husband, David, in 1991 and they were married the following year. They have three children: Luke, Isaac and Bethany. Luke lives in South Korea. Isaac is married to Moriah, who are expecting their first baby soon. Bethany is in college studying manufacturing engineering.

Melissa became a follower of Christ when she was 10 years old. She and her husband have served churches in North Carolina, Michigan and New York where David has pastored. Here at Sunrise, Melissa is able to use those past ministry experiences and her administrative abilities to assist the Elders and members of our church.

Melissa enjoys quilting and looking for treasures at thrift stores and yard sales. Her favorite movie is The Princess Bride and instead of eating out, she prefers cooking at home. She also loves making sure the church is getting the best deal on any and everything.

Elders

Jim Cross

Lay Elder

Jim has been a member of Sunrise Church since 2003 and has served as an Elder of Sunrise since 2010.

Jim married Gail in 1979 and they have two sons: Jeff and Matt. Jeff is married to Kimi and  they have two sons as well: Tavish and Devereaux.

Jim became a Christian in 1981. Since then, he has desired to grow in his faith and has served in whatever church God has placed them. In addition to being an Elder, Jim leads a Community Group, serves on our Missions and Outreach Team and leads our monthly prayer meeting.

Jim retired from Dow Corning where he was a Chemical Engineer and since then has been working on his golf game and going all over the country to visits his grandsons and take Matt to his favorite NASCAR sites. You might have also seen Jim riding his bike all around town or even had him drop by unexpectedly while he's out on a ride. He loves Michigan sports and sporting his signature Michigan skull cap in the winter.

Kevin Nehrt

Lay Elder

Kevin has been a part of Sunrise Church ever since it began in 1998. He is one of our few remaining charter members and has blessed Sunrise over the years by serving in just about every capacity you can imagine. He has been an Elder since the very beginning.

Kevin married Janelle in 1993. Together they have three adult kids: Christa, who lives in Indianapolis, Matthew, a full-time student as Michigan State University and Makayla, a full-time student at Central Michigan University.

Kevin became a Christian at the age of eight and was baptized a few weeks later. Throughout the course of his life, he has never wandered or wavered in his faith, but in his young adult years did begin to take seriously his spiritual growth and has been an avid student of God's word ever since.

In his free time, he enjoys camping, canoeing, spending time with his family and traveling. He's also known to procure Bibles and has been caught giving them away to those without one. He enjoys true crime shows and documentaries and mostly only reads non-fiction. Kevin loves a good steak and can be found enjoying said steak at Outback Steakhouse when given the choice.

John Vander Male

Lay Elder

John has been a member of Sunrise Church since 1999 and has served as an Elder of Sunrise since 2008.

John married Duffy in 1982 and they have two daughters and a son: Meghan, Julie and Tim. Julie is married to Javier and  they have one daughter: Lucia. Julie is newly wed to Corey.

John grew up in a Christian home, but didn't really become a Christian until he was an adult. Over the years, John grew in his relationship with Christ and, through, his engagement with other mature men, felt that he was called to serve Christ's church as an Elder. In addition to being an Elder, John leads a Community Group and is a teacher in our Children's Church ministry.

John is trained as a Mechanical Engineer and is semi-retired, meaning he retired from Dow Corning, but liked working so much that he went back for Dow. In his free time, John loves fishing and eating the fish he's caught, traveling, reading a good book and his family loves to play games together. John also likes history, particularly stories about the American Civil War and World War 2.