Born in Ohio and raised in St. Petersburg, Mike’s life took a dramatic turn as a freshman at the University of Florida. He connected with Jesus, began his faith journey, and got involved with what is now the Greenhouse Church. He has served as a youth leader, youth pastor, associate pastor, and lead pastor. He is married to his Puerto Rican bride, Ruth (Rivera), and they have been fruitful and multiplied, having eight children. Mike is a lover of innovation, leadership, cultures, languages, communication, sports, and chocolate. He is spending his life for the sake of souls, disciples, justice, and nations. But his deepest passion is his first love: knowing Jesus. He blogs at Mikepatz.com.
Robbie encountered the love of Jesus in the Sante Fe College library on July 7, 1998. After completing his degree in business at the University of Florida, Robbie participated in our internship program for 2 years, married his amazing wife Amanda, and joined our staff as youth pastor in 2002. Robbie now oversees all our macro-church gatherings and the University Campus. Robbie and Amanda have two children, Anna and Matthew. He was also a part of 2 Greenhouse Basketball League Championship teams.
Joel Romelus was born to Haitian parents in Miami, Florida, where he encountered the Lord at a young age and made the decision to serve Him. However, he didn’t truly begin to grow as a disciple until he connected with Greenhouse in the fall of 2010 at Breakthrough Weekend. After he completed his bachelor’s degree in business management/international business, he moved to Gainesville for the Greenhouse Internship. Joel currently serves as the University Campus Pastor, and his passion is to see people of all ethnicities and backgrounds become ignited with a passion for God and a desire to shine His glory on the earth. He enjoys playing sports, writing poetry, communicating, and learning about different cultures. Joel loves Haiti, and his beautiful wife Stephanie.
Matt was born and raised in Vero Beach, FL. Not coming from a Christian home, he met Jesus through an elderly woman in a Savannah ghetto in 1999. Since then, he has been trying to follow Jesus while avoiding the snares of Christendom. He graduated from UF with a degree in World Religions and also attended Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, CA. After returning from Fuller, Matt got plugged into the Greenhouse Church and joined the staff in January of 2008. He is married to his more beautiful half, Tracy, and has two daughters, Alethea and Adalie.
Angélica was born and raised in Colombia, and moved to the United States as a teenager. She attended the University of Florida and earned her bachelor’s degree while founding a non-profit for vulnerable children abroad. She later moved to New York to attend a master’s program in public administration at Syracuse University. Angélica led the international student program at Santa Fe College before coming on board at Greenhouse to partner with Pastor Mike and develop our Communications department. She is passionate about justice, innovation, developing people to use their gifts for Kingdom pursuits, and her beautiful family. Angélica is married to Oscar, and together they have two beautiful children, Luna and Lucas.
Mike was born and raised in Jacksonville, Fl. He came to Gainesville in 2007 to attend the University of Florida. In the fall of 2009, Mike encountered Jesus in a big way, and his life would never be the same. Mike has an incredible love for students and desires to see students utilize the gifts God has given them. Mike is married to his childhood best friend, Danielle.
Franco graduated with a pre-law degree from Florida State University, and also completed course study from the Institute of Biblical Studies (180 hours), and Bethel Leadership School (Redding, Cal.). His world was radically “rocked’ when the Lord captured his heart and became his 1st love while being on the FSU football team. Since then he has had the privilege of preaching Jesus around the world, while helping plant numerous churches and campus ministries before joining the staff at Greenhouse Church. His passion is to help people be “sold out” to Jesus, and help establish strong missional churches. Franco is deeply in love with his wife, Mary Lou, and their 5 children who run a family business together with their patented products Flu-B-Gone™ and Immune Booster Express.
Andrea was born in Jacksonville, Fl and moved to Gainesville in 2009 to attend UF after earning a degree in Biochemistry and Psychology from Jacksonville University. After finishing school at UF, she entered the Greenhouse Internship before coming on staff. Andrea is passionate about seeing the Gospel spread from Gainesville to the nations through holistic, sustainable, wise, and humble missional endeavors. She loves cultures, outdoor adventures, “northern” tea, and woodland creatures, especially bears.
Renee is passionate about worship and discipleship. She has been ministering since 1990 and earned an M. A. in Practical Theology at Regent University in 2004. She spent several years in Moscow, Russia as a missionary with her husband, Phil, and after returning to Florida in 1994 she continued to travel to numerous nations ministering the beauty of the Gospel message. She loves seeing people connected to God, each other, and serving in the kingdom. She has two daughters and four grandchildren and enjoys interior design.
Steve has 20 years experience as a Worship leader in North Central Florida. His musical style ranges from Gospel, Contemporary, Rock and Smooth Jazz. His influences in worship music are Israel Houghton, Fred Hammond, Tye Tribbett, Hillsong, Jesus Culture, Planet Shakers, etc. He is very passionate about being a disciple of Jesus, leading the body of Christ into true Worship and equipping and raising up Worship leaders. He came here in 2007 and oversees Greenhouse Worship. He is married to Sara, and they have three children; Zoe, Noah, and Micah.
Eric Dinius was born and raised in Bradenton, Fl. He came to UF in 2006 and encountered the radical love of Jesus during the summer after his freshman year. After graduating with a Bachelors degree in Construction Management, he entered into an internship at the Greenhouse Church, where he helped to lead the college ministry. He left temporarily to work in his field of study and then got married to the girl of his dreams, Jillian. They both have a passion to help people fall in love with Jesus and equip them to take the gospel to the nations!
Samara was born and raised in Gainesville, FL at Greenhouse. She started following Jesus when she was just six years old, and has continued ever since! Samara moved to Orlando to attend the University of Central Florida and eventually moved back to Gainesville to pursue full time ministry. Samara is passionate about teaching children how to worship, pray for the sick, hear from God, and tell others about Him. She aspires to create an environment where all children have the opportunity to express their love for God and receive His love for them while becoming familiar with His presence. Samara loves her husband, Jared; together they enjoy leading worship, the beach, and spending time with their families.
Born in Puerto Rico, Ruth moved to Florida in 1989 and connected with Greenhouse with her mom. She married Mike Patz in 1994 and they’ve been on an adventure ever since. She’s passionate about emotionally healthy spirituality, prayer, healing, and the supernatural. Ruth loves to read and play volleyball, and spending time with Mike and their 8 children.
Tim and his family moved to Gainesville in 1986 and began attending the Greenhouse Church in 1998. He is Greenhouse Churches facility director. He has served in various ministries, including Youth, Technical Production, and Breakthrough. Tim loves to golf, and is married to Tracey, and they have two children, T.J. & Leah.
Erik was born and raised in Gainesville, FL. He grew up coming to Greenhouse before moving to Tampa in 2011 to complete his degree in Exercise Physiology at USF. After graduating, the Lord called him to pursue ministry and participate in the Greenhouse Internship. His passion for youth and desire to be on the mission field led him to do exactly those two things in here in Gainesville and around the world. His desire is to see young people have authentic encounters with Jesus. Erik loves his wife Courtney, their baby boy Samuel, exercising, and trying new foods.
Jared was born and raised in Gainesville, FL and studied Show Production in Orlando. After working in New Orleans, he married his high school sweetheart, Samara, and in 2017 they moved back to Gainesville. Jared joined the Greenhouse staff shortly thereafter as the Technical Arts Coordinator, overseeing training and operations of the Tech Department. Jared enjoys leading worship with his wife, jazz music, and all things Google.
Julie moved to Gainesville in 2007 from New York with her two lovely children, Brittany and Jared. Julie was a Greenhouse Church volunteer for over 5 years before joining the staff in November of 2012. She handles Operations at Greenhouse including Sunday services, Breakthrough Weekends, Arnold’s Missions Cafe, and the development of future satellite churches. Julie loves the NY Yankees!
Gemima grew up in the funniest Haitian household in South Florida. Haiti runs through her blood and holds a special place in her heart. Jesus began to draw her in as a teenager but wasn’t until she got to college where she decided to make him the king of her life. She found herself in Gainesville in 2013 as a freshman on the University of Florida campus where she studied Journalism and Communications with a concentration in African American Studies. A summer internship at Greenhouse led her to eventually participate in the year-long Greenhouse Internship after graduation. Both programs played a large role in shaping her relationship with Jesus and sparked a desire to dedicate her life to loving Him deeply. Gemima loves hype-ness and making people laugh, but can be fully satisfied alone with a pile of books. She is passionate about the Haitian people, storytelling, songwriting, her sisters and sweet-smelling flower bouquets.
Matt was born in the Philippines, where both his parents served as missionaries for New Tribes. He moved to Orlando when he was seven and then moved to Gainesville in 2010 where he studied photojournalism and visual communications at the University of Florida. Shortly after graduating, Matt moved back to Orlando for work and married his beautiful wife, Jenny.
In 2017, Matt and Jenny traveled the country in a self-converted camper van named Howl. They intended to travel for a full year, but God had other plans. They moved back to Gainesville in January 2018 and immediately reconnected with Greenhouse Church.
Matt is passionate about design and visual communication and makes frequent backpacking/camping trips to the Ocala National Forest where he captures the beauty of God’s design through his photography.
Aldreka was raised in Tampa, Florida, and moved to Gainesville to attend UF in 2010. After giving her life to Jesus at a Breakthrough Weekend, Aldreka graduated from UF and participated in the Greenhouse Internship in the Youth Ministry track. She is passionate about spreading the hope of Jesus to all generations (Ps. 89:1). Aldreka is currently working towards her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Liberty University, and she loves giraffes, reading, cooking, and listening to all types of music.
Angel was born in San Jose, California, and grew up in Jacksonville, Florida where he met Jesus in his late teen years. Angel began attending Greenhouse when he came to Gainesville to study biology and medicine at the University of Florida, however, after participating in the church’s summer internship, the trajectory of his life changed- “I learned what it mean to seek God and to hear his voice, and the direction of my life shifted from medicine to ministry.” Because college was such a turning point in his own life, Angel is passionate about helping college students discover their purpose and dedicate their lives to fulfilling the call God has for them. Half of his time on the Greenhouse staff is spent leading Hospitality and volunteers for our University Campus, while the other half of his time he leads and preaches at our Grace Marketplace ministry where we work to restore those suffering from homelessness. In his free time, Angel enjoys video games, skim boarding, martial arts, heist and superhero movies, being with friends, and trying new restaurants. “Oh, and I was in a fraternity in college, so I really like bow ties.”
Brooke was born and raised in Jacksonville, FL. She came to Gainesville in 2006 to attend the University of Florida where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Family, Youth, and Community Sciences. During her senior year at UF, she rediscovered and encountered the love and grace of Jesus Christ. This was when she connected with Greenhouse. She has a deep passion for youth and families, and loves watching people encounter God as they discover their gifts. Brooke loves road trips, the beach, coffee, and scaring people!
Janine was born and raised in Miami, Florida. She attended the University of Florida and graduated in 2013 with a degree in Sociology and a minor in Health Disparities. Janine returned to Gainesville in the spring of 2014, attending Breakthrough in July of the same year, where God showed up in a big way and her life radically changed for the better. Janine has an incredible love for toddlers and pre-school aged children and has been serving in Sprouts as the Toddler room lead teacher since 2015. Janine is currently the Kid Keeper Coordinator for Greenhouse as well as privately tutors elementary aged students. Janine loves cooking Jamaican dishes, Pokemon, exploring state parks, visiting thrift shops, trying mom & pop restaurants, and traversing beaches with her husband, Sean.
Betty has been with the Greenhouse for over 28 years and has enjoyed many roles during that time. She currently serves as the Operations Assistant. Betty is a widow, with 3 adult children and 8 grandchildren. She enjoys writing for her blog, Betty Walks the Way.
Wendy was raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and moved to West Palm Beach, FL, in her early teenage years. In 2006, Wendy relocated to Gainesville to attend the University of Florida, where God radically transformed her life. At UF, she earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Family, Youth and Community Sciences with a concentration in Nonprofit Organizational Leadership.
Before joining our staff, Wendy completed the Greenhouse Internship. Her passion is to see others, especially teenagers, rise to their full potential and know their identity in Christ. Currently, Wendy coordinates the different local missions initiatives in East Gainesville. She enjoys learning about different cultures, traveling, and being outdoors with her journal or a good read.
Born in New Jersey and raised in Miami, Fl., Priscilla connected with Jesus as an 8-year-old girl when her dad got saved and invited her to church. She came to Gainesville in 2004 to attend the University of Florida and never left! Both Chi Alpha and Greenhouse Church profoundly impacted her walk with Jesus, teaching her to live out her faith passionately and in the community. Priscilla longs to see families and children radically changed by Jesus and equipped to walk out their faith in everyday life. Priscilla, her amazing hubby Ken, and their three kiddos enjoy visiting state parks, playing board games, and living life with their friends and family!
Sarah was born in Miami, Florida and grew up in Orlando before moving to Gainesville to attend the University of Florida in 2010. After graduating from UF, she spent a year in the Greenhouse Internship before joining the Tech department for 4 years. She now serves as an Executive Assistant to Pastor Robbie. Sarah is pursing a master’s degree in psychology, and enjoys traveling, softball, babies, coffee, Spanish, and the Chicago Cubs; and spends much of her time as a freelance photographer and high school softball coach.
Tiffany was born and raised in Gainesville. She gave her life to Jesus at Greenhouse while in college in 2014. God softened and broke her heart for what breaks his- during the 2015 Greenhouse Summer internship, God ignited a purpose in her to reach senior adults in nursing homes and remind them of God’s faithfulness and that he has not forgotten them nor has never forsaken them. For the next three years God continued to grow Tiffany and prepare her for this calling. God moved her into global missions for a year and continued to burden her heart for senior adults. Tiffany returned home and did the year long internship in 2017 where this calling and purpose was confirmed. Now she works in full time ministry with local outreach to senior adults. Tiffany loves her husband Dylan, plants, fashion, aesthetically appealing places, sports and baking with her grandma.
Sean was raised in Fernandina Beach, FL and graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in Telecommunications in 2012. After graduating college, Sean’s life shifted after encountering Jesus at Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC. He moved back to Gainesville in the summer of 2013 to work for the UF athletic department – that’s where God introduced him to Greenhouse Church. Sean joined the Greenhouse staff at the beginning of 2017 where he now oversees Church Online and produces video content. Sean has a hunger to tell others his story of redemption and he really enjoys the beach, food & talking.
After serving in the military for 8 years, Jorge married Lisa, the woman of his dreams, in 2003. Regardless of how hard they tried, there was something missing- it was God. In 2008, Jorge and Lisa started to attend Greenhouse church and during a Breakthrough Weekend in 2009, Jorge and Lisa both surrendered their lives to Jesus. It was such a marking moment for both of them that they decided to live a life entirely surrendered to God and His purpose for them. They both believe that there is nothing more loving that a person can do for another than to introduce and encourage a strong intimate relationship with God.
I accepted Jesus as my savior in third grade at a Christian summer camp. It turns out that my mom and step-dad did the same while I was away. Shortly after coming home from camp, all three of us were baptized on the same day. While I have never lost my faith, during high-school and college following Jesus was not one of my top priorities. After coming to Gainesville in 1992 for graduate school and meeting Monica, I once again began regularly attending church. Gradually, my faith began to move back to the center of my life. Monica and I have been blessed with 3 children. What originally brought us to the Greenhouse Church was the children and youth ministries. We are so thankful for the leaders that have poured into our children over the past 3+ years. Recently, my family and I have been leading worship at the Greenhouse at GRACE service. We have built some wonderful relationships and it has been awesome watching God work in the lives of some in this homeless community.
David and Missi Lower have been married for 20 years and have 5 wonderful children aging from 18 to 10 years old. They are: Zachariah, Caleb, Luke, Aaron, and Sarah. They have been active members at Greenhouse Church (formerly First Assembly) in Gainesville for over 10 years. Over the years we have served in youth ministry, as area directors of Fellowship of Christian Athletes, an elder, and led different home groups. David has previously served as a deacon, ending a three-year term two years ago, and is looking forward to returning. Currently, the Lowers co-lead a microchurch with Rusty and Mildred Russell. By occupation, David is a physical therapist and owns Gainesville Physical Therapy & Wellness. It is our passion to help couples and individuals live lives of faith in Christ and to walk in victory over their circumstances.