Rick Thiemke is a devoted follower of Jesus Christ. After coming to faith as a teenager and influencing his family to follow Christ, Rick felt compelled to dedicate his life to communicating the message of God’s love expressed through Jesus. After 14 years as a staff pastor at large churches (mainly youth, college, and administration), Rick led a church in a southwest Chicago suburb (Yorkville, IL) through a major revitalization.
Starting with just 18 members and 50 in attendance, the church experienced dramatic growth with the majority of the congregation being new believers. By 2011, New Life Church averaged over 900 in attendance with 67% of the congregation receiving Christ at New Life Church during the 11 years of Rick’s leadership.
In May of 2011, Rick assumed the role of Lead Pastor at Via Church in Mesa, Arizona. This well established church exists to reflect the hope of Christ so others can do the same. They are passionate about reaching Mesa with the Good News of Jesus Christ. Via Church places high value on being: Bible-based, Authentic, Sent, Intergenerational and Compassionate.
Rick has a heart for missions locally and globally. Over the course of his time in ministry, he has had the privilege of leading teams and ministering in the following countries: Costa Rica, Russia/Siberia (5x), Ukraine, Romania, Philippines, Mexico, Uganda (2x), Peru, Nicaragua, Malaysia, South Africa (2x), Cuba, India, Albania (2x) and many U.S. destinations.
A native of Milwaukee, WI, Rick loves waterskiing and riding motorcycles. Rick serves on the global advisory board of One Hope International (Book of Hope). One Hope’s mission is: God’s Word. Every Child.
He graduated from North Central University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Pastoral Studies. Rick lives in Mesa, Arizona. He is married to Susan and they have two adult children, Brittany and Kyle.