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 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 67% of the congregation having received 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 proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ in Mesa, Greater Phoenix, and the world. Via Church places high value on being: Bible-based, Authentic, Sent, Intergenerational and Compassionate.
Rick has a heart for God’s mission locally and globally. Over the course of his time in ministry, he has had the privilege of leading teams and ministering around the world: Costa Rica, Russia/Siberia, Ukraine, Romania, Philippines, Mexico, Uganda, Peru, Nicaragua, Malaysia, South Africa, Cuba, India, Albania, Austria, Canada, and many U.S. destinations.
A native of Milwaukee, WI, Rick loves boating and waterskiing - especially enjoying the lakes near Mesa. Rick has served on the global advisory board of One Hope International (Book of Hope). Currently, he serves on the Executive Board of the Surge Network. Surge Network is a movement of local churches united to put Jesus on display through equipping congregations, sending servant leaders, and blessing cities. Rick has also been elected to serve on the Assemblies of God World Missions Board of Directors which serves over 2,700 missionaries around the world.
Rick graduated from North Central University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Pastoral Studies and is earning a Masters in Missional Theology from the Missional Training Center in Phoenix (a partner of Covenant Theological Seminary). Rick and his wife Susan live in Mesa, Arizona and have two adult children, Brittany and Kyle.