The McKay Family’s Story

John McKay | Lead Pastor

Western Seminary (2007-2010)

After graduating from the University of Oregon, John began a Master of Divinity degree at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. After a year of commuting from Eugene once a week, the McKays moved to Portland so that John could be a full-time student. John and Crystal were both able to work full-time while John finished his degree, graduating in the spring of 2010. That same year their family grew by one, as Simon was born on February 13, 2010.

Lebanon First Baptist Church (2011 -2017)

After graduating from Western Seminary, God called the McKay family to Lebanon First Baptist Church in Lebanon, Oregon. John served as the Associate Pastor, overseeing the Home Communities. John worked with the small group leaders to support the growth and health of the church. He also helped preach, taught Sunday School classes, and oversaw a transition with the children’s ministry at the church. With a heart for people, John faithfully preached the Word of God, desiring to continuing the disciple-making movement that Jesus began. He is passionate about helping people experience the peace and joy that are found in Christ, and walking with people to mature in their faith as followers of Christ. While in Lebanon, the McKay family continued to grow, as Mark and then Nathaniel joined Simon. Their time in Lebanon was an incredible blessing, primarily because of their church family. The LFB crew was always there to support, encourage, and challenge the McKays to grow as they have partnered in ministry as proclaimers of the good news of Jesus. While the transition to Redmond was extremely sad, it is also exciting to see how God has been at work not only in preparing the McKays, but also preparing LFB to continue building a vibrant disciple-making ministry in Lebanon to the glory of God.

Grace Bible Church of Bend (Aug. 2017-Sept. 2018)

It was in the fall of 2016 that John first had a phone conversation with pastor Phil Kooistra of Grace Bible Church of Bend. After their conversation, John went directly to the elders at LFB and asked them to pray. After talking with Phil, John wanted to seek the Lord to see if the Spirit would be leading him to partner with Grace in planting a new gospel-centered church in Redmond. Over the next seven months, as the elders at Grace Bible Church and the elders at LFB sought the Lord’s leading, it became clear to both churches that John was the guy. Beginning August 1, 2017, John joined the staff at Grace Bible Church of Bend as the “Church Plant Resident.”

Redmond Church Plant

On September 16th, 2018 Grace Bible Church of Bend will be launching Grace Bible Church of Redmond. If you are interested in joining the team of people planting GBC Redmond, please contact Pastor John McKay at