I grew up in a suburb of Los Angeles, California, the third of eight children in an Italian Catholic family. I attended nearby UCLA and majored in Psychology, while also getting a teaching degree. While at UCLA I was involved in both the university Catholic parish as well as InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, a nondenominational campus ministry. During college, my identity as a Christian was strengthened through a variety of worship experiences, Bible study groups, late-night conversations with friends, service opportunities and mentoring from older students and InterVarsity staff.
After I graduated, I felt God calling me to do some kind of Christian voluntary service. I had heard that this group called Mennonites had some great service programs, so I checked it out and ended up serving with Mennonite Voluntary Service (MVS) in Denver, Colorado for two years. While in Denver, I met my spouse Karen, also in MVS, who had grown up the Mennonite community of Berne, Indiana.
About a year after Karen and I met, we decided to get married and start our life together. We sensed that God was leading us to pursue church ministry in a Spanish-speaking country, and a door opened for us to work with Mennonite churches in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. We served with Mennonite Mission Network in Bolivia for eight years, and our primary focus involved partnering with Mennonite Central Committee in holistic community development work in a marginal neighborhood of the city. Out of that ministry a new Mennonite congregation was established.
Once returning to the U.S., I completed a seminary degree at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, IN, and took my first U.S. pastor position at San Antonio (TX) Mennonite Church. After four years we moved to Phoenix, AZ where I served on the pastoral staff of Trinity Mennonite Church for nine years. For the past fourteen years, I have been the Campus Pastor at Bluffton (OH) University.
Karen’s career has been as a Speech Language Pathologist, working mostly in rehabilitation facilities for the first half of her career, and then in public school settings during the later years, until she retired in 2019. Karen and I have raised three children who are all are now married— Andrew is a school psychologist in Alexandria, and his wife Diana is a special education teacher in Fairfax County; Lucas and his wife Jill are teachers in international schools, soon to move to Sweden; Emily and her husband Ryan are both accountants and live in Chicago, where Emily works for United Airlines and Ryan works for PepsiCo. We are blessed to have a young adult foster granddaughter and three grandsons, all under the age of two.
Wherever we have lived as a family, we are grateful to have been involved with a vibrant Anabaptist/Mennonite church community. Our faith tradition has taught us to enjoy and protect the beauty of God’s creation, to live in peace and harmony with those around us, and to seek to understand and appreciate people from different countries and cultures. Because of these values, we love to travel—exploring new places, meeting new people, and connecting with family and friends who are scattered around the world.
Please contact me if you have questions or would like more information about our church. You can reach me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the church office at 703-359-0990. Also, feel free to follow me on social media: Stephen Intagliata on Facebook and Instagram, and @pastortig on Twitter.