Eden Prairie Assembly of God | Pastor Chris Cleveland
Life’s journey is often filled with unexpected twists and turns, leading to places never imagined. For Pastor Chris and his wife, Amber, the path from South Georgia to Minnesota has been one of profound growth, faith, and community-building.
Pastor Chris grew up in a Christian home in South Georgia. Church was a fundamental part of his life, marked by active involvement in church activities and a strong faith foundation. He shared, “I’ve always joked that I played baby Jesus in the manger during a Christmas production the year I was born.”
Chris met Amber while attending Central Bible College in Springfield, MO, during their time on a traveling worship team. They married, and their lives together embarked on a journey that led them to pastor in Arkansas. During this time, their three daughters were born. Chris and Amber ministered for a little over ten years and knew God had been equipping them for something else.
An unexpected opportunity arose that eventually led Chris and Amber to Minnesota. One day during a visit to Los Angeles for a wedding, they began recognizing all God had placed on their hearts. It was an overwhelming sense that God was releasing them from the church in Arkansas. They agreed to refrain from actively seeking out the new opportunity, and in doing so, Chris stated, “I kid you not, the very next day, I stopped to buy lunch and missed a phone call from a board member at Eden Prairie Assembly of God (EPAG).” Chris and Amber knew that God was at work, and this was the new opportunity they were praying about. The hiring process began, and a few months later, Chris was elected as the new Pastor at EPAG.
By focusing on building relationships and connecting with individuals rather than trying to make an immediate impact, Chris was able to connect with his new congregation. He shared, “I tell my friends, this has already been the most enjoyable season of ministry that we’ve ever had. We love Minnesota.” Remarkable things are happening at EPAG – from a growing sense of community to inheriting an incredible staff from his predecessor, Jac Perrin. “The staff is phenomenal; we love doing life and serving together,” Chris stated.
Pastor Chris and Amber’s journey from South Georgia to Minnesota is a testament to the power of faith, adaptability, and building meaningful connections. “Relationships become the avenue in which people get to hear your heart. You get to be with them, journey with them, turn off the noise and focus on those people right in front of you in those moments.” In anticipation of the future, their focus will be on
embracing the God-given opportunities and open doors that will contribute to shaping and guiding the EPAG congregation.