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Where your past has no future and Hope is reborn.

 

The Encounter Community

Encounter is a multi-generational community of ordinary people following an extraordinary God. Our hearts and doors are wide open to people of all backgrounds, regardless of where you might be on your spiritual journey. Your personal history, the color of your skin, or even the clothes you wear are all irrelevant to our invitation to you. Here at Encounter, we believe God has mandated us to do three things...

Encounter God. It is our deepest desire to whole-heartedly worship God and respond to the great love He pours out on us. It is through a genuine encounter with God that real transformation takes place in our lives and those around us. We also believe that is the greatest honor and privilege to truly know this great God.

Equip and encourage one another. God has called us to make disciples, not just church-goers. We believe that we need each other in this journey called life to share experiences, pass along wisdom and encourage each other to grow in Christ. To us, it's more about building up people into what God has called them to BE instead of just what they've been called to DO.

Engage the culture around us. Not everyone will preach from a pulpit but we are all ministers to the world around us. We believe God has called us as a community to be a voice of spiritual awakening to those all around us. Jesus taught us the value of transforming cities and regions, one life at a time. By pointing past ourselves and directing those around us to set their eyes on God, people will encounter the "real thing" and the very culture of families, communities, cities, and nations will be changed by this great God.

Thank you so much for visiting and feel free to take a look around. Let us know if you have any questions or comments via our contact form at the bottom of the site. May you know how great the Father's love is for you.

The Encounter Team

Meet The Team

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Michael & Gale Beth Rice

Lead Pastors

We met and were married 32 years ago and have been blessed with two incredible children, Gabriel (and his wife Alisha) and Josiah (J.J.). We both came to know Jesus through radical encounters and we have been loving and serving Him as a family ever since. As a family, it's our vision to see the Bride of Christ awaken and demonstrate the kingdom principals that unleash God's glory to passionately evangelize the world. We want to see the church take God out-of-the-box and invade a lost and broken world, releasing the love of the Father... thus fulfilling Malachi 4:6. Michael enjoys the outdoors and Gale Beth loves singing. We both love to travel and enjoying time with family.

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Jeff & Traci

Swartz

Encounter Life Outreach

Hello, my name is Jeff, I have been happily married for 32 years to my wife Traci. We have two children and one grandbaby. 

I have been a blue-collar worker for most of my adult life until I sensed the call of life in the early '90s, which started my journey.  

Then Traci and I attended a bible college in Oklahoma, after which we worked with a youth group in Ohio.  

For the next 15 years, we also worked as business owners in a mechanical trade. During this time I furthered my knowledge with college courses.  As my Heavenly Father would have it,  we found ourselves at Encounter Church in Streetsboro, Ohio. It wasn't long before we joined and became part of the leadership team at Encounter Church.  Looking back at life and the bread crumbs along the way, I now sense we have arrived at a place and time, where Encounter Life Outreach is right for us in every way. I look forward to all that we can accomplish as we help others overcome life killing addictions

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Ira & Mindy

Clark

Youth & Children's Pastors

We have been married for 21 years and are blessed to have 3 wonderful daughters. Together, we have served in full-time ministry with children for 9 years through Encounter. Our belief is that children are an integral part of the body of Christ and that we are entrusted to teach them about God and His son Jesus Christ. We are given the calling to raise up the next generation to love God, know Him and walk in relationship with Him. Most importantly, we are to teach children that God loves them and that He has a purpose for each of them. Proverbs 22:6

 
 

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