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Neil Essen

Neil Essen

Community & Connections Pastoroffice: (952) 230-9947

Neil grew up in north Texas in a family that loved God, the local church, sports, and great food. He is grateful for this heritage and the foundation that God has given him in life. That foundation proved very important in middle school and early high school years when he went through a 5-year battle with panic attacks, anxiety, and depression. This season marked his life deeply and taught him that God can be trusted, that He knows and sees us, and that anything is possible.

Neil married his high school crush, Debra, and they have 3 sweet and spunky daughters named Gracey, Haley, and Maggey. Before moving to Minnesota, they were long-time members of 121 Community Church in Grapevine, Texas where Neil also served as a pastor for 6 years. It was there that God gave Neil and Debra a passion for small groups and seeing people find connection and hope by living in inclusive community that draws people far from God into a relationship with Jesus. Neil also has a desire to see Christ-followers walk in the calling God has for them as ministers in all areas of life.

Neil enjoys any sport except Nascar (not a sport!), but his specific affections are for the Green Bay Packers and Duke Blue Devils Basketball. He also loves to be active outdoors, drink loads of dark coffee, eat amazing food, watch cooking shows, and read about leadership, theology and church multiplication.

Always captivated by a future vision of what’s possible, Neil believes that God has great things in store for the Twin Cities as we pray, build relationships outside and inside the church, and follow Jesus together.

His favorite verses are 2 Corinthians 5:21: “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God,” and Psalm 16:11: “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

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