For Lance, the outdoors has always been where he’s felt most alive. When he was a boy, he spent a lot of time camping, canoeing and hunting with his father. It wasn’t till later in life that Lance realized that God used the wilderness to draw him back to our Lord. Lance also sensed that his passion for the wilderness was to be used as a ministry as a way for people to see the bigness of God through nature.
Lance has been in ministry leadership for the past ten years at Gateway Church in Austin, Texas. First, he served as a volunteer leader of a vibrant and fruitful ministry (called Gateway Outside) that used the outdoors to connect people into a Christ-Centered community. Then he joined the staff at the same church for two years in the role of global/local outreach coordinator.
In 2011, Lance sensed that the next season of his walk was to step down from Gateway and enter into full-time ministry with his best friend and partner, CJ, on this next big adventure into the wilderness.
CJ Hartland – Co-Founder, Vice President
Growing up in the south, CJ developed a passion for the outdoors early on. As an adult, most of her recreational time was spent hiking, camping, and in other outdoor activities revolving around the enjoyment of nature.
After receiving a degree in Horticulture, CJ began working for a local non-profit where her duties involved managing a multi-state cooperative, community relationships and event programming. In 2000 she moved into the private sector where she continued to be active in community outreach and team building.
She also volunteered in the youth ministry at Hill Country Bible Church in Austin, Texas where she led the event programing for that ministry. While at Gateway Church in Austin, Texas, she became a small group leader, using her gift of teaching in developing study materials, facilitating discussions, etc. She then stepped into the role of volunteer leader for one of the church’s networks (a community of about 70 people). In that role she headed a team of 8-10 volunteer leaders, organizing activities such as small groups, serving events, and community connection events. Under CJ’s care, the community grew together spiritually and relationally, and became characterized by their love for God and their desire to serve each other and their surrounding neighborhoods.
Wes Jennings – Treasurer
Wes was born and raised in central Texas, a place where outdoor recreation is a natural part of a kids upbringing. Hunting, fishing, boating, wakeboarding, and snowboarding shaped Wes from an early age into the outdoor enthusiast he is today. Wes received his BBA in finance from Texas State University and moved on to earn his MBA from St. Edward’s University. As CFO for a local 501(c)3 he worked with community rehabilitation centers to provide employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. It was here that Wes witnessed the power of God working in peoples lives and developed a passion for helping others. Wes has since moved into the private sector but continues to make a difference in the lives of those around him. Wes is a dedicated husband and father, raising his kids to love God and the outdoors. Wes and his family are members of Celebration Church in Georgetown, Texas.
Judith Fisher – Secretary
Judith has been in ministry leadership for the past eight years at Gateway Church in Austin, Texas. First, she served in the youth ministry where she led small groups for middle school kids. Then served as a volunteer leader in Gateway Outside, a ministry that uses the outdoors to connect and teach people about Jesus, while hiking, skiing, or camping. She led many trips to places around Texas and to Colorado.