Dr. Tony Nelson, Lead Pastor
Family: Tony has been married to his college sweetheart, Disa for almost 4 decades! He knows that he couldn’t do ministry without her! Disa is a successful business woman and a great ministry partner. Tony and Disa are the parents of two grown children, Craig and Carli. Craig is single, and Carli is married to Adam (Eich). Both love the Lord and live in North Idaho.
Ministry Experience: Pastor Tony and Disa has served in full-time ministry for over 3 decades. They have served churches in Iowa, Nebraska, Arizona and most recently concluded a successful 22-year ministry in Sandpoint, ID, where by God’s grace he ultimately ministered to a church with over 1,000 disciples.
Tony has served on numerous non-profit boards, worked as a regional director for church panting and has lead spiritual growth retreats. He is a sought-after speaker, mentor and leadership coach.
Education: BA-Pastoral Ministries from Nebraska Christian College 1981; MA-Leadership from Cincinnati Christian Seminary; Dmin-Leadership and Spiritual Formation from Portland Seminary (Formerly George Fox Seminary) 2013.
Ordination: Non-denominational Christian Church-1981
Published: Crazy Life: Navigating Through Life’s Disruptions without Losing Your Faith. (Morgan James Pub., 2017).
Interests & Hobbies: Tony is an avid outdoorsman. If it has fins, fur or feathers he loves to pursue it. Tony golfs just enough to know why he would rather fish. In addition, he loves meeting new people and hearing their stories over a good cup of coffee.
Music and Movies: Tony grew up listening to Country and Western music and hasn’t outgrown that habit. He loves a good movie and leans toward action adventure, westerns, and sci-fi.
The Main Thing: Tony is a deeply devoted disciple of Jesus and is focused on raising up other disciple makers to change the world for Jesus one life at a time. In addition, he really has a passion to help people navigate through life’s disruptions without losing their faith. Having gone through some pretty tough seasons of life himself, where he stood on the brink of atheism, he understands what it’s like to look over the edge and see darkness. He gives glory to God who continues to redeem his life’s disruptions.
Brian Crase, Resident Church Planter
Family: Brian is single. He doesn’t have a dog or a cat, but he will be excited to meet new friends in a new city. Maybe someone should get him a goldfish?
Ministry Experience: Brian believes that he is called to vocational ministry. He has served multiple internships at small and large churches serving in a variety of areas like worship leadership, children and youth work, and preaching. He is joining the team here at The Pursuit as a Church Planter Resident. What does that mean? It simply means that he is going to explore the possibility of becoming a lead church planter by gaining hands on experience with this new church start up. Brian will be working to support himself while he serves as a resident.
Education: Brian earned a B.S. degree in Ministry from Boise Bible College-2018. He plans to pursue graduate degrees in the near future.
Interests and Hobbies: Brian loves to hang-out with his friends doing a variety of things form hiking, playing video games and playing music. He is really looking forward to exploring Bozeman and surrounding areas. He’s a small town kid at heart, growing up in Sandpoint, ID. You might even find him strapping on a board and making some tracks at Bridger this winter. One last thing, Brian loves a good cup of coffee with good friends. So you’ll probably find him most often checking out the many cool coffee shops in town.
The Main Thing: Brian is a devoted disciple of Jesus and longs to see people that are far from God brought near through the power of the gospel. He has a big heart for those who were not raised in a the church, as was his experience in his early youth. He knows how powerful a life change Jesus was to his entire family when they found Christ through a local church. He wants that for others too.