Ezra Byer, Founder of TMC
Hi there! I’m so glad you have taken a few minutes to check out this site! Real quick, let me just tell you a bit about myself. I was born in Montreal (Yes, I am a diehard Canadiens fan) and raised around eight hours north of Toronto, Ontario in a small town called Cochrane (pretty much in the middle of nowhere!). At fifteen, I moved to the Cincinnati, Ohio and remained there till I received a BA in Ministerial Studies from God’s Bible School and College and then went on to complete my Master’s Degree in Practical Theology from Ohio Christian University. I am currently working on a PhD in Philosophy, with a focus on intercultural studies, from Columbia International University.
It was during my teen years that I picked up a copy of a book entitled Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala. It was a life-changing moment for me! This book placed in my heart a desire to impact the lives of people who did not know Jesus.
In May 2011, after I graduated college, I took my first pastoral position as an associate at Eastlake Community Church in Moneta, Virginia. On June 22, 2012, I married Janan Hunt. Get this, she is from the North Pole…literally…North Pole, Alaska. She loves children and has taught grades 6-8 for nearly ten years. I could not be blessed with anyone more awesome! On June 8th, 2017 we welcomed our first addition to the family, Zoey Jane. She is an incredible bundle of joy! About two years later on June 17th, Ezekiel Ron came into our lives and life got a lot more interesting! For those of our friends who always said, “Just wait…being a parent changes you!” I can now say you were definitely right! Our third addition to the family, Azellie, has only confirmed this reality.
In the fall of 2014, Janan and I packed up our belongings and moved to Scarborough, Ontario where we worked in inner city ministry for five years. The journey was extraordinary, with a lot of ups and downs. In November of 2019, my wife and I moved to Nampa, Idaho where we are in sort of a holding place and waiting on the next adventure God has for us. I love to write and have authored three books: What’s the Pointe? What Kind of God Do I Serve? and Walking with a Limp.
My passion is to help people get to know Jesus and take them deeper in their walk with God. It was out of this passion that the genesis for this site came about. Having people at a church facility on Sunday is important to me. But equally as important is seeing the truths of God’s Word that they hear on Sunday implemented into their everyday lives on Monday.
Through this site, I want to tackle the nitty-gritty questions everyday Christians face. I also want to feature the stories of believers who are modeling what it means to put their faith into action. Hopefully, it is of help to you! 🙂 Well, I guess that’s about it! I hope you enjoy the content and resources on this site and feel free to contact me below! I can’t wait to hear about how God is working in your life! – Ezra
David Hartkopf, Podcast Host
Hi, my name is David Hartkopf (BA Music Education, MM Trumpet Performance) and I was born and raised in Detroit, MI. Yes, I am a die-hard Detroit everything, but don’t feel sorry for me, I don’t want your pity! I have been employed at God’s Bible School and College (GBSC) since the fall of 2009 as a music faculty member and more recently as the Undergraduate Dean. In addition to my teaching/conducting/worship leading responsibilities on campus at GBSC, I have worked regularly around the Cincinnati area as a trumpet teacher, giving master-classes, and playing my trumpet professionally. I will take any gig for 50.00 or at least some good tacos!
Besides music roles, I am also an ordained minister and serve as pastor of Pine Grove United Methodist Church in Falmouth, KY. My greatest joy and passion (even above music and teachable students!) is following Christ, being a husband to my wife of 15 years, Jessica, and a dad to my three children Mallory, Emma, and Judson.
In my spare time, I enjoy reading, sports (especially contact ones, i.e. hockey and rugby), and running. I also love God’s Word, and have been working for several years to put longer sections and books into my long-term memory. Currently, I am also pursuing a Doctorate in Worship Studies.
James tells us that saving faith is demonstrated in good works. The Scriptures reveal that right belief and a pure heart lead to obedience in the one who truly follows Christ. We cannot follow Christ and consistently and knowingly disobey His teachings. I am passionate for believers to put down deep roots in Christ, and that those roots would lead to the type of life Jesus described in the opening of his Sermon on the Mount. More than information, I long to see deep transformation into Christlikeness among those that call themselves Christian. But that doesn’t happen by accident. Checking a church attendance box for a few hours a week does not lead to this type of transformed life. It’s for this reason I joined Ezra at the Monday Christian. I pray that our conversations our Spirit-led, and that the resources we share aid you in putting feet to what you believe about life and reality as a disciple of the Lord of History, Jesus Christ.
Grace and peace,
Janan Byer, Co-Host of The Story of God Daily Devotional
Hi! My name is Janan, and I am so happy to meet you! I’m Ezra’s wife and Mommy to Zoey, Ezekiel, and Azellie. I’ve been a teacher for nine years, both in the classroom and in the online setting. Middle school is my jam! My favorite subjects to teach are history, culture classes, and writing.
I’m a Canadian-American that loves a good cup of coffee, dark chocolate, decor, exercise, traveling, capsule closets, and thrifting. I grew up in North Pole, Alaska (yes, it’s real, and yes, “Santa” lives there) and then went to Florida for my teaching degree at Hobe Sound Bible College.
I married Ezra a month after I graduated in 2012. From there we moved to Virginia for two years, and then up to Toronto, Canada for five years of inner city ministry. While there, I earned my MA of Education at Trevecca Nazarene University in curriculum, assessment, and instruction. It serves me well in my current line of work, which is researching and then creating and teaching courses on outschool.com. We currently reside with our three children in Nampa, Idaho.
I came to Jesus when I was four years old. I remember asking my dad how to get of the “dark” stuff -sin- in my heart. He told me about Jesus, and I’ve been in love ever since. As I grew, I came to a fuller understanding of what being a Christian meant and surrendered my life to doing whatever God called me to do. I like to think of it as having an “always yes” in my heart to Jesus. Studying the Bible and spending time getting to know my Jesus is a vital part of my life. He’s the only one who can change my brokenness into something beautiful, and he’s been my lifeline in my darkest times. My favorite song is “Goodness of God” because it’s true. All my life, he has been faithful and so, so good to me.
I’ve enjoyed different ministry roles throughout my life. Vacation Bible schools in Alaskan villages were one of my favorite summer activities in my teen years. Working with kids throughout college, being a Christian school teacher and a pastor’s wife, leading women’s Bible studies, leading worship, and welcoming many into our home. These have all left special memories in my heart. Currently, I help lead worship at our church. I am excited to also be working with Ezra at The Monday Christian.
If you ever want to contact me, I’d love to get to know you more. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeremy Howard, Blog Contributor
Hello, my name is Jeremy Howard. I was born in Phoenix, Arizona, and raised in Phoenix, Mitchell S.D., Kasoa Ghana, Lagos Nigeria, Matukeng Lesotho, and Hobe Sound Florida. I was raised in the eighties as a preacher’s kid in Arizona and then through the nineties as a missionary’s kid on the African continent. I completed all my high school and college education in South Florida and graduated with a B.A. in Missions/Cross-Cultural Studies and a B.A. in Secondary Ed. English Literature from Hobe Sound Bible College.
In 2011 I moved to Ladybrand, South Africa to teach at Hope Christian Academy and in June of 2012, I married a beautiful lady from Cape Town in Stellenbosch. Delani and I welcomed a son in Bloemfontein, South Africa in 2014. We moved to Nampa, ID in 2015 and since have welcomed son, Jean (think Les Miserables for pronunciation) and son Laine.
Currently, we live in Melba ID where I work around the Treasure Valley on various construction projects. I enjoy rugby and cheer on the Springboks any chance that I get (3-time world cup winners!).
I hope to challenge others, like me, to serve Christ where life begins, on a Monday morning when life gets real.
Tina Pitamber, Blog Contributor
Hello, my name is Tina! Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, I have four sisters and I am a twin. My life was like other kids but changed when I was eight years old after a dear lady knocked on our house door and invited us to her church. My mother decided to take that step of faith and attend service and I became a Christian at Emmanuel Church of the Nazarene. Since then I have been growing in my walk with God. While I was attending the University of Toronto studying for a science degree God spoke to me when I was nineteen years old on my way to a subway station. He called me to ministry but I did not answer the call until I was twenty-two years old.
After completing my science degree, I continued my education at Tyndale University College and Seminary and received my Masters of Divinity in Pastoral Studies in May 2007. In 2008, I and a small group of people planted a church in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Solid Rock Community Church of the Nazarene under the help and support of Rosewood Church of the Nazarene. During my time as a lead pastor at that church plant, I completed my Doctor of Ministry Degree in hospitality and leadership in November 2015.
Since then I have I published and released my first book, God is That You? Hearing from God in February 2021.
I continue to minister in Richmond Hill. I am from a very musical family and have played the piano, guitar, and trumpet in my lifetime. I like to travel and see other countries. I have had the opportunity to lead one group to visit Italy, Egypt, Jordan, and Israel.
And I recently picked up the hobby of watching the Toronto Raptors.