Staff

  • Jerry Cellan | Lead pastor

    Jerry was raised in Indianola, Iowa where he thought sports were the most important thing in life—until he met Sue, a cheerleader. They were married right out of high school. It's pretty amazing that their marriage survived the first seven years because in college Jerry majored in philosophy and became an atheist. His life changed radically at the age of 25 when he became a committed follower of Jesus Christ. Jerry and Sue have 3 children and 4 grandchildren.


    Education Background:

    B.A. - Simpson College

    Th.M. - Dallas Theological Seminary

    Doctoral work - Trinity Evangelical Divinity School


    Ministry Experience:

    Associate Pastor (1981-86) - Martensdale Community Church, Martensdale, IA

    Senior Pastor (1986-2007) - LakeView Church, Stoughton, WI

    Church Planting (2008-Present) - The Bridge Church, Eau Claire, WI


    jerry@thebridgechurchec.org

  • BRIDGE KIDS | leadership team

    Deborah, Kelly, Jamie, and Kayla (pictured left to right)


    Deborah is a Minnesota native, transplanted over the border to Eau Claire in 2017 alongside her husband, Kyle, and four kiddos: Abigail, Ellinor, Ian and Oliver.  The Bridge has been their church home ever since.  She graduated from the University of Minnesota with degrees in chemistry and science education and has had the privilege of homeschooling her family since 2014.


    Deborah enjoys time spent connecting with kids, playing games and sharing the outdoors with others.  She can easily be distracted with the lure of a book to read (especially if it means reading aloud to kids)and values each time she is reminded of the grace and the hope of the Gospel.

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    Kelly moved to Eau Claire in 2008 to attend the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She was married to her college sweetheart, Ben, in the summer of 2012 just after graduating with a degree in Special Education. Ben and Kelly have called the Bridge Church home since March of 2015--just weeks before their first child was born. 


    Kelly has been blessed to be a stay-at-home mom and spends much of her day wrangling her three little ones, Shay, Ezra, and Joel. When she does get some free time she enjoys a good book paired with a blanket and a warm drink, or enjoys cultivating deep relationships with those around her.

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    Jamie grew up in North Central Wisconsin and started attending the Bridge Church after her and her husband Bob moved to the area in 2013. Jamie feels blessed to call The Bridge Church her family and is excited to see how God will use her here to steward His mission in the Eau Claire area and beyond. Jamie graduated in 2013 from UW-Platteville with a major in Early Childhood Education and a minor in Special Education. She has been passionately teaching 4 year old Kindergarten at Eleva-Strum Elementary School for the majority of her teaching career.


    In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters, Elissa and Adelyn. Jamie also enjoys getting together with friends, enjoying outdoor activities such as running, golf and volleyball. Singing and using her imagination to create new things

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    Kayla was born and raised in Wisconsin. She began going to The Bridge while attending college at the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire. It continues to be a place of connection and growth for her. Kayla graduated in 2013 with a double major in Education- Special Education as well as Middle Childhood/Early Adolescence. She currently works at Altoona Elementary School teaching students with a variety of abilities and disabilities.


    In her free time, she enjoys being with her husband, Nate, and her two children Alexander and Aviana. Kayla also loves anything outdoors, being crafty, and spending time with family and friends.


    bridgekids@thebridgechurchec.org

  • Sue Cellan | Director of Growth Groups

    Sue began a personal faith journey with Jesus as a small child. One of her earliest dreams was to be married to a pastor. But she didn't take the most direct route to see that dream fulfilled. She married Jerry after high school graduation, and they struggled for seven years in a difficult marriage while raising a daughter, working and attending college.


    During one of the darkest points in their marriage, Jerry, an outspoken atheist, did a 180 and embraced biblical Christianity. Sue and Jerry then began rebuilding their marriage and focusing their lives on a unified goal to "build Jesus' Kingdom" instead of their own. This goal has kept them committed to serving together in the local church for 40+ years.


    As a pastor's wife, mom of three grown kids and grandma to four grandkids, life is never boring! Sue loves spending time with her husband, connecting with her kids and grandkids regularly, and running with friends.


    sue@thebridgechurchec.org

  • Leah howard | Director of worship

    Leah joined The Bridge team in October 2016 as the Director of Worship. She studied vocal performance at the University of Northwestern in Roseville, MN, where she met her husband Blaine, a singer-songwriter and mail carrier. The two of them have been singing together ever since, and married in 2000. Leah and Blaine have four children -- Cole, Abel, Gibson and Evangeline.  

    Leah has led worship in a variety of situations, from churches and conferences to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association's staff services. In her role at The Bridge, it is her heart's desire to help people connect to God and step out of the way as true worship flows.

    Family, singing and serving God aren’t the only passions Leah has developed over the years -- she also has a deep desire to learn as many instruments she can get her hands on. So, if you bring a banjo or glockenspiel to a service, you may want to keep a close eye on it! 


    leah@thebridgechurchec.org

  • MIKE MINNER | DIRECTOR OF OUTREACH

    Mike grew up in western Pennsylvania and met his wife Rachel in Colorado. She grew up in Wisconsin, so they moved back to Wisconsin to be closer to family.   Mike & Rachel have four children. Mike worked for ten years as a commercial electrician before going back to school and graduating with an associate's degree in Drug Counseling. He currently works full time as an Addictions Adviser at Hope Gospel Mission in Eau Claire. He also has a Bachelor's in Religion and Christian Ministry from Liberty University.



  • JOSH NEAL | DIRECTOR OF STUDENT MINISTRIES

    Josh was born in Muncie, IN and grew up in a non-Christian home. He came to faith in middle school as part of a youth group. He then went on to get a Bachelor's of Science in Marketing from Ball State University in 2011 and unfortunately stopped pursuing growth in his relationship with God since the start of his college career.


    Years later, in 2015, Josh moved to Wisconsin to work at Menards Corporate Headquarters and quickly began to feel something missing in his life that material possessions could not fill. His lovely wife Kim had become active at a local church called The Bridge Church. Through attending this church and diving into scripture he began to find fulfillment in his life and started to grow in his relationship with God. He strives to work with the youth in the church so that they can start a relationship with Jesus or continue to build on their relationship with Jesus, the same way he did as a teenager.


    studentministries@thebridgechurchec.org