Meet The Englewood Staff
Pastor David Decker
Pastor Dave Decker received the call to ministry when he was in the sixth grade. The call came through his pastor at the time, Paul Deane Hill. He has never wanted to do anything else. He attended Northwest Christian College where he graduated with the Bachelor of Theology degree. He then attended the Graduate Seminary of Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma. He was ordained July 14, 1968 at the Cedar Hills Christian Church in Beaverton, Oregon.
He and Barbara were married in Pasco, Washington in 1967. They have two grown children, Christie, who lives in Gilbert, Arizona and Mark who lives in Dallas, Oregon. They have one granddaughter, Maddie, who is a junior at University of Arizona. They make their permanent home in Dallas, Oregon.
Dave retired in August 2015 after serving 15 years as Senior Minister of East Mesa Christian Church, Mesa, Arizona. After retirement he has served as Interim Minister for First Christian Church in Bremerton, WA. and Interim Senior Minister for First Christian Church in Salem, Oregon.
Dave has a deep love for the ministry and particularly for preaching.
Carolyn Hamilton is excited about youth outreach at Englewood Christian Church! Carolyn believes that church happens not just on Sunday morning but wherever the spirit is found in good works, good hearts, and good helping. Carolyn loves using all our senses to teach and learn. Dancing, singing, creating art, making music and listening are all part of her approach to reaching kids. Sunday mornings and throughout the week, creativity and inspiration are found throughout the Englewood youth ministry.
Carolyn was raised in Wapato and attended Santa Clara University where she studied mathematics and art. She began fostering her love of movement and music soon after graduation by moving to NYC where acting and dancing became her focus. She lived in multiple cities but settled down in Cairo Egypt where she spent 13 years working as a successful dancer and actress. While in Egypt, Carolyn founded a yearly arts festival that focused on dance, live music, and culture. The festival ran for 8 years in 5 different locations around Egypt. She also produced 6 albums of Arabic music as well as taught dance in 35 countries. Her time in Africa and the Middle East have enriched her understanding of diverse cultures while developing an awareness of how similar we all are in our desire to be loved and to love.
Carolyn returned to the Yakima Valley and began to work with children in the public schools before coming to Englewood Christian Church. Now at Englewood she directs the After School Arts, a free art program for kids ages 7-14, and the World Dance and Rhythm Camp, a summer camp where children learn dances and rhythms from around the world. She strives to create a place at Englewood Christian Church where children are encouraged to learn and discover while their spirits are also nurtured.
Ken Allman has many years experience working as a Custodian. He worked at the YMCA in Yakima for 32 years before coming to Englewood Christian Church. Ken has been with us for the last 11 years, giving him 43 years experience in his field.
Ken takes pride in his job, and keeps our building clean and well maintained. He is very much loved by the children and staff in the Montessori School downstairs and is a very important part of our team here and Englewood Christian Church.
Dawn Gaulke is the Church Administrator at Englewood Christian Church. Before working at Englewood, Dawn worked as the Parish Administrator at St. Timothy's Episcopal church here in Yakima.
Dawn's administration experience began at Community Living where she worked as the Office Manager. Prior to her position in the Admin office Dawn worked as a Staff Supervisor and Client Coordinator, working with individuals with developmental disabilities. Dawn's experience in office administration and community services spans over a period of 25 years.
Dawn and her husband Tom have been married 32 years, have 3 adult Sons, two beautiful Daughters-n-Laws, six Grandchildren, and two German Shepherds, Princess Leia and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Dawn's hobbies are cake decorating, Bible journaling and hiking.
Danene Knudsen was born on a dairy farm in Billings, Montana where she learned how to ride a horse, milk cows and drive tractors. She majored in sacred music with performance in organ and piano.
She has been a church organist for 63 years serving these denominations: Methodist, Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, and now Englewood. She and Bob (her husband of 56 years) have lived in Yakima since 1968. They have two daughters and four grandchildren.
She has taught piano to nearly 800 children during the last 53 years. As a piano accompanist she has played for West Valley choirs for 35 years. Currently she accompanies three choirs at the high school and three choirs at the junior high. She has 30 piano students in her home studio.
Highlights of her career include being the pianist in the Yakima Symphony Orchestra for 29 years. She was the organist with the Manhattan Philharmonic Orchestra when the Yakima Symphony Chorus performed the Mozart Requiem.
Roger D. Finch
Roger has enjoyed being the Choir Director at Englewood Christian Church since 1972.
A native of Grandview, WA, he began his music training at an early age with his father Dallas Finch, a beloved band director to hundreds of students in the Yakima Valley.
Roger went on to receive a Bachelor of Music degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. It was there that he began his public-school music educator career as a high school band and choir director for 5 years. During that time, he was also the Assistant Conductor of the Hamilton, Ohio Community Band.
Roger then returned to Washington State where he continued conducting band and choir at Wapato High School for 5 more years. He was the conductor of the Yakima Community Band for 10 years.
As a trombonist he played with the Yakima Symphony Orchestra for 45 years. He continues as a free-lance trombonist and currently plays with the Yakima Community Band.