Dave made a commitment to Christ at age 17 and connected with a Great Commission campus church at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 1975. He and Vanessa met there and were married in 1979. In 1985 they moved to Wilmington, DE, as part of a GCM church-planting team. Dave worked for 10 years in the journalism and corporate communications fields before transitioning to full-time ministry in 1990. He helped shepherd churches in Delaware and Centreville, Virginia, before planting Evergreen in 1998.