|Michael (Mike) Collins
While I attended Sunday School as a child, I really did not know much about Christianity or the church until I was in my late teens. I accepted Christ (formally) at age 16 and at the age of 18, I committed my life to full time Christian service but I had no idea where this would lead me. I attended seminary, got involved in Refugee resettlement and soon found myself headed to the Philippine Refugee Processing Center in Morong, Bataan, Philippines. It was there I began to understand Christianity as “a mission to be the best Mike I could possibly be, by the grace of God.”
I married Ariel delacruz Robledo in the Refugee Center, returned to America, finished my seminary and was led to the United Methodist Church over the next several years. Over the course of ministry we have served pulpits in Eden/Mt. Tabor Churches, Trinity Church, Newlyn Street Church, and Wesley Chapel Church. I have also served a term as the Country Coordinator of the United Methodist Work in Cambodia and as the Coordinator for Mission/Outreach and Disaster Response Ministries of the Western North Carolina Conference. My greatest joy is in helping people find their mission in life. God involves me in many avenues, but my greatest responsibility is to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in bringing Bible-based, spirit-powered and life-relevant messages from the St. Johns pulpit.
While Ariel and I do not have our own children we consider two children in Phnom Penh, SaPhoarn and SoPhear as our children and we also have two God-children in the Philippines, Nikki and Francine. Our mascots in life are our little dogs, Dinky (Double Income No Kids Yet) and Cinh (short for Cinnamon).
St. Johns is in its second half century. Many wonderful events have occurred but I am convinced that God will do greater things through these people.