Pastors & Staff

Steve Davenport

Lead Pastor

Pastor Steve, a native of Atlanta, Georgia, received his B.A Degree from Trinity Baptist College in 1993 and his Masters of Divinity degree from Luther Rice Seminary in 2008.  He is married to his wife Terry of Portland, Oregon since 1994 and together they have two sons, Nathan and Daniel.

Steve came to Calvary in 2000 to serve as Calvary's youth pastor. He served for 19 years before taking a lead pastor role in  Jamestown, North Dakota.   When given the opportunity to return home to Calvary, he said yes. On August 1st, 2021, Steve took over as lead pastor.  He has a passion and has been gifted to preach sermons verse by verse to give a more in depth understanding of Scripture..

In his spare time he enjoys powerlifting and has even competed in World Powerlifting Championships. He enjoys The Lord of the Rings as well.  His favorite Bible verse is John 3:16. 

Cleve Smith

Executive Pastor

Cleve grew up in Panama City, Florida. He received a BA in Bible from Tennessee Temple University, where he developed a passion for church ministry.  While studying in college he met his wife, Kim.  Before coming to Calvary Community Church in 2005, Cleve served at churches in West Virginia and North Carolina.

Cleve and Kim in 2021, were blessed to celebrate 40 years of marriage! Together they have four married children living in Lincoln, Fort Worth, TX, and Knoxville, Tennessee. Cleve and Kim are now at the grandparent stage and loving every minute of it!

In his spare time he enjoys playing tennis, walking, spending time with family, and watching college sports, especially Nebraska Huskers and Alabama Crimson Tide. He is also involved in Hope Venture that aims to bring hope and dignity to the most disadvantaged people in the world. Paul's letters to the Ephesians and Colossians are some of his favorite books of the Bible. These books help one to know where they stand in Christ and how they should stand with others.

As executive pastor his responsibilities include the day-to-day operations of the church,. He is also responsible for overseeing the adult ministries.   

Mitch Larson

Worship Pastor

Mitch Larson was born and raised in North Dakota and western Nebraska.  He attended University of Nebraska at Kearney where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Music.

After teaching music in Iowa for nine years, Mitch followed God’s leading into full-time worship ministry. In 2000, Mitch, along with his wife, Leisa, and four children made the move from Indiana to Lincoln and Calvary. Today his family has grown to include 2 son-in-laws, a daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren.  In addition to leading the congregation in powerful and inspiring weekly worship, Mitch has discovered a new joy in entertaining these three grandchildren of his.

In the community he is on the Near South Neighborhood Board. He enjoys historic documentaries.  One of his favorite books of the Bible is Acts, and how the spirit filled Christians changed the world. Mitch exclaimed, "this is our era!"

Shane Sundermann

Kids  Ministry and Worship Pastor

Shane Sundermann started attending Calvary Community Church with his family when he was ten years old. After attending Parkview Christian School, he received his Bachelor’s Degree from Calvary Bible College in Kansas City. He met his wife Debi in college and they moved back to Lincoln in 1999. Together they have four children, two daughters and two sons.

Shane started serving as children’s pastor in 2000.  As children’s pastor, he  oversees Kid City ministries from birth through elementary school.  Shane has assembled a staff of volunteers that excite and encourage kids to Learn God's Word, Love God's Word and Live God's Word. Shane also oversees the Building/Facilities and Missions.

Shane's favorite things to do when not working  is hanging out with his family and running, even becoming an ultra marathoner.  One of his favorite passages in the Bible is Psalm 34:1-10.

Nathan Palatsky

Pastor of Student Ministries

Nathan  recently joined  the Calvary staff team as Pastor of Student Ministries.  He comes to us  with his wife, Makenzie and son, Theo. Originally from California, Nathan holds an undergraduate degree in English, and a Master of Divinity from Moody Bible Institute.

Nathan is passionate about Jesus and raising up student leaders who will love and follow Christ. He foundationally believes students can know God and make him known right now. They don't have to wait to grow up or reach some educational or social qualification.  As a result, Nathan loves training them to do that - to build lives of prayer, Bible study, fellowship, and evangelism wherever God already has them. Nathan's favorite book of the Bible is Ecclesiastes.

Nathan and Mackenzie met in Minden, NE, and have been married 10 years. (Mackenzie is a UNK grad.) They adopted Theo from birth in September 2020. When not working, Nathan loves playing with Theo (anything with balls or wheels is his current favorite), visiting local coffee shops and playing board games with Mackenzie. He also loves reading and almost all sports - soccer, baseball, lacrosse, and football are particular favorites.

Scott Wiles

Discipleship and Connect Pastor

A graduate from Doane College in 1986, Pastor Scott was first introduced to Calvary Community Church in 1999 when he was invited to join the faculty of Parkview Christian School as English teacher. His spiritual growth while attending Calvary, led him to follow the call of Christ into pastoral ministry. Upon graduating from Grace University in May 2008, Scott welcomed the opportunity to join Calvary’s staff.

Scott and his wife Karen have been married for 30 years and have four wonderful children: Nick and his wife Elizabeth, Jonathan and his wife Chloe, Allison, Zachary, and three grandchildren.

His favorite gospel is John's.  Romans 8 is a section of Scripture he goes to when he needs encouraged. Paul's letter to the Ephesians is a great reminder to him of who he is in Jesus Christ.

When not working he enjoys hanging out with his wife and family playing games. He also enjoys fishing, camping and shooting targets with his sons out on the farm. As a former English teacher, his favorite books are by authors Charles Dickens, Nathaniel Hawthorne,  Christian author's C.S. Lewis and Jonathan Edwards, and of course reading, studying, and teaching God's Word. 

Karen Wintermute

Administrative Assistant

Karen was born and raised in Grand Island, NE.  She met her husband, Rick, when he tagged along with some friends to a Christian singles events.  They have been married since 1986 and have two adult children, Erik & Kristi.

Karen became the Administrative Assistant in March 2017. Her favorite thing about the Bible is that God's word is the same, yet every time you read it, God brings something new to you for whatever you are faced with at that time.

In the community she is involved in the Backpack Program.  In her spare time she enjoys watching a good movie, reading, camping, and going on vacation. 

Hugo Orellana

Pastor of Hispanic Ministries

Hugo and his wife Janet Orellana, came to Lincoln in 2001 from El Salvador with their two sons, Alex and Edgar and daughter, Mency, was added to their family in 2003.  He has been serving  in the bilingual ministry at Calvary since 2016. He came on as full time staff, January of 2024.

Calvary Community Church offers a bilingual service every Sunday afternoon at 3:00 pm. There is children’s ministry during the service and a time of fellowship for families follows each service.

Hugo's favorite Bible verse is found in John 11:25 where Jesus gave assurance of our salvation and resurrection. When not working he enjoys working out, reading the Bible, boxing, gardening, and enjoying time with family and friends.

Carl Godwin

Pastor Emeritus

A native of Lincoln, Carl Godwin is the founding pastor of Calvary Community Church and led Calvary until August 1st, 2021. Having accepted Christ as his personal Savior as a child, Carl felt God’s calling to the pastorate at the age of 16.

Carl and his wife Gayle met during college and have been married over 48 years. Following graduation, they set out on a journey to observe some of America’s fastest-growing churches. During this time, they both began to sense God’s leading to begin a church in Lincoln. This church started with just five individuals in living room and grew to what is now Calvary Community Church. Carl & Gayle have three children and thirteen grandchildren.  

Carl enjoys running and began running marathons. In 2013 he authored a book with his daughter Carla, The Sermon Ran Long: A Memoir of Marathons and Ministry which talked about his forty years of ministry as well as his running experience.

These days he is enjoying time with his wife Gayle in their new home in Iowa. 

Deacon Team

Vision and Strategic Planning—all  deacons

Lord Ameyaw, Jim Ballard, Todd Case, Kirk Down, Mark Geist, Grant Greder, Scott Kiddoo, Brad Novotny, Elliot Stevens, Terry Strode, Chuck Thiele, Eric Vollbrecht

Budget and Finance—Todd Case, Elliot Stevens, Brad Novotny

Operations, Facilities, Personnel—Eric Volbrecht, Kirk Down, Lord Ameyaw

Evangelism, Missions, Outreach—Jim Ballard, Terry Strode

Worship, Prayer, Fellowship—Chuck Thiele, Todd Case, Scott Kiddoo

Discipleship and Growth—Grant Greder,  Jim Ballard, Mark Geist