Alumni Highlight: David Kaylor – B.Th 2002

David grew up in Japan in a family of missionaries. As a teenager, he yearned to find God’s calling and to be part of a movement of the Spirit of God. He wanted to visit one of the “hotspots” of the 90’s revival movements that were happening in many churches around the world, so his parents recommended Portland Bible College. He arrived in 1998, and his perception of ministry and life soon changed forever.

David came during a church-wide season of renewal that swept through many churches in the Portland metro area. He had planned to go to PBC for two years but was radically transformed while here, and it turned into four years. While David was at PBC, he threw himself into many ministry opportunities. David was eager to someday be in full-time ministry in a church. He longed to be able to share testimonies of the good things that God would do in his own life, just like God had done in his parents and grandparents before him.

On graduation day, through a prophetic word from Pastor Frank, God called David to be a church planter. He didn’t know how that would look or when it would take place, but he grabbed hold of it. Up to this moment, David had never thought about church planting. His thought was to be on a church staff somewhere and maybe take leadership of a church at some point.

Most PBC graduates come to the end of their time at PBC and go into the marketplace. David’s time here was no different. He went straight to work. Although he wanted to be in full-time ministry, there were no doors open at the time for him to do so. Every time he thought one was opening, it would shut again. He considered going to seminary to acquire a master’s degree, but it didn’t feel like the right decision so he didn’t pursue it.

Then, he received an offer to do a summer internship with Pastor Jess Slusher in Quincy, Washington. David’s mentor encouraged him to do it. So, with no clear plan of what would happen next, he accepted that offer.  During his time in Quincy, David dove head first into ministry, helping to lead, teach, and pastor where needed and learning from Pastor Jess. Towards the end of that summer, began to pray about his next steps. He realized he needed to head back to Portland.

Upon his return, his mentor gave David some advice: “The worst thing that could happen for you right now is to go into ministry somewhere. It would be better to go into the marketplace. I believe it would show you how to be a better pastor.”

David wasn’t too happy to hear that, but he followed the advice and took a sales job. He hated sales at first, but it seemed at the time that these were the only available jobs. He worked hard and eventually got a managerial role at a startup called There, he learned the fundamentals of sales, marketing, and advertising and got firsthand experience in the grind of starting a business. That season lasted seven years. God blessed his work and he felt like everything he put his hand to multiplied. He still wanted to go into traditional full-time church ministry, but meanwhile, he was faithful to work hard, and God kept blessing him.

During that season he married Katie Slusher. They worked together as lay leaders in Mannahouse Church in Portland, building small groups. He often caught himself longing to be in full-time ministry as their church involvement grew. He says, “Every time a conference would roll around, it felt like a reminder that I wasn’t where I wanted to be. But he knew God was working things out in him.

When a recession hit, David lost his job. An old friend reached out to him and offered him a job in pest control. David did not want to take this job but believed that God was asking him to accept it. He realized every time he started something new God would bless it. He slowly grew to accept that this was how God was going to teach him and help lead his family. 

Along the way, they had several opportunities to plant a church, but each time, the doors shut again. Then they felt a call to move back to Quincy, WA. So they packed their bags and moved. The church had no budget to put them on staff, so David continued to work for the pest control company.

Eventually, Pastor Jess Slusher encouraged him to start his own business in pest control. David did just that, and God again blessed it. He now owns and operates his own business in North Central Washington with 25 employees.

David eventually realized what God was trying to teach him the past 10 years of doing business and moving back to Quincy: business is ministry. God had spent those years building David’s business skills. Those skills were useful not only in business but also in ministering to the people he encountered along the way and in helping in the church.

The Kaylors thought that someday they would take over leadership of the church in Quincy, which her father was still pastoring. But one day, through a message from Pastor Derrill Corbin, David began wondering about planting a church in one of the rural communities there. He heard God say, “Would you be willing to plant a church in Wenatchee?” The word was so different than their plans that he didn’t bring it up to Katie. Then, one day, she said to him, “Do you think we could plant a church in Wenatchee?” Later, Katie’s mother confirmed this same idea.

They planted Hope Church Wenatchee in September 2020 during COVID lockdowns. David and Katie launched online first and focused on meeting people in their homes. Slowly, they built the foundation and community. They eventually were able to start meeting in a wedding chapel at a local church. The official, public launch took place in September 2021.

Today, David pastors Hope Church Wenatchee alongside his wife, Katie. He continues to run and manage Harvest Valley Pest Control. Business taught David the fundamentals of leading people. It taught him what it took to plant a church. It taught him the grind of building something from the ground up. God has a way of guiding us by the hand when we don’t even realize it. It was important to David to trust God along the way. 

Message from David to Students:

“For those students graduating, life is ministry, it’s not where you get your paycheck. There are so many jobs where ministry unfolds, and ministering to people is so important, and it’s outside the church. There are so many frustrated Bible College students in business as if they missed their calling, but business is frontline ministry. All these walks of life are ministry. Tear down the wall of what ministry is because ministry is where you are, where you work, and who you do it with.”