Pastors & elders

  • Luke rhee (laura) ~ Lead preaching pastor; elder

    Contact: 208.777.9654

    God graciously saved me at the age of 17, the summer before I left home for college. I had been living a life devoted to my own glory and pleasure, but sin could not satisfy the deepest longings of my soul. My conscience was guilt ridden and I knew that I was separated from God. God drove me to my knees and I called out to Him to save me.

    God answered my cries and transformed my life. He made me see that only He could satisfy my thirsty soul. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into this world as a man to live a perfect life, die, and rise again so that I could be forgiven. 

    I began attending Foothill Bible Church, in Upland, CA, where I experienced the love of the body of Christ, and was discipled and trained for ministry. At church I met the love of my life, Laura, and we got married in 2012. God has richly blessed us with four children, Daniel, Seth, Juliette, and Josiah. Laura is my best friend and an excellent wife. What I love the most about her is that she worships Christ and points me to Him. 

    After God saved me, I was hungry to know His word and tell others about Him. I attended the Master’s Seminary in Sun Valley, CA, and graduated with a Master of Divinity in 2015. I also had the privilege of being the Pastor of Student Ministries at Foothill Bible Church before I came to His Place Church. 

    God brought us to His Place Church in 2021. Our family has been so blessed by the love of the body here. Laura and I look forward to living life with our church family here for many, many years to come. 

    God has called me to teach the word of God and love His people. Like the apostle Paul, I am amazed that God would call a sinner like me to declare the glories of Christ. Paul wrote,

    “To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8). 

    If you come to HPC for a visit, I’d love to meet you. 

    To God be the glory.

  • David Smith (Melissa) ~ executive & Family Ministries Pastor; Elder

    Contact: 208.777.9654

  • Neil anderson (carol) ~ senior staff pastor; men's ministry director; elder

    Neil was born in Baltimore, MD and moved to Spokane, WA as an infant. He graduated from John Rogers High School. He attended Biola College for almost four years as a Greek and Bible major, and eventually graduated with a BA in Humanities from Eastern Washington College. He became a Christian at Fourth Memorial Church at the age of sixteen and was active in church and camp ministries. In 1965 he married Carol and they have four children, Heather, Daniel, Bruce and Wendy.  In 1970 they joined Wycliffe Bible Translators and in 1972 Neil and Carol left for Papua New Guinea and were assigned to work with the Folopa speaking people. They continued with that work, as well as having assignments in administrative areas, until 2005 when the Folopa New Testament was completed. The dedication for the New Testament took place January 16, 2007. In February 2007 Neil and Carol received the Logohu National Medal of Honour for their service to the country of Papua New Guinea.

    Neil has been a plenary speaker at Urbana Missions Conference in the US as well as other conferences. He co-authored with Hyatt Moore the book In Search of the Source, a Wycliffe publication. The book has been translated into a dozen languages and has been well received.

    Neil served as the senior pastor of Fourth Memorial Church in Spokane for almost four years before being called to serve at His Place Church in 2013.

    Contact Neil at

  • gary johnson (Karen) ~ elder

    We started our journey together 40+ years ago by being “just friends” for a while and then getting married --- so, so, so in love!  Karen and I were inseparable.  Looking back on that time, it was a really great time where I definitely knew that I had the better deal . . . and obviously that hasn’t changed!  Just look at the picture!  What we didn’t realize was that we were in a great relationship that was destined to become so much greater once God entered our world in a very personal way.

    Although at that time we both would have said “Yeah, we’re Christians,” we didn’t have a clue in the beginning.  Having come from different church backgrounds, we had agreed that we would work toward finding our own church right after we were married.  Three to four years into our marriage, that still hadn’t happened.  It wasn’t until we moved to Liberty Lake, close to the church Karen had occasionally attended in her “growing up” years, that we visited our first church together. 

    Before we knew it, God was messing with our marriage and challenging me in areas I didn’t want to hear about – spiritual stuff!  Then before I knew it, Karen wanted to go on a marriage retreat for a whole weekend – on Super Bowl weekend of all things!  Long story short – it was the weekend where we were introduced to the God Who put us together.  I discovered that God’s desire was a personal relationship, not rules and religion like the church I was raised in.  God had been drawing both Karen and I to Himself, patiently, so patiently.  Karen and I were living for ourselves, happily satisfied with our meaningless, self-indulgent life.  Little did I realize how much better our marriage could be by doing it God’s way, the beginning of a new legacy.  We are so grateful for God’s overwhelming grace as He’s grown His blessings to include five great and Godly children (ages 24-35) with five great and Godly spouses, raising eight incredibly wonderful grandchildren (ages 2 months to 8 years) – most of whom live within 10 minutes of our home at Liberty Lake.  God has turned the 2 of us into 20 and counting! 

    Karen and I are amazed at how God has gradually and patiently grown us up and taken us on a great journey that led us to a love relationship with Him and each other that was beyond what we could have ever imagined back in 1973 “BC”.  We’re “best friends” now, not “just friends” and are gradually getting closer to being the “one” He intended that we be.  The take-away is that our God is still so patient with us as we continue doing life our own way.  Forgetting and even ignoring the true joy and freedom that He has to offer, we continue to somehow act like we know what’s best!  We thank God that He doesn’t just slam the door shut and give us what we ask for and what we deserve.  God has taken that “great relationship” that Karen and I were in back in ’73 and is leading us to a much greater “great relationship” with Him!

    I enjoy playing golf despite my score and I love tinkering with old cars.  Karen still likes anything to do with hanging out at the lake.  Together we love to explore those slow windy roads in our ’75 TR 6, top down of course – or – on our ’71 Triumph motorcycle.  Ya just gotta love those old leaky limey British machines!  They make me smile big.  I love to date my “Schweethardt”.  She makes me smile bigger!  WOW, how God loves me and that makes me smile bigger yet!

    Contact Gary

  • Patrick Poole (Margaret) ~ Elder

    Pat & Margaret met in the 8th grade in Medford, Oregon and remained friends until they graduated from high school. They established a lasting relationship  as they began corresponding by mail while Pat was away in the Navy. After Pat was discharged from the service, they were married.

    Pat Served for 27 years as a member of the Oregon State Police at various locations around the state. He retired from law enforcement in 1999, having served as the commander of the patrol office in Portland, the Director of a statewide division and then as a member of the National Security Division of the FBI in Washington D.C.

    Margaret had become a follower of Christ while a teenager. Pat became a Christian early in 1969. The dynamics of marriage, a new career and raising three daughters gave the couple ample opportunities to rely on Jesus.

    The family was required to move several times during Pat's police service. Pat has been privileged to serve as elder in two churches they attended over the years. Most recently, he served in an operational and spiritual leadership role at Koinonia House, a Christian ministry in Post Falls. Margaret has also been involved in touching the lives of others. She has been teaching the Word of God in women's ministry for several decades. The couple has taken part in leading small groups in each of the fellowships they attended.

    All three of their daughters live in North Idaho. Pat and Margaret have twelve grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

    To contact Pat

  • Kent blanton (marlene) ~ elder

    To contact Kent

  • Eric obendrauf (jeanette) ~ elder

    To contact Eric:

  • Brandon Billing (Julie) ~ Elder

    To contact Brandon: