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our staff

JR. Forasteros

pastor, teaching & discipleship

Hi, my name is JR. Forasteros. I'm the teaching pastor at Catalyst. I have the privilege of helping our Catalyst people identify and live into their God-given callings.

Basic Stuff: Amanda and I have been married for 7 years. We both grew up in Missouri – she’s from St. Louis and I’m from Kansas City. We met in Columbia (about half-way between) at the University of Missouri (so yes, that means we’re both still getting used to the SEC). Our last name is Spanish for “stranger” or “outsider”, and we chose it because we feel called to serve those who are outsiders, especially those left out by most churches.

We also love to travel – the stranger the place, the better. We love exploring our community, trying new restaurants and going on an adventure, whether it’s around the corner or across the globe!

Education: M.A. in Religious Studies with an emphasis in New Testament and Early Christianity from the University of Missouri – Columbia (2006); B.A. in Religious Studies with minors in Biblical Languages and Philosophy from Southwest Baptist University (2003).


Places: I was born in Clarion, PA, just north of Pittsburgh (go Steelers!). I grew up in Kansas City, MO. I moved to Columbia, MO for grad school, met Amanda, and we moved to Dayton, OH (the Gem City) one week after we got married. I’ve been to Germany, England, Guatemala, the Holy Land, Egypt and Abu Dhabi. Amanda grew up in St. Louis, MO and went to college in Columbia. She spent the summer after her Freshman year in Mexico City, her Junior year in Spain and has lived in El Salvador and spent several weeks in Honduras. She’s also been to the Holy Land and Abu Dhabi. Next up: I want to drive to Mexico City and we want to go to Brazil and Argentina!

iPod: I don’t use Apple products. But I love music. I was in a metal band in college. These days I’ll listen to just about anything, but I love writing sermons to Rage Against the Machine, Norma Jean or Johnny Cash (depends on my mood). I also love Matt Nathanson, Martin Sexton, Switchfoot, Eminem, Rise Against, Foo Fighters, Unearth, Underoath, Zao, Stavesacre (always and forever!) and if I’m being totally honest, Ke$ha.

What I’m Reading: The Mirage by Matt Ruff, Underground Airline by Ben Winters, Free of Charge by Mirslav Volf and Strong and Weak by Andy Crouch (again). I also read lots of comics: Tom King and Scott Snyder’s Batman, Jason Aarons’ Mighty Thor, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, anything by Mark Waid, Neil Gaiman’s Sandman stuff, etc.

TV: True Detective, Arrow, Game of Thrones, Fargo, Community (#sixseasonsandamovie), Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Mindy Project, Silicon Valley, The Walking Dead

Sport Teams: Steelers, Pirates, Royals. In the interest of full disclosure: Amanda’s a huge soccer fan.

Movies: The Dark Knight Trilogy, The Shawshank Redemption, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Seven Psychopaths, Gone Baby Gone, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, MST3K: The Movie

Hobbies: Reading, watching movies, podcasting, canoeing, concerts, cooking, smoking meat, exploring and adventuring.

Dislikes: Justin Timberlake. Nickelback. Cats. Broccoli. Apple.

Odd Fact: I look totally different without a beard. It’s actually pretty creepy.

Life Scripture: Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the reality of what we hope for and the evidence of what we can’t see.”

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