Brandon Westgate has accepted an invitation from the Rocky Mountain Conference Administrative Committee to serve as the new youth director for RMC. Westgate, currently a pastor in the Arkansas-Louisiana conference, will be taking over the department director position vacated by Kiefer Dooley last May when he transferred to the Treasury Department.

“My wife and I are looking forward to contributing what we can to the ministry that is already taking place in RMC. I am impressed with the support from the conference administrators for continuing to develop the best youth program we can deliver,” Westgate said.

Westgate has been married to his wife Dawn, who is a nurse, for 35 years. They have two grown children, Cory and Sylvia, and two grandchildren.

Westgate has served as a pastor in many multi-church districts throughout the Arkansas-Louisiana Conference and served as their youth director and camp director at Camp Yorktown Bay for four years before returning to local church ministry.

Jessyka Dooley, assistant RMC youth director, welcomes a decision to have a youth director again. “First of all, I’m relieved! Our department has been without a director for six months. It will be amazing to have a full team in the office again. I am extremely excited that Brandon will be joining us as the new RMC youth director,” she said. “He brings experience, passion and vision to the team. As I’ve gotten to know Brandon more throughout the interview process, I have no doubt that he will fit in seamlessly with the vibe of the Rocky Mountain Conference, Glacier View Ranch and Mills Spring Ranch, and youth ministry as a whole.”

The process of selecting the right person for the position was a long process, according to Doug Inglish, RMC vice-president of administration. “This was a long process at a difficult time of year to land a youth director, but God has led us to Brandon, and we’re really excited to have him with us.”

Brent Learned, assistant RMC youth director, is also looking forward to working with Westgate. “I am excited to have Brandon joining our team and am looking forward to the passion, experience and fresh perspective he is bringing with him.”

Westgate, not raised a Christian, came to know Jesus and to walk with Him in his 20s after making some wrong decisions in high school which led him, in his words, “to the lowest point in my life.” Now he is involved in many activities that help spread the Good News that a relationship with Jesus offers.

“I have been privileged to play a spiritual leadership role in Maranatha’s mission trips for high school teens called the Ultimate Workout since 2014. I am hopeful that we can encourage the young people in our conference to get involved in both local and international short-term mission trips as a way to potentially discover God’s calling on their life,” Westgate said.

He is also looking forward to strengthening RMC’s presence with Pathfinders and Adventurers as the Youth Department gears up for the International Camporee in Gillette, Wyoming, in 2024. He commented, “I am a huge fan of Adventurers and Pathfinders. We will be developing new ways to help any church that wishes to have an Adventurer or Pathfinder club in their church to be able to do so. With the International Camporee coming to RMC in Gillette in a few short years, it would be amazing if we had many more clubs than we currently have to represent this amazing conference at the International Camporee.”

Westgate aspires to move beyond going through the motions in RMC when it pertains to youth ministry. “I do not wish to do ministry in a place where the status quo is all we are desiring to attain. We can be exceptional, and by God’s grace, we will be leading the North American Division with innovative approaches to capture the hearts and minds of our young people. I am also looking forward to connecting and networking with the young adults of RMC. Many times, once our youth age out of Pathfinders, they sort of feel like they don’t have a place in our church community. We need to continue to develop places for every youth and young adult to contribute their talents and develop their own unique walk with Jesus.”

Westgate has a B.A. in theology from Southwestern Adventist University and a master’s in pastoral ministry from Andrew University. He enjoys working with his hands and has developed skills in home remodeling and renovation. He also likes outdoor activities like golf, disc golf, cycling, hiking, swimming and has run several half marathons, one full marathon, and has also done a few triathlons. He is an avid reader and enjoys board games.

The Westgates will be transitioning to RMC in 2022.