When the poet wrote: “Bring me men to match my mountains,” he must have been writing about men like Capitol Ministries’ new Ministry Leader to Public Servants in the state of California.
Mountain Mike, as Mike Shreve is known in most circles, is an accomplished mountaineer, an avid adventurer, and a dedicated pastor of 35 years who has the heart of a shepherd.
Like Yvonne Chouinard and Royal Robbins, he’s climbed the vertical granite monolith El Capitan in Yosemite National Park and slept in a hammock hanging off its face. Many times he’s hiked the 215-mile John Muir Trail that stretches from Yosemite across the Ansel Adams Wilderness and ends at Mount Whitney which, at 14,496 feet, is the highest peak in the Continental United States.
As a youth he was a member of the U.S. Ski Team. And like Norman Clyde and Doug Mantle, the greatest peak baggers in the history of the Sierra Nevada, he’s climbed hundreds of its major summits.
In 1997, while staff pastor at the Lake Tahoe Christian Fellowship at Lake Tahoe, CA, he and his son Ryan created the Ultimate Wilderness Adventures ministry, through which they offered youth as well as adult church leadership teams 3- to 8-day back pack trips where they could fellowship and worship the Creator in the midst of the rugged beauty He created.
“Our vision was to take the principles taught in Boy Scouts and the reality of creation, and bring the two together,” Pastor Shreve said. “Life is a great adventure. In John 10:10 Jesus said He wants us to have that abundance.”
Pastor Shreve and his wife Dawn lost their son Ryan, who was a firefighter and paramedic, to Second Impact Syndrome, or multiple concussions, after a wakeboarding accident in 2003. “I never trust a man who doesn’t walk with a limp,” Pastor Shreve said. “My limp is losing my son.” After Ryan’s death, Pastor Shreve continued Ultimate Wilderness Adventures.
“Now I am looking at the potential of Capitol Ministries and I realize an adventure doesn’t have to be in the wilderness,” Pastor Shreve said. “I wrote in a newsletter to supporters, ‘Mountain Mike is going from the Ultimate Wilderness Adventures to the ultimate capitol adventure.'”
Pastor Shreve was approved as Ministry Leader to California’s state elected officials and Constitutional officers at the Capitol Ministries Board of Directors Nov. 8 meeting in Palm Desert, CA after he completed the 4-day training.
He has already met with some representatives who will be supporting his in-depth Bible study in the Sacramento Capitol, and is preparing to begin his ministry in January 2015. It’s particularly poignant that the quote, “Bring me men to match my mountains,” is found atop one of the prominent buildings on the California state capitol campus, and will welcome him.
Pastor Shreve will also be involved in Capitol Ministries’ new CivicReach™ video training series that teaches churches how to minister to local city and county Public Servants. Through contacts he will make in Sacramento, Pastor Shreve’s goal is to plant CivicReach™ ministries across the state from Mount Laguna to Mount Shasta.
“Lawmakers need to have a biblical core and know that Jesus Christ is the way, the Truth, and the life,” Pastor Shreve said. “They can be considered very good men, but if they are following pseudo truths they can be three degrees off and where will they end up over 10 years time? I want to give them a reference point.
“I am a shepherd. That is who God wired me to be. I’ve been up in the mountains shepherding a few sheep, and now God is bringing me down to the valley to shepherd giants.”
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. – John 10:10-11
“Bring me men to match my mountains,” from The Coming American by American Poet Sam Walter Foss, 1858 – 1911