R.J. Strickland

Lead Pastor

Pastor RJ received his Bachelor’s Degree from Northwest Nazarene University, an MBA from Aston University, completed his ministry course of study through Fuller and Emanuel seminary and is ordained as an Elder in the Church of the Nazarene.  He has 23 years of ministry experience serving in Idaho, Colorado, California, Hawaii, Washington and now as Lead Pastor of Bend Naz.

Throughout his time in ministry, RJ has planted multi-cultural and multi-lingual churches.  He was the founder and president of Kokua Compassion Group, a compassionate ministry network focused on homeless and immigrant populations in Hawaii.  He was also one of the founding partners of Skaters in Christ, a west coast skateboard ministry.

In addition to pastoring, RJ serves as an associate district superintendent for Oregon Pacific District Church of the Nazarene.  He is also a pastoral coach for the Center for Pastoral Leadership at Point Loma Nazarene University.

RJ has been married to his wife, Kacy, for 18 years and has four kids.  He loves reading, playing music, skateboarding, spearfishing, having outdoor adventures with his family and serving alongside his wife Kacy.  He is passionate about transformation and spends his time helping those around him become more like Christ.


Oscar Acosta

Spanish Pastor

Oscar Acosta was born in Venezuela where his parents served as pastors for 26 years in the Church of the Nazarene.   While he was attending college, he received the call from God for ministry.  He has served since 1995 in different areas: National Youth ministry coordinator, National Work and Witness coordinator, National Camps ministries coordinator, and Superintendent of one of the 5 districts of the Church of the Nazarene in Venezuela.   He also helped as a teacher of ministerial classes.  Since 2015, he has been serving as pastor of the Hispanic ministry here at Bend Naz.

In 2001, Oscar married his beloved wife, Aura Acosta who has served by his side since this date.  Together they have three children: Oscar E. Acosta, Laura Acosta and Andrea Acosta who are involved with them in ministry.

After taking ministerial classes for 4 years in Venezuela, Oscar and his wife, along with their 2-year-old son, went to live in Quito, Ecuador to attend the seminary. In 2005, he was ordained as a Presbyter of the Church of the Nazarene.

His hobbies include practicing sports, including soccer and volleyball, going to the lake, and traveling with his family and seeing new places.

Spanish Translation

Oscar Acosta, nació en Venezuela, sus padres fueron pastores por 26 años en la  iglesia del Nazareno de Venezuela, Estando en la Universidad recibió el llamado de Dios para el ministerio, sirviendo desde el año 1995 en diferentes áreas entre ellas: coordinador del ministerio Nacional de Jóvenes, coordinador de grupos misioneros  sirviendo en el área de construcción de iglesias. Coordinador de campamentos Nacionales, Superintendente de uno de los 5 distritos de la Iglesia del Nazareno en Venezuela, ayudo como profesor de clases ministeriales y desde el año 2015 sirve como pastor del ministerio hispano aquí en Bendnaz.

En el año 2001 contrajo matrimonio con su amada esposa Aura Acosta quien ha servido a su lado desde esta fecha, fruto de esta relación ellos tienen tres hijos Oscar E Acosta, Laura Acosta y Andrea Acosta quienes están involucrados con ellos en el ministerio.

En el año 2005, después de haber tomados clases ministeriales por 4 años en Venezuela, El, su esposa y su pequeño hijo de 2 años fueron a vivir en Quito Ecuador para asistir al seminario, siendo ordenado como Presbítero de la Iglesia del Nazareno en ese mismo año. 

Entre sus hobbies, le gusta practicar algunos deportes, entre ellos soccer, voleibol, ir a los lagos, disfruta mucho viajar junto a su familia y conocer nuevos lugares. 


Mason McDonough


Mason was raised in San Diego, California where he graduated from Point Loma Senior High.  While growing up, he attended College Church of the Nazarene.

Following high school, Mason studied at San Diego Mesa Community College before taking a position as the Worship Leader for Grace Point Church in San Diego where he served from 2011-2014.   In 2015, he was hired as the Worship Arts director for Ocean Beach Newbreak Church. He ministered to the Newbreak Church through 2018.

After years in California, Mason and his wife, Caitlin, moved to Portland, Oregon.  During that time Mason worked at Amazon and made a living performing online before making a transition to Central Oregon.  Their son, June, was born not long after they arrived in Bend.

Mason has been serving as the Worship Arts Director at Bend Naz since August of 2019.   Mason is a gifted vocalist, musician and technician, who loves to train and involve people of all ages in worship ministries.  He would say the most enjoyable part of his ministry is helping people connect to God in worship while leading the congregation in song.


Josh Curtiss


Pastor Josh is originally from Vancouver, WA where his dad planted a church the year he was born. The church continued to grow over the next 18 years before hiring Josh as their Youth Pastor. This would be the first of five youth programs Josh has led over the past 20 years. In the process, he earned his bachelor’s degree in Bible/Theology and Youth Ministry, before completing a Masters in Christian Leadership and Leadership Coaching. Josh has led or spoken at dozens of camps around the Northwest as well as multiple mission trips around the world.

What drives Josh is the opportunity to see young people step into their potential as followers of Christ and leaders in the community. According to him, “it’s amazing to lead someone to Jesus, preach the Word or baptize a new believer, but when you have the chance to teach someone else to do those things, you leave a legacy that will outlast you.”
Josh enjoys a wide range of authors and speakers including: Tim Keller, Oz Guinness, AW Tozer, Andy Stanley, Patrick Lencioni, NT Wright and C.S Lewis.
In his free time, Josh loves to go fishing and play video games with his son Hudson. He also enjoys a number of card games and actually comes from a long line of “cardsharks” in his family tree.


Ariel Krauser


Ariel was a stay-at-home mom for many years, raising her kids (Sam, Madelyn and Jake) and volunteering in the schools.  Her husband, John, is a teacher of Special education and currently teaches at a local middle school.

In 2017, Ariel felt a call to ministry after beginning a grass-roots neighborhood ministry that continued to grow each summer. She served as a part-time Children’s Director at a Nazarene church in Battle Ground, WA before she and John felt called to Bend where she serves as the full-time Children’s Pastor.

Pastor Ariel is passionate about sharing the Gospel with kids, supporting parents as they respond to the extraordinary task of raising kids and reaching families who don’t know The Lord.

Ariel and her family love being outdoors. Camping, biking, hiking, and playing in the snow are some of their favorite activities.


Tori Carpenter


Tori has been attending Bend Naz for several years, but joined the staff  in January, after being a stay-at-home Mom for 6 years. She moved here for her husband’s job after graduating from NNU in 2013. Since she grew up on the Oregon Coast, where it is 60 degrees and rainy all the time, she loves living in Central Oregon and experiencing the change in seasons. Tori has 2 young kids, 5 and 7, that you can often find running around the Church. It’s one of their favorite places to be!
Though Tori is one of our more soft-spoken and reserved staff members, she has a heart that desires to get to know others and genuinely connect with them. She is so thankful to be serving on a team of people who are constantly seeking God’s will and making an impact on the community.
In her free time, Tori loves to bake, wood-burn, write, run, and spend time with her family. She is also an avid board game player, and surprisingly competitive.


Chris May

Pastor of Discipleship

Pastor Chris joined our team the beginning of August, when he and his wife, Pam, moved here from Salem. Though he has spent some time in California and Washington, Pastor Chris considers Oregon his home, as he has lived here most of his life. He graduated from Northwest Nazarene College (now NNU) and then continued his education at Nazarene Theological Seminary and Luther Seminary.  Chris’s love for ministry began at the young age of 14, when he began participating in outreach programs. He has been serving in a Pastoral position for 37 years, across many churches in Oregon and Washington. He has also been involved in several non-profit opportunities, such as outreach to teen moms, local food banks, and discipleship-based recovery programs for homeless and individuals suffering from drug/alcohol addiction. He is passionate about communion with Jesus, making disciples, and actively demonstrating the love of Jesus to others.
Chris is a learner! He loves learning new things, which is why he enjoys activities such as reading, listening to talks, and conversing with others about theology and culture. He likes to work around his house, building and gardening. He follows some sports and will occasionally be found golfing, fishing, bowling, or playing games. Recently, God has shown Chris the importance of leaning on one another, and he has felt a call to be more intentional about coming alongside others as an encourager, listener, and personal advocate. He feels like he is right where God wants him to be right now, and is excited to work with a team of people who share his heart and passion for discipleship.


Andrea Gill


Andrea was born in Lebanon, Oregon but moved to Bend when she was 4.  She  has known of Jesus since a young age as her mom would take her to church when she was little.  Unfortunately, her mom had irreconcilable differences with the church they were attending and then they moved to a different town.  Even though her mom was not faithful at attending church, after that she would always sign Andrea up for any and all VBS programs during the summer. 

Andrea came to know the Lord personally as savior and redeemer in the fall of 1992.  She was a single mom with an amazing 2-year-old son named Derek.  She realized that she could not do this parenting thing, or life in general for that matter, on her own so she surrendered her life to Jesus.  Seven years later the Lord blessed her with a wonderful husband, Mike, whom she met here at BendNaz.  After having their Sunday School class pray for His timing in having children together, they were blessed with twin girls, Kylie and Meagan, and another boy, Isaac.  They also have a beautiful daughter-in-law, Sarah, and the most adorable grandson, Rhett, with a granddaughter on the way.  God is good and provides all we need! 

Andrea says she has thoroughly enjoyed volunteering in children’s ministry, women’s ministry and now with the youth ministry here at BendNaz. She started working as the bookkeeper-in-training in 2014 and officially became bookkeeper in April of 2016.

As the youngest of 7 children, Andrea loves being around family and that is what BendNaz is to her.