meet the staff
 

DSCF6654Virgil

Virgil Askren - Senior Pastor

I grew up in a home where I learned early about the love of God. In a family with 5 children, there was always lots of excitement! I was born in Jacksonville, Florida where my dad was stationed in the Navy. Our family started on the East Coast and ended up on Whidbey Island in the state of Washington.


I met my wife Judy while we were attending Northwest Nazarene College, now Northwest Nazarene University. We have 2 incredible daughters and a wonderful new son-in-law. I graduated from NNC with a B.A. in History and Religion. After a brief stint in Alaska (to make money for grad school) we moved to Kansas City, Missouri where I graduated from Nazarene Theological Seminary with a Masters of Divinity. While serving here in Bend I finished up my Doctorate of Ministry. I love learning and keep my mind fresh!


My wife and I have been serving full-time in pastoral ministry since 1986. We have pastored and served on staff in Portland, Klamath Falls, and now Bend. I have had the privilege of serving as pastor of Bend Naz since August of 2003. We love our people, this city, and all that God is doing here. The greatest challenge is continually keeping up with a staff and congregation who love to keep growing in their relationship in Christ and finding ways to meet the needs of our community. I absolutely love new ideas, and I love to be able to tell other pastors what a great church I serve.

 

When I am not working I do CrossFit, watch the Food Network, and eat good food. I am always looking for someplace new to go and try out the lunch special. Judy and I also love to travel and try to find a "good deal" to get there and have fun.

 

Favorite Movie There are way too many movies to have a favorite, but I really like the Count of Monte Cristo.  I like movies with action, adventure, danger and happy endings!

 

Favorite Quote “The best of us is a Christian in the making.” 

~E. Stanley Jones

This is a constant reminder to give grace and to look for the places where God is working in other people.

 

You can email pastor Virgil at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or by clicking here

 

 

pastor cathy

Cathy Unfried (Parnell) - 50+ Ministry Pastor

I was born and raised in sunny California...still love the beach. I attended Point Loma University, and felt a call to ministry during that time. God used my time of raising my boys and working with kids to realize that Children's Ministry was where I wanted to work and serve, where I have for the past 20 years here at Bend Naz! 

 

Big changes have happened! I am now working with the 50+ ministy, and will continue to serve families and seniors! I love my church!

 

I am married to Don Unfried, and we love to hike, spend time with friends, meet new people, see new things, and experience adventures! We love to travel and we love music! My favorite bands are, "Elliot" and Precious Byrd" which two of my boys are a part. Together we have 5 grown boys, 3 wonderful daughter-in-laws, and 7 of the cutest grandchildren in the world!

 

Favorite movie: Ones with happy endings....and books are the same way.

 

Favorite book: As a pastor I REALLY should say my favorite is the Bible...and it is....but I do like to read.

Favorite Quote: "We can trust an unknown future....to a known God......"

~Corrie Tenboom.....

 

You can email pastor Cathy at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or by clicking here

 

jasonvisserwebsitepic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jason Visser- Worship and Arts Pastor

I was born into a musical family and raised on a dairy in Central California. My Christian education provided many opportunities for me to grow musically, personally, and spiritually. I graduated from Azusa Pacific University in 2008 and moved to Clovis, NM, where I worked as a farm manager for our family’s business. I married Rachel, the love of my life, in June 2010. In the summer of 2011, I felt God’s call on my life to full time music ministry. In May of 2012, I was blessed to begin serving at Living Stones Community Church of the Nazarene in Clovis, NM. God opened up a new chapter in our lives in July of 2014 when we accepted the call to come and serve here in Bend. I love having the privilege of using music to help people enter into the presence of God through worship!

 

Rachel and I are enjoying taking in the beauty of Central Oregon! We have loved getting to take our beagle, Alice, out on hikes. We are foodies so we like making and finding great food. I also enjoy golfing when I can, and am always down for some Frisbee golf.

 

Favorite Movie: Current favorite, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. I like movies with a good story and a good peppering of wit throughout!

 

Favorite Book: How To Worship A King by Zach Neese

 

Favorite Verse: “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9

 

You can email Pastor Jason at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or by clicking This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

rickymillerwebsitepic

Ricky Miller- Children's Ministry Director

 I was born in Vallejo, California and moved soon after too Denver, Colorado. My family and I moved all over the U.S. after this, but we ended up in Central Oregon in 2008. I attended Central Oregon Community College/OSU Cascades and graduated with my BS in Business Administration. I am currently enrolled in Northwest Nazarene Universities' Course of Study and would eventually like to graduate with a Masters in Divinity.

I grew up in a Christian family and was saved at a young age. I first felt my call to ministry when I was 11 years old. Growing up I always was involved in several different ministries including Christian Youth in Action, Young Life, the Christian club at college, and the local church student ministry. I started as an intern here at Bend Naz in March 2015 under Pastor Cathy Parnell. In June of 2016, I was given the position of Children's Ministry Director.

 

I thoroughly enjoy anything outdoors that gets my adrenaline pumping and keeps me active. I will often climb the many mountains here in the Cascades range and visit waterfalls or caves. In the winter I'll snowboard and hang out at Backporch: my favorite coffee shop.

 

Favorite Movie: Gladiator

 

Favorite Book: The Circle Series – Ted Dekker

 

Favorite Quote: "You think anybody wants a roundhouse kick to the face while I'm wearing these bad boys? Forget about it." – Kip "Napoleon Dynamite"

 

Favorite Verse: "But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved." Ephesians 2:4-5

 

You can email Ricky at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by clicking This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

oscaracostawebsitepic

Oscar Acosta- Hispanic Pastor

 My parents are from Columbia, and at an early age we moved to Venezuela. I grew up in a family with 4 sisters where I was the only boy. I attended the University Rafael Belloso Chacin to study engineering. Being the son of a pastor, I always told myself that I would never be a pastor. But while in college, God, in His sense of humor, called me into fulltime pastoral ministry. I graduated with my Bachelor of Theology and then attended to seminary in Quito, Equador.

 

In 2001, I married my beautiful wife and helpmate Aura, and God has blessed us with three children: Oscar Eduardo (13), Laura (10), Andrea (6). I like to play soccer, go to the lakes and rivers, and try different American foods!

 

andreagillwebsitepic

Andrea Gill- Bookkeeper

I was born in Lebanon, Oregon but moved to Bend when I was 4. I have lived for short periods of time in northern Idaho, western Oregon, and Germany during my time in the Army, but Bend kept calling me back.

 

I came to know the Lord as my savior and redeemer in the fall of 1992. Being a single mom to a 2 yr old, I realized that I could not do it on my own. The Lord blesses me every day with a husband, Mike (who I met here at Bend Naz), and 3 more beautiful children...And a daughter-in-law.

 

As the youngest of 7 children, I love being around family and that is what Bend Naz is to me. I started working here as the bookkeeper-in-training in 2014 and officially became bookkeeper in April of 2016.

 

Favorite Movie: Meet Me in St. Louis.

 

Favorite Book: All the Mitford series books by Jan Karon

 

Favorite Verse: Proverbs 3: 5-6. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

 

You can email Andrea at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by clicking here

 

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