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Lead Pastors

Jake and Michele Smith have been married since 1995. They have two adult children (Isaac and Sophia) and one daughter-in-law (Maddie). 

Jake has spent most of his career working at universities in positions ranging from paint crew leader to soccer coach to Dean of Students but most recently he served as the Global Missions Pastor at Real Life Church in Roseville, MN. Jake loves soccer and books and doesn’t love the family dog (Bou, short for Caribou) as much as Michele would lead you to believe.

Michele also has years of experience working with college students but served as the Family Life Pastor at Real Life Church prior to moving to La Crosse. In that role Michele oversaw children’s, youth,

and family programs. Michele also loves to read and talk over coffee. She loves the family dog more than she would lead you to believe. 

After years of doing separate work and ministry, they began to hope for something they could do together. The dream to plant a church began several years ago but didn’t become concrete until summer 2018 when they visited La Crosse and said, “yep, I think that is what we should do.” Their dream is to be a blessing to the vibrant and beautiful community and provide a safe place for people to live out life and faith together.



Esther Kindle has a degree in Youth Ministries from North Central University and leads at Bluffs in a myriad of ways.  Esther likes music, art, and laughing and when she’s not at work or home you may find her in a local coffee shop despite the fact that she (suspiciously) doesn’t really like coffee.


Latesha Berrong

Latesha Berrong grew up in Onalaska, WI and moved to Minneapolis, MN to attend North Central University in 2004 where she graduated with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Intercultural Studies.  There she met her husband Josh and they married in 2008.  They moved to Northern Minnesota for 3 years to be in full time ministry, Josh a Youth Pastor and Latesha a Worship Leader.  Following their time in ministry they returned to Minneapolis in 2012.  Then, after a lot of prayer, they moved back to the La Crosse area in 2020 with their daughter. In her free time she enjoys watching HGTV, engaging in small home projects, and cooking!