Meet Our Staff!
Bill Walles, Lead Pastor
I helped start Hope Covenant Church, along with a wonderful core group of great leaders, nearly 7 years ago. However, doing a church plant wasn’t always my life's plan. I grew up hoping to be an actor, and even went to Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma as a theatre major. Fortunately, God could see that I was never going to make it on the stage and called me into ministry instead. I went to Seminary in the Twin Cities, where I also married my college sweetheart, Sarah. From there, I’ve had the chance to serve in ministry in some exotic and fun places like Mexico, Phoenix, and even Omaha! Sarah and I now have 4 amazing children, and couldn’t be any happier than to call Lake Stevens and Hope our home for years to come. We have loved our new partnership in Everett - and can't wait to see what God does next with all of us.
Sarah Walles, Praise Team Leader
My greatest joy in life is talking about myself. So, when I was asked to write a bio about myself for our church, you can imagine the overwhelming excitement I must have experienced. I wasted not a moment in getting on my computer to compose this intriguing bio, and the words just flowed and flowed. Or not.
I was raised in a good ‘ol Lutheran family in Minnesota in which humility was key. You didn’t boast about yourself or try to be the center of attention. So, I do find it ironic that God has brought me to this place in which I am up in front of people leading worship every Sunday. It is not because I love the spotlight -- it is because I love Jesus and music. And I do love that I have the opportunity every week to share His love, His grace, His forgiveness, His hope through music.
Outside of church, I work as a Spanish Teacher in the Lake Stevens School District, and drive my four children to the places they need to go and support them in the activities that bring them joy. I love to play games, swim laps, and sip a nice glass of wine…not necessarily in that order.
I am married to the pastor. That makes staff meetings interesting. But honestly, I love working with my husband. He just loves Jesus. I love watching God use him each and every day to reach people for His glory, and it is a privilege for me to be on this journey with him. It’s my sincere wish that you come and visit Hope and feel our love for Jesus Christ and His love for you.
Kendyll Opel, Youth Group Director
Determined to get the heck out of Dodge (Dodge, in this case, being Marysville) I told anyone who would listen, and then some, that as soon as I graduated high school I was leaving... and never coming back. And leave I did! However, after bopping the world for a few years I somehow ended up right where I least expected; back in the Northwest. And, even more surprisingly, happy to be here!
A former youth-grouper under Pastor Bill's tutelage, I joined Hope Covenant upon moving back and began volunteering with Youth Group. God continued to work in his mysterious ways, and when the position for a Youth Director opened up, I felt the call to apply. Since taking the job, I continue to grow in my faith alongside the wonderful and vibrant youth, and consider myself lucky that God's plan for my life was about as far from my own as I could have imagined.
When I'm not involved with church events, I work at The Loft on Hewitt, cuddle my puppy, hang out with my family, friends, and go on any adventure I can!