Steven was born to a single teenage mother in Coon Rapids, MN. The spring of 3rd grade shifted life when Steven was sent to live with his biological father, step mother and their blended family in Hutchinson, MN. This complex family dynamic presented significant challenges including disappointment, anger and hopelessness. Jesus Christ was not a part of their lives and survival was the main goal. In 7th grade, a friend and his parents began bringing Steven to church. The next two years brought stability and exposure to another way of life. By the end of 8th grade Steven was confirmed at Faith Lutheran Church, which started a foundation of knowing Christ that will be transformed later in life.
Steven graduated from high school in 2005 and proceeded to complete his AAS Degree at Ridgewater Community College. From 2009 to 2011 he attended Bemidji State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work. The fall of 2011 he was offered his first real job working for North Homes Inc. with young children ages 5-11. Over the next 7 years, Steven would work with level 4 EBD students grades 6-12 and teach anger management at the Northwestern Minnesota Juvenile Center. In August of 2017 Up North Canvas Company was created out of Steven’s garage with the help of a co-worker, staff at Bemidji Marine his family, a sewing machine and a few materials. Over the past 6 years, Up North Canvas Company has expanded into a full-time operation serving a variety of local businesses and has built a foundation centered around Jesus Christ focusing on serving people of this community and surrounding area by offering genuine advice, producing quality products and building lifelong relationships with customers.
Steven and his wife Ashley have been married for 10 years and have been blessed with two beautiful daughters. They love to garden, hike & explore national parks, hunt, fish, go camping with family & friends and attend school activities for their oldest daughter. Steven and his family are members of the Bemidji Evangelical Covenant Church and are involved in a variety of volunteer and programming opportunities. Steven’s testimony will share about influential people along the way that demonstrated love, life before knowing Christ, the moment he surrendered his life to Christ and how life has changed since accepting Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.
When possible, we record speaker presentations to make them available online for those who are unable to attend.