Meet the Artisans

The first mention in the Bible of God filling someone with His Spirit is in Exodus 31. We see God uniquely calling and empowering artisans to express His beauty and glory through the work of their hands. That same high calling and purpose inspires each artisan at NGA. Our team is comprised of young men who have experienced spiritual transformation and awakening of their artisan callings during their Narrow Gate Lodge (NGL) experience. After graduation they have chosen to invest their skills and passions at NGA. Whether as interns just beginning their journeys or as accomplished artists, the motivation is the same: making Jesus more famous in the earth through their lives and the work of their hands.

Meet our team:
Jackson Birdwell, Wood Artisan

Jackson grew up on the mission field with missionary parents but lacked his own personal direction from God on what to do with his life. At NGL, Jackson discovered a passion for working with his hands and turning wood. At NGA, Jackson's artistic skills help us express our customers' vision on custom projects. His craftsmanship skills help produce beautiful and functional wood products for the home, office, or church, including our cool Ice Cream Scooper.

Jackson Shares about Being Adopted in God's Family

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McKenzie Meredith, Metal & CNC Artisan

McKenzie discovered the art of metalworking as a student at NGL. At NGA he has pursued his blacksmithing training and skills, and also has learned to operate the Computer Numerical Control Router. Prior to coming to Narrow Gate, McKenzie was discontent with the direction of his life because he lacked vision and purpose. Today, he is focused and joyful at the life opportunities before him. Our rugged and beautiful metal products are shaped by McKenzie's skilled hands, including our Crown of Thorns.

McKenzie's Thoughts on Shaping Metal and Being Shaped by God.

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Burke Reynolds, Leather & Laser Shop Supervisor

Burke discovered the art of leatherworking as a student at NGL. Before NGL, Burke struggled in college because he didn't have a passion for what he was studying. Today, Burke is pursuing his passion of crafting leather products & learning business skills while getting his college degree at night. He has also learned to operate the laser engraver for personalizing many of the wood and leather items we produce. Most of our beautiful leather products are designed and handcrafted by Burke, including our Leather Journal with Pen Closure.

Burke on Making a Bible Cover

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Luke Strimiatis, Wood Shop Supervisor

Luke had an interest in design since childhood. His passions developed as he engaged in woodworking as a student at NGL. He grew up in church but struggled to believe that God really loved him. Today, Luke loves to share the unconditional love of God with others, and is pursuing his college degree at night. His design and woodworking abilities result in beautiful and practical items cherished by many. Luke has designed a number of our wood products, including our Guitar Shaped Serving Board.

Luke on Making the Communion Set

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Discover how our products are made and transforming truths for life.

Discipleship and Craftsmanship | Crown of Thorns
Making of the Bronze Cross
Discipleship and Craftsmanship | Transformation of Metal and Man
Discipleship and Craftmanship | The Gospel According to Woodworking
Shop Talk with Bill Spencer
Through the Narrow Gate with Marc Adams
In My Own Words | McKenzie
Pepe's Corner

Stories, smiles, and inspiration from Narrow Gate Artisans' President, Phil Stoner.

The Ugly Log

The sun dispersed through the falling leaves like exhaled powder, the dogs romping ahead of me along the creek. It was one of those Man, if I could only capture this in a bottle kind of early fall days. The gnarly mass poked up from the mud bank. My first thought was to pass it by, but something about its stark severity made me pause. We were out in the common area behind our house, scouting for downed, aged wood to put on the lathe. I'd recently started woodturning, and was discovering the joys of uncovering hidden treasure from spinning blanks... more

Woodworking - a Love Language

Aubrey eagerly sported her tool belt with tucked-in hammer. Everything about her said, Let's go build something daddy! She was ready for anything and wanted to prove she could tackle anything her brothers could - and more. The 'weekend' basement remodeling project had morphed into a 2 year marathon. We'd finish one part and my lovely wife would come down the stairs oohing an aahing about how good it looked. Then I'd hear those dreaded next words 'But babe, that old _ (insert 'wall, ceiling, window,' etc.) next to it just isn't going to work... more

Woodworking - What's God Got to do With It?

There seemed to be no reason for me to love woodworking. No one else growing up in my immediate family had any interest in lumber, saws, and drills, or the ways one can use them to make useful things. My Dad was not opposed, but was not able to offer much inspiration. His level of 'handy' pinnacled with the resounding crash of the kitchen cabinets falling off the wall and Mom's treasured dishes in pieces on the marble floor... more

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