Pastor Erik Reinertsen was born in Duluth in 1974 and has never wanted to live anywhere else. He graduated from Duluth Central High School and the University of Minnesota-Duluth and has a Master’s of Education from St. Mary’s University. He and his wife Jessica met in high school and were married in 1996. Erik, Jessica, and their eight (that’s right– eight!) kids lived in the Piedmont neighborhood of Duluth for 17 years before moving to Lincoln Park in 2015. Erik and his family spent 14 wonderful years at Mount of Olives Baptist Church prior to starting The Water’s Edge. In his spare time, Erik loves to spend time with Jess and the kids, play basketball and golf, and read his Bible and good Christian books.
Erik was very content as an unbeliever for the first 23 years of his life. Though he had been to church on a fairly regular basis since childhood he rarely gave God or eternal things much thought. Like many people, he wondered about the existence of God, questioned the truthfulness of the Bible, assumed there had to be many paths to Heaven (if Heaven existed at all), and figured that because he was a pretty good guy, if there was a final judgment of some kind, he would be okay.
On a challenge from his believing wife Jessica, Erik read through the Bible for the first time and God opened His eyes to the truth. He repented of his sins, put his faith in Jesus Christ, and began to grow in his faith and get involved at Mount of Olives. In the summer of 2003, he felt the call of God to leave math teaching (a job that he dearly loved) and become the Youth and Young Adult Director at Mount of Olives where he was blessed to serve for 5 years. Erik received informal seminary and eldership training while working as Youth and Young Adult Director. Then, in 2009, Erik again felt the call of God to leave the youth pastorate (a job that he also dearly loved) and start The Water’s Edge Community Church. The Water’s Edge was blessed to meet at Lakeview Christian Academy for the first nine years of its life before being blessed to merge with Lincoln Park Community Church in 2018. Erik has a huge heart for Duluth and its people and firmly believes that God wants to use The Water’s Edge to make an eternal difference for Him.
Erik’s life verse is Philippians 3:7-8,
"But whatever was to my profit, I now consider loss, for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.”
Pastor Josh Bielinski was born in Minneapolis in 1979. He grew up in a Christian family but hardened his heart and was eventually expelled from Junior High School. However, his parents and church prayed constantly for Jesus to intervene-and He did. One night, Josh saw “the fire of hell” as he prepared to sleep. God seemed to say to him: “Josh, that is where you would be if you were to die tonight.” He was then 15.
Shaken by the thought of death, he attended a Bible conference where he heard, in a new light, Christ’s death on the cross for sin. Persuaded, he bowed to ask Christ to forgive him. Everything changed-he suddenly loved God and people. His sister asked: “What happened to Josh? He’s nice to me now!” Josh had experienced Jesus’ words: “You must be born again.” (John 3:3)
Josh spread the Good News. He bussed inner-city children to church. Out of High School, he received Christian training to work with juvenile delinquents. He prayed and fasted, and asked God to personally show him direction for life. As if struck by lighting, he saw Ephesians 4:11-12. It said: “And he [God] gave…shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of the ministry.” After this, he felt a strong call to serve the church.
He attended Magdalen Bible College in Minneapolis and received a Bachelor’s of Divinity in 2002. He simultaneously apprenticed as an electrician, receiving his Journeyman’s Electrician License in March of 2004. In September of that same year, he married his sweetheart Kerri Lynn, who joyfully shared the same vision of serving the church. Since then Josh has had many opportunities to serve and pursue further training: leading a youth group, taking seminary classes, joining a church plant, leading various small groups, and serving on worship teams. Eventually, in 2016 the Bielinskis came to Duluth with their eight children and joined The Water’s Edge. Josh has been privileged to serve on the provisional leadership board and joined the staff as a pastoral assistant in 2017. In October of 2019, a long journey came to completion when he was ordained by the Converge Conference as a pastor.