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Meet the Bear Man Team

James H. Vansteenhouse

a.k.a. “The Bear Man”

James H. VanSteenhouse, raised on a Michigan rotation crop farm and graduate of Michigan State University. In January 2021 Jim retired from his position as CEO at InterLinc Mortgage Services, LLC and now serves as Chairman of the Board. This move allowed Jim to pursue full time ministry to go anywhere at any time to tell his story.

Jim and his wife, Elizabeth, are proud parents of three children. Jim’s rural upbringing brought with it a passion of hunting. Since the early days of hunting on the Michigan countryside, Jim has replaced his shotgun and rifle with a bow and has hunted around the globe.

In September 2015, VanSteenhouse, an avid sportsman and adventurer, boarded a plane headed to Canada’s NW Territories to pursue his dream of archery hunting moose in the Mackenzie Mountain Range. The adventure did not go as planned. On the fourth day of the hunt, deep in the wilderness and miles from base camp, he went from hunter to hunted. Unaware that he was being stalked, Jim was viciously attacked by a Grizzly Bear. A man of faith, he found that faith tested when the world’s largest carnivore tossed him like a ragdoll, with its teeth ripping his flesh, breaking his bones, and raking into his skull. Jim survived by the grace of God and with help from his brave Canadian guide.

Elizabeth VanSteenhouse

Speaker and Marriage Ministry

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Darin Fritz

Silent Thunder and Rough Edges Team Lead

Darin was born and raised in the outskirts of Menard County, Illinois. Darin grew up like most other country kids, playing in the dirt and enjoying time outside. Darin has experience in a various array of jobs, from a Menard County dispatcher, coal miner, and real estate agent. Along with those, he discovered a taste for entrepreneurship, becoming a part owner of a family owned lawn and landscaping company and even a restauranteur.

Darin has since found his way to BearMan ministries where his true passion shines. Whitetail property management meets chasing lost souls for Christ. Darin’s passion for growing and chasing Giant Whitetail along with seeking lost and broken men blend perfectly together as he develops Silent Thunder Farms and manages Rough Edges Men’s Ministry.

Pastor Sal Sberna

Pastor of Ministries

Sal and Kristi Sberna have been serving the Lord together since 1980. They have been married since 1981 and have two grown married children, and 5 grandchildren.

Sal and Kristi love the outdoors, nature restores their souls. Kristi is also an accomplished photographer, writer and Mandolin player. They both are grace-oriented, fun loving and compassionate people. Sal has been preaching and pastoring for over 40 years, he is inspirational, motivational, and Biblically based.

Kristi and Sal like people who show grace and forgiveness toward others; the smell of the salt grass early in the morning or watching trout rise to their flies on a mountain stream (Kristi actually caught a trout on a fly she tied using the fur of her cat); the annual spring fishing sale at Bass Pro Shop (gift cards accepted, thank you); and Sal loves to sing, pray you are not close by when he does.