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Mike Willich, Saints Team Chaplin

Mike Willich is a local pastor with a heart for the local community.  He is a 1991 graduate of Manhattan Christian Academy in Manhattan, Kansas, with a degree in Christian Education. Willich also received a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Southern Christian University in Montgomery, Alabama in 2005. In July 2016, Willich accepted the Senior Pastorate at New Community Christian Church and relocated to Salina.  Before he and his family were even settled, Willich began searching for an opportunity to serve in his new hometown.

“I’m a practical kind of guy that likes to lead by example,” Willich said, “I can’t stand up and tell my church to ‘Go out and make disciples’ if I’m not willing to do so myself.  I like to practice what I preach.”

Willich happened upon an exciting opportunity this fall when he met Saints owner, Scott Gardner through the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce.  Shortly thereafter, he was asked to serve as the team Chaplin.

Willich comes to the Saints with sixteen years of previous Chaplin experience.  In 1996, he took his first position with the Tulsa Police and Fire Department in Tulsa, Oklahoma where he assisted with death notifications, homicides, suicides and dead on arrival calls.  In 2003, Willich and his family moved to Wichita where he volunteered as team Chaplin for the Wichita Thunder hockey team, a position he held for nine years.

For the Saints, Willich will lead game day devotions with the players and pre-game prayer for the fans.  In addition to his game day responsibilities, as a licensed marriage and family therapist, Willich will provide additional support to players and their families by making himself available for counselling sessions.  As an ordained pastor, Willich is also licensed to perform weddings.  

“I’m excited about this partnership with the Saints,” Willich said. “I’m happy to serve as a source of spiritual counsel and a resource to both the players and their families.”

Willich and his wife, Cindy, who is the Director of the Pregnancy and Family Resource Center in Augusta, Kansas, have been happily married for 26 years and have two children.  The couple’s oldest son is a sophomore at Cawley County Community College in Arkansas City.  Their youngest son is a sophomore at Salina South and still living at home.

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