Someone You Should Know…Tim Mangan

Tim Mangan

Age: 27
Marital Status: Married
Location: Grand haven, Michigan
Children: 1.5
Education: Currently studying Masters of Theology
Hometown: Sydney, Australia
Year of first Skydive: 2009
Number of Skydives: 58
Year of first BASE Jump: 2009
Number of BASE Jumps: 30
Container: Perigee 2
Canopy: Fox 245 (vented)
Your profession: Pastor
Nickname:  God Lover

In this installment of “Someone You Should Know…Tim Mangan” is a man of faith, a family man, an outdoors man and a newbie BASE jumper.  In searching for quotes to correlate with the interview I came across this one from Ralph Waldo Emerson-

                                   “Enthusiasm is the engine of success.”

No one will ever accuse Pastor Tim to be lacking in enthusiasm for every task he undertakes.  If you are going to talk the talk, you best be walking the walk defines his approach to sharing the word of Jesus.  Although I imagine that his sermons teach as well as entertain his congregation.

At a recent taping of the “Ask the Pastor” when the host offered Tim the opportunity to answer a viewer question, the openness I have come to expect from the Pastor shined through when he admitted he didn’t have the answer.

This same honesty and awareness is displayed in Tim’s BASE jumping views, he acknowledges he is new to the sport and in no way has all the answers.

Understanding your mortality and purpose in the universe may go hand in hand with a being a student of theology and has no doubt served Tim well in his young career as a BASE jumper.

Tim Mangan, Pastor, BASE jumper, life enthusiast and someone you should know.

1. When people first meet you, are they more surprised by you being a Pastor or BASE jumper?
- Hahaha, Pastor for sure. I’m used to the funny looks now. And besides, most people have never even heard of BASE.

2. At what point in your life did you decide that life in the ministry is where you belonged?
- I think I was 16 years of age when I decided this is where wanted to be.

3. You recently assumed the position of head Pastor at Resurrection Life church in Grand Haven, Michigan; what goals have you established for your ministry?
- Our goal is to reach people with the message of Jesus. We have goals to keep us on track, but overall, we just want people to have a relationship with God.

4. You appear to be constantly on the go between family, friends, work, coffee time and outdoor sports.  What do you do for yourself to keep a healthy balance and remain focused at the task at hand?
- We make sure that we keep life fun. So far I have found that you can have a full life that is easy to manage, or a less than full life that is overwhelming, but what makes the difference for me is whether I am enjoying what I am doing or not. So I do my best to make what I’m doing fun, and if I’m not, I will work ASAP to fix it.

5. In your experiences, what do you see as the difference between Australian BASE jumping and BASE jumping in north eastern part of the states?
- I haven’t jumped all the places Michigan has to offer, but so far the jumps I have jumped, there is no need for accuracy. Australia, however, if you’re not accurate, you run out of landing area really quick.

6. Describe your most memorable BASE jump to date?
- Christmas day, 2-way with Feral off the Overhang, last jump in Australia, and a few weeks ago, 350 foot antenna, took it super low, the ground rush was sweet. Wouldn’t go that low again though, not enough room for error.

7. What prompted you to enter the sport of BASE jumping?
- When I started, I thought it was the most extreme thing you could ever do, I had to try it.

8. How much would you say does who your wife is influence who you are as a person?
- Massively, we are a team so we do everything together.

Tim and Steph Mangan

9. “Non-believing” BASE jumpers can be very vocal in regards to their opinions on the subject of God, amongst many other topics.  Your own Aussie mentor often refers to you as “the God lover”.  How is it you manage being within a group of non-believers and not start preaching the ministry?
- Everyone has heard the message of Jesus, but not many have seen it. I think my actions speak a lot, well I hope they do anyway. Francis of Assisi said, “preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary use words.” That doesn’t mean that you never get verbal about Jesus, you need that as well, but words mean nothing without credibility behind them.

10. What presents you with the most joy in your work as a Pastor?
- Hearing stories of people’s lives being turned around, marriages restored, young people making wise life decisions as a result of them having God in their life.

11. How have you reconciled your personal responsibilities with your desire to BASE jump?
- BASE isn’t my number one in life, it is a lot of fun and it is very challenging, but it isn’t number one. So when other responsibilities arise, they take precedence.

12. Would Jesus make it as a BASE jumper?
- Jesus would have ripped up BASE world. Everywhere he went he was upset the establishment, challenging people’s thoughts and world views, he would have loved it.

13. Michigan has highly concentrated communities devoted to Islam as do other states.  In your opinion with the tense relations politically between the U.S. and Muslim based countries, how can we as individuals build bridges between the faiths based communities here in the states?
- I think we need to see people of other faiths as what they really are, people. We are all people, we have all been separated from God, some have found God and some haven’t. Those who have shouldn’t be judging those who haven’t, but loving them regardless. Jesus himself said he came not to condemn the world, but to save it, and we should be following his example.

14. What do you feel is the biggest misconception in regards to Christianity by those that speak out against it such as Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris? 
- Who are they?

15. Do you still skydive? 
- I don’t skydive anymore, I never really enjoyed it, I know some people do, I just never really did. To me it was. Just a means to an end, BASE being that end.

Besides BASE jumping, which sports do you participate in regularly?
- My wife and I love rock climbing, wake boarding, mountain biking, basically anything outdoors we love.

16. How long have you had a love affair with coffee?
- A few years now, but mostly the last one or two years, that’s when I really started to get into it.

17. My nearly met my maker moment in BASE was…
- I misrouted my bridle through my leg strap once. I misrouted my chute consistently for a while as well.

18. My fantasy BASE jump would be at, with, and when.
- A two-way off Trollspiret with Feral when he gets off parole.

19. What is the number one reason you deserve an Australian BASE Association T-shirt?
- I don’t deserve one; I already lost the one I bought.  I’m obviously not responsible enough to handle another ABA shirt.

20. If I was to poll your school teachers, on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the most challenging, where would you rate? 
- 3 for sure, I barely even went, that made their life super easy.

 21. Give me 5 words that describe your childhood.
- I don’t remember my childhood.

22. What is your BASE philosophy?
- Know your limits

23. Which BASE jumper do you admire most and why?
- Al Duncan (Aussie jumper), I have only jumped with him a handful of times, but I love his approach to the sport. He goes hard and pushes the limits, but not in a yahoo way. He makes wise decisions, respects the jumps and the other jumpers and is always ready to answer questions.

24. What was the most challenging aspect of BASE for you to learn?
- Take it slow, I got into BASE earlier than I should have and wanted to gainer off everything I saw. To learn that BASE isn’t going anywhere and that progress isn’t always fast, that was hard to swallow.

25. What will your epitaph read?
- Lived the dream

26. What is your greatest fear?
- Knowing that I could have done more in my life for God.

27. Have you ever climbed down from making a jump?
- Only due to bad weather conditions.

28. What is it you hope that the reader takes from this interview?- I don’t know, maybe that being a Christian doesn’t make you boring.

 29. Is there a scripture that you feel relates to BASE jumping?
Ecc7:17 – “Don’t be reckless, why die before needlessly?”I think of this verse every time I jump.

30. Have you achieved your childhood dreams and if so, or if not what were they?
- I always wanted to be a pro skater, never did. I switched my focus to ministry at around 16 years of age so I went after that. So hey, maybe I am living the childhood dream right now

Either Or’s

1. Coke or Pepsi – Neither

2. Dogs or Cats – Dogs

3. Dirt or Street Bikes – Dirt

4. Domestic or Imported Cars – Imported (European)

5. Wine or Whiskey – Neither

6. Man-made objects or Natures objects – Natures

7. Straight up or Flavored Coffee – Straight up (Espresso)

8. Morning or Night Person – Night

9. Apple or Microsoft – Are you kidding me? Apple

10. Glass half full or half empty – Half full

Authors Note:  Thank you to Pastor Tim for his honesty and sharing so openly his thoughts.  Also, a shout out to Feral of the Australian BASE Association for arranging the interview.

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