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About Us

Our Pastors


Joe Nuckols

Lead Pastor

Joe Nuckols serves as the lead pastor at Pathway Visalia and teaches on Sunday mornings. He accepted Jesus as his Savior in October of 1999. He has enjoyed teaching the Word of God in various ministries, to various age groups, over the past 23 years, with most of this time spent serving as a high school youth leader and pastor. He spent shorter periods as a young adult Sunday school teacher and children’s ministry teacher. He has also served many years as a church elder.  

Joe graduated from Golden West High School here in Visalia, and also has both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Fresno State.


His wife Sandra has been by his side for the past 38 years providing loving support, encouragement, and prayers! They have two amazing adult daughters and two wonderful son-in-laws, Ashley & Tyson and Amanda & Jake, who also love the Lord!


Kevin Mizner

Executive Pastor

Kevin Mizner serves as the executive pastor at Pathway Visalia and teaches the Wednesday evening Bible studies. Over the past 27 years, Kevin has served as an associate pastor, elder, deacon, and church administrator. He has led a wide range of personal and group ministries, including children’s ministry, small groups, home fellowships, biblical counseling, and a faith-based recovery ministry.  


Kevin graduated from Hanford High School, has a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Development from Fresno Pacific and also a master’s degree in Public Administration from Fresno State.


He is married to Bonnie and they have five adult children and 10 grandchildren.  


Mike Buford

Pastor Emeritas

Mike Buford serves as our Pastor Emeritas  at Pathway Visalia. He has been in ministry for over 39 years. During that time he has served in the capacity of youth pastor, missions and outreach pastor, police chaplain, rapid response chaplain, and executive pastor. 


Mike graduated from Redwood High School in Visalia, attended College of the Sequoias, and holds a certificate in Human Resource Management.


Mike has been married to his beautiful wife and closest friend Terri since 1974. He has one daughter, Trisha and her husband Eric, and one son Mike and his wife Malaine. His very favorite thing to do is to hang out with his 6 grandkids: Reece, Carson, Olivia, Reagan, Quincy &  Rhett.  


Eric Sapien

Youth Leader

Eric Sapien serves as the Youth Leader at Pathway Visalia and leads the middle school and high school youth group each Wednesday night. Eric came to know the Lord in December of 1993.  He has served in various ministries over his 30 years of being a Christian and is loving the opportunity to hang out with the teenagers and share his life and love for Jesus with them.


Eric graduated from Exeter High School in 1990 and attended COS.  He holds several licenses in Insurance Sales & Financial Services and is privileged to be able to serve his clients and be a help in planning for their future.

Eric has been married to his wife Trisha for over 24 years and they are parents to Reece, Carson, & Olivia. Any time that he gets to spend with his wife and adult and teenage kids is the highlight of his day!

What We Believe

The Bible is God’s Word … we believe the Bible is inspired by God and is both trustworthy, and authoritative. The Word of God is the foundation upon which this church operates, and it is the basis for which this church is governed. We believe the Word of God supersedes any earthly law that is contrary to the Bible. 

(2 Timothy 3:16-17; Isaiah 28:13; John 17:17; Hebrews 4:12; 1 Peter 1:23-25; 2 Peter 1:20-21)


The Trinity … we believe in one eternal, infinite, and unchanging God who reveals Himself to us in the unity of three Persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

(Deuteronomy 6:4, Matthew 28:19, 3:16-17)


The Person of Jesus in the Trinity … we believe Jesus Christ is fully God and fully human. We believe He was born of a virgin, lived a perfect life, died on a cross for the sins of all people, rose from the dead physically, and ascended into heaven. We believe that one day He will return to earth and reign over it. 

(Matthew 1:23; John 8:58; Acts 1:11; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 3:18; Revelation 11:15)


Sin is judged by God … we believe all people are created in the image of God, but have a sinful nature, resulting in wrong actions. We believe all of us deserve eternal separation from God and none of us can save ourselves from this fate through our own efforts. 

(Genesis 1:27; Romans 3:10-12, 23, 6:23; Ephesians 2:1-3, 8-9)


Jesus is the only way to be saved from sin’s judgment … we believe we can be rescued from death and given the gift of an eternal relationship with God only by believing in Jesus Christ—that is, by trusting in His death as full payment for all our sins and in His resurrection as proof that He is the Lord of all. Eternal life is a free and irrevocable gift. 

(John 3:16; Romans 8:29-30; 10:9; Ephesians 2:1-3,8-9)


The work of the Holy Spirit … we believe all Christians are baptized and indwelt with the Holy Spirit at the moment they believe in Jesus, and they are empowered, guided, and instructed by the Holy Spirit as they yield their lives to Him. 

(Acts 2:38; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:13; 2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13, 5:18)


Water Baptism & Communion … we believe Jesus instituted baptism as the means of publicly professing faith in Him, and that, although baptism has no power to save, it is the first step of obedience expected of all believers in Jesus Christ. We believe Jesus instituted the practice of communion (or the Lord’s Supper) to help us vividly remember His death for us, and the Church should participate in this remembrance regularly. 

(Matthew 28:19; Luke 22:19-20; Acts 2:38; 16:30-33; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26)


A believer’s responsibility … we believe that followers of Jesus are called to a life of Holy Spirit-empowered obedience, and when we disobey, we will experience God’s loving discipline (which may be carried out through the Church). We also believe that God gives all Christians spiritual gifts as He wills, which are to be used to help others in the Church grow. 

(Matthew 18:15-20; 1 Corinthians 12:7, 11, 18; Galatians 5:16-25; Hebrews 12:7-11)


Church leadership … we believe the Church is Jesus Christ’s “body” in today’s world and it is comprised of all true Christians. Each local church is to be shepherded by Jesus Himself, through a group of spiritually qualified male elders. We believe every Christian is called to become involved in a local church. 

(John 10:11; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27; 1 Timothy 5:17; Titus 1:5; Hebrews 10:25; 1 Peter 5:4)


Eternity … we believe both heaven and hell are real, and every person will spend eternity either in

joyful fellowship with God or agonizing separation from God, based on their response to Jesus. 

(Luke 12:5; 2 Corinthians 5:1; Philippians 3:20; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9; 1 Peter 1:4)


God’s design of marriage … we believe that marriage is exclusively the legal union of one genetic male and one genetic female sanctioned by the state and evidenced by a marriage ceremony. The definition of gender is the biological sex at birth. We also believe that legitimate biblical sexual relations are exercised solely within marriage. Sexual activity such as adultery, fornication, pre-marital sex, incest, polygamy, homosexuality, transgenderism, bisexuality, cross-dressing, pedophilia, and bestiality are inconsistent with the teaching of the Bible. 

(Genesis 2:24; 1 Corinthians 5:11, 6:9, 6:18-20, 7:1-3, 7:8-9; Romans 1:18-32; Genesis 1:27; Matthew 19:4; Mark 10:6)


The sanctity of life … we believe that all human life is sacred and created by God. Human life is of

inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We believe this applies to all races and ethnicities. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life. 

(Psalm 139:13-16)

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