Rabbi Jack Zimmerman was born and raised in Brooklyn in a Jewish home. He earned his BA in Radio-TV broadcasting and journalism from Brooklyn College and worked for years in radio and TV. In 1987, his Jewish mother introduced him to Sandie. She turned out to be a practicing Christian and showed Jack Messianic prophecies in his Jewish Bible that described Yeshua. After wrestling with the gospel, Jack finally embraced Yeshua as his Messiah in 1988. The Zimmermans moved to Phoenix and founded Tree of Life Congregation in 2000. Jack is an ordained rabbi through the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America and also ordained through the Church of the Nazarene. He serves as the staff evangelist for Jewish Voice Ministries International for whom he speaks in churches and at conferences worldwide.
Rebbetzin Sandie Zimmerman was raised in Philadelphia in a practicing Christian home. Growing up, she attended a Bible believing church that professed love for Israel and the Jewish people. In her 20s, she struggled as a single mom, but built a very successful mortgage business. After marrying Jack and leading him to Yeshua, the couple felt called to ministry in 1997. She partnered with him to establish and lead Tree of Life Congregation.
Jack and Sandie led Tree of Life until 2019, believing it was time for them to retire. However, God called them back into congregational ministry! In 2022 they returned to continue leading the community. They have served in Messianic Jewish ministry for over 26 years, seeking to reach the Jewish people for their Messiah Yeshua, and teach the church about its rich Hebraic roots. Jack and Sandie have 3 children; Jordan, Ryan, and Casey; and 3 grandsons, Avriel, Leovani, and Eli.
Daniel and Lisa Strecker were both born and raised in the Seattle area. They are high school sweethearts and first met in a high school musical they were both in. Daniel knew the Lord from early childhood and his faith deepened in his early thirties when Lisa and Daniel attended a Messianic Seder that really opened both of their eyes to the Hebraic foundations of their faith.
Lisa was raised a Mormon; the Lord used Daniel to lead her out of that and she came to faith in Yeshua at the age of nineteen. They have been in the Messianic movement for the last twenty-five years and have led many junior high and high school groups at Calvary Chapel and TOL. Lisa’s background is in theater; she ran a children’s performing group, gave voice lessons, and lead worship at TOL for many years.
Daniel has a degree in Business and Administration and has been the administrator for the last ten years at TOL. His background has been in finance and management for both Coca-Cola and a hiring manager for Microsoft.
Daniel and Lisa love serving at TOL and are excited to see what Adonai is continuing to do here.
Lynwood Johnson came to know Yeshua (Jesus) personally when he was 18. “It was my Dad who led me to the Lord. He’s not just my ‘Dad,’ but my spiritual Dad, as well. One of the great lessons I learned by my Dad’s example was serving God in our local congregation.” Lynwood earned the Doctor of Ministry Degree from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and has pastored churches in Illinois, Michigan, and Phoenix. He and Audrey were married in 2000. Lynwood serves Tree of Life as a Messianic Teacher, elder, ToL’s Corporate Secretary, A/V tech, “and other duties as may be assigned.”
Audrey Johnson was raised in Phoenix in a strong Christian home. Scripture study was foundational in her family, and at an early age she gave her life to the Lord. After marrying Lynwood, they began a spiritual journey that eventually led them to Tree of Life Congregation. Says Audrey, “We came looking for a Messianic Seder, and found so much more.”
Lynwood and Audrey began studying scripture by looking through the lens of its Hebraic heritage. They testify to being continually amazed at the depths of truth and meaning God’s Spirit has placed within the Jewish and Christian Bibles; teachings they had never heard before, but which are clearly described in Scripture. Audrey assists Tree of Life in numerous ways; from Shabbat set-up to maintaining the Tree of Life bookstore “Streets of Jerusalem,” and more.
Learning about the Messianic movement was truly eye-opening for Audrey and Lynwood. “Discovering the significance of the themes of God’s forgiveness and redemption of all His people is transformation that constantly amazes,” Lyn says. “I wish all my Jewish – AND Christian – friends knew about this!”