Highland Park Church (Kokomo.IN.USA)A Church Where You Can Grow. Reach. Connect. Deepen.

About Us:
Pastor Ed Vasicek

Bio | Recipes | Tips
Updated 26 July 2010

The Vasiceks: (l-r) Luke, Marylu, Ed and Hannah
Photo provided by Esther Moulder of Click Photography.

The Vasiceks: A Brief Biography

Pastor Ed was reared in the Chicago area. He became a born-again believer in January of 1974, during his senior year of high school, when a friend who worked on the school newspaper shared the Gospel with Ed. Although Ed knew many of the facts of the Gospel (he was raised Roman Catholic), he came to realize that he could not get to heaven by proper behavior. It was through the work of Christ alone that he could be made right with God. All he had to do was hold God to His Word. God promised eternal life to those who put their faith in Christ, and Ed took Him up on the offer!

Although Ed did not know his future wife, Marylu, at the time, a few months earlier in the fall of 1973, friends at work shared the Good News with her.  She read Billy Graham's book, Peace With God, and also trusted in the work of Christ alone for her salvation.

When it came to career choices, Ed was interested in journalism, but it was a difficult field in which to find a job. He decided to pursue his second choice, electronics. As Ed was completing his Associates of Applied Science degree in Electronics, he sensed a definite call into the pastoral ministry. He completed his electronics degree in the spring of 1976 and began Pastoral Studies at Moody Bible Institute that fall. He graduated with a B.A. from Moody in the spring of 1979, and at the age of 22, took his first pastorate, Victory Bible Church of Chicago.

Ed pastored the Victory Bible Church for four and a half years.  It was during this time that Ed began dating and then married Marylu Troppito.  Ed and Marylu moved to Kokomo in late 1983, where Ed assumed the pastorate here at Highland Park Church. Since that time, Ed and Marylu have been blessed with two children, Hannah and Luke.

Marylu graduated from Northern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, with pottery as her specialty. She then took a one-year course at Moody Bible Institute geared for college graduates, at that time called the "Advanced Studies Program." She still does some pottery and other artwork, but she is mainly occupied by her job as a "paraprofessional" (Teacher's Aide) in the Kokomo Public Schools System. Ed and Marylu enjoy ballroom dancing.

As a result of their exposure to many ethnic groups, the Vasiceks often sampled cuisine from around the world. Marylu was the main cook in the family for about 27 years, while Ed cooked soups and stews on weekends. But when Marylu began working as a Teacher's Aide, Ed offered to take over the meal prep. Since then, his cooking skills and interest have exploded. Since Ed has a heart stent, cooking is always "low cholesterol."

Since 1999, Ed has authored a weekly editorial, which appears on the "Opinion Page" of the Kokomo Tribune and is mostly secular in nature. Over 500 of his columns addressing numerous issues have been published. Ed puts it this way: "My goal in writing these articles is to demonstrate that Christians can think about MANY things, not just abortion or gay marriage. Christians need to demonstrate that we have positive ideas and a cohesive philosophy of life (proposing ideas rather than just opposing); this can help create a positive environment for discussing the claims of Christ." His community involvement includes serving on the Board of Directors for the Kokomo Park Band.

Ed has a number of hobbies, including reading, cooking, collecting remakes of 1920s and 30s music, stamp collecting, and jokes. He confesses to being a Three Stooges fan! On the serious side, Ed tries to stay abreast of the latest theological trends and challenges to the faith. Checkout Ed's personal website--From the Heart & Head of Ed: Ed Vasicek's Oasis.

Ed’s ministries in the church include typical pastoral work (preaching, teaching, counseling, weddings, funerals, visitation, administration, etc.), but Ed is also noted for his puppet ministry and flannelgraph lessons. He serves on the Camp Council for Camp Emmanuel and populates the church’s website with an endless barrage of articles.

Marylu serves the church in a supportive role: teaching Beginners’ Sunday School, Children’s Church, serving as an AWANA leader, organizing camp meals, and offering a listening ear to the women of the church. Together, Ed and Marylu lead the Summer Youth Program.

The Vasiceks tried to live out their faith at home. The Vasiceks typically prayed together as a family when the children resided at home, and Ed and Marylu still pray together. Their two adult children (both of whom live out of state) are walking with the Lord and very involved in ministry.

Favorite International Recipes

1 can mushrooms
1/8 cup red wine
fresh/dried parsley
1 level teaspoon paprika
2½ lbs. beef, cubed
4-5 bay leaves, whole
3-4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 beef bouillon cubes
3-4 carrots, peeled and diced
½ cup flour (to thicken)
1 large onion, minced
salt (½ teaspoon for starters)
3-4 stalks celery, diced
½ teaspoon basil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. egg noodles
1 can peas, drained (or frozen)
1 cup water (for starters)
1 fresh tomato, chopped
1 tablespoon dried marigold flower petals or dash saffron

Brown beef (if desired). Add all ingredients to crock pot EXCEPT flour and noodles. Cook on high for 4½ - 5 hours, or low for 9 - 9½ hours.  Prepare egg noodles per directions on package. While the noodles are boiling, remove portions of meat from the stew and roll around in the flour, coating the meat. Return meat to stew. Continue doing this until desired thickness is achieved. Serve over noodles or with drop dumplings.

2 cups flour
2 eggs
¾ teaspoon salt
2 slices white bread (can be stale), torn into little pieces
½ teaspoon baking powder
milk, as needed

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Let sit for five minutes. Use milk to achieve a dough consistency (not too thin). Spray an 18" piece of foil with non-stick cooking spray. Take a blob of the dough (size of a small grapefruit) and place in middle of foil. Shape the dough into an oblong roll. Wrap foil around dough.  Place these foil "monster dumplings" into rapidly boiling, salted water. Boil 20 minutes on one side; turn over and boil another 20 minutes on the other side. When done, remove from water with tongs. Drain. Remove from foil; place on plate and slice into bread-thick slices with sharp knife. For a family, make a double recipe and use a large soup pot.

3 lbs. chicken
2 tablespoons oil
1 medium to large onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 can cream of chicken (or mushroom) soup
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon paprika
water, as needed

Brown chicken pieces in oil with onion until onions are transparent. Place chicken and pan drippings into casserole or roaster (we use a Dutch oven) with soup, salt, and paprika. Place in oven and bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour.  Remove from oven and stir in one cup sour cream and serve over drop dumplings (see below) or large egg noodles. People love these dumplings!

For a family, make a double recipe.
2 cups flour
1 whole large egg (or 2 small)
¾ cup milk (approximately; add as needed)
l teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder

Mix together to a dough consistency. Use milk as an adjuster. Spray a teaspoon with non-stick cooking spray. Drop dumplings into soup pot half filled with salted boiling water. Boil for about 5 minutes after last dumpling is dropped in.

In a bowl, combine the following:
1 cup sour cream
¾ teaspoon tarragon
1 teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons salt
½ stick margarine
l cut-up chicken (about 3 lbs.)
1½ cups corn flakes, crushed

Melt margarine in large casserole dish in the oven. Dip chicken in sour cream mixture, then coat in crumbs. Place chicken in dish and bake at 350 degrees.  After 45 minutes, turn pieces over and bake 20 more minutes. A bit mushy but delicious!

SVICKOVA (Czech sauerbrauten)
Rump roast (2½ - 3 lbs.)
3 whole allspice
1 large carrot, peeled and ground
2 bay leaves
1 parsnip, peeled and fine ground
2 beef bouillon cubes
½ pint sour cream
½ pint sweet cream
(or condensed sweetened milk)
1 teaspoon salt (for starters)
1 tablespoon white vinegar

Cut meat into slices and brown in hot oil. Put in baking pan. Add all ingredients except for creams. Bake at 300 degrees for 2 hours, keeping slices almost covered with water. When done, remove from oven and stir in sweet and sour creams. Best served over bread dumplings (see recipe above), but also great with drop dumplings (see recipe above). Noodles are acceptable but inferior!

Option: The Old World way is to tenderize the meat by marinating it in 1 cup vinegar, l cup water, 2 allspices, and 2 bay leaves for 2 to 3 days in refrigerator. We do not do this, but it is a little better this way.

Car Tip

A Friendly Tip for Apparently Frozen Car Door Latch Problems
learned the hard way...

Frozen car door latch—or is it? Sometimes a car door latch is simply in the wrong position. The door won't close but bangs open. This has happened to me on both GM and Chrysler station wagons. What solved it for me? Lifting up the handle while pushing the latch mechanism with either a screwdriver or pliers. When the handle (or whatever you call a car door knob) is down, it will not allow the latch to move up in place. When it gets stuck (as, for example, with ice), the latch will not spring back into position. If you try to pull or push it into position, the mechanism from the handle will not allow. So simply hold open the handle with one hand while working the latch with the other.

Health Tip

A Nearly Painless Tip for Getting off a Band-Aid or Bandage When It Is Stuck to Hair

I had a blood test and the nurse used medical tape to hold the pad on afterward—all over my arm hair. I did not want the misery of a quick tear, so I got a little baby oil (Mineral oil or even mineral spirits would work.) and a paper towel. I dabbed oil around the edges, on the pad and on the tape. After about 60 seconds, I pulled it off with very little pain.



If you have a question or would just like to talk to me, you can reach me at church@highlandpc.com.

Pastor Ed

SINCE 1996


Highland Park Church
516 West Sycamore Street
Kokomo, Indiana, USA