Ross Dieleman, Pastor of Congregational Formation
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Ross was born in Indiana and raised in the Christian Reformed Church, moving to Grand Rapids, MI at age 4. He is a graduate of Grand Rapids Christian High School, Hope College, and Western Theological Seminary. His passion for ministry centers in the desire for himself and others to become ones who love God, love God’s Word, love God’s people, and love God’s world. As a freshman at Hope, Ross wandered into the first Sunday night “Gathering” worship service a bit too late to find a seat, and someone told him to scooch in next to a nice girl named Rachel. The rest is history. Rachel is a special education teacher at Macatawa Bay Middle School. Together they have two sons. Jabin and Davi. Ross is a car guy and a coffee snob (his coffee maker was handmade in the Netherlands!), and loves pizza, sports, and family… maybe actually in a better order than that :)
Lindsay Small, Pastor of Congregational Life
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Lindsay grew up in Grand Rapids, MI at Thornapple Covenant Church. Her dad was called to plant the church when she was three, and she really grew up alongside the church. It was a huge part of her life, and eventually the place that would commission her for ministry. She attended North Park Seminary in Chicago, IL and was a seminary intern at Immanuel International Church in Stockholm, Sweden in between her second and third year of seminary. She returned from Sweden ready to jump back into her studies, but was immediately distracted by a good looking first year student from Omaha, Nebraska named Kyle Small. They were married a year later and have been in ministry together (in many shapes and sizes!) ever since. They have served churches in the Chicago area, Minnesota, and Michigan. For the past two and a half years, she has worked as Director of the Bast Preaching Initiatives at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, MI. Kyle and Lindsay have three children: Micah (8), Madeline (7), & Maggie (4). She loves being a mom and a pastor and is most alive at the intersection of the two. One role inspires her to be better at the other. You can read more by Pastor Lindsay on her blog The Centering Home.
Nate Schipper, Pastor of Congregational Engagement
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Nate was born and raised here in Holland, MI, though his mom was 8 1/2 months pregnant when they moved here from Iowa! He is from a football family - many were coaches including his grandfather, Ron Schipper, who was a member at Fellowship back in the late 90's. He remains a college fan - Go Blue! His wife, Bekah Schipper, and he attended Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. They were married on August 7, 2004 and soon after settled in Holland where they have served ever since. They welcomed their daughter, Eva Ruth, in 2010 and their son, Elias John, in 2013. As a family, they love going on adventures: trips to see family spread around the country, hikes in the dunes, expeditions to the zoo, and walks through our neighborhood–to name a few. Bekah and Nate were significantly shaped by two extended trips to Africa–Malawi and Uganda–that affirmed their calls to education and ministry respectively. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with friends, exercising, gardening, wood working, and problem-solving projects around the house.
Jessica Mix, Minister of Creative Arts & Worship
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Jessica Mix has been playing the piano since age 10 and has been leading worship teams for 15 years. Jess is passionate about fostering spiritual formation through music, visual arts, Scripture, and prayer. She loves to empower the body of Christ to worship with a variety of worship languages and musical styles. Personally, Jess experienced God’s love and healing through music and desires to nurture a space where others can use their talents in worship of God. Jess has been married to Adam since 2002, and together they have 3 children, Natalie, Logan, and Sophia. Her hobbies include natural and holistic health, hiking, being outdoors, learning about the human brain, and most of all, Jess enjoys lots of laughter with family and friends.
Steve Braunius, Minister of Operations and Ministry Implementation
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Steve Braunius grew up in West Michigan and attended Reformed Bible College (now Kuyper College), Taylor University (B.A.), and Grand Valley State University (M.Ed). In 2005, he and his family moved from Grandville, Michigan to Holland, Michigan when they joined Fellowship. He was an active member prior to feeling called to the position of Minister of Operations and Ministry Implementation in January 2014. His previous experience included being the Director of Instructional Technology for a West Michigan School district for 15 years. Prior to that he was an elementary teacher. He and his wife, Lisa, have 2 children. He enjoys traveling with his family, taking things apart, fixing things, woodworking, teaching, playing with technology, biking, walking, and reading non-fiction. As a high school student, when visiting the Grand Canyon, he made a decision to follow Christ and desires to seek a closer walk with Him.
Jim Baar, Minister of Seniors and Visitation
I came to Fellowship Church in 1981 as Minister of Youth and Education. Then I "morphed" into the Minister of Congregational Life and Mission. I worked with the Care Leadership Council addressing pastoral care and church life needs and issues. I also lent leadership to the mission efforts of the church. Currently, I assist with Congregational Care and the 60+ breakfast and events. I attended Central College in Iowa and Western Seminary. I am married to Sue who is a reading specialist with West Ottawa Schools. We have three grown children, Kent, Drew and Tori. In my free time I enjoy golfing, fishing, reading and caring for my yard.
Kel & Joyce Brown, Custodians
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Kel and Joyce joined Fellowship in early 2016, along with their 3 sons and families. Joyce grew up in Zeeland and Kel in Holland, and settled in Holland when they were married. They currently live in Sapphire Lakes Villas where Kel is the maintenance man.
Kel retired after 33 years at Haworth and Joyce worked 25+ years as a travel agent, travelling extensively. They both enjoy biking on their recumbent trikes and playing with their 8 grandkids. Joyce loves quilting, while Kel enjoys golf, wood working, and classic rock.
Betsy Bruins, Minister of Children and Families
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After being involved in Children's Ministries in many different ways, Betsy was hired in August of 2012. She has been attending Fellowship since 1987, since she earned her teaching degree at Hope College. Betsy is married to Bob Bruins and has three girls. She received her Master's in teaching and taught in the West Ottawa School System for ten years before taking eleven years off to be an at-home mom with her girls. Betsy has been involved with VBS at Fellowship for many years and children's ministries for many years. One of her passions is helping children learn to become faithful followers of Jesus. She also enjoys camping, going on walks, reading, and being with her family.
Karen Donker, Kids Hope USA and Hand2Hand Ministries Director
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Karen is the KIDS HOPE USA Director and Hand2Hand Ministries Coordinator. She has been involved in the life and ministry of Fellowship Reformed Church since 1985, becoming the director of KIDS HOPE USA in 2001. Karen and her husband, Bob, have been married for 30 years and have two children, Rebecca and Matthew. Karen grew up in Shelby, Michigan and graduated from Hope College with a degree in Special Education. She taught at Blue Star Elementary School in Hamilton school district for 7 years before having children of her own. "Becoming involved with KIDS HOPE USA and working with the gifted and talented team on staff at Fellowship has truly been a blessing in my life," says Karen. A favorite Bible verse is 1 John 4:7-8, "Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God... for God is love."
Diana Fonseca-Peña, Office Manager
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Diana was born in Chicago, Il, but spent much of her life in Miami, FL, where she met her husband, Charly. Diana and Charley have 3 girls, Emily, Angie, and Vivi. They moved to Holland in 2015 when Charly started at Western Theological Seminary. Diana’s background is in biology and she has previously worked as a laboratory technician. Diana enjoys reading, knitting, and lots of coffee.
Emily Rosendahl, Children's Ministry Assistant
Emily was born and raised in Holland, Michigan. She attended Hope College where she received a degree in Language Arts for elementary education. Emily is a Hope graduate and has spent time in the classroom teaching, nannying, and volunteering at Door of Hope Children's Mission, a baby house in Johannesburg, South Africa. Emily recently graduated from the dual track program at Western Theological Seminary and is a social worker in Grand Haven. In her spare time, Emily enjoys playing board games, baking cupcakes, crafting, and reading.
Ginger VandenBrink, Director of Finance and Information Management
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Ginger joined the Fellowship staff in September 2014 as Director of Finance and Information Management. She grew up near Detroit and came to Holland to attend Hope College where she earned a degree in Music Education. While she and her husband, Duane, were raising their sons, Justin and Stuart, Ginger worked in a variety of positions including bank teller and inventory management as well as business manager of a non-profit organization. Ginger plays cello with the Brioso String Quartet and the Holland Symphony Orchestra and also plays bass guitar and handbells with the Music Ministry at Fellowship. She also enjoys kayaking, hiking, traveling, and photography.
Bryce Vander Stelt, Minister of Youth and Young Adults
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Bryce grew up in Maurice, Iowa. He graduated from Northwestern College with a degree in Christian Education and Youth Ministry. He and his wife, Erin, have been married since December of 2009. Following college they moved to Elmhurst, Illinois, where Bryce was the Youth Pastor at Faith Christian Reformed Church, and Erin completed her Master’s Degree at Northwestern University. Bryce and Erin have 2 daughters, Rose and Juliet. Bryce came to Fellowship as the Minister of Youth and Young Adults in July of 2014. He enjoys playing fetch with his dog, Archer, riding his motorcycle, taking road trips back to Iowa, and going to the movie theater.
Nikki Rakestraw, Communications Director
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Nikki grew up in Lansing, Michigan and is a recent graduate of Grand Valley State University with a degree Creative Writing. While in school, she was very involved in leadership with Campus Ministry @ GVSU as a Life Group Intern and Office Intern. Nikki is passionate about communicating beauty and the Kingdom through words and visual art. When the door opened to join Fellowship as the Communications Director, Nikki step into the role grateful for the opportunity to use her gifts of creativity and communication in a ministry setting. Having spent time in Israel-Palestine, Nikki has a growing passion for the Middle East and has studied both Arabic and biblical Hebrew. She values deep conversations over spiritual matters and biblical themes, but is also always down for a good laugh and a well timed pun.