Staff

 

Rev. Michael Van Buren, Executive Pastor
mvanburen@ottawareformed.org (616) 875-8125 ext. 102

Mike Van Buren was born August 31, 1952 in the small town of Waupun, WI.  Mike is a third-generation citizen as his grandparents were all born in the Netherlands.  He is also a third-generation RCA member as all his family became RCA members upon their arrival.  Mike attended Waupun Christian Schools from first through eighth grade and went on to graduate from Waupun Public High School in 1970.  From there he attended and graduated from Hope College in 1974 and Western Theological Seminary in 1977.  Mike was married to Noreen Straks in 1972 as she (also from Waupun... yes, high school sweethearts) joined him in Holland, Michigan and worked full time while Mike went through college and seminary.  Mike and Noreen were called out of seminary to Glen Lake Community Reformed Church in 1977 and served the church until September of 1982.  On October 2, 1982 he became the Pastor of Ottawa Reformed Church where he served until December 31, 1997.  On January 1, 1998 he took the call to Fellowship Reformed Church of Hudsonville, MI and served there until June 3, 2018.  On September 1, 2018 Mike became the Executive Pastor of Ottawa Reformed Church under contract.  Mike and Noreen were blessed with two children, Carlia (Van Buren) Schippers and Brad Van Buren.  They are also blessed with four grandchildren, Jack Schippers, Breslin Schippers, Brayden Van Buren, and Haley Van Buren and in-laws Jamison Schippers and Karla (Kooiker) Van Buren.  The children live locally, and Mike and Noreen stay intimately involved in all of their lives.  Yes, I am back after 20 years and I pray God blesses our path as we walk it with each other and with our Lord.   Mike

 

Abbie Matthews, Director of Worship & Music
amatthews@ottawareformed.org  (616) 875-8125 ext. 103

Abbie Matthews has been our Director of Worship & Music since 2015, and is a graduate of Hope College.  Along with a Vocal Performance degree and English minor, she has a background in musical theater, opera, dance, piano, violin and guitar.  A voice over artist and private voice coach, Abbie has won and judged numerous vocal competitions throughout her career, and she has served on the Music and Worship Advisory Board for Kuyper College.  Prior to working with ORC, Abbie was the Director of Music & Dance Ministries for Immanuel Community Reformed Church in Lansing, MI for nearly a decade.  She has used her songwriting gifts as both a worship leader and recording artist, and she has taught lectures on songwriting.  She released a CD of original music, Asking for Answers, in 2005.  Abbie feels immensely honored to use her musical gifts to help bring her ORC family closer to Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

Lori Geerts, Kids Hope USA Director
kidshope@ottawareformed.org  (616) 875-8125 ext. 105

Lori was born in Western Michigan and has made that her home.  She is a single mom of 4 adult children and has one granddaughter.   She has been the Kids Hope USA director at Ottawa Reformed Church and Roosevelt Elementary School in Zeeland for the past 15 years.  Her life experiences have shaped her heart for people, and God is using this thru KHU.  Her primary responsibilities are to share the passion and vision of Kids Hope USA with Ottawa's members, recruiting, training and encouraging them as they meet and mentor with at-risk children at Roosevelt School and connecting with the KHU children and their families, reaching out to them thru the love of Christ and His church.  She enjoys her family, reading, traveling and meeting new people.

 

 

 

 

 

Michelle Bekius, Youth Education Director
mbekius@ottawareformed.org(616) 875-8125 ext. 104
Michelle Bekius, Assistant Administrative Assistant
office@ottawareformed.org(616) 875-8125 ext. 100

Michelle Bekius is our Youth Education Director.  Michelle has been a member of Ottawa Reformed Church for 27 years, where she met her husband, Craig, a lifelong member of Ottawa.  They married in 1997 and have four children:  Daniel, Isaiah, Rebekah, and Joshua.  Michelle has enjoyed working part-time in the church office administratively, co-coordinating our GEMS program, coordinating our Wednesday Night Children's ministry, and teaching in various ministries over the years.  She currently co-leads our Young Adult ministry, volunteers as a Kids Hope USA mentor, and sings on the praise team.  Michelle is excited to be a part of the Education Team and continue to assist in the church office because she is passionate about telling others about Jesus and sharing His love with everyone she meets.

 

 

 

 

 

Kristi Geertman, Lead Administrative Assistant
office@ottawareformed.org (616) 875-8125 ext. 100

Kristi serves as our Lead Administrative Assistant at Ottawa Reformed Church.  She loves her job as she gets to use her gifts and abilities to serve the Lord on a daily basis.  As a lifelong member and second-generation Administrative Assistant of Ottawa Reformed Church, Kristi has a great love for the church members and surrounding community.   She has been married to her husband, Terry, (also a lifelong member of Ottawa Reformed Church) for over 27 years.  They have two sons and a wonderful daughter-in-law.  In addition to her staff position, Kristi serves voluntarily as a Wednesday Night Kids teacher, Ladies Event Coordinator, Kids Hope USA Meal Coordinator and actively participates  in Outreach and Congregational Care Events.