Staff

 

Rev. Michael Van Buren, Pastor of Administration and Congregational Care
mvanburen@ottawareformed.org (616) 512-9251 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 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

 

 
Dr. James Poit, Pastor of Preaching, Teaching and Outreach
jpoit@ottawareformed.org (616) 512-9251 ext. 101

Jim grew up in Lapeer, Michigan and his wife, Linda, grew up in Beaverdam. They met at SpringHill Camps in Evart while Jim was at Hope College and Linda was at Calvin College. Jim and Linda married in 1987 and immediately moved to New Jersey to pursue master’s degrees; Jim at Princeton Theological Seminary and Linda at Rutgers University. In 1990, they moved to Scotland so that Jim could complete his PhD in Theology at the University of St. Andrews. Jim has served as the lead pastor of First Reformed Church of Rocky Hill in New Jersey, Lakeland Reformed Church in Vicksburg, Michigan, and New Hope Community Church in Gilbert, Arizona. He has served as an executive pastor for Centerpoint Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan and for the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California. He was installed at Ottawa Reformed Church on July 28, 2019. He also currently serves as the chairman of the board of trustees for Western Theological Seminary, and he is an adjunct professor for Fuller Theological Seminary. Jim and Linda have four children, Adam, who is married to Julia; Elisabeth, who is married to Ian; Zachary; and Joshua. Jim loves running, biking, hiking, and kayaking. He is excited to be at Ottawa Reformed to share the good news of the Gospel through preaching and teaching and to equip the church for the work of ministry.

 

 

Heather Collins, Director of Music Ministries
hcollins@ottawareformed.org (616) 512-9251 ext. 103

Heather (Jurgens) Collins came on staff at Ottawa Reformed Church as the Director of Music Ministries in February 2019.  Prior to feeling called to ORC, she served as the Worship Coordinator at another church in Hudsonville.  Heather has been married to her husband Troy for 25 years.  The have 3 children — Carleigh, Chandler, and Clayton.  Heather developed a love for music at a very young age.  She started piano lessons at the age of 4 and continued taking lessons throughout college.  She graduated in 1991 from Unity Christian High School, then went on to study music at Grand Rapids Junior College.  She graduated in 1993 with an Associate Degree in Music, with a Major in Piano, and a Minor in Voice.  Heather has been teaching private piano lessons in her home since she was 15 years old.  She is excited to be on staff at ORC to share her passion for music with the Praise Team, instrumentalists, and the congregation.  In her spare time Heather enjoys watching her son Chandler play Basketball, shopping and other adventures with her daughter Carleigh, and Starbucks coffee dates with Clayton.  She also enjoys reading & relaxing in the sunshine.  

 

 
 
 
 
Lori Geerts, Kids Hope USA Director
kidshope@ottawareformed.org  (616) 512-9251 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, Children's Education Director
mbekius@ottawareformed.org (616) 512-9251 ext. 104

Michelle Bekius is our Children's 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 because she is passionate about telling others about Jesus and sharing His love with everyone she meets.

 

 

 

 

 

Danielle Thomas, Jr. & Sr. High Youth Director
dthomas@ottawareformed.org (616)512-9251 ext. 107

Danielle is a lifelong member of Ottawa Reformed Church.  She married Jared Thomas in 2015, also a lifelong member at ORC.  Danielle and Jared love to go on hikes with their two dogs, a Bernese Mountain dog and a Siberian Husky.  They also love to travel, and spend time with family and friends.  Danielle loves music, playing her guitar, and singing on the praise team. She graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Grand Valley State University while also volunteering to lead junior high youth ministry at Ottawa. After almost 4 years of volunteering, she felt the Lord’s calling to pursue youth ministry. In July 2019, Danielle came on staff as Ottawa’s Jr. and Sr. High Youth Director. She is excited for this opportunity and loves to teach students what it means to commit their life to Christ and to be His disciple. She also loves teaching students how to study the bible, how to grow and deepen their relationship with Jesus, how to help them discover their spiritual gifts, and to learn how they can be a part of the body of believers. She loves spending time with students and being able to go on adventures with them and to share her stories of how Jesus has changed her life.

 

 

Dan Hughes, Facility Custodian
dhughes@ottawareformed.org (616)512-9251 ext. 106

Dan began his position at Ottawa in June 2019.  He and his wife Rachel have three children — Aubrey, Tyler, and Lauren.  Outside of work, Dan enjoys woodworking, painting and finishing cabinets and furniture, spending time with his wife and kids, golfing, camping, and working in the garden.  Dan enjoys working at ORC to be able to keep God’s house clean so that we may worship together in the best environment possible.  “I am pleased with the amazing facility we have, and I am proud to represent ORC.  Always on my mind is Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

 

 

 

 

 

Kristi Geertman, Lead Administrative Assistant
office@ottawareformed.org or  kgeertman@ottawareformed.org
(616) 512-9251 ext. 108

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 in the Wednesday Night Kids program, is the Kids Hope USA Meal Coordinator and actively participates in Outreach and Congregational Care Events.

 

 

 

 

Mary Faber, Administrative Assistant
office@ottawareformed.org or mfaber@ottawareformed.org
(616) 512-9251 ext. 108

Mary is an Administrative Assistant and is in the office on Tuesdays  She is excited to use her gifts to serve the Lord and the church as part of Ottawa's staff.  Mary and Jeff were married in 1986 and have been members of Ottawa since 1991.  They have two children — Justin & Chelsea Faber in Seattle, Washington; and Mark & Shaina Strikwerda in Zeeland.  Mary worked as a Program Manager at Herman Miller, Inc. before resigning in 2005.  She and Jeff have served at Ottawa and the community in many capacities including, youth group leaders, Kids Hope mentors, and youth mentors for various organizations.  The family has a love for outdoor adventure; skiing, kayaking, running, hiking, gardening, horseback riding, biking, and motorcycle riding.  Mary has been a Master Gardener since 2010 and has designed landscaping for several locations within Ottawa county.