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Our Elders

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Elder

Jon Hoek

President - Class of 2024

Parish 2

Biography

I was raised in a Christian home in Lansing, Illinois.  My love for Christ was flamed through a fear of death a young age of 13.  My parents helped me understand that to live is Christ and to die is gain.  2 Corinthians 5:1-9 is the passage that Lord used to transform my heart and to prompt me to public profession of faith.  I am thankful for the Mercy of forgiveness and Grace the Lord has shown me as I fight sin and seek to live for him daily. 

 

I have served in various capacities at Immanuel in leadership and education.  It is my prayer that Immanuel is a refuge for sinners in need of grace and encouragement from God’s people and His Word. 

Vocationally I work in technology and precision farming primarily in animal agriculture.

I have been married to Laureen for 36 years and have four children and four grandchildren.   I like to read theology and business books as well as outdoor activities and travel.   

 
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Elder

John Hamstra

Class of 2022 

Parish 4

Biography

I grew up on a farm near Rensselaer, Indiana, and now live in DeMotte. When I was growing up my family attended a Christian Reformed Church, and I publicly professed my faith in the Lord as a young adult.

 

Since joining Immanuel URC in 2008 I have served on the fellowship committee and also as a deacon. One of my favorite roles here at church is teaching catechism to our covenant youth. The Immanuel URC congregation has been a blessing to me and my family, and I thank God that I belong to this church family.

 

Much of my time is spent coordinating bible studies and teaching for Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary at various correctional institutions within Indiana and Illinois. It is in this ministry that my Spanish language skills are especially useful!

I enjoy reading and doing projects around the home, and in the spring and summer months, I like to grow vegetables and flowers in my garden.

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Elder

Dan Kingma

Vice President - Class of 2022

Parish 1 

Biography

Coming...

 
 
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Elder

Russ Vander Molen

Clerk - Class of 2024

Biography

I grew up in Peoria/Sully/Pella, Iowa, having the biblical, reformed understanding of Scripture instilled in me from my earliest memories.  My wife and I married in 1998, and we have three children.  I teach in junior high (mostly Bible classes) at DeMotte Christian School.  I am a slow reader, but I enjoy reading things by RC Sproul, James M. Boice, and commentaries on the Bible--especially about the Old Testament.  I am a very amateur bird watcher.       

 

God used my attending church, Sunday school, catechism, young people, Christian grade school, high school, college, and many Christian friends and family to continue to help me grow in the fear and knowledge of Him and His love for us and this broken world.  I grew up in the faith, but I have realized that you never stop growing in the faith.  

 

I have grown in appreciation of the testimony of God's working through weak people in unexpected ways.  The accounts of Scripture take place in this very real world; they tell us of the effects of the Fall and how Sin and sins destroy, wreck, and hurt this world.  Bible history is not separate from world history; it is God working in history.  What does God do with this broken world?  He sent His Son to redeem it, and He is taking it back.  My hope is that God's people view God's world in God's way and live by God's Word in direct contrast to how the sinful world does it.  The world's perspective is hopelessness and despair; God’s is hope and life.    

 
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Elder

Steve Ryken

Class of 2023

Parish 3 

Biography

I grew up in South Holland in a Christian family, attending Christian grade school and Christian High School. I had never experienced the world apart from a Christian context until I went to Lincoln Tech Trade School. It was there that I began to wrestle with the reality of a worldview and living that was so foreign to the world I grew up in. Authors such as Francis Schaeffer and C. S. Lewis helped me understand how to be more culturally aware and to better relate to non-Christian people.

When I am not working as a mechanic, I enjoy reading, working around the house, and spending time with family.