President - Class of 2024
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.
Clerk - Class of 2025
I was blessed to be raised in a Christian home and receive a Christian education. I married my wife, Mary, in 1988. We raised three children, and now enjoy the blessing of five grandchildren.
While in Junior High, God used a teacher to be a strong spiritual influence on me. She very openly lived out her faith, and that is when I received Jesus in my life. More recently, the sudden loss of my brother, Tim, had a huge impact on me and my walk with God. God used this trial to teach me to depend upon Him, and not the things, or even relationships in this world. As the hymn writer puts it: “Once earthly joy I craved, sought peace and rest. Now, Thee alone I seek, give what is best”.
This is my first time serving as elder, so I am looking forward to seeing the ways God will use this to grow my faith as I serve Him in this new role.
When I’m not at work as an Optometrist here in DeMotte, I enjoy spending time with my wife and family. Each year we go for a week together boating in Arkansas.
Mark Van Der Molen
Class of 2025
I was blessed to be raised in a covenant home and love the Reformed confessions' expression of the Christian faith. My wife Margo and I have had the joy of raising our 2 sons, Adam & Eric, and teaching them that our salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
It is a privilege to serve the church as an elder. I enjoy how that office provides shepherding care for the local church, but also gives opportunity for service to our broader assemblies in the United Reformed Churches.
I am an attorney in private practice in DeMotte. In my spare time, I love reading, playing golf, tending our garden, making wine, & visiting our children and grandchildren.
Russ Vander Molen
Vice President - Class of 2024
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.
Class of 2023
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.