Georgetown Pastors and Staff
Rev. Marc Nelesen, PhD
Pastor of Congregational Life
Marc wears multiple hats at church and in life. He’s a glad father of three, a husband, a teacher, a writer, lifelong learner, and a pastor to pastors. For us, he’s a listening ear, compassionate presence, occasional comic, and as he calls it, “a midwife of the soul.” If you get to know him, you’ll get it. He’s one of those kinds that likes to playfully hang out with words, texts, metaphors, and stories. If you want to find him, look near the intersections and the edges. He will tell you a story if you ask for one. More importantly, he’ll listen to yours and hold it gently in his heart. A simple phone call will be the beginning of a coffee or lunch conversation. If you want to find him at play, he will likely have a Frisbee in his hand. Marc is a professional disc golfer – or as he says, a committed frisbeetarian – and enjoys playing recreationally, collaboratively, and competitively.
Director of Music and Worship
If you wake up in the morning and Sunday’s worship songs are playing in your head, it is probably because of Katie Yankee. Katie coordinates all kinds of music and volunteers at Georgetown and then blends them. As our worship director, she does not speak softly and carry a big stick, but she holds a small baton and speaks very fast. When she is not working at church, Katie spends her free time renovating the home she shares with her husband Aaron or playing golf with him (and she won’t say if she can beat him).
Director of Community Relationships
Julianna Kempema was born and raised in Hudsonville and has been on a lifelong trajectory of ministry and service. From an early age, she learned that churches are part of larger communities and that the call of the gospel is to engage, love, and befriend others. Her story includes multiple experiences of missions and serving as well as formal training in ministry leadership at Kuyper college. At Georgetown, she is a key player in our ministry team and helps us continue to make places where new relationships can grow. Julianna loves spending time with friends and family and enjoys reading, traveling, and baking. Most importantly, she loves sharing a good cup of coffee!
Director of Faith Formation
If Mr. Rogers was right that “we are all the ages we’ve ever been”, Eric is somewhere between the ages of 12-50. He’s young at heart and has a keen mind. As our most versatile staff member, Eric is well-read in psychology, church history, Facebook, and pop-culture at the same time. As a student ministries director, he plans playful activities, annually takes all generations to Guatemala, and even teaches catechism. When he is not tending or teaching youth, you will find him enjoying time with his family, at a Tigers game, or playing disc golf.
Director of Children's Ministries
Cindy is living proof that home is the place from which you start, but it is not necessarily where your feet land. Cindy’s story began on a dairy farm – though she admits that she was better at driving a tractor than milking cows. Cindy spent the bulk of her life planting other kinds of seeds and doing other kinds of nurturing. Prior to becoming a staff member, Cindy spent 42 years teaching second grade and elementary music. As our Children’s Ministry Director, Cindy continues to plant seeds and harvest good fruits. Cindy is the glad grandmother of five; they not only keep her running but bring a smile to her face.
Sherri Kleyn is our “keeper” – not quite our zookeeper – but our bookkeeper, numbers keeper, and the one who maintains a lot of important things that are unseen. When things go in her vault, they stay there - that fits her giftset well. She is a solid, trustworthy, confidant that is remarkably warm for someone who works with so many numbers. Sherri is the glad mother of two daughters and the wife of one man who is very Rich (that’s his name). In her regular life, Sherri is a good neighbor and friend, a lover of football, dogs, and selected home improvement projects. She keeps improving us too – and we’re grateful.
Sara Duggins is our staff member who is the first friendly face you will see – or hear – when you engage our church office. Sara possesses an uncommon warmth and sensitivity and a can-do attitude. Undoubtedly, this comes from growing up in the fertile muck of Georgetown and continuing that growth in the fertile soil of Calvin College! Sara loves the arts: graphic arts, music, and literature – her favorite being the Harry Potter novels. In her spare time, she enjoys doing home renovation projects with her new hubby Trey. She also enjoys working on puzzles; this is good as her work in our staff and our church involves connecting many different pieces!
Facilities, Maintenance, and Grounds Coordinator
Amy Koetsier’s middle name is “youbet”. You will never find someone more willing, helpful, honest, and quirky. Amy has a heart of gold; it is soft and priceless. But that is only part of the story. Amy speaks her mind and speaks it with plain, practical sense. Amy is handy too. She’s an electrician, drywaller, plumber, and repair artist. Gemmen’s would go out of business without Amy… At one time, a local college had as its emblem a heart in a human hand and the words, “my heart I give you prompt and sincerely.” When we think of those words, we think of Amy and the gift of her heart and hands at Georgetown.
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