Services

Worship Gathering: 9:30am Sunday  

8425 Byron Center Ave

616.878.1709

Office Hours: Tuesday-Friday 9am-1pm (Office is across from Chemical Bank on West Side of church building)


Anyone is more than welcome to come and join us for Worship Gatherings.

Expect to find a welcoming group of individuals gathering to give praise to God in song, prayer and teaching. Our worship is multi-generational, inclusive, uplifting, and authentic. On any given Sunday you can find folks wearing anything from jeans to suits and slacks to sandals. We would be honored for you to join us.


After the service many people choose to head over to our ROCK facility for coffee and refreshments. 

Staff & Leadership


Peter Van Elderen

Senior Pastor

Pete entered ministry at age 34 after serving as a high school English instructor.  Later he owned and operated a landscape contracting business in California.  Pete and Donna celebrate three children and nine grandchildren.  

He enjoys writing, landscape work and occasionally shocks his family by preparing food that is edible.  He is also a San Francisco Giants fan and, like all such fans, just wants to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers.

His ministry and life's goal is to be grace-driven, outward focused, and doing all he can to create a safe place for people to meet Jesus and walk with him.  He attempts to take himself less seriously and take God very seriously.

email Pete

616-878-1709 Ext 10

Jonathan DePoy

Pastor of Discipleship Ministries

Jonathan is the Pastor of Discipleship Ministries.  He received his Bachelor degree from Cornerstone University and his Master of Divinity from Western Theological Seminary.


Jonathan and his wife, Sara, have five children: Malachi, Adelyn, Sam, Abraham, and Eleanor. He takes every chance he gets to be with his family. Some of his favorite things to do with his family are to go to movies with his wife Sara, watch Michigan football games with his oldest son Malachi, dance with his daughter Adelyn, play “super-heros” with his sons Sam and Abraham, and snuggle with his daughter Eleanor. When he gets some alone time he usually finds a good novel to read by the fire or get his hands dirty in the garden.


Jonathan feels blessed to work in the church doing something that he feels called to and is passionate about the work of making disciples who make disciples. He prays daily for the grace to model the leadership that the Apostle Paul speaks of when he says, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”'

email Jonathan

Follow on Facebook

Call: 616-878-1709 ext

Melanie Vlietstra Kilgore

Worship Director & Children's Ministry Director

Melanie grew up in Kalamazoo, received her degree for Worship Arts from Spring Arbor University, and joined First Reformed Church as the Worship Director in 2011. She began working as Children's Ministry Director in 2012. 

Melanie met her husband Steve while working at the church and they enjoy serving the church together, finding unique restaurants, and hanging with their families. 

Melanie loves the creative arts... music, dance, art, calligraphy, video, as well as anything that has to do with polka dots, lace and vintage. 

Melanie desires to see people thrive by using their gifts and following God's call on their life. She is filled with great joy to lead young ladies and children in dance, create positive learning environments for children to meet Jesus, as well as work with volunteers in making family-friendly events that are God-centered.

Email Melanie

Follow her on Facebook

Or Instagram

Call Melanie: 616-878-1709

Cindy Grit

Cindy serves as our Bookkeeper and Administrative Assistant.  She celebrates her children and grandchildren- and of course, her husband Rol.  Cindy has been part of our Haiti Mission Team and is always excited and blessed by that ministry opportunity.  She is a fine musician as well as a person of grace.  Cindy lives near a lake and we believe that she walks on water.  She is a blessing to all of us at First Reformed Church.


Email Cindy

Call the Office: 616-878-1709

Tina Heintz

Tina serves as Administrative Assistant in our office. She is an “on-fire" leader of our GEMS ministry with girls. Tina also serves as our Wedding Coordinator. To enter our offices and to engage Tina in ministry is to be met with Tina’s spirit of welcoming joy and willingness to assist you.

Tina and her husband Jim enjoy their children and grandchildren. 


Email Tina

Call the Office: 616-878-1709

LEadership

  • Luanne Deater- Middle School Youth Group Leader

    Luanne loves people and you'll know it from the moment you meet her. That is why she is involved in so many areas of discipleship ministry. Luanne oversees Middle School Son Seekers. She is a Sunday School teacher, a member of the local outreach team, and loves hanging out with children at church and Prescott Mobile Home Park. She is also an amazing bus driver for Byron Center Schools as well as drives our bus on Wednesday nights and Sundays.

    Contact Luanne if you want to know more about Middle School Youth Group, or how to involve your children in the church.

  • Ranee Christian- K Club Leader and Preschool Sunday School Teacher

    Ranee Christian is the leader of our K Club ministry to Preschool and Kindergarten Children on Wednesday nights as well as our Preschool Sunday School Teacher. She is amazing with children and a great teacher with an upbeat personality that children are drawn to.

    Contact Ranee if you would like more information on our K Club program. 

  • Kevin & Leigh Sandera- Journey (High School Youth Group) Leaders

    Kevin and Leigh oversee our Journey Youth Group to High Schoolers. 

    Contact Kevin or Leigh for more information about Journey. 

Who We Are

"The church" was never meant to be known as just a building, but instead a vibrant group of people journeying together in the way of Jesus. For the past 100 years our faith community has been blessed by God, so that we may be a blessing to others. We are a people who are learning to seek God, listening for his direction and praying that we may follow his Spirit.

Our Mission

Our mission is to grow into a people who are:


Grace Driven- We celebrate God's love and free forgiveness which all of us need every day to live life with meaning.


Outward Focused- Our priority is to be about loving other people, one another and God in our local area as well as our world.


A Safe Place to Meet Jesus- All of us can lose our way and we want to be a safe place and people for all who are trying to understand the love of Jesus and begin, or renew, a relationship with Him. 

Our Beliefs

We believe that God loves us more than we can imagine. He finds us where we are and invites us into a loving relationship with him. He loves us too much to let us remain where we are, but leads us closer to him and into a life of love, truth and blessing. We call that “Amazing Grace!”


We believe that the Bible is God’s message to us about his love, specifically a love that brought Jesus to our world to live as God and as human among us. Jesus was a light in a dark world. Jesus’ death and resurrection and his coming back to life announced to all powers of evil that people loved by God do not need to be afraid of death or evil. Jesus takes all those parts of ourselves that are unloving, all that we have done that has hurt others, all that we regret and cannot fix and he forgives us. He takes the responsibility of what we have thought and done upon himself. That is the “Good News,” “The Gospel,” and the center of meaning for our lives. We are now free to love because we have been loved!


We believe that “The Church” is really the larger global group of all men, women, young people and children who have accepted Jesus’ love as the center of their lives. Our church, First Reformed here in Byron Center, Michigan, is a part of that larger church. We worship God with others and gather for events in our building but our mission is to be like Jesus- a light beyond this building- in every place of darkness and pain. We are part of a denomination, the Reformed Church of America, a collection of churches that share our understanding of God’s grace (his undeserved love), our honor of the Bible, and our passion to be people that resemble the loving light of Jesus for people who expect judgment or who expect to be ignored!