Encounter Church Kentwood, MI logo

Meet the Staff


Dirk VanEyk

Dirk and his wife, Kristin, are excited about being part of what God is doing Kentwood, MI. It was while studying in seminary that Dirk discovered his passion for church planting and new Christians. He looks forward to meeting new people over a slice of pie, throwing parties, and preaching on Sunday mornings. Kristin is a high school English teacher in Grand Rapids. Dirk and Kristin live in Kentwood where they enjoy mountain biking, running, and drinking coffee. Dirk and Kristin have a 4-year-old daugther and a 2-year-old son. Email: Dirk@EncounterChurch.org

Leslie is a former teacher, a mother of 3 terrific kids, and a wife of 18 years. She has a heart for teaching children about the abundant love of the Lord, so coordinating the kids' ministries is right up her alley. Leslie's aim each week is to create an unforgettable Sunday morning experience so that your kids can't wait to return to learn more about Jesus! Email: Leslie@EncounterChurch.org

Leslie's experience in childcare helped form our Personal Protection Policy.

Youth Ministry Director

Josh Pressley

Josh is excited about this opportunity at Encounter. He is currently finishing his Youth Ministry degree at Kuyper College and has a deep passion for the youth. Josh and Jessie are recently married and new to the area. They are both geared towards bringing new life in Christ to the lost, broken and even complacent of Grand Rapids. They enjoy a variety of outdoor activities including, disc golf, bike riding, skiing/snowboarding, and nature walks. Email: Josh@EncounterChurch.org

Ministries Director

Derek Atkins

Derek was born and raised on the east side of the state but has called West Michigan home for a good portion of his life. He and his wife Keri spend most of their time reading to, dancing with, and chasing around their two little girls Alida and Cassidy. A graduate of Kalamazoo College and Calvin Theological Seminary, Derek works with the staff to help keep things running behind the scenes at Encounter Church. Email: Derek@EncounterChurch.org

Director of Worship and Youth

Mike Fisk

Mike was born and raised in West Michigan and is a graduate from Kuyper College. He has a passion for worship and wants to help lead and teach others to worship God. Mike also has a desire to teach the next generation, disciple teens, and help them develop deep and loving relationship with Christ.

Mike loves to spend most of his time with his wife Melissa and their newborn son Matthew. He enjoys watching and playing sports and is a big time fan of the Dallas Cowboys.

Email: Mike@EncounterChurch.org

Interim Worship Leader

Lyndsay DeGroot

Originally from Colorado, Lyndsay has traveled a long way to worship at Encounter. She also goes to college here where she studying to become a nurse. Lyndsay brings an amazing heart of worship and lives by the motto: Perfect love drives out fear (1 John 4:18). Email: Lyndsay@EncounterChurch.org

Interim Worship Leader

Shane Brandsen

Shane is a college senior studying Religion, Music and Worship, and Congregational and Ministry Studies. He has worked as a camp counselor at Camp Roger in Rockford, MI as well as leading worship in several churches. He enjoys playing and listening to music. You'll recognize his green jeep as the one with a mountain bike on the roof. Email: Shane@EncounterChurch.org


Erin Dykhouse

Erin joined the team in early 2015. She enjoys reading and watching movies. Loves any kind of pasta and dreams of visiting Africa and working in an orphanage.

College Outreach Team (COT) Intern

Mark Brower

Mark is a native of Ohio but cheers avidly against OSU. He is passionate about connecting college students with each other at church and with God. He also loves helping with the youth group. You'll often find him in the racquetball court (he's amazing) or playing hockey. Mark indeed has 'sick flow' and can 'sauce' you just about anything.

Email: Mark@EncounterChurch.org

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