Meet the Staff
Racine is a mom of two great boys and she generally rocks at life. She also has a deep heart for people which is why she is the Encounter Care Coordinator. If you know someone who recently had a baby, has become sick, or could just use a boost talk to Racine and she will arrange a meal or two or several for them. Also, if you're interested in bringing a meal, you should talk to Racine. Lastly, if you'd just like a friendly person to talk to on Sunday...talk to Racine. Email: Racine@MyEncounterChurch.org
Church Planting Resident
KJ Van Ek
KJ is a Grand Rapids native who is in his second year at Calvin Theological Seminary. He's really excited about church planting and loves everything he's learning and doing at Encounter. KJ enjoys watching netflix, hiking and kayaking, and driving to the gas station to buy an Arnold Palmer (or a Caddy Shack, depending on the day) for no other reason than "they're just plain delicious!" Email: KJ@MyEncounterChurch.org
Youth Ministry Director
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@MyEncounterChurch.org
Encounter Kids! is a fun, safe, energetic place for your (pre-K-5th grade) child to learn about God and how much God loves us.
Leslie is a former teacher, a mother of 3 terrific kids, and a wife of 17 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 program so that your kids can't wait to return to learn more about Jesus! Email Leslie@MyEncounterChurch.org
Leslie's experience in childcare helped form our Personal Protection Policy.
Pastor of Worship and Community Life
Bryan's role at Encounter Church is about creating Christian communities. Whether it's the worshipping community on Sundays or small group communities that meet throughout the week or literially building the space to make that happen around the church; Bryan's role is to connect people into the community of Encounter Church. Bryan and his wife, Jill, live in the Alger Heights neighborhood and enjoy the proximity to all the amazing food and drinks that downtown GR and Eastown have to offer. Email Bryan@myencounterchurch.org
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 3-year-old daugther and an almost 1-year-old son. Email: Dirk@MyEncounterChurch.org