Rev. Lynette Sparks
Senior Pastor and Head of Staff
Lynette came to Westminster in June 2020, and absolutely loves serving the Church. Committed to the social gospel, she’s passionate about building God’s beloved community together in a world that’s otherwise fractured.
She has been a member of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s national Educate a Child Roundtable for several years. Before coming to Westminster, Lynette served most recently as Acting Head of Staff at Third Presbyterian Church in Rochester, NY, in addition to her position there as Associate Pastor for Outreach and Evangelism. In Rochester, she co-founded church and community coalitions to address poverty, justice, and equity in public education. She also previously served as pastor at Wrights Corners Presbyterian Church in Lockport, NY. Prior to her service in the church, Lynette worked in the corporate world, first for Deloitte & Touche in Minneapolis and later for General Motors in Detroit.
Lynette received her MDiv from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. She also holds a BA in Business Administration and Accounting from Augustana University in her beloved home state of South Dakota, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
She is married to Brad Sparks; they have two young adult children. Lynette enjoys world travel, finding the best Thai restaurants, trying new recipes, music of all kinds, crossword puzzles, and connecting with friends and family. One of Lynette’s most memorable experiences was the two year period she, Brad, and their children lived in Singapore and explored Southeast Asia. And she wouldn’t trade being a twin (fraternal) for anything!
Contact Lynette at firstname.lastname@example.org or 616-717-5561
Rev. Jen Porter
Associate Pastor for Faith Formation and Pastoral Care
Jen is our associate pastor, focusing on the areas of adult faith formation, pastoral care and worship. She leads our formation team seeking to integrate our theology, worship, service and faith across all life stages and among family systems. Jen works alongside our pastoral care team and deacons as we offer care and support within our community.
Jen has called West Michigan home since moving to this side of the state while earning her degree in education from Hope College and receiving her M. Div. from Western Theological Seminary in 2006. She then served the Spring Lake Presbyterian Church for 8 years prior to joining our staff.
Jen is deeply interested in spiritual practices, compassionate communication (NVC), spiritual direction and the enneagram. At home one of her highlights is reading classics such as “The Chronicles of Narnia” and “A Wrinkle in Time” to her three boys for as many years as they’ll let her.
Contact Jen at email@example.com or 616-717-5545.
Rev. Laurie Hartzell
Interim Associate Pastor for Youth and Their Families
Laurie works closely with the youth committee and youth leaders in nurturing our youth as they grow in faith, leadership and community. She also serves as staff support for our social justice team and works closely with community outreach and broad based organizing efforts.
Laurie has spent most of her life living in and learning from multi-racial communities in urban contexts. Prior to coming to Westminster, she served as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Benton Harbor for a decade. Before becoming a pastor, Laurie spent over two decades working in public education as a middle school math teacher and middle and elementary school counselor.
Laurie holds degrees from Calvin College (Music Education), Georgia State University (Masters in School Counseling) and Western Theological Seminary (Masters of Divinity). In addition, she has earned certificates in Spiritual Guidance from the Shalem Institute and in Executive Leadership from McCormick Theological Seminary. Laurie has also completed the first phase of the Presbyterian Church’s training for transitional ministry. She readily admits that the people with whom she has lived with and worked alongside in urban America are her greatest teachers and spiritual mentors.
Laurie loves being married to Ted Hartzell. Between the two of them, they have 3 adult children. She enjoys reading, taking long walks, biking, doing 1,000-piece puzzles, drinking good coffee and wine, and spending time with family, friends and her cat, Harpo.
Contact Rev. Laurie at firstname.lastname@example.org or 616-717-5543.
Bassam Al Jadir
Maintenance / Greeter
Bassam serves Westminster as a member of the Maintenance/Facilities team. He is responsible for many of the event set ups for regularly scheduled activities that take place in our buildings and also acts as an evening greeter.
Bassam has been a resident of Grand Rapids for 9 years. In his spare time, Bassam is an avid soccer fan and roots for FC Barcelona.
Contact Bassam at email@example.com or 616-456-1456.
Minister for Hospitality
Marc provides food service for congregational meals and events, using his culinary training and restaurant experience. He is passionate about the people of Cuba as founder and director of First Hand Aid—a humanitarian medical mission. And he spends his days at Holland Hospital as the Surgical Resource Coordinator.
Contact Marc at firstname.lastname@example.org or 616-456-1456.
Minister for Administration
Kathy’s role spans a wide range or responsibilities, including management of administrative and office staff and payroll, insurance, and benefits coordination for Westminster’s four mission agencies. Kathy also works with the Pastoral Care Team, is a staff liaison for the Caring Deacons, and oversees the volunteer greeters.
Prior to Westminster, Kathy worked in manufacturing, public education, and retail sectors. Outside of work, she cherishes time with her grandchildren and enjoys gardening and cooking.
Kathy is a graduate of Davenport University. She joined Westminster in 2008.
Contact Kathy at email@example.com or 616-717-5533.
Minister for Children and Their Families
Nancy Greidanus comes to Westminster by way of Calvin College where she served as Assistant Professor of Education since 1992. Prior to that, she taught at West Side Christian School and during much of that time, until 2006, also served as Director of Youth Church Music Education at First Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids. Her experience includes teaching in the Recreation and Communication program at First CRC; as a Counselor of Christian Girls’ Group at LaGrave CRC; as a private piano instructor and most recently as a volunteer teacher aide at Congress Elementary School for 1st and 2nd grade students. Nancy is a graduate of Calvin College (BA in Education, Language Arts major) and Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary (MA in Teaching, Religion and Theology concentration).
Contact Nancy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 616-717-5541
Brad Hambelton is our Facilities Manager. Brad oversees the facilities and maintenance staff and, in partnership with the Facilities committee, is responsible for the maintenance of the church property. Brad oversees set up for anything going on at the church.
Brad's previous work history includes property management, residential & commercial restoration as well as manufacturing, and has extensive experience in properties and facilities management, scheduling, and vendor relations. He has specialized training in business and in environmental health and safety issues.
Brad is fond of fishing – especially ice fishing. He lives in Sand Lake where he and his wife, Shana, are raising two daughters.
Contact Brad at email@example.com or 616-717-5536.
Minister for Music
Helen is Westminster’s principal organist and choir director for the Sanctuary Choir, Kirk Singers, and Chapel Singers. She additionally oversees Westminster’s entire music program, which also includes three children’s choirs and instrumental ensembles.
Helen joined Westminster in 2006. Prior to Westminster, she held church music positions in Missouri, Kansas, Washington, and Germany.
She holds both a Bachelor’s of Music and a Master’s of Music in organ performance from the University of Kansas. She also did postgraduate work at the Hochschule für Musik in Köln, Germany, made possible by a Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst scholarship awarded by the Fulbright committee, which included four months of study at the Goethe Institut in Blaubeuren and nine months of study at the music conservatory in Köln.
Helen is a past Dean of the Grand Rapids American Guild of Organists (AGO) and currently serves on the Executive Planning Committee for the 2019 Regional Convention of the AGO in Grand Rapids. She has also served on the state board of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). She is an accomplished carillonneur, and has performed carillon recitals in sixteen states in the U.S. as well as Belgium and the Netherlands. She is currently a member of the Barnes Scholarship Committee for the Guild of Carillonneurs in North American (GCNA) and is a past member of its Board and the Exam Committee.
When not involved in musical projects, Helen enjoys spending time with her Paws With A Cause foster puppy, Nisha, and her two rescue cats. She is also an avid Kansas Jayhawks fan, and reminds people not to call her during a Kansas basketball game.
Contact Helen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 616-717-5539.
Executive Director for Camp Henry
Better known to everyone as “Jake,” an experienced camper and above-average four square player, Jake has been connected to Camp Henry since he first came to the shores of Old Lake Kimball for summer camp in 1979.
Jake spent ten years as a professor in the Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration department at California Polytechnic State University and three years as a public school teacher working with alternative education programs. He has over 25 years of experience in camping, working with five different camps, serving as the director for four of these camps. He has published multiple articles in Camping Magazine, and has taught university courses on Leadership, Adventure Travel and Tourism, Evaluation and Assessment, and Environmental and Wilderness Education.
Jake received his BA in Sociology, a Secondary Teaching Certification, and MSW degrees from the University of Michigan, and a PhD in Education from the University of Minnesota. After several summers as a camper, five summers as a counselor, and 16 summers as Camp Henry’s summer camp director, Jake became Camp Henry’s executive director in the fall of 2012.
Contact Jake at email@example.com or 616-717-5585.
Minister for Pastoral Care and Membership
Susan is one of the bright smiling faces at Westminster who welcomes visitors every week. She helps grow visitors into the church family as they move through the new member process, is the staff liaison for the deacons, and assists with the coordination and facilitation of pastoral care. She has also served with Westminster’s children’s ministries.
Prior to Westminster, Susan worked in Human Resources at Spectrum Health, and took several years off to be home with her children. Before joining staff, Susan was involved with many committees at Westminster and served as its elder for Family Ministries.
Susan holds a Bachelor’s degree from Florida State University. She started work at Westminster in 2004.
Contact Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 616-717-5542.
Director for the Downtown Food Pantry
Angie oversees the Downtown Food Pantry and its continuing growth and role in the Heartside neighborhood. Prior to becoming director, she also served as Minister for Administration and the assistant to the senior pastor. Angie brings her financial perspective to each ministry and committee on which she serves.
Prior to working at Westminster she worked for 10 years as the church administrator at Grand Rapids First United Methodist Church.
Some of Angie’s favorite hobbies include hand quilting, exercising, reading and attending her kids’ sporting events.
Angie received her BA in Business Administration from Ferris State University. Angie began working at Westminster in November 2008.
Contact Angie at email@example.com or 616-717-5581.
Director for the Westminster Child Development Center
Amber Marz-Momany joined the Westminster Child Development Center family as a co-op student during 2005, and is now the Director of WCDC.
Amber began her educational career at Grand Rapids Community College, where she received her Associates Degree in the Early Child Development Field. Amber is continuing her education at Western Michigan University where she will graduate with a Bachelors degree in Family Studies.
Contact Amber at firstname.lastname@example.org or 616-717-5549.
Administrative Assistant for Music and Education
Becky supports Westminster’s music and Christian education programs, handles layout and production of Westminster’s bulletins and newsletters, is the principle wedding coordinator, and much more.
Prior to Westminster, Becky worked at Kemper National Insurance for 26 years as a clerical supervisor for claims.
Outside of work, Becky enjoys spending time with her friends and family, as well as her sports passions, including golf and bowling. She is also an accomplished stained glass artist, and has designed many pieces—including 33 windows at her own church, Holy Trinity Episcopal Church.
Becky studied at Davenport University. She joined Westminster’s staff in 1995.
Contact Becky at email@example.com or 616-717-5532.
Administrative Assistant for Digital Publishing and Program Ministries
Emma supports Westminster's digital communications, including email newsletters, the website, and social media.
Emma graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts in English and History, and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago. Her academic interests include medieval history, feminism, religious philosophy, and the intersections of identity and religion.
Emma has previously worked in administrative assistance, photography, marketing, and bookselling. She loves hiking and running, spending time with family, and reading.
Contact Emma at firstname.lastname@example.org.