Rev. Jen A. Porter Called to be Associate Pastor

Monday, September 15, 2014

With great enthusiasm, deep satisfaction, and a clear sense of the Spirit,
the Associate Pastor Nominating Committee unanimously presents:
Rev. Jen A. Porter
for Associate Pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church
Grand Rapids, MI.

"I believe that the Spirit isn't stagnant but continues to bring new life and direction to Christ's body today and that I am being called to a context that is looking for what that might be and how we might respond faithfully together. I feel called to participate in discipleship, in encouraging congregational giftedness and leadership, and in continuing to delight in the amazing privilege of bringing the good news to God's people…"
-From Rev. Jen A. Porter, Call to Ministry

Videos from the Congregational Meeting

The APNC formally nominates Rev. Jen Porter as a candidate for the Associate Pastor Position.
Rev. Jen Porter is unanimously approved as Associate Pastor by the Westminster Congregation


Rev. Jen Porter comes to us from Spring Lake Presbyterian Church, a 500-member congregation in our Presbytery, where she has served as Associate Pastor. In that role, she has served as a generalist, with significant experience in both pastoral care and mission. She is a graduate of Hope College and Western Theological Seminary.

Jen on where she is growing in ministry:

"I am eager to find a setting where Frederick Buechner's beautiful insight about ministry can be explored. '[your call is]…where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.' Not a smooth or comfortable process; yet life-giving and Spirit-filled! I believe that I am called into an associate pastor role. I love to work collaboratively and then take leadership in an area. I love staying open to new seasons of ministry within a congregation and stepping forward with passion and energy."

Tributes from the APNC

“It was a blessing to work on this committee and learn so much about the church and the people that lead us. This service gave me the opportunity to view the ministries of many of God’s wonderful shepherds and to speak to folks all over the country about how they lead the faithful. I am so pleased we found such a talented candidate to fulfill Westminster’s vibrant faith leadership.”

-Harry Coffill

“Jen brings a genuine and natural care and concern for each individual. She is able to focus on one person at a time. Her prior experience combined with her energy to learn and create will be a blessing to WPC and she will contribute greatly to the ministry of Westminster.”

-Mary Van Skiver

“Jen Porter possesses a true heart for ministry and a love of God that is both strong and infectious.  That love and her joy and ability to serve are very evident and will translate into good things as she ministers among us and with us.  Her strong sense of “God’s Call” to this position is truly shared with all the members of the Associate Pastor Nominating Committee.  It is with Great Joy and Thanksgiving that we present Jen to our Family of Faith here at Westminster.”

-Steve Baron

“I’m so grateful for the opportunity to nominate Jen Porter as our Associate Pastor. All through the process of meeting and getting to know Jen and her ministry, it is clear that she has a passion for her work and she cares deeply for the church. I believe her skills and abilities match up well with the areas she will be responsible for including Pastoral Care and Mission and her team approach to achieving success will be greatly appreciated by the rest of the Staff at Westminster”

-Scott Jennings

“It was a privilege to work with the members of the APNC and to see the remarkable commitment each person made to this process. We shared a love for this church and it carried us through some difficult times of discernment. I will always treasure the relationships and the support that we felt along the way as we tried to hold our congregation in our prayers, in our hearts and in our minds. Jen’s sincere faith, enthusiasm, humility and graciousness will be a gift to our congregation. I am certain."

-Julia de Jonge

“The APNC did an amazing job finding and luring great ministers to interview for this position. So, I had the privilege of interviewing fine candidates from all over the country--and talking to them about their gifts and the ministry of Westminster. In the end we found a terrific match. In Jen we have someone with great experience in both pastoral care and mission, but I think almost more importantly someone we have a pastor who really is eager to grow in ministry and develop her gifts for the sake of the Church.”

-Chandler Stokes

The Associate Pastoral Nominating Committee

Scott Jennings
Mary Van Skiver
Julia de Jonge
Steve Baron
Harry Coffill
Todd Helle
Bud Roegge
Barb Wisse
Elizabeth Topliffe

APNC announcement from 8/24/2014


Rev. Jen Porter delivers her first sermon