Click on each picture to learn more about our staff members.
Pastor John Lee, Pastor of Teaching & Preaching
Parsonage Phone: (712) 722-3102; Work Phone: (712) 441-5871
Pastor John Lee grew up on a third-generation dairy farm in Northern Michigan (near McBain, MI) before attending Calvin College (Major: World History, Minors: Environmental Studies and Third World Development). Pastor John then served 2001-04 with Christian Reformed World Missions/World Relief Committee in Nicaragua. He returned for an M-Div seminary degree from Calvin Theological Seminary (2004-08), including graduate work in Israel, where he met his wife, Mary Jo. Bethel CRC is their first North American church they've served.
Locally, Pastor John is a member of the Dordt College Board of Trustees, various denominational committees, and is active with an immigrant ministry board (CASA). Pastor John and Mary Jo have a daughter Anna Elizabeth born December 2018 and Sarah Jane born June 2021. They enjoy practicing hospitality, traveling, and sharing in the life and mission of God’s people at Bethel!
Pastor Duane Tinklenberg, Pastor of Visitation
Pastor Duane Tinklenberg was born on a farm in Minnesota and is the eldest of 10 children. He went to Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI, and graduated in 1964. From there he went to Calvin Seminary and graduated in 1967.
"Why I became a pastor is difficult to answer except to say that I was moved along the way by the Spirit of God," he said. "The pastoral ministry seemed to fit the interests I had as well as the gifts God had given me."
After graduation, he served in five churches including Bethel CRC, 1980-89. He retired from the Hospers CRC in 2006 and, at the invitation of the Bethel CRC council, accepted the position of Pastor of Visitation. He visits our church shut-in members on a regular basis and leads worship here and at other churches when asked. In his spare time, he plays golf in the summer and snooker pool at the Senior Center in the winter, does some traveling, attends grandchildren events and reads novels.
Dan Elgersma, Youth Director
Mobile: (712) 541-5056
I grew up in Hudsonville, Mich., and attended Unity Christian High School (Go Crusaders!). I went to Dordt College for a major in Youth Ministries and Biblical Studies. My family was wary about me going to school in Iowa because they worried I might fall in love with an Iowa girl and that is exactly what happened. My wife Becky is from Orange City. We met working Dordt maintenance our sophomore year and got married the day after our senior graduation. We now reside in Sioux Center and have served at Bethel since 2018.
I'm very excited about youth ministry. Being in a "front row seat" when a young person's faith becomes their own, and they accept Jesus as their Lord and savior is the best thing ever. Our youth have more opportunities and resources at their fingertips than any generation before them, and with that can come lots of anxiety and potential for life changing mistakes. There is also a lot of identity formation happening in the teenage years. What will I value? What will I stand for? What will I believe in? I seek to engage this group and facilitate the development of healthy adult relationships from within the church to mentor and grow alongside of youth while they navigate the waters of jr. high and high school.
Wanda Vande Kieft, Administrative Assistant
Wanda has a rich history with Bethel CRC, having been baptized here. Wanda is the daughter of Bethel member Kathy Vande Kieft and her late husband Harold. Wanda grew up on a farm between Sioux Center and Orange City, where she continues to live with her mom. They along with her siblings continue to manage the farm.
Wanda attended Sioux Center Christian School, Unity Christian High School and Dordt College. She left Bethel CRC in 1988 when she moved to Orange City. She attended First Reformed Church in OC until she came back to Bethel CRC in 2010. “There was a 21 year gap, but I feel Bethel has always been part of my life,” she said. “Del Broek asked me to join the choir and I have enjoyed the time I was able to spend singing with a great group of people.”
Much of her spare time revolves taking care of her parents’ farmplace. “We love to work in our flower beds and mow lawn. I have taken Master Gardener classes. However, I am into flowers and less into vegetable gardening. One of my jobs around the farm is spraying weeds. I spend plenty of time on the 4-wheeler with my weed sprayer. I find it relaxing and gratifying.”
“My family is big into horses and horse shows. I usually take care of their dogs when they go to shows. I love to camp in my little camper, mostly right in my own west grove of trees. We call it my campground.”
Another one of her hobbies is the Orange City Tulip Festival.
“I have been on the Steering Committee since 2001,” she said. “In 2006 I was the Chairperson of the festival. What an experience to be part of a long running community event! I love the festival and celebrating my Dutch heritage. I am on the Executive Steering Committee again chaired the fesetival in 2019. It was an exciting and busy year. I was asked to be part of the committee and agreed to work with the festival. I did not know at the time how much work it would be, but I am glad to be part of the group.”
Jennifer Frens, Worship Coordinator
Jennifer Frens graduated from Dordt College in 2001 with a B.A. in Church Music.
Why were you interested in being Bethel's worship coordinator?
I've used my musical gifts in many different ways: as a performer, teacher, director, and collaborator. All of these roles continue to give me joy, but I receive the most joy when I combine these gifts for God's glory in worship and in serving others. I am very passionate about providing musical excellence in worship as well as providing a solid foundation for congregational singing. I also love the family of Bethel and working "behind the scenes" with them. God slowly started to open my heart to the possibility of this position more than a year ago, but as I was so heavily involved with private teaching and playing in local orchestras, I felt that it wasn't an option at the time. He continued his work in me, and when the position opened up again (after being in Dani Postma's excellent hands) I felt God's clear and insistent leading: I needed to apply!
Where would you say your passion for music comes from?
I think I knew very early on in life that music was going to play a major role in my life. From my first violin lesson as a 6 year old, I was constantly encouraged by family members who were music lovers and appreciators. I also had many excellent music teachers and mentors guiding me in my education. Additionally, I learned that music gave me voice when I found it difficult to articulate my thoughts. I could "speak" from my heart without having to use words. As an adult, I love the fact that music is so multifaceted. It can be used to tell stories, celebrate/commemorate certain occasions, work through times of grief in our lives, or sing carols with our families at Christmas. Most importantly, we call on music to help us worship our great Creator.
Tell us a little about yourself - some favorite hobbies, how many instruments you play, anything else you'd like to share?
When I find myself with a bit of free time, I love to read, search Pinterest for new recipes (and cook them!), as well as play games and watch movies with my family. My family includes my husband, Nathan (plant manager at Smithfield Foods in Sioux Center), Sean (7th grader at SCCS) and Caitlin (4th grader at SCCS).
I also love coffee! Other than playing the french horn in junior high and a very small amount of the cello and string bass in college, I play four instruments: violin, viola, organ and piano.
Sherry Visser, Custodian
Sherry Visser is married to Mick, who is an accountant at Trans Ova in Sioux Center. They have three kids: Hayley, Brandon and Rylee, who keep them busy attending many activities.
They enjoy being members of Bethel CRC and are thankful for the church family here. As well as being the church custodian, Sherry is also a preschool assistant a few mornings a week at Stepping Stones Preschool in Sioux Center and volunteers as a GEMS counselor.
Mick Visser, Treasurer
Mick Visser also works as an accountant at Trans Ova in Sioux Center. He is married to Sherry, who is our church custodian. They have three kids: Hayley, Brandon and Rylee, who keep them busy attending many activities.
They enjoy being members of Bethel CRC and are thankful for the church family here.