Our Staff

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Pastor Ryan Bajema

I’m Ryan Bajema, and I am the Lead Pastor here at FRC. I am the primary preacher on Sunday mornings and provide leadership to the staff as well as the overall church. I work closely with our worship leaders in the formation of our worship services, and also have a passion to raise up new leaders in ministry at FRC.

In so many ways, FRC has graciously walked with me as I’ve continually grown and developed as a leader. I love the heart of people within this church to live and love like Jesus does! There is a passion for Christ, a growing desire for the scriptures, and a hunger to be a church that lives outside our walls, seeking to make Christ known throughout this world.

I really enjoy running, hiking, and being outside. Also, anything with my girls and family, brings me great joy!

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Mike Smit

I am Mike Smit and I am the Director of Ministries. I help coordinate our adult ministry efforts with volunteer leaders and teams; I serve as a sounding board and advisor for Pastor Ryan and the consistory; I help with staffing issues; and work closely with the deacons, the missions team, and our prayer ministry. I also help with strategic planning and facility issues.

I love working here because of the vibrant, ‘can-do’ attitude and comradery of our staff and so many of our volunteer leaders. I appreciate a visionary and transparent leader and I love the way we seem to be pulling together and leaning into what we believe is God’s vision for FRC. I also appreciate the value we place on young families and children as we look to the future.

Diann and I really love hiking, camping and board games

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Amy Blankers

I am Amy Blankers, and I am the Director of Children’s Ministry at FRC. I help develop and coordinate programs for the kids of FRC from birth through 5th grade. I work alongside an amazing group of volunteers who love kids and are passionate about sharing the love of Jesus with them!

I love working at FRC because I am able to demonstrate God’s love and care, to the children around me. I get to see the way kids look on Jesus, through untainted and unworldly eyes, and it helps me do my job even better.

I enjoy running, sewing, and anything that involves spending time with my family.

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Benjamin deWaard

Serving alongside the body of Christ at FRC brings me great joy. I absolutely love seeing everyone’s unique gifts being used for the edification of the body to the glory of God! I find great joy in helping the youth of our church navigate through the challenges of adolescence. while keeping our gaze fixed upon our unchanging and ever-constant Savior through it all.

I enjoy:
Roasting my own coffee beans, and then consuming the divine beverage
Watching and following the Toronto Maple Leafs
Spending time with family, and then taking a break from said family by riding my motorcycle 🙂

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Ken VanKooten

My name is Ken Van Kooten, and I assist with Pastoral Care and Adult Ministries at FRC. I work with Pastor Ryan and others, to provide pastoral care to the elderly, shut-ins, hospitalized or hurting individuals and families of FRC. In addition, I work with a volunteer team to provide vision and strategy for some of our adult ministries.

I love working at FRC because the leadership is constantly looking at how FRC can be more effective and efficient in ministry. Their leadership is seen in the quality of the church facility, missions, local outreach, teaching, and staff support, to name a few.

I really enjoy going hunting, family, mowing lawn, and fishing in Alaska.

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Irene Assink

Support person for: key leadership teams (Elders, Deacons, Ministry Support Team) and staff (Lead Pastor and Director of Ministries); for H.R. (maintaining personnel files, insurance, etc.); and financial liaison between finance team, staff, and treasurer (annual budget, communication, reimbursements, etc.)

It’s a joy to be part of a team that looks beyond themselves and their capabilities, to what God can do – and focuses on His greater ministry and purpose.

I enjoy:
Sitting in our hot tub with my husband on a Saturday morning.
Conniving, creating, carrying-out outdoor home projects.
Spending time loving our kids and grand kids.

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Melissa Longstreth

I am often the first voice you’ll hear when calling FRC and am the primary liaison for the office and ‘church life’! I am responsible for assisting the office staff in their ministry areas with phone calls, database entry, emails, and other daily office activities. I feel so blessed to be a part of a great staff who loves the Lord, works hard, and also has a great time together.

I enjoy having coffee with family, supporting my daughters in their sporting activities, and spending time with my husband on our boat.

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Lise Jamison

My name is Lise Jamison, and I am BLESSED to be a part time office assistant at FRC. I get to work in many areas here, as an assistant to Melissa; organize and arrange Helping Hands (Meal Ministry); update our Website; and help with the children’s needs during Thursday Morning Women’s Bible study.

I love coming to work every day, and knowing that I am around people that love the Lord and are doing the best to spread a light in our community!

I love to drink coffee with my husband in the morning, decorating, and sitting with my kids while watching a movie.

Marissa Cramer
Director/Teacher
Mon-Thurs

Marissa Cramer

What a blessing it is to be a part of the staff at FRC, and to be the director of Kids Caboose preschool!

I love working with kids, and enjoy watching them grow both academically and spiritually. Each child is unique, and I want preschool to be a caring and loving environment.

I enjoy spending quality time with my husband and kids. I love thrift/antique stores, being crafty, horses, and playing card games.

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Jeff Thomas

Jeff has worked at First Reformed since 2004, where has served as Pastor of Assimilation and Connection, worked with our Africa Missions Team, and taught Bible for our Adult Sunday School. He has a passion for the church, for discipleship, and for teaching, and he loves to see people connect into the body life of the church.

He and his wife Stacy have two children, Reghan and Nolan, and they love spending time with each other, playing board games, and exploring new places.