THE BOARD OF ELDERS
How do we shepherd our community over time and not simply in the moment? What parts of our life, belief, and dreams are non-negotiable? Who discerns when to nudge us outside of what is comfortable? Who is entrusted with the burden to hold the wellbeing and direction of our community?
The Board of Elders is a collection of leaders from the community with diverse gifts and talents. Together, the Board of Elders hold the spiritual authority and fiduciary responsibility to oversee the integrity and direction of the church, thereby allowing us to demonstrate our mission and uphold our shared values as a church.
John has attended Mars Hill since 2004. He is the co-founder, administrator, and superintendent of The Potter’s House School, as well as a devoted father to his sons, Josh and Seth, daughter-in-law Kafui, and grandson, Dinesh. John has served on the boards of Excel and Grand River Prep Charter Schools, Christian Counseling Center, Christian Community Development Association, Roosevelt Park Ministries, and the Hoboken Group.
Additionally, he is a frequent speaker on issues surrounding urban education, Christ-centered education, and diversity, as well as an avid reader, runner, and supporter of the arts. John currently serves on the Sunday Care Team and the Vision Casting Sub-team.
A member of Mars Hill since the very beginning, Susan strives to use her gifts and resources to join in God’s work, and centers her life around the mission of loving God and others. She’s never felt more alive than when she is expressing this in one of her many roles, as a mother, wife, and friend, or her years as a teacher, special educator, administrator, and mentor. Here, she can live a bold and passionate life, and experience the breadth of all God has for her. Susan is currently serving on the Executive Elder Team and Affinity Mentoring Board.
Chris, his wife, Sarah, and their two young children, Olivia  and Graham  have been part of Mars Hill Bible Church since moving from Colorado 4 years ago. Chris is a social entrepreneur with a professional background in impact-focused startups. He is currently serving as the Foundation Director at the BBB of Western Michigan. Outside the office, you’ll find Chris playing outside with his family at Garfield Park or fly fishing on a nearby stream and hoping for a trout to rise.
Bennett Samuel is a clinical research nurse at Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital working in the area of congenital heart disease. Born and raised in India, Bennett grew up in a region where only 2% of the population is Christian. His parents work in a Christian mission school for children with visual impairment. Growing up in this challenging environment, Bennett’s faith was strengthened and he served in the local church and high school chapel in various capacities including the worship team and preaching.
A gifted pastor, teacher, writer, and leader, AJ Sherrill joined our community as Lead Pastor in August of 2016. Formerly the pastor of Trinity Grace Church–Chelsea in New York City, he has over 15 years of pastoral experience in diverse church settings across the nation. He and his wife, Elaina, have a 3-year-old daughter, Eloise, and can often be found having nightly dance parties in their kitchen, or wandering the vast floral wonderland of Meijer Gardens.
When Lyn and her husband, Paul, attended the first service at Mars Hill with their 3 kids, their lives were forever changed. Sunday was no longer the end-all to their week but became a launch pad for living out their daily lives with family and friends as followers of Christ. Their kids are adults now, yet much of their lives still revolve around kids as Paul is a Special Education Teacher at Hudsonville High School and Lyn works for Young Life as Midwest Capernaum Coordinator and at Calvin College as the Young Life Coordinator.
Mike and his family have been attending Mars Hill since 2004. Mike teaches in the Humanities Division at Cornerstone University, and has been on the Theology Sub-Team for the past 3 years. He is published in a wide variety of periodicals and has written a short biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Mike appreciates Mars Hill for how it allows his intellectual life to flow easily into his spiritual and church life.
Dan and his wife, Andrea, have been part of Mars Hill almost from the start. They and their 3 boys live in Byron Center. Andrea has been serving in the Kids’ ministry for many years and Dan started on the Finance Sub-Team in 2007. This is a great fit, since Dan is also a Finance Director at Herman Miller. He currently serves on the Operations Sub-Team.
Dennis VanKampen has served as a Kids Ministry Pastor at 2 churches, including Mars Hill. He spent 17 years in camp ministry and currently works as the CEO of Mel Trotter Ministries. Dennis is also an Adjunct Professor at Cornerstone University and earned Bachelor’s and Masters Degrees from Cornerstone in Business Administration, Ministry Leadership, and Organizational Development.
Born and raised in West Michigan, Jenna has been attending Mars Hill since it was in the hangar. During her college years, she volunteered in our Student Ministry, and is currently serving in our Babies ministry, as well as on the Formation + Care Sub-team. Jenna graduated from Calvin College and Fuller Theological Seminary with a doctorate in Clinical Psychology and a Masters in Theology, and currently works as a psychologist at Alliance Counseling Group.