JIM POLLARD LEAD PASTOR
Jim is the lead pastor and does most of the teaching. After graduating from Western Theological Seminary with his Master of Divinity, he has served churches in Lake Geneva, WI, Harbor Springs, MI, and now in Forest Hills. Jim’s life verse is Philippians 4:13 which states, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. He is passionate that, we as a church, should be Christ-centered; People-focused and Mission- driven in all we do.
Jim is married to Barb, a childhood friend. Their dads sang together in the same barbershop quartet in the 1950's and 60’s. They are so grateful and thankful that God brought them together so both could have a second chance at love.
Jim has three children; Lauren, Matt, and his grandson Eli, live in Canton, Michigan. Jon, Megan and his granddaughters Haley, Hannah and Sydney, live in Traverse City. Jeremy, Jess, and his new grandson Bridger have also recently moved to Traverse City. Barb has one child; Luke, Stepheni and her granddaughter Lyra, live in the Grand Rapids area.
On their days off, they can be found volunteering with missions around town or on mission trips serving those in need. Music is a huge part of their lives, listening to everything from Light Rock to Easy Listening, Country, Praise and Worship as well as Barbershop. Now that’s eclectic taste.
W. ZACHARY TAYLOR DIRECTOR OF WORSHIP ARTS
Zach is the Director of Worship Arts at FHPC. He fuses his traditional worship upbringing with modern-day styles and creative elements to design worship gatherings that are deep and meaningful.
His music career started at age 13 when he became a church organist. His K-8 education was in parochial schools. Even his high school was a prep school for future pastors and teachers. Zach later graduated from McNally Smith College of Music, a contemporary music college in St. Paul, MN, with degrees in Music Production and Music Business.
In addition to serving churches directly, he worked for Augsburg Fortress/sparkhouse Publishers as a Worship & Music Education Specialist. He is also a video producer for multiple Christian publishers, a music producer/engineer, and a worship consultant.
Zach likes to travel, cook, sing, snuggle with his Bichons (BooBoo & Taffy), and spend time on both West coasts (CA and MI).
MISS ASH ATKINS DIRECTOR OF FAMILY MINISTRIES
Miss Ash enjoys serving as our Director of Family Ministry and has been a part of the FHPC staff since 2010. Prior to God calling her to ministry, she completed her Bachelor's degree at Grand Valley State University in English and Elementary Education.
She loves serving the students and families of our church and is thankful for the incredible team of volunteers who join her in sharing God's love! Miss Ash is constantly in awe of the marvelous relationships that have been built over the years at FHPC and can't imagine her life without this amazing community! She especially loves going on retreats with the students, mission trips as well as our annual Youth Sunday and Christmas pageant!
In the Fall of 2017 she purchased her first home and she and her 17 pound lover-not-a-fighter cat, Charlie, adore living in downtown Grand Rapids! Most of Miss Ash's human family resides between Novi, MI & Columbus, OH.
In her spare time, you can find her crafting, playing a rousing game of "where are my keys?", wandering around barefoot or laughing.... all the laughter of the land.
JANA TREES FINANCIAL SECRETARY
Jana is the Financial Secretary at FHPC, where she is the point person for all things financial: giving records/deposits, payroll, accounts payable, monthly reporting, budgeting, year end, and most recently setting up a new church financial system.
Jana comes to FHPC with a B.S. in Management Accounting from Illinois Wesleyan, 8 years at Haworth serving mostly as a Logistics Plant Controller, and several years in a similar financial role at the now-closed Cherry Valley Presbyterian out of Caledonia.
Jana hopes to continue this year's achievement of a balanced budget every year; the important work of the church is much easier to concentrate on if finances are not a pressing issue!
Jana is married to Matt and has two boys - Nate and Justin. Jana also enjoys golfing; her claim to fame was playing on an otherwise all-boy golf team in high school. She is already looking forward to next summer's FHPC golf outings.
NANCY RYSKAMP ORGANIST & ACCOMPANIST
Nancy serves as the FHPC organist, pianist, and choir accompanist. Previous to this, she was Director of Music at an area church.
As a registered nurse, she does home care part-time.
She has been married to Dave for over years - together raising 2 sons and now also enjoy 2 grandsons. In nice weather, you will find them on their tandem bike...having ridden 82,000 miles so far together.
ELAINE BENDLE HANDBELL ENSEMBLE DIRECTOR
Elaine grew up in Ohio where she sang in the children’s choir, high school choirs and later, in the adult choir at her home church. Elaine moved to the Southfield, Michigan area in 1973 and in 1976, moved to the Grand Rapids area.
It was at John Knox Presbyterian Church where she developed the gift of ringing handbells for over 30 years. The last eight of those 30 years, she served as director of the Peace Ringers Handbell Ensemble. Elaine is an active member of another handbell ensemble in Grand Rapids, and directs the handbell ensemble at Eastminster Presbyterian Church. She brings her God-given gift of music and experience of ringing to enhance the worship experience.
She has been married to Jim for over 25 years and together they have 11 grandchildren. She loves to travel, read, crochet, and make homemade greeting cards (lots of paper, stamps and ink).
JORDAN PELPHREY PERCUSSIONIST
Jordan is the Percussionist for the Worship Band at FHPC. He is new to Grand Rapids in 2021, moving just after graduating from college in Adrian, MI. Originally from Tennessee, Jordan was raised in Southeastern MI surrounded by music. He first began playing the drums at 6 years old and started trumpet in 5th grade concert band. Through music, he has toured nationally with Legends Drum & Bugle Corps and his former rock band, performed with Michigan symphony orchestras, and helped produce several records around Michigan and Ohio.
Now graduated from Siena Heights University with Music Performance and Business degrees, Jordan is looking for music performance and recording studio opportunities in West MI. In addition to joining the FHPC Worship Band, he teaches local drumming lessons, assists music engineers in studios around Grand Rapids, and works at Everbloom Montessori as a substitute teacher and admin.
Jordan likes to camp/hike in state parks, bicycle around Millennium Park, take his Border Collie Macy for walks, and get creative!
CASSIDY SANFORD AV TECHNICIAN
Cassidy is a 2020 graduate of Alma college with a bachelor's degree in theater. She has been doing sound and live mixing work since high school. She is the A/V tech and she is responsible for the mix for the Sunday service. Cassidy is grateful for the opportunity to help enhance people’s worship experience. She has an adorable golden mix named Lucy.
Emilio De La Garza Livestream Producer
Emilio operates cameras and manages the livestream feed of our Sunday worship.
Emilio comes from the east side of Michigan, where he was born and raised. He comes from a Spanish background, and has strong roots in Mexico where his parents are from. He came to the west side of Michigan for school and ended up staying in downtown Grand Rapids, where he also works at WOOD TV8 as a floor director and robotics camera op.
SUE CLAY PRESCHOOL DIRECTOR
Sue Clay is the Director of the Preschool. She taught in the 3’s program and has been directing for 15+ years.
Her hope for the preschool ministry is to be able to open the hearts of young children to God’s love while infusing in them a passion for learning.
Sue graduated from Hope College and earned a Master’s Degree in Education from Aquinas College.
Sue has three children; Nick, Mitchell, and Bridgett. Sue enjoys horses, diving and she LOVES the beach.
Lindsay Moyer fhpc kids coordinator
Miss Lindsay is the Kids Coordinator. She grew up attending FHPC, she was baptized and completed Confirmation here! After graduating from Forest Hills Central she went to Chicago to attend Loyola University Chicago where she earned her Bachelors in Business Administration in Accounting and Information Systems. After a couple of additional years in Chicago to begin her career she moved back to Grand Rapids.
Lindsay works full time in tax technology and process improvement, but has a passion for serving children. Lindsay has previously served as a nursery volunteer and a Sunday school teacher.
In her free time, you can find Lindsay trying a new restaurant downtown or traveling to visit friends across the country.
Erika Iwatsu Nursery Coordinator
Miss Erika loves to help develop toddler’s and infant’s social skill, as the Nursery Coordinator at FHPC. She has been at FHPC since the summer of 2019, and enjoy spending her Sunday mornings with the kids who join us in the nursery.
During the week, she works as a nanny for 3 wonderful boys. She also currently in her last semester at Grand Valley State University and studying International Business and Marketing with a minor in Spanish.
Interesting facts about Erika is she knows 3 languages, and loves to spend her free time traveling and finding new places to visit. She also adopted a dog named Mila in 2019, and she is her best friend.
ELDERS & DEACONS
To contact any of the people listed below, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 616.942.2751