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.
Jay eldridge DIRECTOR OF worship arts
Jay serves as our Director of Music. Growing up in this area he found a passion for
playing music in a church setting and has continued that passion for over 15 years.
Music has given him the opportunities to live in Boston Massachusetts, Valencia Spain and Phoenix Arizona.
He holds a Bachelors in Composition and a Master’s in Performance from Berklee College of Music. He has had the privilege of working with countless musicians, directing Choirs, and Bands.
Jay resides in the North East side of Grand Rapids with his wife Amy, his dog Cricket and cat Boo. When he isn’t following all of his music endeavors he loves watching sports and hanging out with family and friends.
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.
Angela Ringler office administrator
Angela serves as our Office Administrator at FHPC. She comes to us with seven years of experience, as she previously worked at a local DK-2 elementary school.
She was raised in Dorr, Michigan and now resides in Howard City, Michigan with her husband of 14 years - Brandon, her three children - Ayden, Madalyn, and Greyson, and a hoard of pets. She loves to volunteer her time in her community by being a co-coordinator for the Howard City Harvest Festival Queen and Court Pageant, President of the Tri County Youth Wrestling Club, and the Tri County Rocket and Flag Cheer Director.
In her free time, she likes to read, take walks, spend time on the boat with her family, and plan in her planner.
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.
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).
Diane devries Pianist | accompanist | Organist
Diane has been active in music for most of her life. Thanks to an insightful mother, she started formal piano lessons at the very early age of 4, learning to read notes on a musical staff before learning to read a book. Organ lessons came a bit later, after she was tall enough to reach the pedals.
Diane has earned a BS in Economics and a BA in Music, both from Grand Valley State University and a Masters and Ph.D. in Music Theory from Michigan State. After teaching as an adjunct professor at GVSU, serving as Worship Director at Georgetown UMC, and accompanying choirs at Holland Christian High, Diane has transitioned to teaching private piano lessons. Currently, Miss Diane's Piano Studio has 24 students. "God has given me a wonderful gift, and now I have privilege of passing it on to a new generation."
But her desire to play is still strong, and she is grateful that God has led her to Forest Hills PC to make music with others wo share her passion.
Diane and her husband Fred live in Byron Center, where they enjoy spending time together and with friends on the golf course.
"I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope." -Jeremiah 29:11 CEB
CASSIDY SANFORD hEAD AV ENGINEER
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 Head A/V engineer 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.
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 email@example.com or call 616.942.2751