Ben Barnes serves as Director of Worship Ministry at Redeemer. Ben has been working with bands, planning worship services and leading worship for fifteen years both within and outside of the church walls. He continuously juggles ministry, a growing family and his desire to find time for more coffee and the occasional laugh.
Brad Kalajainen grew up in New Castle, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Asbury College and Asbury Seminary before coming to Michigan in 1981. Brad met his wife, Colleen, in college. After moving to Michigan, they started a family. Brad and Colleen have two children, Kaylee and Ben. In addition to his role as Lead Pastor at Cornerstone, Brad was also acting Director of New Church for the West Michigan Conference of the United Methodist Church from 2007-2009. He has been a workshop/seminar speaker for the Reuben Job Institute of Leadership (the North Central Jurisdiction), and the School of Congregational Development. Brad also coaches new church pastors all across the country.
Debbie Thomas has served as the pastor at Alma UMC since July 2013. Her passions for ministry include watching people grow in their faith and helping them to discover, explore, and apply their gifts in reaching out to others. She loves to see the church in action and believes that small groups are a great way to work out faith with others. Prior to serving at Alma UMC, Debbie served Plymouth First UMC, Royal Oak: St. John’s UMC, Iron Mountain: Trinity UMC, and Bay City: First UMC. Debbie is a graduate of Taylor University in Indiana with her bachelor’s degree in Psychology, minor in Bible. She received her Masters of Divinity degree from Ashland Theological Seminary in Ohio. Debbie is married to Paul, who serves as the Director of Live Events for Celebrate Your Marriage Ministries. They have one son, Aaron, who is twelve years old and a seventh grader at Alma Middle School. In her spare time, Debbie loves to run, read, and spend time with her family.
Diane Lantzy has been involved with the Administrative functions of Redeemer UMC since 1999. She is responsible for many of the administrative functions of the church including finance, risk management, planned giving, office technology, human resources, supervision of office staff and the bookstore.
John Goodell is the founder and managing partner of Post Companies, LLC, a collection of online tools and consulting services used by organizations of every size across the United States. ChurchPost.com is an online communications platform used by both individual parishes and by conferences & dioceses across the country. In the past 15 years, Post Companies has launched sister services for mission-based organizations including SchoolPost.com, TemplePost.com and BroadcastGenius.com. In 2012, Post Companies launched 501websites.com, a company that builds superbly elegant, mobile-ready and fully managed websites (designed and deployed in about two weeks). Last year, Post Companies launched 365CustomCritical.com to help organizations manage IT infrastructure and cloud-based application management on any budget.
Rev. Kathy Pittenger is the Children’s Initiatives Coordinator for the Michigan Conference. Kathy is an ordained Deacon in The United Methodist Church and has been involved in children’s ministry with local churches for 20 years. Kathy’s passion is to encourage, equip, empower and engage with people in the areas of children’s ministry, literacy awareness, and discipleship pathways.
Rod Kalajainen has served pastoral appointments in the West Michigan Conference for 41 years. He has been the Lead Pastor of Redeemer United Methodist since 1988. He holds a Master of Divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary. He has led Redeemer in a “Turnaround” and actively coaches other pastors and churches in dealing with transformational change.
Ron Bekkering has been involved in Student Ministry for 19 years. He joined Redeemer in 2006 and serves as the Director of High School and College Ministry. He also has worked with many Vital Church Initiative teams. He has a passion for the local church and for leading High School and College students to become strong Christian leaders while helping them grow in their relationship with Jesus. You will find him leading Redeemer’s Workcamp mission trip and serving at Christian Athletic Camp in the summer with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind.
Sue Campbell has been serving in Christian Education for over 21 years and is the Director of Children’s Ministry. She loves to see children learn about God’s love for them and help them make new discoveries as they grow in their faith. Sue has seen and worked through various programming transitions and has helped build an invested team of servant-hearted volunteers.
Tammy and Justin Bowman have been have been serving as the Directors of middle school ministry at Redeemer Church for 11 years. They are passionate about helping students discover who God has created them to be and serve with a dedicated team of volunteers who enjoy leading students as they encounter all the awkwardness and exciting changes this stage of life brings. Justin and Tammy enjoy exercising and spending time with their three not-so-small children.
Tim Trommater serves as one of the pastors at Redeemer Church. He has served in the Michigan Area Annual Conference, since 2015. Tim holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from Central Michigan University and a Master of Divinity from Saint Paul School of Theology. As one of the pastors of this multisite ministry, Tim serves in Pastoral leadership for both the St. Johns and DeWitt Campuses, as well as directing adult ministries of the church. He is a veteran of the United States Air Force, a former public school teacher, husband, father, and author.
Wendy Elliott has served as Connections Coordinator for Redeemer since the summer of 2018. This position was created to reach out to visitors and newcomers at Redeemer and to be intentional about connecting them with the ministries Redeemer has to offer. She has led Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University program since 2010. Wendy also works full time for Michigan’s United Methodist Camping Organization.