In the fall of 2017, Kory joined the staff at Westend as pastor. Before Westend, Kory previously pastored Covenant Church in Sioux Center, Iowa and Campus Edge Fellowship at Michigan State University. Kory's passions in ministry are for teaching people more about the story of God and for being present in the life of our community. In addition to seminary training, Kory is working on his dissertation for a Ph.D. in Latin and Roman Studies through the University of Florida, but he promises not to talk about the details of his dissertation unless he's asked.
Kory loves spending time with his wife (Lauren) and two kids (Shiloh and Judah). In his spare time, he enjoys cooking gourmet meals and tackling his "bucket list" of foods to cook. He crossed homemade puff pastry off that list but is waiting for the day he tackles Julia Child's Lobster Bisque. If you run into Kory on just about any Saturday in the fall he will probably be wearing a Florida Gators jersey, cheering for the orange and blue.
With a passion for worship and music, Heidi has been co-leading worship at Westend since 2012. A musician for as long as she can remember, Heidi is thankful that God instilled in her a love of music, a love of worship, and a desire to use her gifts and talents to plan relevant and meaningful services that honor God and inspire people to pour their own hearts out in worship. Together with Kristen Worst, they plan and lead the worship services.
Heidi also teaches college communications courses and spends a lot of time keeping up with her busy family: husband Brian and children Haley, Luke, and Lilly.
After leading worship for over a decade at various churches and campus ministries during high school and college, Kristen and her husband, Jamison, began attending Westend in 2007. Kristen took the official position of worship leader in 2012. Being a guitar player/vocalist, she loves being able to serve God while doing something she loves.
Aside from working at church, Kristen also works as a nurse at Saint Mary's Healthcare, a photographer at her own photography company, Tsakani Studios, and works in the office for a local mission organization, Audio Scripture Ministries. When not working, she loves spending time with her family, traveling, camping, reading good books, and doing anything artistic- from graphic design to oil painting.
Children's Ministry Director
Alisha is our Children's Ministry Director. She has a heart for kids and a passion to see them succeed and know the love of Christ. Aside from working at church, Alisha also works part time as an Early Childhood Special Education teacher. When not working, she loves spending time with her three girls (Adalyn, Reese, & Cora) and husband Brian. She also enjoys reading a good book, camping, and refinishing old furniture for her home!
Kid's Hope USA Director
Sue Mellema is our Kids Hope USA Director. She has a heart for kids and a passion to see them succeed and know the love of Christ. Sue is involved with the youth of our church as well, working with our youth group. She helps plan the Backpack Festival we have each August where kids from Shawmut and the neighborhood can come and get supplies they need for school. She works with Campus Life ministry at Union High School as well. Sue and her husband Roger have three grown children: Philip and Sarah both live and work in Chicago, and Bryan who lives in the Grand Rapids area and also attends Westend Church. In her spare time she loves trying to grow perennials, reading, traveling and kayaking the many Michigan Rivers.
As Administrator, Jim manages the day to day operations in the office. Jim has pretty much done everything at Westend, except preach...but we think we can get him behind the pulpit when Pastor Jeremy is on vacation...right Jim?
Rose is our local office wizard as she puts together our weekly bulletin, powerpoint slides for the services, answer phones, and generally has more fun than what is normally allowed.
Len is our weekend custodian. He manages the building on Sundays and makes sure the facilities are ready for services. Len will tell you that he would be perfectly happy spending all day on the river fly fishing.