Our Staff

                                          Bill Vande Giesen

Pastor Bill and his wife Penny were married in 1997 and have been blessed with 3 wonderful children – Jordan, Leyna, and Bella. Coming from a relatively unchurched background, they began attending Cherry Creek Church in Portage, MI in 2002 where they found great new friends and opportunities to grow in the Lord. Bill volunteered on the worship team and eventually was called to serve full-time as Associate Pastor/Worship Director in Feb 2010. Later that year he became the Interim Pastor (for a year) as well, as the planting pastor was called suddenly to serve at a church in another state.
 
In late 2013 the Lord opened up an exciting opportunity for the family to move to Kansas and Bill served as Associate Pastor/Worship Director at First Baptist Church in Ark City until 2017 and taught classes at (ACCA) the Christian school his children attended. Through these years Bill was able to complete his Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Studies online and earned his degree from Moody Bible Institute in 2016. Desiring to be closer to family in MI, the Lord once again provided Bill an opportunity in northwest Indiana on the IN/MI border, this time to serve as Executive Pastor at Brighton Chapel, a Grace Brethren church, in the Fall of 2017.
 
In mid 2018 an unplanned opportunity presented itself and the Lord led Pastor Bill to inquire about, and eventually be called to, the Lead Pastor position at Lawton Evangelical Church in Jan 2019! Bill and his family are so thankful to the Lord and all those He used to encourage and help them grow through their years in ministry and are delighted to be “home”, only a few miles and minutes from where they started.
 
Jordan and Leyna are both attending Grace Bible College in Indiana and Bella is attending Howardsville Christian School and excelling in gymnastics. Bill and Penny enjoy a very blessed marriage, love each other deeply, and have made Lawton, MI their new home. Pastor Bill shares a statement by Campus Crusade that articulates his view of being called into ministry:
 
“Being ‘called’ means being obedient to the ongoing direction of the Lord’s leading in your life.
God is calling every Christian to submit their whole life to Him and thereby bring glory to His name!”

Teresa Oertel

Teresa began as our church secretary in 2010.
Her previous 20 years of ministry
were as a high school youth group sponsor.
She loves spending time with her 3 adult children
and finds great joy and exercise with her 7 grandchildren!
Her life verse encourages her on a daily basis
                                                                                                                          Philippians 4:13
“For I can do all things through Christ
who gives me strength.”