|Meet Our Staff|
Rev. Matt Waterstone - Senior Pastor
Grace & Peace! I'm Matt Waterstone and I have the humbling privilege of being the Senior Pastor here at First Church. I grew up on the sunny shores of the south side in Holland, MI. I graduated Hope College in 2005 with a major in Religion and minor in English, but I really majored in Varsity Swimming! After Hope, I turned my tassel at Western Theological Seminary, graduating in 2008 with a Master's of Divinity degree. I then packed up everything I owned and made my way to South Holland to be the youngest Pastor in the country for 163 year-old First Church. My beautiful bride Sarah and I have one son, Willem, and one mutt dog, Chunky. I'm a retired swimmer now turned marathon runner and avid fitness guru. More than anything, I love the Lord Jesus and I am continually refreshed and renewed by His amazing grace. I'd love to grab a cup of conversation, go for a run, lift a few weights, play some golf and share life together with you!
My name is Anthony Bolkema and I have had the privilege of serving as the worship leader and youth director here since July 2010. I lived in South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin before moving south to Illinois to attend Trinity Christian College where I majored in English and Theology. Between my junior and senior year at Trinity I was blessed to marry my high school sweetheart (and now wife of six and a half years), Kim, who teaches PE at Calvary Academy. This past April our family grew as Kim and I, together with our 20 month old son, Lucas, welcomed home our second child, Nolan. We moved to South Holland in early 2009 and we are continuing to root ourselves in this wonderful community and in our new church family. We enjoy spending our free time playing with Lucas & Nolan, running, and working on our house.
Rev. Mel DeVries - Pastor of Care and Compassion
I'm Pastor Mel DeVries, and I've been in ministry in the Reformed Church in America for 58 years. For the past five years the good Lord has brought me to First Reformed Church to be the Pastor of Care and Compassion. I've planted Churches in Bismark, North Dakota and Kent, Washington, and pastored churches in California and Illinois. My passion now is to serve the Lord through this wonderful congregation in her effort to reach the diverse village of South Holland and introduce people to the love of Jesus. My wife Bette and I enjoy spending time with our kids, grandkids and friends. As I'm told, I often say, "God loves you and so do I!"
Corey Buchanan - Director of Mercy & Justice Ministries
My name is Corey Buchanan. I was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago. I received the call to ministry in 2002 under the leadership of Pastor Carl Bogus where I served as an Associate Minister and Youth leader at Greater St. Titus M.B. Church. In 2005 I joined Fellowship M.B. Church under the leadership of Pastor Charles Jenkins where I served as Associate Minister, a Mission Ministry Director, and Church Leadership Team member. I have served as a fulltime Chaplain with Chicagoland Prison Outreach since 2004 ministering to inmates and their families at Cook County Boot Camp. I joined the ministry team of First Reformed Church in August of 2010 and I serve part time as the Director of Mercy and Justice Ministries. I am currently completing a B.A. in Pastoral Studies and Biblical Exposition at Moody Bible Institute. My lovely wife Sharon and I enjoy movies, plays, laughing and traveling.
Nyla De Graff - FRCSH Office
Hi! My name is Nyla De Graff and I have had the honor of working in the office of First Reformed Church for nearly twenty-five years. It continues to be my privilege and joy to serve the members of First Church and its pastors. I was born and raised along with five other siblings in Redlands, California. In 1971, while attending Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, I met my husband, Don De Graff, a native of South Holland. We have resided in South Holland for over 35 years and have four children and ten grandchildren. I enjoy spending my free time with my grandchildren and on the golf course.
Gerri VanBaren - FRCSH Office
My name is Gerri VanBaren and I have been working in the church office since January 2009. I previously worked at South Holland Bank and later at MB Financial Bank beginning as a teller and later moving to the Retail Loan Department. I "retired" four years ago and have spent the years enjoying my three granddaughters and my hobbies which include painting and writing stories. I was excited to have my first children's book published and, if possible, would like to continue writing. My husband, Don and I have lived in South Holland for over thirty-five years and have been members of First Reformed Church for many years.