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The mission of Faith United Methodist Church is to exist to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Our Vision is to engage others in building a relevant community of Christ. To grow through loving and caring as we pursue an authentic faith journey.

Leadership Team:
Our leadership team recognizes the authority of God, and realizes that we are shepherds who serve under the Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ. We desire to devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word. Our passion and goal is to equip the believers for the work of the ministry until we all attain maturity in the fullness of Christ.

 
Pastor Sherri Swanson, Senior Pastor
pastor@grfaithumc.org
 
Pastor Sherri is originally from Burlington, Iowa.  She graduated from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri with a Bachelor of Arts degree and from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois with a Master of Divinity degree.  She also studied for a year at an Anglican seminary in Durham, England.  She served previous pastorates in Michigan at the Three Oaks, Lakeside, Galien and Olive Branch United Methodist Churches.  
 
Pastor Sherri is married to Pastor Brad Bartelmay who is serving as the lead pastor at First United Methodist Church of Holland.  They are the parents of three young adult sons:  Ben who is serving in the Peace Corps in Comoros, and twins — Sam, studying Mechanical Engineering at Grand Valley State University and Tom, studying Jazz Guitar at Wayne State University.  
 
In her free time, Pastor Sherri enjoys:  reading, walking, playing the piano, going to the beach, skiing and yoga.  
 
Emily Burden, Secretary
secretary@grfaithumc.org
 
Emily graduated from Cornerstone University with a Bachelors of Psychology and is continuing to study her Masters in TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language). Emily and her husband David were married in September 2012 and moved to the Grand Rapids area in May 2016. David is studying his Bachelors in Business Management, and is set to graduate in April 2017. Together they love to travel, read good books, and spend time playing with their two beautiful nieces when they aren’t studying.
 
   Emily spent nearly three years living overseas working with Operation Mobilization, both in South and West Africa and serving on-board the Logos Hope ship. Her experiences give her an ongoing passion for serving God both abroad and here in Grand Rapids. She is thankful for the opportunity to play a part in what God is doing at Faith UMC.
 
Christina VanDam, Director Of Children and Youth Ministries
youth@grfaithumc.org
 

Christina VanDam graduated from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Education focusing on secondary English, Speech, Theater, and American Sign Language. She and her husband, Jaymen, married in August 2012 then moved to Salt Lake City, Utah. They learned to enjoy hiking, camping, and backpacking while living in the mountains. In June of 2015, the VanDams moved back to Michigan to be closer to family as they welcomed their newest addition, Isaiah!

Christina is the Director of Children and Youth Ministry. She creates curriculum, recruits volunteers, and runs special events for our children from newborn through high school. She seeks to make God alive for kids in a way that is personal, fun, and by serving and sharing the love of God with others. She has a passion for Christ and kids and is excited to see our ministry grow!

 
Beth Lewis, Worship & Music Director
music@grfaithumc.org
 

I have been involved in church music since I was 10 years old.  We moved around the Midwest quite a bit when I was younger, but settled into the Grand Rapids area in 1979, where I have stayed ever since.  My husband, Terry, and I live in Hudsonville with our dog, Dalton.  Terry has an adult son and daughter that we see as often as we can.  We love spoof movies, reading, and puzzles.  I began professional music ministry in 1991, as the choir director for Ascension Lutheran (my childhood and young adult denomination).  Since then, I have served churches of several different denominations in the West Michigan area, including three Methodist congregations.

Faith United Methodist Church is unique in my experience.  Although considered to be a smaller congregation, they have a rich music tradition and a widely diverse expression of that tradition.  Through choir, handbells, praise band, solo musicians, and a soon to be revived children’s music program, they truly affirm their gifts in service.  In particular, this congregation as a whole is very affirming of its staff and supportive; a rare and blessed gift.  I am excited about the new opportunities for service our second worship time offers, and look forward to creating spaces during worship for God to truly move in our hearts and lives.

 
Cynthia Hicks, Organist
organist@grfaithumc.org
 
I joined the staff at Faith UMC in February 2015 as the organist and choir accompanist, and it has been a very positive experience! The congregation is very friendly, and welcomed me right away. I love my role in the weekly traditional style service and enjoy leading the congregation in hymns on both the organ and piano, as well as accompanying the adult choir. We have several members of the congregation that provide special music, and it is a lot of fun to accompany or play duets with them as they share their gifts. I aspire to provide music that allows people to have a meaningful experience during their time in our building – whether it’s in the sanctuary on Sunday morning or in the choir room during Wednesday night rehearsals! Music is my connection to the church, and the easiest way for me to communicate with God – in prayer, praise, or whatever my mood. I’m very fortunate to be a part of the Faith Church Family!
 
I grew up in Marquette (yes, I’m a Yooper!) with my parents and two older sisters. I began playing the piano at age four and took lessons through high school. During college at Michigan Tech., I played the organ for a small church in Dollar Bay. Then, I accompanied children’s choirs during graduate school in Colorado and after I moved to Houston to start my career as an Environmental Consultant. My husband, Pete, and I moved to West Michigan in 2007 where I found a church that needed an adult choir accompanist! (See what I’m saying about music being my connection to the church?) We have two children: Allyson who attends GVSU for secondary education in English and Math while also participating in the school’s rowing team, and Noah who attends Black River Public School in Holland and participates in soccer, basketball, lacrosse, and choir. We also have a very sweet cat, Crush – named after the laid back turtle in “Finding Nemo”, and an old black lab, Hawkeye – named after my husband’s alma mater, the University of Iowa Hawkeyes. As a family, we enjoy going to the beach, visiting with friends and family, biking, and playing games.