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Tag Archive | "Jon Huizenga"

A new pastor in town



Jon Huizenga of Rise Up Church

Jonathan Huizenga is originally from California but found his way to Grand Rapids, Mich. to attend Calvin College and later Calvin Theological Seminary. While he was at Calvin, he met his wife Sam (Joyce) and today they have four married children and five grandchildren.

Jon and Sam started coming to Cedar Springs about a year ago. They started coming because there was a growing sense amongst the regional Christian Reformed Churches that God wanted the ministry of Pioneer CRC (now closed) to carry forward.  Jon responded favorably when he was asked by the regional churches to plant this new church in Cedar Springs, now known as Rise Up.

Jon has a lot of good experience starting new churches. After graduating from Calvin Seminary in 1987, he was called to plant a new church in Jacksonville, Fla. where he stayed until the year 2000. After Jacksonville, they move to Rockford, Mich., where they planted another new church called River Rock. Jon was the senior pastor at River Rock for 18 years. In 2019, Jon began the work of planting a third church—Rise Up.

You may recognize Jon’s picture because he spends considerable time all around town. In fact, you may have already spotted him hanging out in one of our coffee shops, always ready to enjoy a conversation with someone new. Or, maybe you’ve chatted with him at a school function. Or, maybe you’ve rubbed shoulders with him at one of our town planning meetings.  

Jon and Sam now live in Cedar Springs after building a new house on Dio Drive. They wanted to live in town so they could be close to the people they love and serve.  

I hope you get a chance to meet Jon. If you do, you’ll discover that he loves meeting new people. If you have time to chat, I hope you have a chance to hear the beautiful vision he has of gathering all the people of Cedar Springs into a community that reflects the deep compassion and unconditional love of Jesus.  

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North Kent Pastors got talent


Pastor Craig Carter, of North Kent Community Church, rapped for the audience. Photo courtesy Wise Photography.

Pastor Craig Carter, of North Kent Community Church, rapped for the audience. Photo courtesy Wise Photography.

Local clergy sang musical parodies, danced righteous medleys, rapped with soul, and dazzled with Tae Kwon Do on Thursday, September 24, to raise funds for individuals in need throughout northern Kent County.

The second annual North Kent Pastors got talent event featured a spirited, yet friendly, competition of church leaders, from Rockford, Sparta and Cedar Springs. Close to 500 spectators and dozens of sponsors came to cheer on the pastors and pledge contributions to North Kent Community Services (NKCS).

More than $65,000 was raised, after expenses, for food and educational programs.

Pastor John Huizenga, of River Rock Church, tried some moonwalking. Photo courtesy Wise Photography

Pastor John Huizenga, of River Rock Church, tried some moonwalking. Photo courtesy Wise Photography

“We are grateful that these talented pastors graced the stage to help us raise these funds for families in our community,” said Claire Guisfredi, executive director at NKCS. “North Kent Pastors got talent continues to bring together a host of area leaders and generous community members to make a difference for so many of our own neighbors struggling simply to get by.”

The pastor that won the Judges’ Pick was Pastor Jon Huizenga, from River Rock Church, for his rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror.”

The pastor that won the popular vote was Fr. Mark Peacock from St. Patrick Parnell for performing a musical parody about Pope Francis.

North Kent Community Services is located at 10075 Northland Drive, at 12 Mile. For more info on NKCS, visit them online at http://nkcs.org/ or call 616-866-3478.

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