Meet Our Staff

Kent Frens

Minister of Worship and Preaching

Kent and Betsy Frens have two daughters - Madelyn and Josie.  Kent was installed at Thornapple Community Church in September 2015, and enjoys outdoors endurance activities like trail running and backpacking,as well as coaching his daughters in softball and basketball.  "Sitting around a campfire is sheer delight to my soul."

Tim Dieffenbach

Minister of Outreach and Administration

Pastor Tim Dieffenbach has served TCC since February 2005. He’s married to Brenda and has 4 children. His hobbies include: fishing, house projects, and travel with family. He is a fan of the Chicago Cubs! He also serves as the chaplain for the Cascade Fire Department. 

Kim Peckham

Office Administrator

Kim is in charge of the office and maintaining certain aspects of the church. She is married and has three daughters.

Michelle VanGeest

Director of Music

Michelle is the pianist and organist currently at TCC. Aside from that, she selects all aspects of music along with accompanying the choir. She has the most seniority over other staff members as she has been here for 27+ years! She enjoys fostering dogs and spending time with her family. She is married and has four children.

Catharina Matthews

Choir Director

Catharina finds it a privilege to work with the choir as they prepare for sharing in worship.  She is a private voice and piano instructor with her own studio.  She and husband Dale have 2 grown daughters and 3 grandchildren. Catharina enjoys working on creative projects, is an avid knitter, and loves to read.

Rachel Exoo

Director of Children's Ministry

Rachel graduated from Calvin University in 2019 with a degree in Strategic Communication and a minor in Ministry Leadership. She served as a Youth Intern during her college years, and now joins the staff as the Children's Director! In her spare time, she loves to spend time with friends and family, make all sorts of crafts, spend time outdoors. Her creativity and enthusiasm for ministry brings a fresh perspective to the program.

Jesse Zandee

Director of Youth Ministry

Jesse Zandee is the Director of Youth Ministry. He grew up in Grand Rapids and graduated from Grand Rapids Christian High School in 2016. He graduated most recently from Kuyper College with a double-major in Youth Ministry and Bible and Theology. He is currently enrolled at Calvin Theological Seminary in pursuit of his M.Div. 

Merle Elliott & Marilyn Thompson

Part-time Custodians

Merle is a part-time custodian and really enjoys cleaning the church.  In his spare time, he enjoys restoring Model A cars and collecting antique Farmall tractors. Marilyn is the custodian's helper.  She enjoys spending time with her two grandchildren, singing, baking, gardening, reading, taking piano & organ lessons, and is a docent at the Ada

Clyde Richardson

Financial Administrator

Clyde Richardson is our part-time Financial Administrator. He joined the TCC staff Spring 2021.   

Upcoming Events

  • Aug 14, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
    Paarlberg Home, 7247 McCords Ave SE, Alto, MI 49302, USA
    On Sunday, August 14, join us at Kettle Lake for our annual summer Worship on the Waterfront! Bring a chair or blanket to sit on, and plan to stick around after for a delicious cookout! If you want to swim or boat, bring your swimsuit and towel too.
  • Multiple Dates
    Aug 14, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
    Grand Rapids, 3260 Thornapple River Dr SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546, USA
    This small group Bible study for high school students is covering topics about the Bible and Science. Do they go together? Are they opposite? What's going on in the first few verses of Genesis? This group will meet in the Conference Room on Sunday nights.
  • Aug 15, 9:30 AM – 9:00 PM
    Muskegon, 4750 Whitehall Rd, Muskegon, MI 49445, USA
    All middle and high school youth are invited to spend a day at Michigan's Adventure! We will meet at church and carpool for the day. Bring a swimsuit, towel, and a sack lunch.
  • Aug 16, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
    Jesse Zandee's House, 1630 32nd Ave, Hudsonville, MI 49426, USA
    This is a young adult Bible study, tackling the questions of the Bible and science. How do they go together? How do they differ? Topics include evolution, creation and the flood. This is intended for ages 18-26.
  • Aug 17, 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
    Thornapple Community Church, 3260 Thornapple River Dr SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546, USA
    Bring your little ones in for an hour of music, a Bible story and a craft! Start off with getting all the wiggles out with some singing and rhythm activities, then settle in for a Bible story. After, we'll have a craft time to help apply all that we learned. This is for ages 0-6.
  • Multiple Dates
    Aug 17, 12:00 PM – 12:05 PM
    Facebook Live
    Join us on Facebook Live (Thornapple Community Church RCA) for a brief session of prayer.
  • Multiple Dates
    Aug 19, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
    Sugar Momma's Bakery & Cake, 6504 28th St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546, USA
    A gathering of ladies to discuss times where we saw "God wink" this week.
  • Sep 10, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
    Thornapple Community Church, 3260 Thornapple River Dr SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546, USA
    Help us celebrate the wonderful relationship of grandparent and grandchild! Please RSVP by September 1.
  • Sep 11, 11:00 AM
    Thornapple Community Church, 3260 Thornapple River Dr SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546, USA
  • Sep 13, 7:00 PM – Sep 14, 7:00 PM
    Thornapple Community Church, 3260 Thornapple River Dr SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546, USA
  • Sep 18, 10:45 AM – 11:45 AM
    Thornapple Community Church, 3260 Thornapple River Dr SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546, USA
  • Oct 31, 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
    Thornapple Community Church, 3260 Thornapple River Dr SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546, USA
    Come show off those awesome costumes indoors where typical Michigan weather can't force you to hide under a jacket or an umbrella! Walk the halls of TCC and go knocking on office and classroom doors. There just might be candy waiting behind that door!

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3260 Thornapple River Dr. SE | Grand Rapids, MI 49546