First Reformed Church Leadership
First Reformed Church is blessed to have a leadership team who are truly dedicated to Christ and accomplishing His will. Following are brief bio's of our leadership team and their qualifications for ministry.
Pastor Steve Van Wyhe
Pastor Steve began ministry at First Reformed in July of 2022. He has over a decade of ministry experience working in two other reformed churches. He served as a Youth Pastor in Illinois for 5 years, then 5 years at Carmel Reformed Church as the Associate Pastor. He graduated from Northwestern College in 2012 with a Ministry Degree and went on to complete his M-Div. at Western Theological Seminary through their distance learning program. He was ordained in the RCA in August of 2019.
Steve is passionate about making Jesus known and teaching/preaching the word of God. He loves to create experiences for people to meet Jesus. He has a heart for the community of Rock Rapids and is excited to see God at work in his hometown. Steve grew up just North of Casey’s here in Rock Rapids and he started attending First Reformed Church with his family when he was in Middle School. He graduated from Central Lyon in 2008.
Steve and his wife Kayla met at Northwestern College and have been married for 9 years. They have 5 beautiful kids: Carter, Gracelyn, Kyah, Jaxton, and Nora. Steve enjoys all sorts of games, playing with his kids, and woodworking in his spare time. He is a big Vikings fan and always enjoys a good joke.
Youth & Family Life Director
Cheryl was appointed to serve at First Reformed Church in the Fall of 1992. Over the past 28 years this staff position has evolved with the changing needs of our congregation. As a staff member, Cheryl has served as Youth Director, Youth and Education Director and now as full-time Youth and Family Life Director.
The attributes that best describe Cheryl and her ministry here at First Reformed Church are strong people skills, leadership development and relational ministry. Cheryl shares Jesus and His love by pouring into people. She meets them where they are and walks with them on their faith journey. Cheryl is an encourager and motivator. She loves to see people get involved in their gifted areas of ministry and supports them in a variety of ways.
Cheryl graduated from South Dakota State University in 1991 with a degree in Human Development/Child and Family Studies.
Cheryl has been happily married to Keith Van Beek for 26 years. They have two children, Coryn and Mitchell.
Pastoral Care Director
Amy Ryals became a part of the First Reformed Team on March 1, 2021. Previously she served as Mentor Coordinator at Atlas. Amy is an ordained minister and her role here centers on leading, equipping and supporting the Care Elders, as well as attending to other pastoral care needs.
She grew up in North Carolina then joined the U.S. Coast Guard, serving 4 years. Amy and her husband, Tim have been married for 25 years and have 2 sons together: Skylar and Justis, who both are currently serving in the military.”
Children's Ministry Director
Amy joined the staff at First Reformed Church in September, 2016. Prior to that, she worked for a local direct sales company, Simply Said, where she was the Events Coordinator and Project Manager.
Amy’s role at First Reformed Church focuses on the younger children, ages 5th grade and below. She believes that instilling a strong faith in children when they are young is crucial to their faith as adults and is passionate about making connections and growing relationships among the congregation. Amy’s desire and goal is to make every child feel like they belong to a bigger community – a community of love and trust – and to teach them how to share their faith with others.
Amy is a graduate of Northwestern College in Orange City, IA with a degree in Business Administration.
Amy grew up in Rock Rapids, attending and graduating from Central Lyon. She and her husband, Nate, have four children, Koriene, Braeden, Cael and Gabe.
Director of Music and Worship
Valerie joined staff at First Reformed Church in August 2020. As the Director of Music and Worship, she collaborates with the pastor to choose the music for Sunday worship, coordinates the praise team, schedules organists and Ministry of Music, and more.
She is a graduate of Northwestern College in Orange City, IA with a degree in music and a graduate of Maryville University in St. Louis, MO with a degree in music therapy.
Valerie grew up in Corning, IA. Now she lives in Rock Rapids with her husband Brandon, and their two children, Jayden and Raylee.
Jammie Kellenberger began working for First Reformed Church in December 2020 as our Secretary/Bookkeeper and as of June 2021 she has also taken on the roll of our Communications Coordinator. Jammie is married to Lon and together they have 4 children (Michael, Macy, Maden & Mali) and reside on the east side of Rock Rapids, IA. Jammie also works as a surgical technician with Avera in Rock Rapids. She enjoys gardening, cooking traveling and spending time with her family.
Gary & Karen Van Wyhe
Gary is our head custodian, maintaining the church building and overseeing the day-to-day cleaning of the church. Gary started working at First Reformed in October 2021.