Council of Elders

Here are our Council of Elders.

Pastor J-T:

“God rescued me at the age of fifteen, and continues to rescue me many, many years later. Through many circumstances, twists, and turns God led me to plant and lead New City Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I’ve been married since 1994. At my best I don’t deserve my wife (and at her worst she doesn’t deserve me). I loving being Dad to my three children. I bleed Boston Celtic green and love computers and technology. I am a Linux nerd and write my sermons in LaTeX (a typesetting program) with vim.”

J-T was on staff at Calvary Church for three years as a Pastoral Resident.  Calvary sent him to plant New City Church which launched on Easter Sunday, 2011.  He is a graduate of Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, and has since returned for more education. He is the Lead Pastor of New City Church.

Pastor Dan Lane:

“The apostle Paul once said he was the chief of all sinners and held that record until I came along! I am utterly amazed by God’s grace and the power of the Gospel to transform lives, especially my own. Initially God saved me from a life of sin and later he saved me from a life of self-righteousness. Now I get to serve Him, love his people and share how the good news of WHO God is and WHAT He does changes who we are and what we do.

I am a proud father of two awesome sons and the husband of a beautiful and sassy wife. I love to teach and host people. And every once in a while I even get to preach. How cool is that?

I have been with New City Church since just before our official launch and I love the family that God has created us to be together. It is an incredible and humble honor to love and serve the people of New City and see what God is doing in the everyday stuff of their lives!”

Dan has been in youth ministry since he was 18 and has been one of the pastors at New City Church since 2012. He has a passion to see people understand the impact of the Gospel in every part of their lives.

Pastor Dave Vermilye:

“I am follower of Jesus and desire to become more like Him. I have had the opportunity to be the recipient of God’s transforming power. He pulled me from the pits of chaos and has given me the privilege of over 30 years of marriage, 2 sons, a beautiful daughter-in-law and a wonderful grandson. Over the years, God has allowed me to minister in many ways and in many places. Most recently, He has given me the opportunity to serve at New City Church. It is an honor to do so.”

Dave’s undergraduate and graduate educational background is in missions and Christian education, focusing on cross cultural communication, anthropology, and experiential education. Dave graduated from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. He has a love for people and enjoys seeing them develop as disciples of Christ. (Pastor Dave is currently on sabbatical.)

Pastor Jim Wynalda:

“Jesus said to all who would be his disciple—’Come, follow Me.’ Jesus called me to an apprenticeship with Himself when I was in my late teens. An apprenticeship is one who learns from the master, so in the situation of  a believer’s apprenticeship to Christ, we come under the authority of our Master in everything in order to put off our old lives and put on Christ. Being an apprentice demands a Desire for Christ, Discipline to put off the old and put on the new, and Dedication. Jesus, the great I AM, YHWH—beckons us to follow. That is my desire.”

Jim is married to Priscilla and they have eight children and even though they look young, grandchildren, too!

Pastor Joel Shaffer:

“I have always wanted to be an alligator wrestler but lacked the proper training and geographical proximity to my favorite saltwater creatures. Instead, God sought to give me a deep burden for inner city ministry with high risk youth. Frederick Buechner once said, ‘The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and world’s deep hunger meet.’ I have found this to be a true adage and cannot imagine my life any differently.”*

Joel is married to Sherilyn and they have been blessed with four children. He is the founder and Director of Urban Transformation Ministries which have been faithfully mentoring and reaching at risk youth in Grand Rapids, MI.

Pastor Nate Slusher:

“Not many are aware of my superpower. I try to keep it on the down low. According to a 2014 MIT research study the average brain can process information [visually] in 13 miliseconds. I can do it in 3.7 miliseconds. I am aware that this makes me unique. It helps with retaining knowledge but gets me in trouble when I expect others to have the same ability. I am thankful that God has used it to keep my humble and helps in my sanctification, since I can’t really take credit for my genes.”*

Nate married his high school sweetheart Bethany and enjoys spending time in nature with their family of four very active children. They have been a part of New City Church since the beginning and are actively involved in discipling others through relationship.

*Caveat: Some creative liberty has been taken by  the author due to bio not being submitted. “Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.”