After more than 16 years working to grow Community Church in Roselawn, Joel Zuidema is bringing his pastoral experience to Pathway Church in St John.
Zuidema was hired by Pathway Church, which meets inside Crown Point Christian School, this month.
“Pathway has a vision for serving and helping the people of Lake County by helping people take their next step toward God. While the church has not succeeded to the extent desired, we are reorganizing and planning for a re-launch sometime in 2016,” Zuidema said.
“I appreciate this dedicated core of Christians who has doggedly clung to that mission in spite of limited fruit. They’re friendly, determined, professional people who refuse to fail. I look forward to leading them in connecting with those in this community seeking a relationship with God,” he added.
Zuidema studied philosophy at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., and later attended Calvin Theological Seminary. He graduated in 1992 with a masters of divinity degree.
“My passion is church planting. I want to introduce people to my Savior and Lord Jesus Christ,” he said. “I live my life for Him and have found that to be incredibly fulfilling and exciting. My gift set includes speaking, leadership, and listening, so pastoring is a natural fit.”
Zuidema and his congregation of 125 members plan to connect especially with people wanting to return to church after years away and those who have never had a church home. The church offers classes for multiple age groups, and at Thanksgiving, delivered 650 meals to those in need.
Zuidema and wife Michele reside in St. John. The two have five children and two grandchildren. In addition to camping with his family, he enjoys deer hunting and salmon fishing.
He and his fishing partners have won multiple events at the Offshore Amateur Salmon Fishing Tournament in Ludington, Mich., in addition to a tournament in Manistee, Mich.