John was born and raised on the west side of Traverse City. He attended Traverse City Central High School and graduated in 1985. John then attended and graduated in 1989 from United Wesleyan College in Allentown, Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science degree in Pastoral Ministries and a minor in Psychology. In college, he was very involved in student government, serving as the junior and senior class president. He was also a key member of the college basketball team, winning three league championships in four years. His passion for the local church and the call of God is evident in every area of his life. Many describe John as a passionate, personable, out-going, and humorous person. His life-application messages are filled with deep Biblical truths and humorous observations from his own experiences. His love for the outdoors and quality time with his family are also very important to him.
Marriage and Ministry
Michele grew up in western New York on a dairy farm and was very involved in high school sports and her local church youth group. At the age of 16 she felt a clear call from God to be a pastor’s wife. John and Michele met each other the second day of college. They we were engaged and married in the spring of 1987. Their marriage is the fulfillment of two individuals who God called to serve in ministry and they have done so over the past twenty years. Together, John and Michele have led two very successful student ministry programs spanning fifteen years, and then started West Side Community Church in the fall of 2002.
The Clarks consider their family to be a priority and enjoy their time together. The joy of their marriage has been their four children, ages 11 to 21. Their children are very involved in high school sports, extra-curricular activities and the student ministries at West Side. They spend a lot of time as a family playing games together, such as: hockey, basketball, wiffle-ball and splashing in the pool. They are very involved in the community and enjoy their home on the west side of Traverse City.
Pastor Lyle was born and raised on the west side of Traverse City. Lyle has a B.S. degree in Christian Ministries and has been a Pastor for 18 years. Lyle has served at West Side for the last nine years. His greatest joy in ministry is when he has been used by God to help make a difference in someone’s life. Lyle’s passions in life include spending time with his wife, Leanne and their two children Sierra and Shawn, archery and spending time with friends. Lyle has a sincere and transparent style that is inviting and heartfelt. Through a heart of compassion, humor and a spirit of humility, he encourages others to realize Christ’s love for them.
Marriage and Ministry
Pastor Lyle has been married to his beautiful wife Leanne for 22 years. They met at a Church Camp after being “Set- Up” by Lyle’s Pastor’s wife. Leanne earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Music. She serves as the Children’s Director at WSCC. Lyle feels very blessed with having Leanne as his wife, best friend and ministry partner. He couldn’t imagine life without her or his children.
Rick entered into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ at a Youth For Christ rally here in Traverse City when he was in high school. He has been involved in leadership in Christian groups ever since. After graduating from Traverse City High School, Rick earned a degree in psychology from Alma College, a Master of Divinity from Asbury Seminary in Kentucky, and a Master of Theology from Bethel Seminary in Minnesota. Rick loves teaching, both in the church and as an adjunct faculty member for Spring Arbor University. His hobbies include reading, snowshoeing, and kayaking.
Marriage and Ministry
When Rick was in college, he met Sharon in a small group Bible study and they became friends. That friendship has continued through thirty-seven years of marriage. Sharon also received a Master’s degree from Asbury Seminary with a focus on Christian education. She currently works for Bethany Christian Services. She has truly been a partner with Rick in ministry.
The Mavises served in pastoral ministry in Minnesota and Iowa, where they continued their passion for teaching God’s word and caring for people. Rick and Sharon also owned and managed Lemstone Books, a Christian bookstore in the Grand Traverse Mall from 1998-2006, faithfully serving 15,000 customers.
The Mavises have two adult daughters, Sarah and Rachel, who live in the Traverse City area. Both young women have a love for the Lord and a heart to serve.
Andy was born and raised east of Traverse City where he attended and graduated from a small Christian school. A naturally gifted musician and songwriter, he honed his music skills in the Northern Michigan music scene for more than a decade, releasing several solo recording albums. After assisting a local church as a worship leader for 5 years, God called Andy to the process of searching nationally for a full time worship leading position. Simultaneously, in July of 2009, God also nudged him to begin attending West Side. He would soon discover God wanted him at West Side for precisely that reason. In January of 2010, Andy was invited to join the West Side team as Worship Leader. The following year, Andy completed his studies in Worship Arts online through West Coast Bible College and Seminary. In the fall of 2011 he graduated with a Bachelor of Worship Arts Degree and was ordained as a Pastor.
Marriage and Ministry
Andy’s wife Julie is a certified life coach and in the process of completing her degree in Professional Counseling. She enjoys helping others deepen their relationship and walk with the Lord. She teaches at West Side and at retreats with an emphasis on discipleship and spiritual formation. She also coordinates West Side Active Women, a ministry group that meets monthly for outdoor adventures.
Andy and Julie’s marriage is a testimony of God’s redeeming love, which resulted in a beautiful blended family with their two boys. They are proud of their boys who are growing in the Lord, serving in the youth band, and following the footsteps of their dad as budding musicians. The Six family loves the outdoors and creating family adventures. After searching for 2 ½ years for the ministry the Six’s felt called to, that ministry was discovered only 9 miles down the road at West Side.
Stephen grew up in a small town just north of Grand Rapids. He received his Bachelor of Science in Ministry Leadership from Cornerstone University. Since 2000, Stephen has worked in various areas of ministry including camp ministry, youth ministry and small group ministry. Throughout all of his ministry roles, he has had a heart and drive to bring the hope of Jesus Christ to those who feel hopeless. He met his wife Hannah while on staff at a christian camp, and they were married one year later during the summer of 2003. After they were married, Stephen took a job as a Youth Director for a church in Hastings, Michigan. They moved back to Hannah’s hometown of Traverse City in the summer of 2007, and they feel blessed to raise their three children here. As a family they enjoy camping, hiking and playing games. Stephen was brought on staff at West Side in 2011 and was ordained in January of 2013. Stephen and Hannah are so glad to call West Side home.
David was born and raised in Traverse City and attended Traverse City Central High School. He is the second oldest of 6 brothers and 2 sisters. Prior to serving as Director of Operations at West Side, David was partner in a small business for several years. During that time, he met and married his beautiful wife, Morgan. They both enjoy living in Northern Michigan and spend time boating, swimming, hiking, and spending time with friends and family and their dogs. David and Morgan are passionate about ministering to orphans both locally and around the world. They spend time regularly in Mexico ministering to orphans and orphanages through LOCO Ministries, a West Side sponsored organization. Dave and Morgan have also opened their home to several foster children for emergency and long term placements. In 2012 they traveled to the Congo where they were blessed to adopt their twins Nyah and Kaleb. They are very excited to find out how God will use them to further minister to not only orphans but simply the disadvantaged of the world.
Leanne Deeren was raised in North Muskegon. She attended Indiana Wesleyan University and graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and a Minor in Music. Leanne married her church camp sweetheart, Lyle, in 1991 and has 2 children, Sierra-13 and Shawn-12. Leanne taught Elementary music and Art at Holton Public Schools for 6 years. When God blessed Leanne & Lyle with children Leanne made a career change becoming a stay at home mom. Leanne and her husband were blessed to pastor at Fremont Wesleyan Church for 7 years and Traverse City Bayview Wesleyan Church for 2 years before God calling them to join the pastoral team of West Side Community Church in 2003. Leanne began leading the worship at West Side in 2007 and in 2010 transitioned over to directing the children’s ministries of West Side, fulfilling her passion for loving children and pointing them to Jesus.
John was raised in Lake Orion Michigan. He has been working in Youth Ministry for the last seven years and Worship Ministry for the last 10 years. John is passionate about the high school & middle school demographic. His greatest joy is teaching students about Jesus, and passionately bringing the bible to life through goofy humor and an energetic presence. He loves spending time with his beautiful wife Ceci, together they enjoy rock concerts, fishing and traveling. John and Ceci have enjoyed doing youth ministry together and were recently married in the fall of 2013.
Stacie grew up in Interlochen, Michigan. After high school she attended Concordia University in Ann Arbor and completed a Bachelor of Arts in Family Life Education. Stacie and her husband Dave married in 2001. Together they served faithfully in their first church ministry for 5 years as children’s and youth directors. During this time the Lord blessed them with Hailey (8) and Naomi (6). They then felt God leading them to serve in a larger church in Northeast Iowa. During thier time in Iowa, Stacie became a stay-at-home mom and became highly involved in MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers). Addison (4) joined the family in 2009. Loving children and moms, as well as serving in the church, have always been her passion. Stacie began working at West Side in June 2010 at the front desk and recently joined the children’s ministry as the nursery director. She is thankful to be making a full circle back to serving in the church with the littlest ones at West Side.