Our Staff

Jill Forton
Lead Pastor

Jill has been the Pastor at Cascade Christian Church since 2012 and has also served as the church's Christian Education Director and Associate Pastor. She has her Bachelor of Science from Michigan State University and her Master's degree from Calvin Theological Seminary. A lifelong Disciple of Christ, Jill has a passion for finding unity in the church, celebrating our shared ministry, and seeing people grow in Christ through worship, Christian Education, fellowship events, and church camping at Crystal Conference Center. Jill and her husband Mike have one son, Max, an archaeologist with the National Forest Service in Tucson, and are delighted to be adding Lizzy Pullen, Max's trail partner, to their family. Mike and Jill enjoy backpacking in the canyonlands of Utah, exploring and hiking in northern Michigan, collecting Native American art, cheering on their beloved Spartans, and walking with their dog, Jem.

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Michael Dirksen
Young Adult & High School Leader

Michael is the High School Youth Leader here at Cascade Christian Church. He grew up going to Cascade Christian Church his whole life and joined the staff in 2020 when he moved back to Grand Rapids from Chicago. After high school he attended Hope College for undergrad, then American University and the University of Illinois for graduate school where he is finishing up his Ph.D. in Political Science and hopes to teach full time at the College level. His parents (Steve and Audrey Dirksen) both attend Cascade, and his siblings (Connor & Erika) both attended here when they were growing up. His family has grown quite a bit since I was a kid. His sister married her husband Erik (yes, the name similarities are uncanny), and they now have a child named William (Michael, after me of course) Dresen and his brother recently proposed to his longtime girlfriend Gaby. Since moving back, he has worked at Hope College, Trinity Christian College, Elmhurst University, and most recently Calvin University. In what little free time he has, he enjoys fly fishing and hiking.

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Adam Carlson
Children & Middle School Leader

Adam is our Children and Middle School Christian Education Director. He runs Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, Parents' Night Out, and helps Michael Dirksen run all our youth events. His favorite thing about Cascade Christian is how kind everyone is. He has two sisters, two brothers-in-law, and one nephew. He graduated from Cornerstone University with a degree in Ministry, and is now starting at Phillips Theological Seminary. In his free time, Adam likes watching movies, collecting books on theology & church history, and practicing Super Smash Bros in hopes of one day winning against the middle schoolers. He is passionately committed to learning from the wisdom of our Christian heritage.

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Mark Langenbach
Business Manager

Mark joined the staff in February 2021 as the full-time Business Manager. Mark earned a Master of Business Administration degree (Cornerstone Univ., 2009) and a Master of Divinity degree (Calvin Seminary, 2013). Not only did Mark work full-time in administrative roles in manufacturing companies for many years, but he also worked full-time as an ordained minister for six years. Prior to working at Cascade Christian Church, Mark was the Sole Pastor of a small, rural church in Lakeview, South Dakota (2015-2021). Having relocated back to his home state of Michigan in the Spring of 2021 with his wife (Dawn) and two children (Michaela and Evan), Mark is truly enjoying his work (and ministry) as the Business Manager of Cascade Christian Church. Stop into the church office, with a cup of Joe in hand, and say "Hi!" to Mark.

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Our Church Board:

Jeff VanStrien
Board Chair

Mark Hammonds
Administrative Chair

Diane Phelps
Social Action & Mission Outreach Chair

Dana Froumis
Vice Board Chair

Adam Homan
Christian Education Co Chair

Chris Noordyke
Trustee Chair

Terri Wing

Ron Cole
Christian Education Co Chair

John Duchon
Congregational Care Co Chair

Ethan Anderson

Austin Crandell
GoTeam Co Chair

Susan Strobel
Congregational Care Co Chair

Gail Duchon
Elder Chair

Steve Dirksen
GoTeam Co Chair

Jim Koessel
Deacon Chair

Audrey Partak
Worship Chair