Pastors, Staff, and Field Staff

Pastors


Jason BlackleyDowntown Campus Pastor Jason Blackley co-pastors our Downtown Campus. He was captured by the vision to plant a church in Iowa City as soon as he moved here in 2005. Jason loves coaching Community Groups and teaching in Iowa City. He was born and raised in Kansas City, MO where he received ten years of ministry experience. He has the privilege of being a shepherd in his own home to his wife Dollie and sons – Micah, Jude, Elijah and Nathan. Jason enjoys talking to his wife, reading, most kinds of music (especially Boyz II Men and N*SYNC) and playing sports that involve a ball or a puck.

Dan BovenmyerCommunity Group Pastor

Dan Bovenmyer is glad to help you find a place to belong at Grace. He oversees our Community Group and coaches the leaders. Dan is an active member of the Iowa City community and a former IT business owner. Dan is married to his wife, Wendy, and they have four kids – Jakob, Evie, Annie, and Bella. He enjoys doing community projects with his family, entertaining guests at his house, and having long discussions about music, culture, and geekery.
Paul HansenExecutive Pastor Paul Hansen was born and raised on the East Coast, but moved to the Midwest and graduated from Moody Bible Institute in 1993. He has been on staff and an Elder/Pastor at Grace since 2001. He’s passionate about Jesus – but he thinks people are okay, too. His passion is to see people equipped to think, imitate, and follow Jesus more closely with a global perspective. If Paul had to choose between equipping people and drinking coffee…he would still take the people (and that is saying a lot!). He serves the collective Elder team as the Executive Pastor. That means overseeing the Staff, mobilizing the church, and refining the vision. Paul has been married to his soul mate, Amy, since 1993. Together they have five beautiful kids (all like their mother).
Dave KirkPastor of Family Ministries & Biblical Counseling Dave Kirk spent 15 years in St. Louis, but he grew up in Northwest Indiana. He has been married to his beautiful wife Debbie for more than two decades. They have five amazing children, four sons and one daughter. Dave has been in full-time ministry for over 20 years as a Youth & Family Pastor, and has earned two Masters degrees from Liberty University. He joined our staff team in 2009. Dave is a huge sports fan and roots for “the best team” (cringe), the Cardinals. He also enjoys reading and listening to good rock music. He is very passionate about seeing men grow into the spiritual leaders that God has created and called them to be so that their families are prepared to pass that spiritual heritage down to future generations.
Steve ScheperleDowntown Campus Pastor Steve Scheperle serves as one of the Downtown Pastors, and is involved in numerous groups within the Grace. With a BA in Biblical Studies, an MA in Theology, and a PhD in Religious Studies, Steve enjoys helping others develop a greater understanding and love for God and the Gospel. He is passionate about pursing theological questions in the midst of community, whether with Christians or those interested in Christ. He enjoys cooking, playing guitar, jogging, and walking with his family – wife, Mindy, and son, Samuel.
Brooks SimpsonTeaching Pastor Brooks Simpson is our Pastor for Teaching and Preaching.  Brooks came to faith in Christ as a college student athlete while attending Grace in 1988 and has been on staff since 1998.  Brooks’ heart is to see Christ magnified and exalted in the lives of people. The spiritual battle described in Ephesians 6 is real and Brooks’ passion is to equip people to take up the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit.  He would love for people to see that Christ and his Gospel are on every page of the Bible, and to understand the Gospel as having power to transform life here and now, not only as a ticket to heaven.  When he’s not behind the pulpit or fulfilling his pastoral duties the rest of the week, he enjoys spending time with his family or finding an excuse to be outdoors.  Brooks has been married to his bride, Stacy, since 1989. They have two children – Ryan and Katelyn.
*Not pictured Lay Elders:  Tarryl Bockelman, Greg Gilbaugh, Jeff Thompson, Tom Widmer and Rick Wyss

Staff Members


Judy BiekerChurch Secretary Judy Bieker is the first point of contact for those who call, email, or walk in to our church office. Judy and her husband/best friend, Bart, have been part of Grace since April 2012. They have been married for more than 25 years and have three grown children – Aaron, Angelica, and Sarah. Judy has a servant’s heart that is passionate to be found faithful by our Lord. Just as she appreciates the solid Biblical teaching and community that we emphasize at Grace, we appreciate the life testimony, maturity, and integrity she brings to our office-based ministry. Next time you’re out, be sure to stop into the office to meet Judy and say hello! Both Bart and Judy are from the Southwestern of Nebraska. (You may give them a hard time about being Huskers fans!) She enjoys spending her free time with family and friends, and “hula’s a mean hoop” for exercise.
Jean KeeleyOffice Manager Jean Keeley oversees our office staff and office-based ministry which provides administrative support to staff and volunteer leaders.  Jean is a native to Iowa City and has been part of Grace since 1993. She joined the staff in 2007. From 2003-2005, Jean was privileged to spend two years as a “non-traditional” (i.e. old!) student at Emmaus Bible College in Dubuque. She likes to hike, travel, cheer on the Iowa football team, and be involved in some good Bible study. A little known fact about Jean is that she invented a word now published on urbandictionary.com (look up heatness). She also likes listening to music really loud in her car.
Director of Communications  Chelsy Reed brings her passion for God’s majesty and His kingdom to bear in the area of communication at Grace. Chelsy is passionate about God’s character and about people learning who He is. She has been part of Grace since 2007 and was baptized, memberized and married here. In addition to serving the church in the field of communication, she has earned her Biblical counseling certification with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). She’s also a 2011 grad of the University of Iowa. Chelsy has a variety of likes including the color green, an array of writing utensils and notebooks, Relient K, Thai food, arugula, oolong tea and dark roast coffee. She and her husband Tim attend the Downtown Campus in Iowa City and they have a daughter, Elizabeth.

 

Eva AndersonDirector of Connections Eva Anderson oversees the Connections ministry here at Grace. She is passionate about meeting people, helping others get connected, and seeing everyone at Grace grow closer to Christ. Eva married her best friend, Steve, in 1991 and they have two precious gifts from God – Teddy and Grace – who both joined their family through the miracle of adoption. Eva and Steve grew up in Minnesota and moved to Iowa – and to Grace – in 2002. They enjoy frequent visits to Minnesota to visit family and take in great traditions like the Minnesota State Fair. Before becoming a mom in 2000, Eva enjoyed her career as an elementary school teacher for seven years. Next to her family and ministry, Eva loves gardening, watching movies, and eating Ghirardelli chocolate.
Jesse ForestoDirector of Student Ministry Jesse Foresto became the Director of Student Ministry in 2014, and serves as half of the Student Ministries team. He and his wife, Amber, have been attending Grace since 2011. They have since welcomed two daughters and a son into their family, Selah, Miah and Shiloh. Jesse taught Bible and Science at Heritage Christian School before joining Grace’s staff, and loves students. He is passionate about his and other’s relationships with Jesus, and is excited to aide parents in discipling youth in the Lord. Although he is from the Chicago area, Jesse has never built a snowman. He loves Superman, the game Redemption, basketball, and dinosaurs.
Rodney GehmanDirector of Worship Rodney Gehman understands that worship is something we do 24/7. It’s not a clever grouping of songs, but rather a response to Jesus that takes shape in many ways. As our Director of Worship, Rodney looks forward to helping develop our worship arts with, he says with a grin, a primary focus on discontinuing the use of Papyrus font (ha ha). Rodney and his wife Jodi have been part of Grace since May 2011. They have four kids – Jackson, Alana, Stella, and Scarlett. Rodney also worships through community involvement and youth leadership in the Kalona area, and photography. He and Jodi are both accomplished professional photographers. Besides his wife, Rodney says he is also attracted to golfing, caramel lattes, skiing, and Apple products.
Brian HagedornAssociate Director of Student Ministry Brian Hagedorn is the other half of our Student Ministry, serving as the Associate Director since 2014. As the youngest of seven children, he is passionate about youth ministry and men truly being the men that God created them to be. Brian and his wife, Lizz, enjoy playing basketball together, and hope to one day do long-term missions overseas.
Gabe IsbellDirector of Technology Gabe Isbell is our Geek Squad at Grace. You can spot him by his long, curly locks and might be surprised to know that as a child, he had straight, blonde hair. He and wife, Missy, have been a part of Grace since 2003.  Together, they are parent-disciplers to their kids – Forest, Willow, Asher, and Olive. Gabe volunteered with technology for several years and has been on the staff team since 2008. He also works in IT outside of his role at Grace. Gabe likes watching football, playing Wii, and a Bible-based card game called Redemption. His favorite junk foods are ice cream and dark chocolate.
Korene Lanxon Special Needs  Coordinator Korene Lanxon’s passion is letting people know of God’s love displayed on the cross and how they can have a personal relationship with Jesus – this includes little people! This passion plus her professional teaching experience help make her a wonderful asset to our kids’ spiritual growth. Although she contributes to all age levels of children’s ministry, her emphasis is on our special needs classes. Korene grew up in the Quad Cities and graduated from the University of Iowa. She has been part of Grace since 2010 with her husband Brad, and kids – Madeline, Emma, and Ben. She loves to garden, read non-fiction, hike/bike, and cheer on the Hawks.  It is predicted that her freakishly nice handwriting will earn her her own font soon!
Aimee MarinoFamily Ministry & Biblical Counseling Administrative Assistant Aimee Marino assists in the Biblical Counseling Ministry, serving as an Administrative Assistant since 2014. Aimee is passionate about people and their stories, and seeing Christ revolutionize both for His glory. Perhaps this is why she desires to witness the legendary prankster tendencies of certain Grace Pastors (particularly a certain Executive Pastor). Although she traded her hometown Colorado mountains for Iowa cornfields, she humors her inner mountain-woman by hiking. Aimee’s parents and siblings are still in the Rocky Mountain range, but she says her roommates, friends, and Community Group make up her “Iowa family.” Aimee is a 2012 graduate of the University of Iowa.
Ryan McFaddenDirector of Facilities  Ryan McFadden applies his skills and passions to insuring our facilities remain a tool for serving the church and our community. He is excited to work alongside the Gospel-centered people of Grace to improve the sustainability of our facilities. After working in higher education for nine years, he also is excited to dress more casually on the job! Ryan is involved in many facets of discipleship at Grace – Men’s Ministry, weekly Community Group, and reaching out to college students. You may also see him smiling while helping you find a parking spot on Sundays. He and his wife Krystal have two children: Oliver and Declan. Want to bless Ryan? Take him to a wrestling meet (he officiates!) followed by a dinner of fried chicken and PBJ’s.
Natasha MillerElementary
Coordinator
Natasha Miller  and her husband, Ryan, have been part of Grace since 2002. Natasha’s passion to train her own children – Aubrey, Cameron, and Lauren – to love and follow hard after Jesus is an asset as she leads the team of Elementary volunteers to love and pray for ALL of our children in Jesus’ name. Natasha and Ryan are active members of the Rotzoll Community Group, and value being surrounded by godly people who walk beside them, serving God with them. In her spare time, Natasha enjoys reading, being outside, and loves ice cream and birthdays!
Ryan SimpsonDirector of College Ministry  Ryan Simpson is an Iowa City native and studied history at the University of Iowa. He is passionate about bringing college students to know Jesus and to bring the Kingdom of God here in Iowa City. He and his wife Jodi want to work as a team to make the name of Jesus famous in Iowa City. Ryan is reserved yet passionate and enjoys simple pleasures: things like, walks with his wife, casseroles, deep conversation, and admiring God’s creation.
Cindy SulwerDirector of Children’s Ministry Cindy Sulwer has been a part of the Children’s Ministry Team for many years as a volunteer and came on staff in 2010.  Cindy, her husband, Kevin, and their kids – Kyle, Megan, and Carly, have been part of Grace since 2004. “I loved Grace from the beginning because the preaching was right out of the Bible and I felt as if I was always being challenged to live out my faith day to day.” Cindy is passionate about the next generation and loves to help kids in their journey with Jesus. She also loves to come alongside parents and encourage them to enjoy the awesome and honoring role that parenting is with God as their guide.  In her spare time, Cindy loves to go on outdoor adventures with her family, like hiking, biking, and trying new things. She is also an avid reader.

Field Staff


In addition to our local staff, we have many Field Staff working around the world.

 

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