Shawnee Staff

Rev. Nicholas Hopkins, Pastor

Rev. Nicholas Hopkins was ordained as the Pastor of Shawnee Park Christian Reformed Church in 2012, after serving as Shawnee Park’s Ministry Coordinator (2010). Before coming to Shawnee Park, Pastor Nick served as the Choir Director and a Worship Leader at Madison Square Church.  Pastor Nick earned his Bachelors in Communication from Calvin College (2007) and a Master of Divinity, focusing on Church Leadership and Pastoral Care, from Calvin Theological Seminary (2012). 

As an accomplished vocalist, Pastor Nick first began singing in church and as a member of the renown Florida Boychoir.  He has toured across the U.S., Canada, and Europe, has had the opportunity to work with globally recognized musicians and conductors, and now serves as the Director of the Shawnee Park Chorale. Pastor Nick serves as the Vice President/Presiedent Elect of and as a Church Visitor for Classic Grand Rapids East of the Christian Reformed Church in North America.  Formerly he has served as the Vice President of Safe Haven Ministries' Board (an organization helping women and children find freedom from domestic violence). He enjoys traveling, singing, and spending time with Megan, his wife, and Cub (their samoyed). 

Mel Veldman, Director of Discipleship

Working in a church setting is nothing new for Mel Veldman, Shawnee Park’s Director of Discipleship.  She served as Alger Park CRC’s youth director for thirteen years and taught middle school Bible and Language Arts at Sylvan Christian School for seven years before that.  Mel received a Secondary Education Degree from Calvin College and her Master’s in School Counseling from Western Michigan University.  Although she loved her time teaching and working with youth, God has called Mel to the exciting challenge of growing programs and relationships at Shawnee Park Church to disciple people of all ages and backgrounds.  

Mel is single and owns a small home in the Alger Heights neighborhood that she shares with her dog, Derby.  She loves to read, go for walks, and spend time with family and friends.  “It is a great joy for me to be part of the Shawnee Park family.  There is something special happening here!  I can’t wait to see what God has in store as we grow in faith together and  invite others to join us in the journey.”

Char Bulthuis, Director of Administration

As Director of Administration at Shawnee Park CRC, Char Bulthuis finds herself in a new, yet familiar, area of work in Christ’s Kingdom.  She gives thanks to God, who has led her in places she has never imagined as a young girl growing up in the small town of Celeryville, Ohio.  Char attended Calvin College and made her home in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she met her husband, Dirk.  They have 4 young adult children, including a son-in-law: Chelsea and Josh Tilma, Breanna Bulthuis and Jared Bulthuis. Some of Char’s interests include reading, photography, and gardening.

Her past work experiences include: positions at Pine Rest Mental Health Services as a Therapeutic Recreation Specialist; the owner of SimpleScapes, a landscape maintenance company; the Youth and Education Director at Calvin CRC; and the creator of Kites and Candy: Categories, a therapeutic flashcard game for those with dementia.  Thrilled and blessed to be used by God in yet another profession, Char gives thanks for God’s grace and staying presence in her life and in this new and exciting opportunity to serve at Shawnee Park CRC.

Faith Van't Land, Administrative Secretary

As Administrative Secretary, Faith works to manage and organize the everyday responsiblities in the main office while supporting staff as necessary. Faith has served in this role since 1994. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Nutrition from Central Philipine University, and moved to the United States in 1985. Faith loves to sing and has played the lead role in the musical opera “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” and is currently a member of Shawnee's Chorale and praise team. She is married to John and has four children, and enjoys spending time with family and taking care of their two granddaughters. 

Renee Rietema, Building Manager

Renee has been the Building Manager at Shawnee since 1995. As Building Manager, Renee's role is to provide management of the Shawnee Park facility to promote the best use, safety, and cleanliness of the building and grounds. Renee serves on the Building & Grounds Committee at Shawnee Park. She is earning a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Calvin College, and recently took a course in Criminal Justice, which she greatly enjoyed. Renee is married to Bob and they have four grown children, and four grandchildren throughout the U.S.  Renee enjoys walking and spending time with her goldendoodle, Cooper.

Other Staff

  • Aaron Polet, Worship Associate

  • Mitch Malatek, Sound Technician

  • Dan Ferrell, Video Technician

  • Jim Van Dyke, Sunday Custodian