Rev. Ken Vanderlaan began his 21th. year this past July here at Mears United Methodist Church.  Ken has over 40 years of pastoral experience serving churches in 2 states (Michigan & Missouri.  He is an ordained minister in the Church of God - Anderson, IN where he served for 7 years as Director of Church Planting and Development for the Missouri Ministries of the Church of God, as well as serving as a church plant pastor himself.  Besides serving as Pastor, Ken is also on the Michigan Area VCI (Vital Church Inititive) faculty first facilitating Phase I and then serving as a Consultant and Coach in Phase II.

He attended Grand Valley State University, Jefferson College, Webster University and Grand Rapids School of the Bible.  For a number of years, Pastor Ken was a bi-vocational pastor here in Mears - also owning Ken Vanderlaan Consulting - a computer consulting firm in Muskegon. 

Dawn is a Registered Nurse and was employed by Visiting Nurse Services in Muskegon working out of Hackley Hospital.  Dawn brings her skills as a musician to our church joining Ken in singing and also playing the piano for our services. She is a member of Mears Community Methodist Church and serves as Chair of the worship/music committee. Ken and Dawn will also celebrate 46 years of marriage this November and have 2 married children, Jeff and Jill. 

Jeff and his wife Heather are the parents of 3 children - Jackson 16, Ainsley 13 and Olivia 10.   Jeff directs the technology department of the Lansing Public School System and Heather serves as a substitute teacher.  Jeff and Heather attend Grand Ledge Baptist Church where they sing on the praise team, Jeff is an Elder at Grand Ledge.

Jill and her husband Scott are the parents of 2 children - Erika 18 and Ethan 16.  Scott is a funeral director for Sytsema Funeral Homes of Muskegon and Jill is the office manager for McKinze-Price Insurance Company.  Both Erika and Ethan worked at the Sand’s this past summer.

During Ken and Dawn's ministry, Mears UMC has seen its average attendance grow from 32 per Sunday in 1993 with a high attendance of 65 to 115 per Sunday in 2013 with a record high attendance of 232 in 2008.  God has been so good. The church has also been blessed with the remodel of our Fellowship Hall after a driver thru accident this past summer (2013).