Meet Our Staff
Lead Pastor: Jay S. Fast
Pastor Jay accepted the call and began his ministry as Pastor at HCC in the fall of 2014. Prior to serving at HCC, he was Associate Pastor for Youth and Congregational Life at the Evangelical Covenant Church in Attleboro, Massachusetts. Pastor Jay grew up in Christ at the First Covenant Church in Salina, Kansas, where he first began discerning a call to ministry while still in high school. He received his Bachelors from Wheaton College in Christian Education in 1999 and completed his M.Div. at North Park Theological Seminary in 2004. During these years he served in ministry to youth at the Evangelical Covenant Church in Lafayette, Indiana (1999-2000), and at Edgebrook Covenant Church in Chicago (2003-2004).
Jay is excited to be leading at HCC and living in Southwest Michigan. He is compelled by the message of God’s love for a broken world in need of healing and transformation. As Jesus says (in John 10:10), “The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but I have come that they might have life and have it to the full.”
Jay enjoys a full life having a number of interests in addition to pastoring at HCC. He loves jogging and sees this regular routine as a time of prayer and solitude while also enjoying the wonder of creation. He enjoys sports (as a spectator and participant) and enjoys music (drumming with other musicians when he has the opportunity). He loves the beauty of the dunes, the lake, and rolling farmland, and loves being part of a small community. He and his wife Kelley have 3 daughters, and have made their home in Bridgman, Michigan.
(269)426-4321 ext. 11
Associate Pastor of Children, Youth & Families: Pastor Jesse W. Bolinder
Jesse grew up in Grand Rapids and graduated from Hope College. Married in 2003 to his beautiful wife Megan, they have enjoyed living in some amazing places. First in Japan as missionaries in Yokohama. Then to Chicago while Jesse attended North Park Seminary. Five years at a camp in Estes Park, Colorado. And finally back to their home state of Michigan to serve at Harbert Community Church, where they can often be found enjoying the beaches and overall beauty of Michigan’s great outdoors.
"In all of the places Megan and I have lived, God has made church ministry, youth ministry, and children’s ministry a significant part of our lives. We love it and believe that the local church is the primary God-ordained strategy by which God accomplishes His will, advances His Kingdom, and glorifies His name." Jesse and Megan live in Sawyer, Michigan with their two children.
(269)426-4321 ext. 12
Administrative Assistant: Kelly L. Boersma
Kelly grew up in Christ at Harbert Community Church. She has served as the Christian Education lay leader among many other ministry positions. After serving many years in various ministries at HCC, Kelly joined the staff as the full-time Administrative Assistant in 2005. Her prior 17 year career as a Stay-At-Home-Mom of 4 helped prepare her for the busy tempo in the HCC church office. Kelly enjoys interacting with the multi-generational, multi-talented people at HCC. She is gifted in managing details, reminding leaders of to-dos, making sure the coffee supply is fully stocked, and offering hospitality on phone calls and face-to-face.
“I enjoy being the welcoming presence to all who enter the building during the week, and I am always happy to help with questions and problem solving, or to share a cup of coffee!” Kelly and her husband Craig have four children, 3 grand-children, and live in Union Pier, Michigan with their English Mastiff, Titan.
(269) 426-4321 Ext. 10
Director of Music: Jill S. Garcia
Originally from Minnesota, Jill started playing the piano at the age of 5. During her school years, now in Washington, she joined band, playing the clarinet and started playing in a bell choir, as well as singing in choir. The next year she changed from the clarinet to the French horn. At the age of 15 she got her first job playing for a church, and has played for churches ever since, in Oregon, Nebraska, and now Michigan. After moving to Michigan she attended Andrews University and was enrolled in the Music Education Department, with an emphasis on Voice. While at AU, she sang in the University Singers, accompanied the University Chorale, and played horn in the Wind Symphony. She has worked as an accompanist at churches and schools in the area for over 10 years. Jill and her husband of 3 years, Dean, live in Berrien Springs, and have two grown sons.
Choir Director: Carrie J. Van Denburgh
Carrie is a California native who grew up in a musical family, studied piano and violin from an early age. Although she loved to sing and grew up singing in choirs, she never thought it was something she would pursue until her high school choir teacher gave her a solo. Following her graduation from high school, Carrie studied at Pacific Union College for two years before transferring to Andrews University. Carrie completed her Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance in 2000 and obtained her Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance in 2002, both from Andrews University. Carrie has been the soloist for Bach’s Magnificat, John Rutter’s Gloria, Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Laudate Dominum, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Ramirez’s Misa Criolla, played a role in the musical Godspell, and was Julie Jordan in the musical Carousel and Marian Paroo in The Music Man with the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra. Carrie was also a winner in the Young Artist Competition, 2000 and 2001. She taught at Bridgman High School as the choral director for six years, and also taught at Lake Michigan College where she taught aural comprehension, music theory, and voice lessons. She served as the Director of Music at Harbert Community church for seven years and taught private voice lessons out of her home for ten years. Currently, Carrie is the choir teacher at Berrien Springs Middle and High School where her choirs continually receive Excellent ratings at the district and state level. She is also part of The Three Divas of Southwest Michigan a group that uses their background in opera, musical theatre and jazz to entertain the Southwest Michigan area. Carrie and her husband David have two sons and live in St. Joe.
Nursery Coordinator: Ashley M. Jones
Ashley Jones grew up in Saint Joseph, Michigan. She began her journey with the Lord at a young age, attending church regularly with her great grandparents. Ashley has been working with children since she was a young teen – babysitting, volunteering, and most recently she worked in the infant and toddler rooms at Great Lakes Montessori in Saint Joseph.
She will soon have her Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Lake Michigan College, to go along with her Associate’s degree in General Studies. Currently, Ashley is a Stay-At-Home Mom of two young girls, and cares for children from time to time in her home. In her spare time she enjoys playing with her daughters, crafting, baking, studying God’s word, reading, board games, and spending time with friends and family.
Neighbor By Neighbor Case Worker: Stephanie Rutherford
Stephanie lives in St. Joseph with her husband and three children. She has a psychology degree (2009) from Trinity International University in Illinois, and is in process of completing her Masters of Social Work from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. Stephanie has a strong faith background and currently worships at The Chapel in Stevensville. She is excited about the Neighbor by Neighbor program partnering with our church, and other churches and organizations in our community. (Click here to learn more: Neighbor By Neighbor)
CONTACT STEPHANIE: 269-231-0648
Carol Wood, Head Custodian
Kay Weaver, Custodian