The staff of Bella Vista Church works as a team to serve God, and His people. 

  • Mark Pietscher - Lead PAstor

    Mark grew up in Michigan, but for the past 25 years has served churches in Wisconsin and Illinois before coming to BVC in January 2013. He was educated at Northern Michigan University (BS Social Work), Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (M.Div), and Bethel Seminary (D.Min). Mark and his wife Lenette have two adult children and one granddaughter. In his down time Mark enjoys golf, running/exercise, hunting, fishing, and friends.

  • Dennis Moles - Teaching Pastor

    Dennis is the newest member of the BVC staff having come onboard as the teaching pastor in 2016. He was born and raised in West Virginia and has been in vocational ministry as a pastor, professor, and writer for nearly 20 years. Dennis is a graduate of Cedarville University (BA) Moody Theological Seminary (MTS), Calvin Theological Seminary (ThM), and Talbot School of Theology. He is married to Amy and is the proud dad of Drew, Caleb, and Makayla. Aside from his family, Dennis’s greatest loves in life are preaching, eating chicken wings, drinking coffee, and having meaningful conversations.


    Chad has served in pastoral worship ministry in the church for the last 20 years. He is a graduate of Cedarville University (BA) and Grand Rapids Theological Seminary (M Div). For the last three years he has also served as Discipleship Coordinator for Partners in Discipleship International, where he and his wife Hayley work to train pastors and church leaders in India and Myanmar. They’ve been blessed with three children: Ben, Allie and Jude. In his spare time Chad loves writing music, running, and time with friends and family.

  • Ron Hughey - Next Generation Pastor

    Ron has a degree from Michigan State University and also a Masters of Arts in Teaching from National Louis University. Ron has been on staff at BVC since 1996. His greatest passion is helping families grow together. He has five children and a fantastic wife, Sue who helps him in everything. In his spare time Ron enjoys his family,  cooking, games, learning new things on his computer, and golf.

  • Ben Schulke - Director Of Student Ministry

    Ben was born and raised in the Grand Rapids area, and is currently attending Grand Rapids Theological Seminary to pursue a Masters of Divinity (M.Div) with Pastoral Emphasis. He recently married Lauren Schulke as of June of 2014. Ben graduated from Cornerstone University with degrees in Biblical Studies and Intercultural Studies in 2013. He has been attending Bella Vista Church since 2007 when he came to Christ through the BVC family, and started serving on staff in the summer of 2013 as the Youth Ministry Intern. He loves to play any kind of game, and enjoys playing his guitar. 

  • Rosemary CArlson - Biblical Discipler of Women

    Rosemary is married to Wendell Carlson. They have three married children and 6 grandchildren. Rosemary has been on the BVC staff since 1984. She enjoys reading, baking, and auto racing. Rosemary has attended numerous training courses including “Freedom in Christ” and “Stephen Ministry Leadership Training” which have equipped her for her ministry as a biblical discipler of women at BVC.

  • Laura Cronin - Director of Missions

    Laura has a degree in Elementary Education from Messiah College. After college she was a missionary teacher for four year at Newark Christian School with World Impact in Newark,NJ. There she met Phil Cronin, a Bella Vista supported missionary, who she married in 1993. They returned to West Michigan in 1994. Laura has volunteered in the missions program at Bella Vista for many years and joined the staff in 2012.

  • Kirsten Swanson - Accounting Associate / Women’s Ministry Director

    Kirsten grew up in North Dakota and attended Concordia College in Moorhead, MN graduating with degrees in Business Management and Organizational Communications. Kirsten and her husband Jeff have two boys, Jacob and Micah. They have attended Bella Vista Church since 1999 and Kirsten has been on staff since 2011. Kirsten serves as bookkeeper and oversees the Women's Ministry at Bella Vista Church. She enjoys reading, kayaking, biking, cross-country skiing, running, walking her dog and spending time with friends and family.

  • Shannon Rifenberg - Office Manager

    Shannon grew up in Northern Michigan, moving to the area with her husband Scott after their marriage.  They have three girls, Kaitlyn, Emily and Julia.  Shannon and her family have attended Bella Vista Church since 2010. After serving her family as a full time wife and mother for many years Shannon joined the Bella Vista Church staff in 2014.  Shannon serves as office manager and administrative secretary.  She enjoys reading, playing board games, and the many activities her children are involved in.

  • Gary peterson - Facilities Manager

    Gary and his wife, Donna and their daughter Amy live in Muskegon near the lakeshore. Gary is an avid kayaker and frequently spends time on Lake Michigan. Gary quietly and unobtrusively maintains and manages the BVC facilities and grounds with excellence and a true servant's heart.


Elders are the key leaders at Bella Vista. Our current understanding of the Scriptures teaches us that a group of men called Elders are to govern the local church. (Acts 14:23; 1 Timothy 5:17; Titus 1:5). Elders are spiritually qualified, mature men who are directly accountable to God for the well being of the church (1 Timothy 3:1–7; Titus 1:5–10; Hebrews 13:17). Elders are to rule well, and those under their care are to respect them (1 Peter 5:1-4).

Elder rule is the authoritative consensus managing of the local church by teaching, protecting, governing, and caring.

The Elders accept the spiritual responsibility that God has given them for the welfare of the flock committed to their charge. The decisions made by the Elders are not arbitrary but authoritative. The Elders seek God's Word, depend on his Spirit, weigh various options wisely, and reach a decision before God and each other on behalf of God's people. They seek ultimately a unity of mind that is produced by their submission to the Holy Spirit and submission to one another.

Authoritative elder rule is not "lording it over" or being domineering. No one man seeks to impose his will on another or on the flock. Elders endeavor to reflect the will of God—not the will of a man or group of men. Therefore, any decision that departs from biblical truth loses its authority; thus, it is no longer binding on the church.

The following is a list of Elders of Bella Vista Church.   

Scott Salik, Chairman of the Elders   

Bruce Abernethy, Vice-Chairman of the Elders

Chris Lemke, Secretary of the Elders    

Mark Pietscher, Elder

Gary DeGram, Elder

Bill Ruhf, Elder

Jason Tworek, Elder

Gary Quackenbush, Elder