Staff & Leadership

We have a passion for God, people, our city and our world. Our culture and leadership is characterized by worship, the love of God, and a genuine call to ministry. 

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. 

Meet our Staff

  • Lead Teaching Pastor- Dr. Dennis Moles

    Dennis came on board 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.

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  • Equipping Pastor- dr. Chad Vitarelli

    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.

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  • Director of Technology - Tim Cronin

  • Interim Children / student Ministries Director- Hannah Beintema

    Born and raised in Rockford MI. Graduating from Rockford in 2003, I went to Life EMS paramedics training right out of high school. But I worked at a restaurant in Rockford for years before getting married and deciding to be a stay at home mom. Married to Pete, we have three kids, Christian, Phoebe and Collins. My parents were married at Bella Vista. And I grew up going there, leaving only for a few years when we lived in Walker MI. We moved back to the area in 2017. I do wedding floral at a small shop in Ada during the wedding season and I love crafting and any around the home DIY.

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  • Adult Ministries Director- Brittany Stichter

    Brittany is a graduate of Grand Rapids Theological Seminary (M.Div.), is training as a spiritual director, and is on staff at Bella Vista as Adult Ministries Director.  But more importantly, she loves old things more than new things, prefers to be wherever there are friends gathered, and loves Fall the most.  She claims that, not only does it have the best flavors, colors, scents, and textures, but it is also the wisest season of the year.

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  • Office Manager- Shannon Rifenberg

    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 is an animal lover. 

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  • Accounting Assistant- Susan Lemke

    Sue was born and raised in Ionia County. She left the farm to attend Grand Rapids Baptist College (now Cornerstone University) and has lived in Grand Rapids ever since. After graduating with a degree in Communications, she married Chris and put her degree to work raising and home educating their 6 children: Jordan (Courtney), Bethany (Paul), Abigail, Hannah, Morgan, and Olivia. A member of BVC since 1982, Sue enjoys crocheting and sewing in her spare time.

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  • Facilities Manager - Steven Barker