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. 

Meet our Staff

  • Interim lead 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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  • Ministries  Director- Brittany Stichter

    Brittany is a graduate of Grand Rapids Theological Seminary (M.Div.) and is training to be a spiritual director.  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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  • Interim Music Director - Brian Miller

    Brian Miller is a Grand Rapids, Michigan native. He lives in the Mitten state with his wife Mandy and three daughters. He spends his time as a professor, worship leader and collaborator on projects involving music, video and theology. Brian is cohost of The Beatitudes Project Podcast

    and cofounder of City Worship Night with his wife Mandy. Brian holds a Masters Degree in Christian Thought and has spent the past two decades engaged in vocational ministry in a variety of settings. Along with his wife Mandy, Brian hosts spiritual retreats for creatives. Brian

    has a desire for people to experience the transformation that occurs when we begin to know that we loved by God. You can usually find Brian drinking freshly brewed coffee and reading books written by JRR Tolkien, Thomas F. Torrance and CS Lewis.


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  • Family 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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  • Children's Ministry Coordinator- Hannah Wittenbach

    Originally I am from Kansas where I was homeschooled along with my six brothers and sisters. In college, I studied Elementary Education along with a major in Bible at Calvary University in Kansas City, MO, where I met my husband Noah. Noah grew up in Lowell, MI and shortly after getting married we moved to Belding, MI. We began attending BVC in March 2021. I am mostly a stay-at-home mom for our daughter Cassidy, but I also teach part at a Christian elementary school in Belding. I'm always up for going out for coffee or going shopping. I don't have a lot of spare time these days, but I enjoy baking, water coloring, and working on various house projects with Noah in my spare time.  

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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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  • Director of Technology - Tim Cronin

  • 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

    Steve grew up in the Rockford area and has been a member at Bella Vista Church since the mid 70’s.  He and his wife Janet raised 3 daughters and 1 son and are proud grandparents of 2.

    Before retiring, Steve had careers in the automotive, aerospace, furniture, welding and safety industries as Quality Engineer, Quality Director, Quality Manager and Quality Auditor positions and was blessed to travel extensively throughout Europe and Asia.

    Steve loves the outdoors and enjoys fishing, hunting, camping, scuba diving, woodworking, automotive repair and restoration, and has a large garden and enjoys all type of repairing and home remodeling.

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  • Custodian - Janet Barker

    Born near Saginaw, Janet grew up the oldest of 6. In middle school she discovered a talent for art and stories. Being Catholic, both nuns and lay teachers, fed her sensitive heart with a love of Jesus. She sang in the choir at both Catholic and Lutheran church, as her dad was Lutheran and choir director! Janet studied at Saginaw Valley State, earning a double major in Fine Art and English Literature. Later earning a BA in Illustration and Fine Art at Kendall College. While in Grand Rapids she met and married her husband, Steven, when doing contract artwork. Having had a variety of jobs in offices, retail, pharmacy technician, newspaper artist, freelance artist, and custodial work she feels that God has prepared her with passion for both art and, custodial jobs because of her sense of creativity and organization.  

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Elders

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.