FirstCovGR Love Mercy Do Justice (LMDJ) Ministry Team!

In response to Jesus' call to love our neighbor and his example of loving and ministering to those on the fringes of society, the LMDJ Ministry Team exists to help equip the FirstCov congregation to engage authentically across racial, economic, cultural, and political differences, so that we may grow in our ability to identify and address hurts our community and beyond. We are grateful for the multitude of ways FirstCov already engages in acts of mercy in our community, and our team hopes to help everyone at FirstCov know where they can serve and be equipped to do so. Our core team is working on creating and publicizing opportunities for FirstCov attenders to LEARN about the issues of our day from a Biblical perspective, ENGAGE in acts of service in our community, and RESPOND in prayer and lament to the brokenness of our world.

LMDR Core Team Members:  Alicia & Derek DeKam, Terry Almquist, Jill Beltman, Penny Gutierrez, Cindy Korsmo, Steve Quakenbush, Kate Sanders,  Linda Stone, and Ginny Ahrens.

union high school

Over the course of 20 years, FirstCovGR has actively supported a number of Union High School ministries, including:

  • A wide variety of volunteer activities to encourage and support the students and faculty in meeting their educational goals and to promote healthy relationships in our community. 

  • Open Gym and Bible Study, which is held each Wednesday, at 2:30pm during the school year in the FirstCov Gym.  It is a Ministry team led by Dale Dalman and Trix Carlson.

  • If you have questions or would like to consider volunteering, please contact the church office and they will put you in touch with a member of the Union High School Ministry Team. 


Campus Life reaches into Union High School and invites students to enter into relationship with our leaders. Our weekly club facilitates a fun, safe event where kids can be kids and have fun and laugh. We also engage in conversations about issues students face and give them a voice to be heard and to hear what the Bible says. Finally, we share our story- how God has directed our leaders through similar situations. Last year we averaged between 30-50 students each week.

Club is primarily an opportunity to draw kids in with a safe fun environment. Our vision is to see leaders walking intimately in Christ-sharing relationship with students.

For information on getting involved, please contact Jon Blahnik at 616-634-3980 or at

Campus Life

First Evangelical Covenant Church supports the ministry of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at Grand Valley State University and throughout the whole of West Michigan.

This ministry is:

  • reaching over 300 students at GVSU, equipping student leaders to represent Jesus on all corners of the campus including Freshmen, International students, Artists, Nursing students, Black students, Latino students, and many in between.

  • working to form a witnessing community of students on campus who are walking with Jesus in community with others as they boldly share their faith compellingly on campus.

  • is in partnership with student leaders, staff provide: Small groups, Large Group worship gathering, evangelism, training conferences, leadership coaching, and discipleship.

  • The vision of the ministry is “to see Students and Faculty Transformed, the Campus Renewed, and World Changers Developed.

  • In the West Michigan area as a whole, InterVarsity is serving 700 students at GVSU, WMU, GRCC, Davenport U, and Hope.

We specifically support Alicia and Derek DeKam, FirstCovGR members, in their work with InterVarsity. Derek is the West Michigan area director of Intervarsity and Alicia is the associate area director.


For many years, FirstCovGR has worked alongside Dégagé Ministries by building relationships and serving meals to individuals in the Heartside Neighborhood. On the 3rd Sunday every other month, we have a team from our congregation that prepares and serves dinner. We also have many individual members volunteering in several other roles at Dégagé.  Contact the church office at 453-6346 if you would like to serve!

Since 1967, Dégagé has been a place where followers of Christ extend care and community to those in need. Our mission is to reflect the love of Christ to all who come through our doors by building relationships and offering programs through dignity and respect.

Serving 400-500 individuals daily, staff and volunteers continue to follow Christ’s example by walking alongside men and women as they navigate challenges such as homelessness, joblessness, mental illness, and addictions.

Some of Dégagé’s programs include:

Dining Room: Breakfast & Dinner is served each day.
Hygiene Facilities: Showers, Laundry, & bathrooms.
Referral Services: Resource office & ID Office
The Open Door: Women’s Overnight Shelter


FirstCovGR Food Pantry Partners with The Other Way Ministries

Isaiah 58. 7 says, “Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help” (New Living Translation).

The FirstCovGR Food Pantry is now collecting food items and delivering them to the Other Way, who serve many local families every week.  Watch for notices on what food items are critically needed.  

Monique VanderWerp and Laura Lentini are the coordinators of the food pantry working with The Other Way. Monique can be contacted at 616-791-1989 and Laura at 616-453-6346.

If you would like to donate food for the pantry, drop it off at any time the church is open (Sundays and church office hours). (We cannot except outdated food, dented cans, or open/used containers).  Thank you for your support!

The Pregnancy Resource  Ministry Team is partnering with the Pregnancy Resource Center and Grace's Table. 

At the Pregnancy Resource Center of Grand Rapids, they provide compassion and resources to the men and women in our community who seek support at the center. PRC has a need for behind the scenes assistance, students for the 'Willing to Wait'  Leadership Team, working with clients, and volunteers for the prayer team.  
You can find out more about these opportunities at this link:
Grace's Table wants teen moms to feel loved, cared for and be a part of a community.  As a team, they encourage them, equip them, and walk alongside them as they move towards their full potential as parents and adults.  Grace's Table has a need for volunteers in hospitality, as mentors, and administrative help.
For more information on how you can help teen moms, go to this link: 

Thank you for supporting this vital ministry!  Contact the Church Office with questions or more information. 616-453-6346.

Kid's Hope Ministry at FirstCovGR

Through our Kid's Hope mentoring program at Sibley Elementary School, students meet one hour a week during the school year with a mentor - a mentor who is there just for them! 

 Do you have an hour a week to make a difference in the life of a child? 

Contact Kim Theeuwes at  for more information. 


MOPS is open to all women who are pregnant or have a child or children birth to age 5.  We will meet every 1st & 3rd Thursdays of the month from 9:15 to 11:15am. The mornings will include food, COFFEE, crafts, speakers, small group time, all with other mom's in the same stage of life, while your kiddos are being cared for onsite! 

If you are interested in signing up to attend the MOPS meetings, please email Bev Bennett at or go to this link ---> 

Our Group code is EV4L