Lead Pastor



Bob's role at First is that of vision development and implementation partnering with the leaders and staff.  Bob grew up in the western suburbs of Chicago and met his wife Patti while attending Dordt College in Sioux Center, IA. 

After fifteen years in the field of teaching and being a school principal, Bob entered full-time ministry.  The Johnsons raised their kids in Southern California having ministered in that region for over 25 years. Bob and Patti have three grown children and three grandkids.  Bob loves the Cubs and puttering in the lawn and flower beds and spending time with his Bride.

Administrative Assistant



Amanda grew up at First Church and made the decision to follow Christ early in life. At College she met her husband, Michael, after they were married they moved back to Pella and have two children, Skyler and Ava.

She helps with the kids' programs on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights, enjoys singing on the Worship Team and loves helping plan events for women.  In her spare time, Amanda enjoys spending time with her family and friends, playing tennis, watching movies, various household projects and enjoying the outdoors.

Director of Care


Shalene was raised in a Christian home and made the decision to follow Christ early in her life. She attended Clarke College where she received her bachelor’s degree in Nursing in 2001. She has taken on many roles at the Pella Regional Health Center in her nursing career. However, her most recent role is a nurse in the Pella Medical Clinic.

The Zylstra’s were married in 2001 and have four children: Lydia, Aidan, Norah and Gerrit. They joined First Church in 2018. Shalene joined the First Church staff in 2020. She has a compassionate heart which makes her a great fit for the Director of Care at First Church. In her free time, she enjoys exercising, decorating, connecting with family and friends, watching movies with her family and eating ice cream.

Family Ministry

Administrative Assistant


Deb was raised in a Christian home, and attended a Reformed Church in rural Wisconsin.  While Deb always thought she was a Christian, she made that decision her own at a Christian concert she attended with her Campus Life group in high school. 

Throughout high school, college, and her single years, she was heavily involved in several different ministry opportunities.  Deb graduated from Central College with a math degree, and worked at Principal Financial Group as a project leader, which is where she developed many organizational skills.  Deb started attending First in 2001 after being engaged to Brad, and has been involved in different children’s ministries ever since.  Deb’s passion is for kids to have their own faith rather than cleaving to the faith of their parents or others.  In 2019, Deb started in this position, and hopes the behind-the-scenes tasks she is doing will better allow the leaders to focus on bringing lives to Jesus.  Deb continues to volunteer in our GEMS and KidsQuest ministries, and loves seeing kids get excited about their faith. Deb is married to Brad, and they have 3 children:  Ashley, Morgan, and Tyler.  Most of her free time is spent supporting her kids in their numerous activities.

Director of Children's Ministry


Jenny joined the staff in 2019 and severs as Director of Children’s Ministry. She and her husband, Joey, have nine children, Riley, Brianna, Bronwyn, Penelope, Elinor, Chip, Josiah, Ellorah and Jedediah. She enjoys spending time with her family and investing in the next generation to know and love Jesus.

Director of Student Ministry


Mike was raised in a God-fearing household and saved at a young age. Despite being a follower of Jesus from early in life, Mike explains that his life regularly did not resemble the Christ-like living to which he was called. God convicted Mike and worked to change his life path during high school, calling him to ministry at the age of 17. In April of 2020, Mike

began at First Church and graduated Trinity Christian College with a degree in Biblical Studies in May. Mike is presently a part of the Commissioned Pastor Program and is starting on his MDiv at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in the Fall of 2023. His personal mission statement as he pastors at First is to partner with families to urge students to repent of their religion or rebellion and run toward relationship with Jesus. In March of 2022, Mike married his best friend, Hannah Blom. In January 2023, Mike and Hannah (as well as their dog, Rudy) welcomed their son, Michael William Melody III into the world. Mike is blessed to be a part of First Church where he regularly sees God at Work.

Director of Worship Arts


Andi, originally from Kansas, moved to Pella to play volleyball and the bassoon for Central. There she met and married a Dutchman! They have lived in Pella for 20 years and have been part of serving in several worship ministries. Andi loves music! She plays guitar, sings and composes. Her other passions are cooking and landscaping/gardening.

She enjoys being able to put her cooking passion to work at the East Iowa Bible Camp during the summer. Andi and her husband, Jonathan, homeschool their daughter Lily. As a family they love to do everything together including schooling and running JD’s PCs, their computer repair shop in Pella. They like to live life simply so they can say “yes” to God when he moves their hearts to act. Her platform is music, and her strong desire is to share the truths of Scripture and the message of the Gospel through song. God‘s message is simple! We are all wretched sinners in desperate need of a Savior. Jesus is that Savior! He took the punishment that we deserve on himself by dying a gruesome death on a cross. If we repent and put our trust in Jesus, if we put on His righteousness like you would put on a parachute, then we can be assured of salvation. Praise God for his wonderful plan of salvation! This is the message we must sing about, praise God for, and remember every day.

Director of Building & Grounds


Jamie became a member of First Church 25 years ago after she married Jason, who grew up in the church.  She has a passion for everyone to know and feel loved by Jesus. Jamie is the site director for Kaden’s Kloset at the church. She helps with the kids' program on Sunday morning as well as middle school and high school youth groups. She joined the staff in 2020. In her spare time, Jamie enjoys spending time with Jason and their eight kids in all their various activities, boating, watching sports, and taking walks.

Sunday Custodian


Josalyn Chapman also known as Josie has been attending First Church ever since she was an infant. She is the daughter of Jamie and Jason Chapman. She attends church with her parents, three sisters and four brothers. Josie is active in and around church. She volunteers with VBS, MidWeek, and Praise Team. She loves to hangout with her family and friends. Josie is a High School student at Pella High School where she enjoys playing volleyball and tennis. Josie joined the church staff in 2023.

Director of Marketing



Breanne made the choice to follow Christ her senior year at Central College in 2003. There she received her bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Marketing. Over the years she has held various marketing positions in both non-profit and for-profit organizations.

She and her husband, Stephen, were married in 2006 and have six children. Her primary role and love is homeschooling their children. She and her family became members of First Church in 2018. She joined staff in 2019 and appreciates the opportunity to serve in this capacity. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family by going camping, hiking, or anything outdoors.

Young Adult & Mission Ministries


Bryant gave his life to Jesus Christ in 2018 during his sophomore year of college. Bryant ran cross country and track for Central College. He graduated with degrees in Biology and Exercise Science with the aspiration to get a PhD in Nutrition. However, after college Bryant

discovered that his true passion was ministry. He then worked for Campus Ministries at Central College throughout the year of 2021. This is also when Bryant began attending First Church. In June 2021, Bryant married his best friend, Bekah. Bryant joined the staff of First Church in 2022. His passion is to raise up young adults as faithful followers of Jesus Christ. In Bryant's free time, he enjoys spending time with Bekah, reading, running, and being outdoors.

Director of Technology


Mike and his wife are members of First Church. Mike has served in tech role for more than twenty years.