Christmas Eve at Walnut Creek Church

Christmas Eve

Join us at one of our three Christmas Eve services. This year Walnut Creek Church will be hosting two services at our Downtown location and one at our Windsor Heights location:

December 24 @ 4pm and 6pm
323 East Locust Street, Des Moines (Use South entrance on Walnut Street)
(515) 418-9994

December 24 @ 6pm
900 64th Street, Windsor Heights
(515) 418-9994

Awana Children's Choirs Perform "Star of Wonder," A Christmas Musical

Christmas Program
The Awana Children's Choirs perform "Star of Wonder," on Sunday, December 13 at Walnut Creek Downtown. 
The Awana Children's Choirs performed "Star Of Wonder," a Christmas musical of hope, on Sunday evening. The Downtown and Windsor Heights Awana locations joined together to perform, bringing about 125 children and their families to Walnut Creek Downtown for the Christmas Program.

Through scripture reading, songs, and dialogue, "Star Of Wonder" shares the story of the miraculous birth of Jesus. The cast of characters includes six different stars who are all awaiting the biggest announcement in history. Throughout the program, the stars discover that Jesus is the real star of Christmas.

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The Cubbies perform a few songs before the musical begins. | Photo courtesy of Jill Udey
The Cubbies, children aged 3 to 4 years old, performed their songs first. Then the Sparks and Truth and Training groups took the stage to begin the musical. Some of the songs included "Hangin' Around The Heavens," "God Chooses Who He Uses," and "Big Band of Shepherds."

"The kids were really singing out. You could tell they enjoyed the songs," said Pastor Joel Swanson.

Prior to the program, Awana Music Directors Tiffany Fahy and Megan Coakley held two Saturday practices and a dress rehearsal the day of the musical. Children who had speaking roles also had additional practices.

"I am so proud of all of the Awana kiddos and the hard work they put into tonight's program," said Tiffany Fahy. "They looked beautiful on that stage, and they sounded amazing."

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The Christmas Program was hosted at Walnut Creek Downtown and brought together the Windsor Heights and Downtown Awana locations. | Photo courtesy of Jill Udey
Megan Coakley thought the program went very well, especially because of the children's excitement and joy. "The kids were excited to sing their songs because when preparing for the program, I told them we were planning Jesus' birthday party," said Megan Coakley. "The Sparks and Truth and Training worked very hard each week to learn their songs. I loved when they really knew the songs and would sing their hearts out!"

Walnut Creek Kids Director Jacob Bennett, as well as Tiffany and Megan, would like to thank everyone who worked behind the scenes to make the program a success, including the tech crew, refreshments, leaders, and parents.

"I was encouraged to see God glorified through the mouths of so many children," said Jacob Bennett. "I’m really excited to see them grow in faith and see how God uses their lives in the future!"



By Jackie Wallentin  
Walnut Creek Windsor Heights 

Giving Gifts Around the World

OCC
National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child is November 16–23. 

Since 1993, Samaritan's Purse has sent 113 million shoeboxes to children in more than 130 countries through their Operation Christmas Child ministry.

The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

"It's so much more than a box. A lot of these children have never received a gift in their life and have never heard of Jesus Christ," said Kelly Hill of Walnut Creek Windsor Heights. "It is such a blessing to be able to share the gospel with millions of children and families through a shoebox."

Loren Pavel, of Walnut Creek Windsor Heights, and Hill coordinate Operation Christmas Child for Walnut Creek. As a team they get the information out to all the locations and order the materials needed to equip people to pack boxes.

Later this month they will collect and deliver the boxes to New Hope Assemblies of God Church in Urbandale, an Iowa collection center. All boxes collected in Iowa will be sent to the processing center in Minneapolis for inspection. From there, boxes are shipped to children all over the world.

Loren and Kelly both serve on the year-round Operation Christmas Child volunteer team with Sarah Johnson, Stephanie Hoch, and Tim and Sara Laehn, all of Walnut Creek Downtown.

At Walnut Creek Downtown's Christmas In July event this summer, volunteers packed over 2,000 shoeboxes.

The deadline to turn in boxes is Sunday, November 22. Boxes can be brought to any Walnut Creek location. For information about how to get involved with the year-round volunteer team, contact Kelly at kellyhill25@hotmail.com.

Samaritan’s Purse is an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. To learn more about Operation Christmas Child, visit www.samaritanspurse.org/occ/.



By Jackie Wallentin  
Walnut Creek Windsor Heights 

"Tomorrow's Freedom Is Today's Surrender"

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Five women perform "Dawn To Dusk" by All Sons and Daughters at the Women's Coffeehouse on November 6.

Before the Women's Coffeehouse even began, all 570 chairs set out were taken. By 7pm, more than 620 women gathered together to hear stories of God's deliverance and rescue through personal testimonies, worship, and fellowship.

The inspiration for this year's coffeehouse came from Galatians 5:1: "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."

After opening in prayer, the worship band, composed of Cindy Andorf, Hannah Wright, Sara Choi, Jillian Aurelio, and Liz VanderSchel, performed "Dawn To Dusk" by All Sons and Daughters. Throughout the evening, the speakers referenced the lyric, "Tomorrow's freedom is today's surrender" to share their personal experiences of freedom found in Christ.

"The Christian life in essence is a life of surrender," said Shaly Moyal. "This year's Women's Coffeehouse centered around the theme that Christ died to free us, and that freedom is only found through surrender."

The first speaker of the evening, Haley Altmaier of Walnut Creek Downtown, shared the story of her relationship with her now husband. Haley described the desires, emotions, and actions God asked her to surrender during a time of unforeseen pain and confusion. As she surrendered, God showed her His patience, goodness, and faithfulness.

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Over 620 women from all locations of Walnut Creek Church attended the coffeehouse.
Following Haley, Carla Richey of Walnut Creek Downtown shared her testimony of how the Lord has helped her to continually surrender her children and their future to Him as she and her husband choose to center their universe around God and His Kingdom, realizing that these children are His. In surrendering her children to God, she has seen the peace that comes in trusting the Lord to lead, guide, and direct her children toward Himself. 

The last speaker of the evening was a video testimony by Christy Jo Hogg of Walnut Creek South. At age 13, Christy was diagnosed with a brain tumor. When she was 18, her brain tumor began growing again, and Christy thought God was punishing her for her rebellious lifestyle.

The day after she found out the cancer had come back, Christy met Jon and Agatha Crane of Walnut Creek South. The Cranes gave her a Gospel tract and invited her to church and their Community Group. Not long after giving her life to Christ, Christy found out she had another tumor, except this time it was inoperable. Doctors gave her 14 months to live. In the video, Christy shares her story of surrendering her entire life to God and how the Lord has helped her understand the pain and suffering of cancer.

The annual Women's Coffeehouse event was held Friday, November 6 at Walnut Creek Downtown.
In two additional videos, various women from each location shared in a sentence or two something they have found freedom in after surrounding to the Lord. Responses ranged from surrender of anger and greed to surrender of pleasing people and broken relationships.

"We wanted women to see that this life, the Christian life, requires continual surrender as we desire to experience more and more freedom that Christ offers," said Shaly. "We tried to demonstrate and share the variety of decisions that women have had to make through various videos and testimonies, hoping and praying that each woman in attendance would be able to relate to at least one of these decisions and decide to make it for herself in an effort to see and experience Christ."

Over 100 local businesses donated door prizes, which were handed out throughout the evening. The annual coffeehouse is a way for women to invite their friends, neighborhoods, coworkers, and family members to join in genuine fellowship and hear about the power of the Lord working in other women's lives. 



By Jackie Wallentin
Walnut Creek Windsor Heights

Walnut Creek Extends Grand Welcome to Karenni Congregation


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Walnut Creek Karenni held their first service at Walnut Creek Downtown on Sunday, November 1.
Photo by: Alex Michl

In 2013, Mike and Jenessa Lock of Walnut Creek Downtown realized that the Karenni refugees they had come to know did not have a church in Des Moines. Through a relationship with a Burmese woman named Pawdeenya, the Locks began to help her reach Karenni with the Gospel through apartment Bible studies. 

About a year and a half ago, the Karenni Christian Fellowship began meeting on Sunday afternoons at Freedom For Youth Ministries. The Locks, as well as Brandon and Ashley Johnson of Walnut Creek Downtown, helped to facilitate the Sunday service including worship, teaching, and children's ministry. About 80-90 Karenni regularly fellowship together each Sunday. 

Over the last year, Walnut Creek has partnered with the Karenni Fellowship in their ministry, and on November 1, Walnut Creek Karenni held their first service at Walnut Creek Downtown. The Grand Welcome Celebration marked the beginning of the Karenni service becoming part of Walnut Creek Church. 

The service included worship in both the Kayah language and English.
Photo by: Alex Michl
The Karenni comprise nine different people groups, who speak different languages and dialects, from their home state of Myanmar (Burma). Many of the Karenni have lived for years in refugee camps in Thailand before coming to Des Moines.

Fourteen Karenni adults were also baptized during the service, sharing their testimonies of lives changed by Christ. "It was beautiful to be a part of the celebration as many of the older believers began to sing out 'There is a Fountain' while those publicly declaring their faith were entering the baptismal waters," said Mike Lock.

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After the Karenni service, a meal catered by HyVee was served.
Photo by: Alex Michl


After the service, adults and children fellowshipped together with a meal and kids' activities, including the popular bouncehouse. "It was a great atmosphere of celebration," said Mike Lock.

Pastor Tim Rude spoke at the service and gave praise to God for all that has been happening within the Karenni people. Tim says Walnut Creek is excited to join arms with the Karenni people as they join the church and begin to have their own service at the Downtown location.


By Jackie Wallentin 
Walnut Creek Windsor Heights

2015 Apologetics Conference, "5 Reasons to Bet Your Life on the Bible"

Sean McDowell
Dr. Sean McDowell and J. Warner Wallace presented on the reliability of the Bible during the 2015 Apologetics Conference hosted by Walnut Creek Church October 16-18.
Photos courtesy of Bruce Hall

"I'd rather live in the inconvenient truth than a convenient lie," said J. Warner Wallace this past weekend at the 2015 Apologetics Conference hosted at Walnut Creek Downtown. The conference brought over 500 people to the East Village to hear J. Warner Wallace and Dr. Sean McDowell as they presented "5 Reasons to Bet Your Life on the Bible."

Dr. Sean McDowell is a professor at Biola University as well as an author, apologist, speaker, and editor of the Apologetics Study Bible for Students. J. Warner Wallace is a cold-case homicide detective, adjunct professor of apologetics at Biola University, Christian case maker, and author.

Sean began the conference on Friday night with an "Atheist Encounter," where he role-played as an atheist and answered questions from the audience, challenging them to think critically about what they believe. "Christianity can hold its own in a world full of ideas," said Sean. "Christianity is about a God who stepped into history itself."

The conference continued on Saturday with two morning sessions and one afternoon session, covering the first three reasons believers can bet their lives on the Bible. Sean spoke on Reason 1: "The Bible Is Reliable," and took a historical look at the Bible, manuscript transmission, and archaeology. Then, Jim followed up with Reason 2: "The Bible Is Trustworthy," as he looked at the difference between Biblical artifacts and evidence while responding to some of the biggest objections to the transmission of the Bible. 

JWW
J. Warner Wallace is a cold-case homicide detective in Los Angeles County, California. Formerly an atheist, Jim became a Christian when he was 35.
In the afternoon, Sean spoke on the evidence for the resurrection, making the case by examining the death of Jesus, the empty tomb, the appearances of Jesus, and the transformation of the disciples. "No other religion rests on a single historical event like Christianity," said Sean. "The reason I believe that God is good is because death doesn't have the final word."

On Saturday evening Jim spoke at both Downtown evening services, as well as the South location. Jim gave Reason 4: "The Bible Has Been Transmitted Accurately," discussing the eyewitnesses of the Gospel accounts and how from a cold-case perspective, he came to fully trust their reliability

To conclude the conference, both Jim and Sean gave Reason 5: "The Biblical Account Best Explains Evil." Jim spoke at the Windsor Heights Sunday morning services, while Sean spoke at the 10am Downtown service. Throughout the weekend, both Jim and Sean encouraged believers to seek God and trust the Bible for answers. "Don't be an accidental Christian," said Jim. "Know why you believe."

For more apologetic resources from Sean and Jim, visit their websites at seanmcdowell.org and coldcasechristianity.com.

Conference media will be available on the Walnut Creek website. 



By Jackie Wallentin 
Walnut Creek Windsor Heights

"Five Faith Foundations" at 2015 Collegiate Fall Conference

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The 2015 Fall Conference brought over 150 students to Jordan Park Camp this weekend. 

More than 150 students from Drake, Grand View, and DMACC attended the 2015 Fall Conference this past weekend at Jordan Park Camp. Students and young adults from churches in Ames, Cedar Rapids, and Minneapolis attended the conference as well.

The weekend, hosted by Campus Fellowship, offered students an opportunity to take time away from work and school and focus on hearing from God and His Word. Pastor Dan Rude spoke five times throughout the three-day conference, addressing five key foundations to the Christian faith. "My prayer is that by the end of our time, you will own your faith," Dan said.

Dan's emphasis on the ownership of faith resonated with Drake student Apple Lim and encouraged her efforts to love students on campus. "It is very refreshing to us as we do outreach to people. How we can help people own their faith–sustainable and strong faith," Apple said.

CF
Campus Fellowship has ministries on Drake, Grand View, and DMACC campuses. 
The conference challenged students to think about who God is and strengthen their foundation of faith. Students also enjoyed bonfires, a flag football tournament, sand volleyball, and free time to fellowship with one another throughout the weekend.

"Dan is very clear in both providing evidence in scripture and giving visual examples to remind and grind the truth into our minds," Apple said. "It impacted and encouraged me a lot just seeing my brothers and sisters spend their time at the conference, wanting to grow and learn together with me in His knowledge."

Visit fallconferencedm.com to learn more about the conference.



By Jackie Wallentin 
Walnut Creek Windsor Heights

A Weekend Full of Fall Festivities at Walnut Creek Downtown and South


Walnut Creek Downtown and South both hosted Party in the Parking Lot events this past weekend.
Photos courtesy of Sarah Johnson


With summer almost over, Walnut Creek Church is in full swing for the fall. This past weekend both Walnut Creek Downtown and South hosted events to kick off the season and celebrate the beginning of our new church-wide series, "Set Free". This weekend marked the first message in the new series through the Book of Exodus.

Walnut Creek South hosted Party in the Parking Lot Saturday evening before the 6pm service with kids activities, inflatables, free food, and games. Many new people came to church making this weekend the highest attendance for a South service ever. The party continued after the service with free root beer floats.

Inflatables, face painting, and other kids activities created a family-friendly environment.
On the other side of Des Moines, the East Village was abuzz between the World Food Festival and Walnut Creek Downtown's two weekend events.

After the Saturday evening services, a large screen was set up outside for tailgating–church style. While watching the big game, people could enjoy free pizza and outdoor activities. Numerous passersby from the World Food Festival stopped in to watch the game, too. The Downtown location will host tailgating after Saturday services this weekend as well.

The festivities continued Downtown on Sunday with Party in the Parking Lot. The warm September weather provided ample sunshine for the afternoon barbecue, which began following the 10 a.m. service. Families from Downtown Saturday services joined the party as well, welcoming many new couples and families from the Des Moines community.

Keep track of all Walnut Creek's fall events through our online calendar. You can also follow along with the "Set Free" series through our mobile app or online.



By Jackie Wallentin 
Walnut Creek Windsor Heights

"Set Free" Series Launch This Weekend

Set Free
The "Set Free" series launches this weekend, September 19-20, at all four Walnut Creek Church locations. 

Walnut Creek launches a new message series – "Set Free" – church-wide this weekend. The "Set Free" series covers the end of Genesis through Exodus Chapter 20, looking at the chronicle of how God built a nation from Joseph's life and then established Israel through the leadership of His servant Moses 400 years later.

"In our own lives, God can carry us through the difficulties and challenges we encounter," said Pastor Tim Rude. "Like Israel, we can experience His comforting presence in troubling times."

The record of Exodus displays God’s power, glory, and grace. Exodus is more than a story about Moses. Exodus is the story of the people of God.

As God dwelt among the Israelites, He dwells among us today–through our lack and His provision, our conflict and His solution, our rebellion and His grace, our bondage and His mercy.

God reveals who He is and our identity as His ransomed people. As He leads the Israelites out of Egypt, God establishes Himself as their redeemer and ours. Through the blood of the lamb, God offers freedom from sin to all people. The bondage of death is gone. Jesus sets us free.

Join us in praying for the "Set Free" series, that God would show us, as a church, our hearts and the sins keeping us in bondage. That God would reveal our rebellious ways and lead us to repentance. And that God would grow our devotion and love for Him as our great redeemer.

Free "Set Free" study guides are available at each location. You can also follow the message series through our mobile app and online.

Share your thoughts and what you're learning during the series on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram with the #SetFreeSeries hashtag.

Summer Sowing in Valley Junction

A Downtown Community Group passed out over 3,000 tracts, 2,000 water bottles, and 1,000 sunglasses this summer at the Valley Junction Farmers Market. 

Every Thursday night, Greg Baker’s Downtown Community Group could be found at the Valley Junction Farmers Market. Partnering with the city of West Des Moines and the Valley Junction Foundation, the group volunteered by picking up trash in exchange for a booth. This summer marks the third year they have volunteered. 

Throughout the summer, they gave out over 3,000 Gospel tracts, 2,000 bottles of water, and 1,000 Walnut Creek sunglasses, in addition to Bibles and invitations to church. The booth space allowed the group to form relationships with people at the market, West Des Moines officials, and fellow vendors. 

Their prayer throughout the summer was to see the Gospel sown and people reached. God answered their prayers. One of their first weeks, they met Marci, who had just moved to Des Moines with her son. The group was then able to help her son move into Des Moines University and introduce them to Walnut Creek Downtown. 

The group also reconnected with Stephen, a young man who they had met and shared the Gospel with a few years earlier. “It turned out one year later he was saved. He is only 16 but well read in the Bible and has a heart to reach the lost,” Greg said. “For the last two weeks at the market, Steven joined us at our booth and went out sharing the Gospel with us.”

Whenever the group had enough volunteers to clean up with trash and be at the booth, people would then go out into the crowd and engage in conversations about Jesus. “The Gospel was sown with many soft hearts this summer,” Greg said. 

Prayers for favor with the city were also answered. Each week different city officials and volunteers would thank them and show appreciation for their work. Greg says they initially planned to work the market through July, but with so much fruit seen and so many relationships formed, they have extended their time to August and possibly September. 

“We will continue to clean up trash, and sow and water God's Word. We look forward to seeing what God makes grow,” Greg said. 


By Jackie Wallentin and Greg Baker  
Walnut Creek Windsor Heights and Downtown  

Over $50,000 Raised for Adoption Through Mustaches That Matter

146 men grew out their mustaches to raise over $50,000 for adoption in three weeks. 

After three weeks of intense facial hair competition, over $50,000 has been raised through Mustaches That Matter to help families bring children home.

Mustaches That Matter is committed to partnering with families in the adoption process to help complete their financial needs. 146 men mustered up the courage to grow out their mustaches, and together, they raised $50,000, meeting our 2015 goal. 

The men passed out business cards and engaged in conversations throughout the month to ask family, friends, and coworkers to financially sponsor their mustaches. Mustaches That Matter t-shirts were also sold at weekend services to raise even more support. Caleb Thompson of Walnut Creek Downtown won the Most Valuable Mustache award for raising $3,235.

With the funds raised last year, Mustaches That Matter was able to help 15 families adopt 17 children internationally and domestically. Families applied for assistance, and throughout the last few months, the Mustaches That Matter board met with the families and determine the assistance amount. 

All people are created equal in God’s image, and God is passionate about His children. Mustaches That Matter is a response to God’s call to care for orphans as we desire to align our heart with His.

Visit www.mustachesthatmatter.com to learn more about the campaign. 

2,000 Shoebox Gifts Packed During Christmas in July

Christmas in July participants stopped by several stations as they packed boxes.


Hundreds of people from Walnut Creek Church and the Des Moines community gathered together at Walnut Creek Downtown on July 31 to pack 2,000 shoeboxes with gifts for children in impoverished and war-torn countries. All 2,000 boxes were packed in just over two hours.

For the fifth year in a row, Walnut Creek Church partnered with Operation Christmas Child (OCC), a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse, to host the Christmas in July packing party. For the second year in row, the gift-filled shoeboxes are being sent to special-access countries, which are resistant to the Gospel and OCC’s efforts. The goal is for the boxes to make a way for the Gospel to get to children who would have little to no access to it otherwise.

The event also raised almost $2,000 for OCC through donations and proceeds from a dinner that was served. When combined with previous fundraising efforts – and an anonymous donation of $7,000 – a total of nearly $12,000 has been raised so far to help cover the cost of shipping the boxes overseas.

New this year, the event featured guest speaker Timur Nesbitt, who received an OCC shoebox – the first gift he had ever been given – as a 13-year-old boy living in an orphanage in Central Asia. Inside the shoebox was a yo-yo, Tootsie Roll candy, school supplies, socks, toothpaste and a letter and photo from a boy in Texas who had packed the box.

“Through the shoebox, I felt loved,” Timur said. “Someone took the time to put in those items that became my favorites. I wondered a lot how Christians who didn’t know me were willing to give me a gift.”

Three years later, Timur was adopted by an American missionary family from Iowa. He learned about OCC and excitedly told them he had received a shoebox gift. Timur plans to return to his home country one day to bring the message of God’s healing love to others who are hurting.

Samaritan’s Purse is an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has hand-delivered more than 100 million gift-filled shoeboxes to needy children in more than 130 countries. To learn more about Operation Christmas Child, visit www.samaritanspurse.org/occ/.



By Tim Laehn 
Walnut Creek Downtown 

Vacation Bible School 2015: Camp Kilimanjaro

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Over 180 kids "climbed" to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro this week during Vacation Bible School. The safari theme, Camp Kilimanjaro, brought the trekkers on an epic adventure through the Book of Proverbs as they learned that true wisdom comes only from the one true God.

Each night the kids, ranging from pre-kindergarten through 6th grade, rotated through stations including music, craft, game, Bible lesson, and snack time. Each activity reinforced the key verse and lesson for the day:

Day 1: Ears that hear and obey the Word of God
Day 2: Hearts that trust in the Lord
Day 3: Tongues that are tame
Day 4: Hands that get to work
Day 5: Feet that walk with the wise

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Vacation Bible School was hosted at Walnut Creek Windsor Heights for all locations of Walnut Creek.

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Trekkers learned five important lessons from the Book of Proverbs as they journeyed through Camp Kilimanjaro.


The closing ceremony each night included scenes from the safari drama, which told the story of a news team who traveled to a resort in Africa. As the team investigated signs of a Big Foot sighting, they learned about the wisdom of God and how to walk with the wise. The drama provided a fun way to reinforce the lesson learned each day and show practical ways to obey the key Bible verses from the week.

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Each closing ceremony reinforced the key Bible lessons from the week as the drama followed a news team who learned about God's wisdom and walking with the wise. 



Vacation Bible School was hosted at Walnut Creek Windsor Heights from Sunday through Thursday evening. Over 135 different volunteers and parents helped throughout the week with the drama, game, music, and snack time, and leading as guides for the different age groups.

For more Camp Kilimanjaro resources, visit answersingenesis.org.



By Jackie Wallentin  
Walnut Creek Windsor Heights

23 New Deacons Recognized at Celebration Sunday

Deacons
Walnut Creek recognized 23 men and women as new deacons during Celebration Sunday on June 28.

During this year’s Celebration Sunday service on June 28, Walnut Creek Church recognized 23 new deacons in addition to four pastors to help meet the needs of the growing church. The pastors of Walnut Creek Church and the congregation have observed and approved the following men and women as deacons, having demonstrated proven character and service to the body of Christ.


Deacons


Twenty-three men and women joined 27 other men and women currently serving as Walnut Creek Church deacons:

Downtown
Laura Brill – Laura began attending Walnut Creek in the fall of 2004 after being invited by members of Campus Fellowship at Drake University. Through the influence of other believers and God’s grace, she began to follow the Lord. Laura teaches music in Southeast Polk Community Schools. She began serving regularly on a worship team as part of the Walnut Creek West church plant. Laura currently attends the 5pm service.

Brandon Johnson – Brandon began attending Walnut Creek with the start of the Downtown location in 2006. He made a decision to follow Christ in 1987 after a sermon on the result of sin without Christ. Brandon works as a real estate agent in the Des Moines area. He and his wife, Ashley, have been working with the Karenni refugees for the last 1.5 years. They have two children: Avery and “Drewie” (Andrew).

Kyle Kurtenbach – Kyle became a Christian in April 2003 and started attending Walnut Creek Church in early 2006. Kyle has been with the Downtown location since it started, and he currently serves at the 10am service. Kyle is a Community Group leader and is involved in Walnut Creek’s soccer and basketball ministries. Since 2005, Kyle has worked at Wells Fargo in accounting and finance roles. Kyle will be married to his fiancé, Keli, and become a stepdad to her daughter, Hanah, in August.

Mike Lock – God has led Michael and his wife, Jenessa, to focus the last 4 years on ministering within (Burmese) refugee populations in Des Moines, specifically with Karen and Karenni people. The Karenni Christian Fellowship is one of the first Karenni Christian churches in the United States. Michael and Jenessa are both optometrists at Lock Family Eye Care in West Des Moines and have 5 boys. They’ve been with Walnut Creek since 2012 and attend the 10am service along with the Karen families.

Dan McGuire – Dan started attending Walnut Creek in 2007. He serves as a Community Group leader and worship band coordinator for Walnut Creek Downtown. He has been married to Melissa for five years, and they have two daughters: Layla and Kenzie.

Kayla Waters – Kayla began trusting Christ for salvation in 2004 at the University of Northern Iowa. In 2008 she moved to Des Moines and currently works at Nationwide Insurance. Kayla has been a member of Walnut Creek Downtown since 2008 and attends the 5pm service.

Johnston
Dave Andorf – Dave began attending Walnut Creek Church through Friday night discussion groups. In 1985 he gave his life to Christ, the first person in the Des Moines church plant to become a Christian. Dave and his wife, Cindy, have three grown children who are all following Christ and serving Him at Walnut Creek South and Downtown. Dave is a small group leader at the Johnston location and works for a contracted security firm at Principal Financial.

Bryan Kammerer – Bryan started attending Walnut Creek Church in 2000 and became a Christian in 2001. He is a part of the Johnston congregation and has served in several ministries. Bryan also serves as a Community Group leader. He and his wife, Lindsay, have five children.

Duane Laugerman – Duane and his family moved to Des Moines in 2004 with the purpose of joining Walnut Creek Church. Duane thanks the Lord every day for this church and the continual blessing it has been. Duane and his wife, Jolene, have four children: Joanna, Janelle, Andrew, and Alex. Duane owns his own contracting business in Grimes.

Windsor Heights 
Rachel Bohacek – Rachel became a Christian in elementary school but really started living for the Lord her freshman year at Drake (2005) when she started to attend Walnut Creek Church. Rachel knew she’d found a great community of Christian men and women who would encourage her in the faith and love for the Lord so she decided to stay in Des Moines after graduation. Since 2009, Rachel has worked at Principal Financial Group as an accountant.

Collin Cameron – Collin gave his life to the Lord during the Faithwalkers conference in 2007 as a freshman at Drake University. He became involved in Drake’s Campus Fellowship ministry where he met his wife, Jen. He serves as a Community Group leader and works as a pharmacist. Collin and Jen are expecting an addition to their family this September.

Cameron Green – Cameron experienced the grace and mercy of God through Jesus Christ in 2003. With his wife, Jamie, and their children, they relocated back to Des Moines and began attending Walnut Creek Church in 2010. Being blessed with four children, Benjamin, Kate, May, and Beau, the Green family serves alongside the church in a Community Group, AWANA, and simply “locking arms” with brothers and sisters in Christ for the sake of the Lord’s Kingdom.

John Michael Hall – John Michael is originally from Moultrie, Georgia and has lived in Des Moines for 8 years. In 2011 he married Rachael who also graduated from Drake University. Their daughter, Lydia, is two and is excited to welcome “Baby Sister” in July. He has served as a Community Group leader at Windsor Heights for several years. John Michael helps individuals and families with investments, insurance, and retirement planning.

Melissa Holle – Melissa began going to Walnut Creek in 2009, shortly after becoming a Christian during college. After finishing her four years at Drake University, Melissa joined the Central City Bible Study. She has been involved with Youth For Christ as a middle and high school Bible Study Leader as well as a soccer coach. Since 2013, Melissa has worked for Nationwide Insurance. She currently attends the 11am and Shalom services.

Justin Hummel – Justin began attending Walnut Creek in 2010, where he fully committed himself to following the Lord. Justin graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and now works for John Deere. He and his wife, Alicia, were married in 2014, and they attend the 9:30am service where Justin is a Community Group leader.

Megan Lyon – Megan began going to Walnut Creek Church in 2005, her freshman year at Drake University. Soon after she put her faith and trust in what Jesus had done for her. For 5 years she was involved in the church’s college ministry. Megan then joined a Young Adult Community Group. For the past 5 years Megan has helped with the middle school and teen ministry. She works for DuPont Pioneer in Johnston.

Chris Meyer – Chris Meyer, son of Brad and Brita Meyer, has been a lifelong member of Walnut Creek Church. Chris has been actively involved in music ministry since high school and still leads worship on Sunday mornings at Walnut Creek Windsor Heights. Chris and his wife, MaryBeth, have two children, Addison and Owen. Chris leads a Community Group in their home each week.

Cole Meyers – Cole became a Christian in 2006 when he was a student at Drake University and began attending Walnut Creek Church soon after. He is currently a teacher and instructional coach at Harding Middle School in Des Moines. He and his wife, Dayna, have a 13-month- old son named Westin. They both work closely with Youth for Christ to reach central-city teenagers with the Gospel.

Loren Pavel – Loren began attending Walnut Creek in the fall of 2008 as a Drake University student. At Drake, she gave her life to the Lord and was involved with Campus Fellowship for 4 years. After graduation she worked for Walnut Creek as the Office Manager for 3.5 years before taking a job at Principal. She serves as a young adult leader with Parent Teen Ministry and is involved in a Young Adult Community Group.

Jonathon Rector – Jonathan began attending Walnut Creek Church in 2005 as a freshman at Drake University. He came to know Christ as his savior that same year through Campus Fellowship. He and his wife, Emily, attend the 9:30am service where he serves as a Community Group leader. Jonathon works as a CPA for Hamilton Juffer.

Jason Rude – Jason has been a regular attender of Walnut Creek since 1987. He attended Drake University where he became very active in Campus Fellowship. After graduating in 2009, Jason starting serving with the Young Adult Community Groups in Windsor Heights. He married Amanda in 2011 and together they have two children, Max and Gwenyth (and a third due this November)! For the past 5 years, he has worked as a real estate agent in Des Moines. Recently, Jason has coached Upward, and he currently leads a Community Group.

Bob Sheely – Bob has been attending Walnut Creek Church for about 23 years. Bob’s wife, Carol, was part of the team who planted Walnut Creek in 1985. Bob is a Community Group leader and has served as an Awana leader for 13 years. Bob was also involved with the Parent Teen Ministry for 7 years. Bob works as a transportation manager at Marzetti.

Jacob Van Sickle – Jacob grew up in a Christian family and became a Christian at a young age. When he transferred to Drake in the spring of 2008 God really grabbed ahold of his life as he got involved with Campus Fellowship and Walnut Creek Church. Jacob now serves as the Campus Ministry Director at Drake. Jacob and his wife, Sasha, are parents to Grace, Annabelle and, soon to come, Jack.

New Pastors Recognized at Celebration Sunday

Pastors
Walnut Creek pastors pray over the four new ordained pastors and their families at Celebration Sunday on June 28.

During this year’s Celebration Sunday on June 28, Walnut Creek Church recognized four new pastors to help meet the needs of the growing church.

Pastors 


Greg Altmaier, Jon Crane, Tim Greeno, and Steve Rude were recognized as pastors, bringing the total number of Walnut Creek Church pastors up to 14.

Altmaier
Greg Altmaier – Greg became a believer on February 1, 2009 and has been calling Walnut Creek Church his church home since then. Originally from Iowa City, he has worked at Principal Financial Group as an accountant since 2008. Greg married Haley in 2011, and they have two girls, Harper and Willow. Greg enjoys spending time with family and friends, eating delicious foods, and engaging in physical activity. They serve at the Downtown location, where Greg is a Community Group leader.

Crane
Jon Crane – Jon Crane grew up in Walnut Creek Church as the son of pastor Bruce Crane and his wife Becky. Jon has been actively involved in the church’s college ministry since 2003 when he began attending Drake University. He went on staff with the church when he graduated in 2007 to help with college ministry and church planting. He serves at Walnut Creek South as a Community Group leader with his wife, Agatha, and their newborn son, Dawson.

Greeno
Tim Greeno – Tim came to know Christ as his savior in 2005, as a sophomore at Drake University. That same year, he began attending Walnut Creek Church, where God began to transform his life and grip his heart with the gospel. Since that time, Tim has been involved with the Walnut Creek West church plant and AIB College ministry, and he now serves as a Community Group leader at Walnut Creek Downtown. Tim and his wife, Jenna, have three vivacious little children: Noah, Jeshua, and Kolbie.

Steve Rude
Steve Rude – Although Steve has grown up in Walnut Creek Church from childhood, he really started following the Lord whole-heartedly toward the end of high school. At Drake University he continued to grow in his commitment to God’s Word and fellowship by being an integral part of the church’s first student group on campus. Following graduation, Steve devoted his next 8 years to helping begin and lead the campus ministries at Grand View and DMACC, as well as spending time on international mission trips. Steve works as an international student advisor at DMACC. Steve and his wife, Amber, have three children: Hudson, Mia and Elsie. They serve at the Downtown location where Steve is a Community Group leader.