Rev. Steven Armfield
The Mayflower Congregational Church
Personnel Committee and Council are
pleased to announce that The Reverend
Steven W. Armfield will join us as
Interim Pastor immediately after
Labor Day, 2021.
Steve has served most recently as the Interim Pastor at Second Congregational Church in Grand Rapids. A graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary, Steve has pastored churches in Arizona, California, Minnesota, Stockholm (Sweden), and Grand Rapids.
His strengths include preaching, pastoral
care, and church revitalization.
We look forward to welcoming Steve and his wife, Janet Lindblom Armfield, to Mayflower in September while eagerly awaiting the call for a new senior pastor as the search committee continues to work steadily toward the goal of finding the right person for our church.
Rev. Ruth Bell Olsson
Rev. Ruth Bell Olsson joined the staff of Mayflower in the fall of 2017 as the church’s
Interim Outreach Coordinator. After expanding her role and becoming a Pastoral Associate, Ruth was ordained at Mayflower in October of 2019. Ruth earned her Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Wheaton College and her Master of Arts in Global Leadership from Fuller Theological Seminary.
Ruth is an activist in spirit and an ally at heart and has been involved in local outreach and global activism for twenty years. Before coming to Mayflower, Ruth worked for Bethany Global. Her role addressed changing paradigms in the global response to the care of orphans and vulnerable children. In 1999 Ruth and her husband Jeff were founding members of Mars Hill Bible Church; they were part of a team that grew the outreach efforts of Mars Hill into a network of 100 global partners and initiatives that focused on the most neglected and forsaken people, places, and issues both locally and around the world.
Ruth is an award-winning writer, a published author, and has served on the board of directors for several local non-profit organizations. She lives in East Grand Rapids with her husband Jeff and their three children Zinnia, Oskar, and Kagiso.
Dr. Julia Brown
Director of Music and Organist
Julia Brown joined the staff at Mayflower in August, 2018, moving from Eugene, Oregon. Born in Rio de Janeiro, Julia studied piano, harpsichord, and organ in her native Brazil before receiving her Masters of Music in Church Music and Doctor of Musical Arts in Organ Performance from Northwestern University.
Julia is passionate about music-making with volunteers and professionals of all ages. She believes that music is a powerful means of outreach, faith formation, and spiritual growth.
In addition to church work, Julia teaches, performs, and records. Her Naxos recordings of W. F. Bach, J. S. Bach, Buxtehude, and Scheidemann have gained high critical acclaim, and are readily available on Spotify, Pandora, and YouTube.
Julia has three children, Howell, Gabriela, and Alex Petty.
Director of Chancel Choir
A Grand Rapids native, Scott received his Bachelor of Music from Calvin College, then a Masters of Music from Oklahoma City University. While living in Chicago he sang with the St. Luke’s Choir of Men and Boys in Evanston, where he met his wife Jane. They moved to Somerset, UK, where Scott was a Choral and Chorister Voice Trainer and on the Music Faculty at Wells Cathedral (ranked #1 choir in the world).
Scott was the Choir Director at Thornapple Covenant Church for 11 years, and has been the Director of Music for the Grand Rapids Choir of Men & Boys since 2001. He teaches voice and music at Grand Rapids Community College and Calvin College.
Children's & Youth
Abby Brooks completed her Master’s Degree in Music Education from Michigan State University where she focused on early childhood and elementary music education and holds a Bachelors of Music in Education and Bachelors of Arts in Dance Education degrees from Hope College. She fulfilled her student teaching requirements at Chicago Public Schools and subsequently taught General Music at Park Elementary in Hudsonville from 2006-2015. Since 2009, Abby has been the assistant director of the Hudsonville High School musicals.
Abby has performed with the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus and was in the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre’s production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in 2010. Abby directed the Children’s Choir at Epworth Heights in Ludington, MI from 2000 to 2007. Abby also teaches Music Together at Joyful Sounds Music Studio in Grand Rapids, a class for parents or caregivers and children that focuses on a child’s musical development.
Abby has been a member of our Chancel Choir since 2017 and has been working with Mayflower children’s choirs since 2018. She lives in Grand Rapids with her husband, Andy, and their three children, Julia, Henry, and Luke.
Kellen joined staff in the summer of 2021. He graduated from Grace College with a B.A. in Intercultural Studies in 2015 and will be attending Calvin Seminary this fall to pursue his MDiv. He has had a strong sense of calling for student ministry since high school serving in various positions from summer camp staff to multi-site church staff overseeing middle school programming.
Kellen’s wife Raegan is from Grand Rapids and shares how nice it is to come home after a few moves in different states. Kellen and Raegan also love coffee, hiking, reading and board games.
They are excited to be here and to serve Mayflower and our students.
Director of Youth Ministries
Allison Houlihan and her husband Peter joined Mayflower shortly after being married here 18 years ago. She loved the strong sense of community Mayflower provides and she knew she wanted that same connection for her children as well.
In addition to being active in her children’s schools, she has served as a Sunday School teacher, Midweek volunteer, and part-time cook, Confirmation Partner, and the chair of the Congregational Events Committee at Mayflower.
Allison had meaningful experiences in youth groups as a teenager and is works to create those kinds of moments for the youth of Mayflower.
Director of Outreach
and Family Ministries
She directs Mayflower’s Midweek program which includes choir and youth groups for grade school-aged children as well as fellowship for families. She is also the Coordinator of Mayflower’s Family Promise/IHN ministry for homeless families in Grand Rapids.
Rachael has a background in non-profit, having worked with at-risk youth at Boys Town for 10 years and was the Executive Director of Youth Unlimited.
Rachael and her husband Andy have two children, Jackson and Harper.
Her current responsibilities include chairing the Congegational Care Committee, which is instrumental in scheduling volunteers as greeters on Sundays and in sending handcrafted cards to persons on the prayer list and also to members who are celebrating milestone birthdays. The committee is also responsible for facilitating coffee receptions before and after the Sunday services.
In addition, she directs the Friendly Visitors who participate in visiting the homebound or elderly and arrange for meals to be delivered to them as needed.
Murry also arranges the “69UP” social gatherings for Mayflower members and guests.
Murry attended Colby Junior College and received her B.A. degree and teaching certification from Michigan State University. She and her husband Phil have 2 children and 3 grandchildren.
CO-DIRECTOR OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATION
Andrea is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a degree in communications and journalism. She has been a member at Mayflower Church since 2001 and has been an active volunteer with children’s ministries.
Andrea and her husband, Chad, have three children, Natalie, Lillian, and Matthew.
CO-DIRECTOR OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATION
Susan Orban is the Director of Bible Alive, working with Mayflower’s youth from 1st-5th grade.
Susan grew up in Wilmette, IL. She graduated from Michigan State University with a Business Arts degree. Her professional career consisted of fifteen years of extensive experience in commercial real estate in downtown Chicago.
Susan has been an active volunteer in all aspects of children’s ministry at Mayflower Church. Her family has been of Mayflower members since 2007.
Susan and her husband, Bart, have three children, Braxton, Eve and Hope.
Amy Hermen joined the staff at Mayflower in October, 2020 as the Office Administrator.
Amy attended Calvin University and has her bachelor’s degree in social work.
Amy most recently worked at Calvin University in the Event Services Department but prior to that was the Administrative Assistant at Brookside Christian Reformed Church and also worked as a court reporter for 17 years.
She and her husband, Dan, have three children, Ben, Megan and Emily.
Courtenay Oosterman began serving a Communications role in the spring of 2019.
Courtenay has a bachelor degree in Art and Letters Interdisciplinary Humanities from Michigan State University with emphases in English, Art, Communications, and Psychology. She is a protean designer and has worked in various areas of design, advertising, and marketing over the past 25+ years with non-profit organizations, small businesses, and corporations.
She has supported Mayflower for over 15 years as a freelance graphic designer with a passion for identity and brand building yet now appreciates being a part of the Mayflower staff to support communication efforts whether in print or online.
Courtenay and her husband, Doug, have two children, Whitaker and Rehn.
Andrew Ely (Andy) is retired after spending 30 years in corporate finance most recently as Director of Financial Planning and Analysis for a local defense firm in Grand Rapids.
Andy holds a BA in Accounting from Michigan State University and an MBA from Grand Valley State University Seidman School of Business. Throughout his career, he has worked for familiar companies like General Motors, Magna International, and Amway Corporation.
Andy and his wife love spending time with their 2 boys and extended family. For fun, Andy enjoys playing and coaching tennis.