Intercessory prayer is a vital part of the ministry of the church. You are invited and encouraged to regularly pray for the ministry of Thornapple, the staff and our community. In prayer we bring our praise, thanks, and needs to God, seeking His insight, response and help. At the invitation of Jesus, we spend time listening.

  • Pray for Sunday Worship | We encourage those who are able to pray prior our Sunday worship times (we typically meet in Pastor Rob’s office 20 minutes prior to the start of services).
  • Thornapple has a Prayer Room in the Lower Level that can be used by individuals or groups to pray any time the church building is open.
  • Do you have a need you would like others to be praying for? Send your request to Pastor Karen to be included in the weekly Praise & Prayer email. Hard copies are available at the Welcome Center.
  • Do you want a pastor or Elder to pray with/for you? Contact them or call the church office (616.957.0580) to schedule a time to have a pastor or elder meet with you at church or come to your home or the hospital to pray for you.
  • Someone from the Prayer Team is available to pray with you under the cross after each worship service on Sundays mornings.

Stephen Ministry

Stephen Ministry trains layperson care partners walk with people (“care receivers”) in times of struggle, transition or need, providing Christ-centered companionship in a trustworthy, confidential relationship. At the heart of Stephen’s Ministry are the one-to-one caring relationships that take place between the trained care partner and the individual care receiver.

  • What is the role of a Stephen’s Care Partner? To provide Christian care consisting of reflective listening and the use of Christian resources such as prayer and scripture. Care partners normally meet with their care receivers for about an hour a week. They work under the direction of trained Stephen’s leaders, with the support of the pastors and meet regularly with other care partners and leaders for peer supervision to support and encourage one another and hold one another accountable for their ministry.
  • Who can benefit from having a Stephen’s care partner? Anyone who has a connection with Thornapple and has a desire to walk with someone in a safe and confidential relationship is invited to call the church office (616.957.0580) or email Pastor Karen for confidential information.

Marriage Ministry

We are committed to helping, encouraging and supporting marriages, whether they are healthy or hurting.

  • Engage | A 5-week workshop for engaged couples offered twice a year, offsite. Topics covered: managing expectations, successful communication, healthy conflict, financial planning and intimacy & commitment. The next session is Tuesdays, Feb. 26-Mar. 26 from 7:00-8:30pm at the Mary Free Bed YMCA. Contact Pastor Karen with questions.
  • Marriage Course | A 7-session course offered twice a year, offsite at a host home. The aim of The Marriage Course is to help couples grow closer and build a healthy relationship that will last a lifetime. The Marriage Course is for any couple who wants to invest in their relationship, whether you have been together 1 or 61 years. If you have questions or are interested in taking the course and would like to be notified when the next one is scheduled, contact Pastor Karen.
  • Counseling | For hurting marriages, counseling is available through the church pastoral staff or recommendations can be made of local counselors. Contact a member of the pastoral staff if you are interested in marriage counseling: Pastor Rob, Pastor Andrew or Pastor Karen.


A wedding is one of the holiest moments in life. As two Christian people join their lives to establish a Christian home, your church rejoices with you and is eager to make this sacred and memorable occasion a joyous one!

If you are planning on using the church building for either your ceremony or reception, please contact Wedding Coordinator, Suzanne Roth, to inquire about the availability of your desired date(s).

In the happy excitement of planning a wedding, many questions concerning details arise. View our Wedding Guide to help answer any questions you might have about use of the church building and resources. The guide includes our guidelines, pictures of the sanctuary and items that may be used in weddings, as well as the registration forms for members and non-members.

Facility Use

Thornapple’s facilities are regularly used by a variety of groups from our community.

We believe our building and grounds are a tool to fuel our mission and that they are gifts that are meant to be shared with our neighbors. Toward that end, we seek to make our space available to the community as much as possible – this includes things like neighborhood meetings, sports banquets, piano recitals and more. To inquire about facility use, please contact Suzanne Roth.