Emmanuel Reformed Church 2019 All rights reserved
Rich Criss was called to be the Ministry Coordinator of Emmanuel Reformed in February of 2007. Growing up in the little town of Fulton,
Illinois, Rich began singing solos in area churches when he was just three years old. He began being coached vocally by his mother who
would work with him on the solos he would sing for area churches, nursing homes and wherever invitations to sing would present
themselves. He then began taking piano lessons when he was in 2nd grade and continued for the next 10 years, also studying organ during
that time. He became one of the organists at First Reformed Church, Fulton, in 1985, at the age of 15. He attended college at Northern
Illinois University in DeKalb as a vocal music education major. Beginning in 1994, Criss spent the next 13 years as Director of Music at First
United Methodist Church in DeKalb, Illinois where he had the privilege of founding the Celebration Chorale, an ecumenical choir based at
First UMC that presented Christmas, Easter and Patriotic productions each year. In his nearly 12 years of ministry at Emmanuel, Rich has
been blessed to direct the 85-voice “Voices of Praise” which present Christmas and Spring cantatas each year.
Rich teaches piano and voice lessons each week and also volunteers his time serving on the foundation board of Morrison Community
Hospital. Rich has been married to the former Lynelle Bland for 27 years. They are the proud parents of two daughters. Brittany, 24, is
married to Matt VanDrew and they are the parents of Rich’s pride and joy, two grandsons, Waylon, 3 and Jacob, 2. They are expecting
their third child in March, 2019. Allysa, 20, is a junior at Central College in Pella, IA majoring in Athletic Training with a minor in pre-
Rich and Lynelle reside in Morrison, Illinois.
Rich Criss, Ministry Coordinator