Staff & Leadership
Senior Pastor Luke Schouten
Emmanuel Reformed Church is thrilled to announce the arrival of her new pastor and wife, Pastor Luke and Christine Schouten who will officially begin ministry at the church on Sunday, December 6.
Pastor Luke and Christine have been married for 38 years and are the parents of three grown children. Their oldest daughter is currently serving as Worship Leader for a church in South Dakota. Their middle daughter holds a teaching degree, but currently is a stay-at-home mother to their three grandchildren. Their youngest, a son, holds a degree in Youth Ministry, but has decided to return to college and is in nursing school.
Following high school graduation, Luke attended Northwestern College in Orange City, IA for two years but could not decide what his call on his life was. He left college, married Christine, and farmed full time for a time. He also owned a business for five years. Following God’s leading, he and Chris served as missionaries in Mescalero, NM working as youth pastor and maintaining the facilities and grounds and overseeing mission groups who would d come to help out. It was there that Luke found his heart reenergized for ministry. He then returned to Northwestern College where he graduated two years later with a degree in Christian Education. For the next 22 years, Luke served two churches in youth ministry positions and began seminary to become ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Reformed Church in America. He was ordained in 2007.
He and Chris have served as pastor for a church plant in Naples, Florida and most recently served for seven years at the First Reformed Church in Sibley, Iowa. Christine served as a teachers aid in Sibley, Iowa while Luke pastored there.
Ministry Coordinator Rich Criss
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. Since coming to Emmanuel in 2007, Rich has been blessed to direct the 85-voice “Voices of Praise” which present Christmas and Spring cantatas each year.
Rich began driving school bus for Morrison students in 2012 and loves the daily interaction and outreach that occurs with “his other kiddos.” Rich teaches piano and voice lessons each week and gives of his time outside Emmanuel Church serving on the Foundation Board of Morrison Community Hospital as well as serving as volunteer accompanist for the Morrison School District’s choral program. Rich married the former Lynelle Bland on October 12, 1991. Lynelle serves as Director of Food Services for the Morrison school district and stays active at Emmanuel in the music ministry and serves as one of the cooks for the Wednesday night meal program. Rich & Lynelle are the proud parents of two daughters. Their oldest, Brittany, is married to Matt VanDrew. They are the parents of Rich and Lynelle’s pride and joy, three grandsons: Waylon, Jacob and Brayden. Rich and Lynelle’s youngest daughter, Allysa, recently graduated cum laude with her Bachelor’s Degree from Central College in Pella, IA as a certified athletic trainer and is on staff with Central’s Athletic Training department, residing in Pella. Visiting Pella is one of Rich and Lynelle’s favorite destinations.
Rich and Lynelle love to travel and have been blessed to visit many beautiful places since they were married. They look forward to seeing many more!
Secretary Pam Muur
Pam Muur, the daughter of Dave and Linda Hook, has been a resident of Morrison pretty much her entire life. Pam married Todd Muur in June of 1995, and they joined Emmanuel in 2008. Pam and Todd have three children and four grandchildren. Their son, Mason, recently graduated from Central College in Pella, Iowa, and will be teaching fifth grade at a classical Christian school in Charlottesville, Virginia, this fall. Their daughter, Megan, will be a sophomore at Central College this fall. Pam’s oldest son, Tyler VanZuiden, and his wife, Justine, live in Morrison with their children, Paisley, Hailie, Bella and Reed.
Pam used to teach preschool in Morrison. Although she enjoyed teaching, she was ready for a career change and loves her position at Emmanuel. In her free time, she enjoys singing, dancing, traveling, reading, taking photos and scrapbooking. She feels truly blessed to be part of Emmanuel’s family!
Director of Children’s Ministries
Director of Sr. & Jr. High Ministries
Shelly Brackemyer & Lydia Ohlsen
Emmanuel is governed by a body called a Consistory. This group of individuals is made up of elders and deacons, elected by the congregation, and the congregation’s pastor. The Consistory generally meets the third Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. Check our Calendar for exact dates and times.
Elders assist in pastoral care and are responsible for the spiritual life of the congregation. They receive individuals into the membership of the church, and plan and participate in the observation of the sacraments, baptism and communion. Elders generally meet the third Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. Check our Calendar for exact dates and times.
Deacons lead the ministries of mercy, justice, service and outreach. They care for the needs of the people within the congregation, in the community and around the world. They oversee the physical church buildings. Deacons generally meet the third Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. Check our Calendar for exact dates and times.
Ministers, or pastors as they may be called, are called by God to preach the Word of God, administer the sacraments, care for the members of the church, and build up and equip the church for its ministry in the world.