Are you interested in becoming a DMD?  Click here for more information.

Diaconal Ministry Developers (DMDs) are coaches for deacons. They are experienced in diaconal work and are available to help deacons understand their role and work out their calling in the church and its community. DMDs are available to connect with  every diaconate (the team of deacons in a church) in every Christian Reformed Church across Canada.
We encourage Deacons/diaconates to contact their DMD for help with…
  • Connecting you with practical resources specific to the role of the deacon
  • Generating a vision and providing focus for ministry in your church and local community
  • Creating a work plan and setting goals
  • Networking with other churches, both in your Classis and in your neighbourhood
  • Maintaining stability and momentum in your diaconate as deacon terms begin and end
  • Help deacons understand their Mandate (what they are in charge of), including their role at Classis and Synod

Meet our DMDs

British Columbia


Bart Plugboer, Topley
Classis British Columbia (NW)

Bart has served the church as a deacon for 4 terms, has been active in many community initiatives and has been instrumental in the development and promotion of Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB) activities. He is the consummate deacon and believes that “diaconal work is at the core of the ministry of the church, because deacons are called to love people.” Email:

Stefanie Unger, Nanaimo
Classis British Columbia (NW/Vancouver Island)

Stefanie lives in Nanaimo, BC, and works as an organizational development consultant, helping nonprofit organizations solve organizational challenges, develop effective leadership and plan for the future. A lifelong learner with a background in education, research, professional writing and facilitation, she feels called to help nurture cultures of service and collaboration in the church. She and her husband, Jeff, have been part of Christ Community Church in Nanaimo since 2009. Email:

Pastor Kelli Sexton, Nanaimo
Classis British Columbia (NW/Vancouver Island)

Kelli was born and raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She graduated from Calvin Theological Seminary in 2015 with her Master of Divinity. After graduation, Kelli worked half-time at a church overseeing discipleship and outreach. Further, she took over as the Diaconal Coordinator for the Zeeland Diaconal Conference; in this role she was blessed to serve the deacons at 18 churches, providing quarterly training and acting as an on-call resource for them in the interim. Kelli also worked to connect the diaconal ministries of those churches with opportunities and fellow service agencies in their communities. Kelli moved to Nanaimo in July of 2018 to begin serving as the Associate Pastor at Christ Community Church of Nanaimo. Email:

rsz_gary_editedGary Veeneman, Abbotsford
Classis British Columbia (SE/NW)

Gary has served 3 terms as deacon, including 2 terms as chair and 1 term as treasurer. He has served as chair of the Diaconal Ministries Canada board (2002-03), and was involved in the formation of DMC in the mid 1990’s. He believes diaconates are empowered when each deacon develops his or her own workplan. Email:

John Richey photoJohn Richey, Vernon
Classis British Columbia (SE)

John lives in Coldstream, British Columbia. He and his wife, Tina (nee Terpstra) have been part of the East Hill Community CRC since 1988. John is recently retired from the Canadian Red Cross as Director for BC Interior. He has also served on the boards of World Renew and Diaconal Ministries Canada. John is blessed to bring his skills and leadership experience to the role of DMD for the Okanagan Area. He enjoys sharing and learning with the deacons of the five churches in the service of our Lord to his people. Email:

Alberta & Saskatchewan

rsz_lucinda_editedLucinda Klapwyk, Edmonton
Classis Alberta North

Lucinda is a homemaker and spends her day “filing in the cracks” of school, church and community. She enjoys visiting families and seniors, supporting school programs, teaching Sunday school, and participating in worship services. She has served Inglewood CRC as a deacon and continues to stay in contact with several of the community members she met during her term. Email:

rsz_jean_editedJean deBeer, Saskatoon
Classis Alberta South & Saskatchewan

Jean works full time as a practical nurse at the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon. She has served as deacon at Bethel CRC in Saskatoon and enjoys involvement with refugee families her church has sponsored. Jean’s focus is encouraging deacons in their role within the church and local community, and bridging the isolation churches in Saskatoon and Regina can experience. Email:

Jolyn Bolderheij, Calgary
Classis Alberta South & Saskatchewan

Jolyn has a heart for those who are struggling and who are traveling a difficult road in their lives. Her background involves working as an RN in cancer and palliative care and teaching at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Nursing. Through the years she has volunteered with the homeless, helped resettle refugees and served on her congregation’s Safe Church committee. Along with her husband, Jolyn attends River Park Church in Calgary where she has been the chairperson of the deacons for two (2) terms. During that time, she has been heavily involved in refugee sponsorships, benevolence work and visitation. She enjoys exploring how we, as deacons, can best equip ourselves to be the hands and feet of Jesus in our churches and communities. Email:


rsz_john_editedJohn Klein-Geltink, Ingersoll
Classis Chatham

John has served 5 times as deacon, 14 years as a Diaconal Ministry Developer, and as a board member/volunteer with a local outreach ministry. His passion is to help the Church have a bigger vision of what the local community could become and walk alongside of deacons as they lead the local church. Email:

Steve Dykstra, Hamilton
Classis Hamilton

Steve’s passion for ministry is at the intersection of social justice and congregational life. Steve grew up southeast of Ottawa and has called downtown Hamilton home for the last ten (10) years. He also is employed at Meadowlands Fellowship CRC in Ancaster as a Program Ministries Director where he works with the staff, board, and community outreach teams. Email:

rsz_fred_editedFred VanderSterre, Brussels
Classis Huron

Fred’s profile is coming soon! Email:

rsz_1len_editedLen Bakelaar, Lynden
Classis Huron

Len has been a DMD for over 10 years. He is semi-retired with lots on the go. He and his wife work as Regional Advocates for Disability Concerns, and are involved in rebuilding projects a couple of times per year with World Renew Disaster Response Services. Len’s desire is to motivate deacons so that their meetings are a place where they can confide in each other, inspire each other, and hold each other accountable as they serve their church and community. Email:

rsz_bill (1)_editedBill Groot-Nibbelink, Frankford
Classis Quinte

Bill worked for a number of years for the Ministry of Agriculture & Food out of Brighton, ON, and is now enjoying retirement. He has lived in several parts of the province over the years, and has been a member of CRCs in Cornwall, Mount Brydges, Hagersville and Frankford. He has served on council in three (3) of those churches and is a graduate of the Eastern Canada Leadership Development Network. Bill’s focus as a DMD is to encourage deacons in their efforts to further Christ’s kingdom in the region. Email:

Eastern Canada

Anita Hogeveen, Stittsville, ON
Classis Eastern Canada (Ontario churches)

“Where’s the strength to keep my hopes up? What future do I have to keep me going? Do you think I have nerves of steel? Do you think I can pull myself up by my bootstraps? Why, I don’t even have any boots!” [Job 6:11-13; The Message]

Being a Christian means being part of diakonia; to serve among others. The word deacon comes from the Greek word diakonos which means servant, waiting-man, minister or messenger. It is every person’s calling to serve others: to bring Christ’s message of love and acceptance wherever we go. This message comes through words, deeds, listening, empathetic presence, laughter, etc. Predominantly for me it means creating safe spaces whenever it is in my purview to do so. The tricky part is ensuring a healthy life balance. Prayer is an essential piece in the equation. Email:

Karla Winham, Lower Onslow, NS
Classis Eastern Canada (Maritime churches)

Karla has served as a deacon at John Calvin CRC in Truro, NS and is still an active member of the church’s Justice League. She is interested in many issues of social justice, but is especially passionate about encouraging and helping people to love their neighbours in their own communities. Karla is a Speech-Language Pathologist and lives in Lower Onslow with her husband and 3 kids. Email:

Are you interested in becoming a DMD?

Click here for more information.