Meet our Elders.

These amazing people help to guide our church. They serve for 2 years.

Bruce Ballanger

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FELLOWSHIP ELDER

I have attended Grace for the last 23 years. My wife Connie and I live in Brooklyn Park and have 2 boys, Drew and Jacob. Currently I volunteer in the worship music tech area. I have also volunteered in the Jr. High ministry for 8 years, kid’s ministry and construction of the first building of Grace. Our family has been part of many small groups and we were also baptized as a family at Grace.

I’ve worked as a manager at Earle Brown Heritage Center for 28 years. Our family hobbies are camping, traveling, walking, movies and music.  

Email Bruce: bruce.ballanger@gmail.com


kenn beckwith

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OUTREACH ELDER

Sue and I have been attending Grace Fellowship since 2008. We serve as a team leading the Simpson Shelter ministry, our Life Group, and heading up Local Compassion ministries. In addition, I have the joy of serving as a bassist on the worship team.

Prior to Grace, I’ve served as an elder at two different churches, led a youth ministry for many years, taught Sunday school, been an AWANA leader, and led a worship ministry.

Outside of church, I serve on the board for Simpson Housing Services and am employed as a director for ManpowerGroup, leading teams that support large clients in Chicago and Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Sue and I have been married for 37 years and have 4 grown and married children. We are delighted to have 5 grandkids! Hobbies include travel, woodworking, golf, hiking, biking, fly fishing, the BWCA, and music.

It is an honor to serve Grace Fellowship in this capacity.  

Email Kenn: beckwithkenn@gmail.com


zach hughes

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PROPERTY ELDER

I became a follower of Jesus Christ as a teen and have lived a life dedicated in service to Him for 23 years.  I grew up in Lancaster, PA and now live in Brooklyn Park with my wife of 18 years, and my 4 young children.  I earned my Bachelor of Science in Business and Computer Networking from Crown College, and my Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Bethel University.  I also completed the Converge School of Church Leadership 3-year program.  I work as an IT Director for CHS, a large farming and energy cooperative in St. Paul. 

My family and I have been attending Grace Fellowship for 10 years.  My wife and I have been Seeds Group leaders for nearly that entire time.  With Grace Fellowship and previous congregations, I’ve been passionately involved in teaching the Bible and leading worship.  Personally, I enjoy traveling, camping, and outdoor adventures of all kinds. 

I have a heart for being a servant leader to the church, to be used by God to bring about His purpose through this community of believers.  

Email Zach: zachary.b.hughes@gmail.com


Godwin Saporu

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DISCIPLESHIP ELDER

Jesus touched my heart in a conversion experience about 25 years ago during Bible Study at Central Baptist Church in St. Paul.  I answered the call of the Holy Spirit and yielded my life to Christ. I have been following and serving him since then. My wife Eunice and I have been attending Grace Fellowship for about four years.

At Grace, I am involved in outreach ministries because Jesus is glorified when we reach out in love and service to all people. I coordinate the refugee ministry and work with our teams in partnership with Arrive Ministries to help refugees resettle in Minnesota and to share the good news about Jesus with them. I serve on Grace Missions Teams Committee and also teach and lead at the Men’s Group. I have served as Life Group Leader and Crew Team member.

 I received a Master’s degree in Communication Studies from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis and Juris Doctorate from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul.  I am a member of the Minnesota State Bar and Communication Studies faculty at Anoka Ramsey Community College in Coon Rapids. Eunice and I live in Blaine and we are blessed with four adult children who live and work in four different states.

Email Godwin: saporu@att.net


PAUL SJOLUND

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CHAIR

I have been involved at Grace Fellowship since September 1987.  Dawn and I have been married 36 years and have 3 daughters -- Marie, Shari, and Kiersten. We joined Grace Fellowship as charter members, and I have served as an elder in the past.

Email Paul: psjolund@mchsi.com


ROB
VAN BEUSEKOM

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FINANCIAL ELDER

My family and I have been attending Grace Fellowship since 1995. I gave my life to Christ shortly after we started attending here and was also baptized at Grace Fellowship. I’ve been involved in Men’s Ministry at Grace since 1996, serving in various leadership roles over the past 20 years. I’ve also served in several other church capacities including Seeds Group Leader, Audit Committee and on staff Director of Hospitality. I am currently a member of the New Pastor Search Team at Grace.

My wife Nancy and I have been married for 30 years and we have three adult children. I’ve recently retired from my 35-year career in Financial Management and Planning. I was employed at Faegre Baker Daniels, a large law firm in Minneapolis, where I was the Manager of Financial Analysis and Planning. My staff and I managed the annual budgeting and strategic planning processes for the firm.

 Since retirement, I am now dedicated to volunteerism. In addition to volunteering at Grace Fellowship, I am teaching a Financial Literacy class for low income people and I am a member of the Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) Speaker’s Bureau.

Email Rob: rob.vanbeusekom@outlook.com