Greg Dykstra – Senior Pastor
Greg began his ministry at ACEFC in April, 2014. Prior to moving to Appleton, he served in pastoral ministry in East Peoria, IL for over 26 years and pastored in Texas, Illinois, & Michigan before that. He has also enjoyed the privilege of teaching college courses for Moody Bible Institute’s Distance Learning Center.
After being raised in a farming community near Kankakee, IL, Greg attended Illinois State University in Normal, served for two years in the US Army, then went back to ISU to complete his undergrad degree in Accounting.
Greg married Donna in 1976 and they moved to Dallas, TX, where he received a Masters of Theology in Biblical Exposition from Dallas Theological Seminary. They have three adult children (Joel is married to Angela, Katie is married to Ryan, and Kristin is married to Jeremy). Donna worked with Special Needs students for many years in the Peoria Public Schools and has assisted with Youth and Children’s Ministries at each of the churches where Greg has been a pastor.
An avid sports fan, Greg enjoys taking walks with Donna as well as hiking and biking and he cheers without shame or apology for the Cubs, Bears, and University of Illinois basketball. He also has a strong passion for prayer and for teaching and talking about the Truth of God’s Word.
I was raised in New London by my two loving parents, Peter and Debbie Soto. Both of my parents attend at ACEFC and are a consistent support to me and the rest of my family. I have been married for five years to my beautiful wife Molly, and our Lord has blessed us with two little boys, Huxley and Beckem. Currently I work for TriCity Glass & Door in Appleton as a lead commercial installer.
God has taught me countless things throughout my Christian walk. As a young man, seeking to understand the things of God, I pursued anything and everything I could get my hands on to help. I found interest in hundreds of hours of sermons, discussions, and debates on various different biblical topics as I became obsessed with God’s word. In the midst of all that, the weight of my own sin became impossible for me to bear. I cried out to the Lord on many occasions during that time, and not long after that I became sure that the Lord had done something incredible. He gave me life, he saved me. My life had become something brand new as my desires had completely changed. He has given me an incredible desire to know Him through His word, to love truth, and to defend that truth as I seek to honor Him.
ACEFC has been my family for many years. I started attending as a single man with my friend Molly. We were married not long after and started a family. ACEFC has been a large part of our Christian walk and I cherish the support, encouragement and relationships that have been vital as we seek to sharpen one another and grow in faith. My love for this church family is something so very special to me, and I thank those of you that have been faithful in your love towards me and my family. I hope to continue to honor and glorify the Lord as an elder.
By the grace of God I was born into a Christian home and accepted Christ as my Savior at Bible camp in my later elementary years. My wife, Sue, and I met at church when we were young and started dating in our later teens. We’ve been married for 35 years and have 2 children Matt and Holly, a daughter in-law Hannah, a son in-law Nate, and 3 grandchildren.
We started attending ACEFC 20+ years ago and enjoy leading short-term mission trips. I have worked in youth ministry, AWANA, served on the mission and outreach committee, taught Sunday morning Adult classes, served as an Elder for 6 years and am now back on the Elder board.
I pray that everything we do as a body brings glory and honor to God. That each day we learn to be more like Jesus through the study of his word. That we love each other well and love others so they can come to know the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Desmond Van Houten
My wife Rachael and I met at Virginia Tech in graduate school. We have been married for 16 years and have been blessed with 4 children ranging from 12 to 6 in age. We have been attending ACEFC for over 6 years. I enjoy serving in areas of the church where I see a need. Currently I help with AWANA and serve on the praise team with sound and working to learn various instruments. I also enjoy running during my free time.
Doug MoranI was raised a Catholic, I always believed but just didn’t have a true relationship with God. My sister and her husband attended a Baptist church, and when I was 14 my mom started taking us there. That is when I started hearing the Bible really preached, and the pastor would come and visit me at my high school and take me to lunch. I remember praying and accepting Christ around that time but I wasn’t ready to follow Him, I wanted to “enjoy life” first. I stopped going to church, graduated H.S, and went into the Marines for 4 years. I continued to “enjoy life” throughout my time in the Marines and for 10 years after I got out. All the while I knew I was running from God, I never stopped believing but I kept running until finally I came to the point when I knew I couldn’t keep going in that direction. My brother had just gotten saved and he invited me to a Men’s Retreat. While there, one of our friends gave me an NIT version of the Bible, and when I got home I started reading. I remember starting in the New Testament and I couldn’t stop. It was the first time I ever read the Word and understood it. I called my brother right away and told him how it had impacted me and that I accepted the Lord. The summer of 2000 I was baptized and continued to read the word and pray. I stopped going out with my friends and tried finding a good church. I was very inconsistent and eventually I was right back at “enjoying life”, but it didn’t last very long before I was back on my knees asking the Lord to help pull me out of the mire. I prayed that if there was a Christian girl out there that was struggling to get out of the scene like I was, that He would lead her to me. I also prayed that whoever she was that she would come from a good Christian home. The next day I was at home when a buddy called asking me if I wanted to go down to Bastille Days (Aug 2003) and while I was there, a girl walked up and we each recognized each other. We figured out that I had gotten a loan from her company a few years earlier. We started dating and going to her parents church (regularly). We both recommitted our lives to the Lord and 6 months later we were married. The rest is History.