Rev. Melodye Surgeon VanOudheusden

I love Broadway show tunes.  One of my favorites is from the musical “The King and I:”

             Getting to know you
                          Getting to know all about you
                                       Getting to like you 
                                                    Getting to hope you like me . . .

We are getting to know each other.  I DO have more names and faces to learn than you do but learning about each other is a process that will take time, energy and patience on both of our parts.

Some basic facts:  I was raised on an apple orchard in southern Illinois, just a little north of the St. Louis Missouri area.  I am a “third career” pastor with professional experience in education and in office support/management before I finally gave in to God’s call to pastoral ministry.

I attended Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary (Evanston IL) and Trinity Theological College (Singapore) receiving my Master of Divinity from Garrett-Evangelical in 1996.   I was ordained as Deacon in 1994 and as elder in 2005, both in the West Michigan Conference.

I served churches in Singapore and Indonesia and returned to the United States in 2002 to continue in ministry here in Michigan. 

John VanOudheusden and I married just last September after a seven-year courtship.  I am the mother of three children through adoption:  Kara (Indonesia), Harrison (Cambodia) and Jon (China).  Kara is married to Alex Lewis and is a music therapist working in Jackson MI.  Harrison is living nearby, here in Monroe.  And our family lost Jon earlier this year; his life ended through suicide.  I miss him every day.

You will soon discover that I love chocolate, Asian and other spicy foods, history of all types, comparative religion studies and any kind of travel.  I am a true nerd, reading anything that I can find in print or on a screen. (I actually LIKE sermon preparation!) 

As we get to know each other, hopefully we will move beyond “liking” each other to becoming true sisters and brothers in Christ.  I am excited to learn more about each of you and this welcoming congregation!

Blessings,

Pastor Melodye