A native of Morrison, Illinois, Pastor Rich attended college at Oklahoma State University and Hope College in Holland, Michigan, where he received his B.A. Following graduation from Hope, he enrolled in Western Theological Seminary to prepare for the ministry and earned a Masters of Divinity Degree. Prior to coming to Immanuel in August of 1988 he served in various ministerial capacities: Director of Area Youth Ministries for the Synod of the West of the RCA, Coordinator of Youth Ministries for the General Program Council of the RCA, adjunct professor in the Christian Education Department of Northwestern College, founding pastor of New Life Community Church in Wendell, Idaho, associate pastor of Hope Reformed Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and served as chairman of the design team for GENESIS (a bi-annual gathering for Reformed Church youth in the Synod of the Great Lakes) from 1986 to 2006.
Pastor Rich is married and he and his wife Linda have two sons: Joshua and Aaron. Joshua, his wife Tracy, their daughter, Keely, and their son, Gabriel, live in Lansing while Aaron and his wife Jessica live in Minneapolis, MN.
"I believe that it is primarily in and through the ministry of the Church that we meet God and he meets us. God comes to us through Word and Sacrament, but also in the midst of relationships with other believers to shape and motivate our lives. In worship, classes and small groups, in the midst of serving others in countless ways, he speaks to us and reveals his wisdom and will for our lives. In the fellowship of the congregation God wraps his loving arms around us to comfort us in times of sorrow and distress and he joins us in celebrating the joys and accomplishments of life. Likewise, we take the iniative in meeting God as we present ourselves to him in worship through our praise and prayers. We offer ourselves to him as we give our time, talent and resources by supporting and participating in the ministries of the Church. The church is essential for the spiritual life of every believer. It is there that we are fed and nurtured, cared for and comforted. Without the Church we could not survive spiritually and that is why God has given us the gift of the church -- for he knows our every need and graciously provides."