Valley Christian Center

Our Leadership Team at Valley Christian Center

Dawes Family 

Lead Pastor Chris and Emily Dawes

Pastor Chris and Emily have four children, Jonathan, Julia, Jocelyn and Josiah. They met at VCC in 1995 and were married in 2001. Pastor Chris served on staff as Worship and Youth pastor since 1993, and was voted in as Lead Pastor in July of 2008. Authenticity in Worship, a love for God’s Word and God’s people, and a sense of humor marks Pastor Chris’ ministry at VCC. The mission of VCC and the life-long goal of Pastor Chris are one and the same: To Know Jesus and make Him known.

Hank and Betsy Horn

Hank and Betsy Horn (Maintenance and Office manager) 

Betsy Horn began to attend VCC in March of 1985 and has served as Church Financial Manager since 1995. She is married to Hank and together they have 5 children, 10 grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren. Betsy also serves on the Worship Team, Altar Prayer Team, and does Hospital Visitations.

Hank Horn began to attend VCC in September of 1979, and since retiring in1998 from the United States Air Force and the University of North Dakota maintenance department, he has served on staff here at VCC as church custodian. Hank also serves on the Altar Prayer Team, Hospitality Team and in the Infant Nursery.
Susan Ritchie

  Susan Ritchie (Pastoral Administrative Assistant)

Susan and her husband Bill have two children, Faith and Autumn. The Ritchies have attended VCC since 1993 and Susan has been on staff at VCC since 1994. She has been active in Sisters at Heart (Women's Ministry) and also serves in our nursery and pre-school programs. Bill has been active as our King's Kids teacher and facilitates prophetic intercession Sunday mornings at 9 AM. He has served many years as a chaplain in our prison outreach ministry as well as men's ministry. They both serve on the Altar Prayer Team.

Danny Holwerda (Youth Minister)

Dannyy is a great example of organically grown leadership at VCC. Kirby completed the Royal Rangers program and was awarded the Gold Medal of Achievement, the highest honor in Royal Rangers. He also started a new chapter of Royal Rangers and was a Royal Rangers Commander. Currently, as youth minister, he has a passion to see students come to authentic faith in Jesus and live their lives in the light of that faith. Danny and his wife Heather live in Grand Forks are are expecting their first child in 2017.  

Pastor Sam

Assistant Pastor Sam and Kim O’Donnell

Pastor Sam is married to Kimberly and they have two grown sons, Sam and Ben. Pastor Sam and his family have attended VCC since 2004.  As a credentialed minister with the Assemblies of God he has been serving as an Assistant Pastor on staff since 2005. He holds a Bachleor of Arts Degree in Pastoral Studies from Southwestern College and is currently working on a Master of Arts in Theology from the same institution. Pastor Sam serves in many capacities where ever he is needed. Kim is involved in children’s ministries, including King’s Kids, puppet ministry, and Girls Club.

VCC Assembly Deacon Board:

Joseph Appaining

Blake Johnson

Brad Gast

Cheryl Sundine

Travis Vaughn




Articles & Resources for Church Workers

  • Starting a Greeter Program
    Four years ago I accepted the challenge of evangelism chairperson for our church. One of the first programs the pastor and I developed was the Sunday morning greeter program.
  • Motivating the Right Person into the Right Ministry
    One of the greatest challenges for most leaders is selecting and motivating the right people into the right ministry positions in hopes of minimizing turnover and frustration. Even in the smaller church with limited personnel, it is important to coordinate people and ministry as much as possible.
    “I tried, but no one ever called me” are painful words for a leader who has much work to do and not enough people willing to do it. These words are painful for the person who wanted to contribute, but was never called. These are also painful words for a person who is committed to helping people connect and contribute in meaningful ways within the church.