HDC exists to equip deacons, church members, and partners to participate in God’s work of transforming lives and communities.

Core Values


We are committed to encouraging diaconates, local congregations, and community partners to work together combining resources and efforts to more effectively address and support shared diaconal concerns and projects (Acts 4: 32-35).


God calls us to restore and reconcile broken relationships (2 Corinthians 5:16-19) through the pursuit of justice (Micah 6:8).


We are motivated by and committed to demonstrating Christ’s compassion for the vulnerable, poor, and suffering in our communities and in the world (1 John 3:16-19).



HDC will encourage each diaconate and church to join in God’s transforming work in their communities.


HDC will serve as a link to available teaching, training, encouragement, and partnerships for deacons and diaconal ministries from congregations and communities within Classis Holland.


HDC will equip and encourage deacons and congregations to act on justice issues affecting vulnerable, poor, and suffering people in their communities.


The Holland Deacons’ Conference has been quietly serving the Holland community since the 1940s.

It became legally incorporated as its own charitable entity in 1980. HDC exists to encourage, support, and equip deacons, church members, and partners to collaborate in Christ-like acts of mercy, justice, and compassion that transform lives and communities. To that end, HDC has been at the forefront of helping to meet significant human needs in Ottawa County and beyond. Some examples of our work include:

  • Concerned about the increasing incidence of domestic violence, HDC helped establish the Hospitality House in 1979, a domestic violence shelter that served hundreds of women and children each year. Several years ago, HDC decided to sell the Hospitality House due to the availability of other community resources and other changes.

  • Seeing a need to provide a supportive and nurturing Christian living environment for adults with developmental disabilities, HDC launched its adult foster care ministry. Five licensed adult foster care homes now comprise the heart of this ministry. Trained and compassionate Christians provide residents with needed supports and opportunities to live meaningful, active, and productive lives.

  • Responding to an urgent need in the community for quality and affordable Christian preschool and childcare, HDC helped establish Lakeshore Little People’s Place (LLPP) in 1996. LLPP consists of a network of four licensed centers that serves hundreds of children and area families. A separate scholarship fund supported by HDC helps families facing economic hardship to afford tuition.

  • In 2001, HDC helped establish the Holland Free Health Clinic. This separate nonprofit provides access to health services for those in need with a mission to express the healing ministry of Jesus Christ.

  • HDC became one of the founders of Buen Pastor Ministries (BPM) in 1989. BPM has been ministering to migrant families for over 25 years with a focus on early childhood programs in an atmosphere that embodies Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd. HDC also supports World Renew, an organization that serves the United States and the world as the development, disaster response, and justice arm of the Christian Reformed Church in North America.

  • Through these efforts and others, the Holland Deacons’ Conference is committed to demonstrating Christ’s compassion for the vulnerable, poor, and suffering in our communities and the world (1 John 3:16–19).

Jack Kooyman

Jack Kooyman


Jack Kooyman has been the Executive Director at the Holland Deacons’ Conference since 2013. He provides administrative oversight and leadership for all aspects of the organization, including Brothers & Sisters Homes, working to effectively advance the mission to which God has called the HDC.

Jack attended Kuyper College, receiving his Bachelor of Religious Education before going on to study for a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership at Western Michigan University. He currently sits on the board as Vice President for Buen Pastor Ministries, as well as holding a place as an advisory member for Lakeshore Little People’s Place.

Jack is from Grand Rapids, where he and his wife, Debbie, are members at First Christian Reformed Church. In his free time, he enjoys reading, practicing the art of fly fishing, and having conversations with friends over coffee. Jack and Debbie have three adult children and seven grandchildren.

Fun Fact: Jack was the first Kooyman born in the U.S. after his parents emigrated from the Netherlands a few years after the end of World War II.

Carrie Lems

Carrie Lems


Carrie hails from Hudsonville, MI and is a graduate of Unity Christian High School. She received her Associates Degree from Davenport University. She has extensive experience as an administrative assistant. Over the last 30 years, she has done admin work for senior living facilities and at Fair Haven Church in Hudsonville. In July, 2016, Carrie was hired by the Holland Deacons’ Conference. She enjoys working “in the background,” providing support to Brothers & Sisters Homes and the HDC.

When she isn’t working, Carrie might be found baking, watching University of Michigan football and basketball games, or spending time in Traverse City. She and her husband, Joe, have two boys, Lane and Casey.

Fun fact: Carrie is an identical twin!