Pastor Joel Vande Werken has served at Fairlawn Christian Reformed Church since the Fall of 2017. Originally from the Chicago area, he worked in a plumbing supply store before sensing God’s calling to become a pastor. After studying theology at the University of Notre Dame and later at Calvin Theological Seminary, Joel was ordained in the Christian Reformed Church and pastored a church in Sussex, New Jersey for ten years before coming to Fairlawn. He is an occasional contributor to the Today devotional and to the Family Fire blog.
Joel and his wife Brandie have five young children. As a family they enjoy spending time outdoors in God’s creation, hiking and biking, and exploring the different sights the Blackstone Valley has to offer. Besides having a passion to see people know Jesus better and follow him faithfully, Joel is also a life-long Chicago Cubs fan, and can often be found having breakfast in a diner somewhere.
Abby Epplett began serving as Office Coordinator at Fairlawn in March 2019. She grew up in Uxbridge, attended Whitinsville Christian School for thirteen years, and then went on to Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts. In Fall 2019, she hopes to become a part-time student in Tufts University's certificate program for Museum Studies.
Abby enjoys many outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, kayaking, and race walking. She also loves visiting historical sites, museums, and national parks. When she is not working at Fairlawn, designing new marketing material for local companies, or writing for The New Uxbridge Times, Abby can be found reading long books, creating fine art, and learning fun facts. She is ambivalent concerning sports teams, but her favorite American president is Calvin Coolidge.