Our History

Glad to know you’re interested in our history! 
A few phone calls have been made, a lot of laughs because of it and some fun history facts for you to sit back and enjoy.  We’ve done the research back to when the youth office first opened, the first Rocky Mountain High, and all other events that have followed since.

  • Synod of the West
    • Synod of the Heartland did not come about until 1990.  We used to be called Synod of the West—it included the states from Minnesota down to Texas all the way over to the Pacific Ocean.  Then in 1990, Synod of the West decided to realign becoming 2 synods instead of one huge area. Synod of the Heartland and Synod of the Far West came about.

  • Synod of the Heartland now includes churches from these states:
    • Iowa
    • Kansas
    • Minnesota
    • Missouri
    • Nebraska
    • North Dakota
    • Oklahoma
    • South Dakota
    • Texas
    • Wisconsin

  • In the beginning…. there was not Bob (he was around… probably farming or something).

  • Rich Heusinkveld (1976-1981)
    • Rich was the first person to take on the roll of Synod Youth Director.  He was the guy who got the ball rolling for Rocky Mountain High (and now look what it is)!

  • Bruce Bugbee (1981-1986)
    • Bruce came to Iowa from the West Coast.  He was a great communicator, writer and strived to make the Synod of the West feel connected from the cornfields to the pacific.  He then went on to work at Willow Creek, and after that, Bruce decided to move back to California and thaw out from the Midwest winters.

  • Ron Den Hartog (1986-1994)
    • Ron stepped into the office full of ideas and provided even more opportunities for our youth to get involved in.  He dreamed up and started both Power Connection and HIS Work Camp.

  • Scott Christiansen (1994-1997)
    • Scott brought the Corn Huskers to Iowa!  His office was decked out in RED from day one.  Scott had a flare for writing, thinking creatively, and most memorably wearing a Bumble Bee costume for Power Connection (in 100+ degree weather).

  • Bob Cleveringa (1998-current)
    • After a year vacancy in the Youth Director position, Bob stepped up to the plate and has been running ever since.  He has worked hard at creating a program called Leaders On The Horizon—a discipleship program for youth and implementing Sticky Faith into everyday church culture.

  • Each Director has brought their own gifts and passions into this position.  The Synod has been blessed with significant youth ministry opportunities, leadership, training, and resourcing.

  • For further information regarding the RCA please go to www.rca.org