4 Min Read
Shane Hochstetler, communication director for Gulf States, and Samuel Riemersma, pastor of the Community church in Meridian, Miss. were ordained to the gospel ministry on Sabbath, May 27, 2018, at the Bass Camp Meeting.
Shane was raised in a Mennonite home in the countryside of Ohio. He and his four siblings were homeschooled and learned the value of hard work at a very early age.
At ten years old, his family left the Mennonites and became active members of a local non-denominational church. Having made such a significant spiritual change, Shane felt sure he was now where he was supposed to be. This mindset remained until he began speaking to a young Adventist girl from his former Christian homeschool group. After several months of Bible study, Shane was baptized in August 2008 at the age of 21 and married his Bible instructor Amy the following year.
They have two sons, ages two years, and five years old. As a family, they have served as pastor for a multi-church district and currently in the communication department. Their goal is to improve the representation of Christ through positive media and marketing throughout the conference.
Samuel was born to Dutch parents in the Netherlands. He grew up in the Dutch Reformed Church, and when he was a late teen, he and his family became Seventh-day Adventists through reading The Great Controversy that a coworker had given to his dad. After graduating with a Bachelors in Engineering in 2007 and working for a year in that field, Samuel decided to take a year off to attend a Bible school in the U.S. called ARISE. This school was a pivotal part of Samuel’s life as he was called into fulltime Bible work ministry following graduation. He also met his wife at ARISE, and they worked together as part of a Bible work team the following two years. After Samuel and Amber got married, he continued Bible work in New Zealand for another year.
God has blessed the Riemersma's with three wonderful and energetic boys, ages five months, three years, and four years old. As a family they love spending time in the great outdoors, working on home projects and serving God’s church in pastoral ministry. Samuel recently graduated with a Masters in Pastoral Ministry through the In Ministry program of Andrews University.
Elder Robert Folkenberg, Jr, president of the Chinese Union Mission, was the keynote speaker for the service. Folkenberg has previously served as president for the Upper Columbia Conference and was instrumental in making way for churches to hire Bible workers there. Both Shane and Samuel served as Bible workers for Upper Columbia while Folkenberg was president. Elder Dave Livermore, president of Gulf States Conference, Elder Brian Danese, treasurer, and Elder Martin Fancher, executive secretary, also participated in the afternoon service.