Urban Family Ministries is blessed with a dedicated and closely-knit staff. Also, there are over 200 volunteers that support the ministries of Urban Family Ministries.
Alf Clark-- Executive Director
Alfonso "Alf" Clark is the newest addition to the UFM staff. He has over 13 years of ministering the Gospel of Jesus Christ in diverse settings in West Michigan. To say he is enthusiastic about ministering to families, teaching the Word of God to people and loving kids is an understatement. He has been married to his wife Carrie for over 16 years and they have 7 lovely children. Alf’s prior experiences include teaching and ministering at Tabernacle Community Church where he has served for 6 years as the youth and children's ministry pastor. He has also taught for 6 years as the 9th and 12th grade Bible teacher at the Potter's House High School; for 4 of those years he served as the assistant principal. He also ministered for 5 years at the Heritage Netherlands Reformed Church ministry called The Heritage Hill Sunday School. He serves on the board of directors for Hope Academy of West Michigan, an urban charter school. Alf holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology-Special Education with endorsements in Emotional and Cognitive Impairment and a Minor in Elementary Education. Click here to read the long version of Alf's bio.
Noelle Gable -- Programming Director
Noelle graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in Physical Education and Recreation. Her plan was to work in Christian camping, but God had other things in mind. In addition to working as the Program Director at a Christian camp, she worked in the business field, in activity departments and even for an industrial tool company. After about a year at each of these jobs, she realized this was not her purpose. She often wondered what she was created to do and if she would ever figure it out. She moved to Grand Rapids in the fall of 1998 for a job opportunity and began volunteering with UFM’s Super Saturday program. “I quickly knew that this is what God created me for.” September 2002 brought the offer of a full-time job with Urban Family Ministries and she has been full speed ahead ever since. In 2008, she moved into a house in the inner city and in 2010, purchased a house on the same block. Currently, Noelle is Mom to four teen/young adult women who have been a part of the ministry for many years, and for different reasons, are not living with their biological families. “It’s been a learning experience to become mom of 4 teen girls, but I also love watching them grow in their faith, education, understanding of family and am very proud I can say they are MY girls!” Noelle also becomes mom to other kids and teens as the need arises. “It’s normal to be standing in the kitchen eating because my table is full of kids on any given day. I love it! I love the noise, the chaos, the excitement, the challenges and the opportunity to let God multiply your resources.”
Melodie Shoemaker -- Operations Director
Melodie is currently serving as Operations Director on a volunteer basis. She is a CPA and recently completed her master’s degree in nonprofit management. She brings 30 years of experience in financial accounting, auditing, and tax consulting with an international public accounting firm. Melodie loves the opportunity to spend time with kids in the after-school program and driving vans for the Cornerstone Mentoring and Super Saturday programs. Melodie and her husband Dale have three grown sons and one grandson.
Peggy Boverhof -- Executive Assistant
Peggy brings 35 years of executive assistant experience to Urban Family Ministries. She began volunteering at UFM as an administrative assistant in 2002, working 8-10 hours a week. Her volunteer hours soon grew to a full 30-35 hour week. In 2005 she was hired as a part-time administrative assistant and in late 2009 added duties as Office Manager and came on staff full time. Peggy’s prior experiences include executive assistance positions in manufacturing, finance, and marketing & advertising. She graduated from Davenport University with a legal secretarial degree and has pursued continuing education in business management. Peggy and her husband Bob are mentoring inner city teens and adults, and on Sundays pick up several of them to attend church. Peggy and Bob have 4 grown children and 6 grandchildren. They have been financial supporters of the ministry since 1998.
Heidi Chinn -- School Enrichment Coordinator
Heidi came to Grand Rapids to attend Cornerstone University. Her plan was to obtain a degree in teaching in order to return to her hometown, Green Bay, Wisconsin, to teach high school English. She began volunteering at Super Saturday with her freshman Leadership Journey group from Cornerstone. She continued to spend time with a group of young UFM students on campus, and fell in love with God's work in and through Urban Family Ministries. She graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Secondary Education with endorsements in English and TESOL. She joined UFM as a staff member in 2010 and currently serves as the School Enrichment Coordinator.