About Us


Our Story

Our roots stem from the highly acclaimed and nationally recognized DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative, a program that has been transforming the lives of urban youth ministry leaders since 1998. Graduates of the 15 month training in Grand Rapids found themselves transformed by all that they had learned, and began the work of training others.

GR Initiative for Leaders, referred to as GRIL, is a faith-based organization created by alumni of the DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative (DVULI). GRIL invests in emerging leaders by providing training over a nine-month period using the scripturally based DVULI curriculum to help leaders expand or develop the core values of balance, accountability, empowerment, interdependence, leverage, and diversity (working towards a racism-free community). This process helps leaders plan and implement personal, professional and ministry growth more effectively with the youth and the people they serve. Our Mission is to strengthen leaders to transform communities.

Each year groups of leaders come together in one of GRIL’s programs (Adult Breakthrough and Emerge Leadership Programs, Community Leadership Trainings (CLT), and the GRIL U Teen Program) for nine months of intense leadership development training for personal and community impact.

GRIL’s Staff 

  • Denise Fase, Co-Director
  • Tyreece Guyton, Co-Director



Board of Directors

  • Benjamin Brewer – Chair
  • John Walcott – Secretary
  • Tatum Hawkins – Treasurer
  • Gordon Lee
  • Matias Martinez
  • Lisa Schra
  • Pastor Chase Stancle
  • Darren Williamson

financial reports:

2022-23 990
Year In Review 2023

2021-22 990
Year In Review 2021

2020-21 990

2019-20 990

2018-19 990
Year In Review 2018.19

2017-18 990

2016-17 990

2015-16 990