Jeff and Kathy began attending The Orchard in 1993 and have been members since 1997. During that time, Jeff has served as Awana Sparks Director, a LIFE group leader, and on missionary care teams. He currently serves as co-team leader for the 5th grade Sunday school at the Arlington Heights Campus. Jeff and his family attend the Arlington Heights Campus.
(Term ends 2023)
Garry grew up in Central Illinois. He put his faith in Christ at the University of Illinois and was discipled through the ministry of the Navigators. Garry spent most of his career in the Medical Device industry serving in leadership positions while moving across the United States. After relocating from California, Garry and his wife, Sandy, began attending The Orchard Barrington in 2016 and became members in 2017. They have served as LIFE Group leaders and Coaches, and as part of the Welcome Team. Garry has served for more than 20 years on the Board of Directors of the Navigators where he currently serves as Vice Chairman. Garry’s passion is encouraging and strengthening believers as they engage with Jesus, and both he and Sandy have been continuously involved in discipling believers wherever they lived. Garry and Sandy are part of the Barrington congregation.
Member at Large
Dan was born and raised in the northwest suburbs. He became aware of his sin and need for a savior at a young age and put his faith in Jesus Christ as Lord through Awana. He was baptized in 1995, married to Karen in 2002 and they became members of The Orchard in 2012. A serial entrepreneur, he enjoys creating and running various small business endeavors. Dan, Karen, and their three children attend the Barrington campus where Dan serves as a LIFE Group leader, usher, and Awana volunteer. Dan has had the privilege of participating in Unlocking the Bible’s LEVERAGE and will graduate from MOMENTUM this year. God has given Dan a heart for missions, with a specific draw to the church planters in Albania, where he has had the joy of participating in numerous short-term trips. Dan currently serves on the board of the Via Egnatia Network and the Radstock Network. Dan and his family attend the Barrington Campus.
(Term Ends 2023)
Member at Large
The Lord opened Dorothy’s eyes to a clear understanding of Jesus Christ as the way, the truth, and the life in her 20s. She placed her faith in Him as her Lord and Savior through the witness of a fellow nurse. She and Dave have been married for over 25 years, raised four children, and are now enjoying being grandparents. They began attending The Orchard in 1992 and have been members since 1996. She was baptized in 2011. Dorothy and Dave have been a part of The Orchard’s ministry through praying, serving, and going. Activities include involvement in children’s ministries, ushering, reading scripture and LIFE Groups. They participated in the inaugural LEVERAGE class and were part of the Barrington Campus launch team. Mission trips include Switzerland, India and five consecutive years as part of the Budapest English Teen Camp leadership team. Dorothy and Dave attend the Barrington Campus.
(Term ends 2022)
Bob grew up in Wheaton, Illinois and came to faith in 8th grade at a camp led by his high school football coach. After studying economics at Wheaton College, he moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he worked in finance and continued to mature in faith under strong Biblical preaching and a thriving church community. Bob and Lexie were married in 2003 and served at the University of Northwestern in St. Paul, MN. While working in finance, he felt led to teach at the high school level. Bob completed his Masters of Education and began teaching and coaching football. His family moved back to Illinois, where he continues to grow in his faith while active in LIFE Groups and serving in children’s ministry. Bob and Lexie are passionate about adoption and orphan care, and have led adoption-related studies. The Lord has strengthened Bob’s faith through the power of His Word and His sacrificial love on the cross.
He and his wife, Lexie, were drawn to the community of believers and Christ-centered preaching and teaching at The Orchard five years ago. They have been members for four years and are part of the Arlington Heights congregation.
Elder at Large
As an Arlington Heights native, Jordan grew up at The Orchard Arlington Heights. It was at summer camp that he recognized his sin separated from the Lord and he responded in faith and repentance. Three of Jordan’s spiritual milestones took place at The Orchard: he was baptized in 1997, became a member in 2005, and met his wife, Kristina, and married in 2006. He is grateful for The Orchard’s wholehearted commitment to standing under the authority of Scripture and teaching the full counsel of God.
Jordan’s involvement at The Orchard has included serving and leading in a variety of ministries: student, adult Sunday School, global ministries, hospitality, and The Orchard Network. He and Kristina were part of the group who helped launch the Barrington congregation. Jordan has also served with Bible Study Fellowship for more than 10 years. Jordan and Kristina are overjoyed to raise their children within a community of believers who aim to know Christ and make him known.
Member at Large
Nathan was born and raised in central Indiana and moved to the northwest suburbs when his wife started graduate school in 1998. He was introduced to Jesus at the age of 10 but didn’t come to know him as his Lord and Savior until 1997 through some firm convictions and very godly men. God’s grace continues to abound in Nathan’s life through the many disciples in his life and a posture of humility that only God can bring through the reading of His word. Nathan and his family started attending The Orchard in 2006 and became members in 2008 planting roots through LIFE Groups. Today, Nathan is active in LIFE Group leadership, Middle School ministry and a campus Trustee. Nathan and his family attend the Barrington Campus.
(Term ends 2022)
Member at Large
Jo was born and raised in Singapore and moved to Chicago with her husband, Arthur, in 2010. They started attending The Orchard in 2012 and became members in 2015. God planted the seed of faith in Jo and she put her faith in Christ when she was 9-years-old. He watered it over the years through strong Bible teaching and Christian fellowship; and pruned her through service and challenging seasons. He continues to grow her in her submission to Christ as Lord, and love for God and her neighbor. Jo’s areas of service have included co-leading LIFE groups with Arthur, teaching in Orchard Kids, facilitating Bible Studies (at work and summer woman’s ministry), ushering, discipleship and counseling. She loves Christ’s church and is passionate about encouraging other’s growth in the Lord. Jo and her family were part of the Arlington Heights congregation for eight years and currently are part of the Barrington congregation.
Elder Committee Chairman
Nate was born and raised in Canada, and began attending The Orchard after moving to Chicago from Toronto in 2007 with his wife, Rupam. They became members in 2008. Nate’s areas of service have included media services, LIFE Connections, Children’s Ministries, and LIFE Group leadership. Most recently, he has been helping lead the development of our global missions’ partnership in India. He is passionate about the advance of the gospel, and to encourage mature, fruitful disciples who are fully committed to the Lord. Nate and his family attend the Northfield Campus.
(Term ends 2022)
Mike grew up in the Chicago area and came to faith at the end of high school. At the University of Illinois, he was blessed to find fellowship through a campus ministry and see the importance of Bible study, discipleship, and finding a Christ-centered, Bible preaching church. His college roommate invited him to attend The Orchard in the summer of 2000 and he started attending full-time in 2003 after graduating. He met his wife Kristin at church in 2004, and they were married at The Orchard in 2007. Mike and Kristin have been members since 2006. They have served The Orchard in various capacities. Mike has led a LIFE Group since 2003 and Sunday school for student ministries since the Barrington Campus started meeting in 2008. Mike and Kristin have been leading a LIFE Group together since 2009 and have delighted in seeing family's grow in their love and commitment to the Lord. Mike served a three-year term on the Nominating Committee and was part of the committee that planned Pastor Colin and Karen's 20 year anniversary celebration. Mike and his family attend the Barrington Campus.
(Term ends 2023)
Member at Large
Joe was born in a Christian family and grew up in Coimbatore, a city in Tamil Nadu, South India. Joe came to the US for work in the year 2007 when he was single. Joe and Rupa have been married since 2009 and have been members of The Orchard since 2014. Joe remembers giving his life to Christ in a children’s retreat when he was 8-years-old. But the real turning point came when he lost his brother nine years ago. The Lord mercifully brought him out of the dark place and emotional turmoil and gave him and hunger and thirst to seek after Him and find true delight in His word.
Joe loves sharing the Gospel and has led a multicultural LIFE Group since 2015. He had the privilege of attending almost a year of Momentum and then graduating Leverage. He is passionate about proclaiming the Gospel to his friends who are far away from Christ both locally and in India. He is excited about the new Vernon Hills congregation and believes this to be an answer to prayer to reach the diverse community. Joe is an active volunteer with Emmanuel Hospital Association (EHA) and he recently visited three hospitals of EHA in North India and has started a weekly online Bible study with the doctors, nurses and staff of these hospitals going through OPEN for 50 weeks every Saturday morning.
Joe and his family are currently part of the Arlington Heights congregation, but are planning to be part of The Orchard Vernon Hills.
Pastor Colin Smith was born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland. He trained at London School of Theology, where he met his wife, Karen. He served as pastor of Enfield Evangelical Free Church in London for 16 years before coming to The Orchard in 1996. As Senior Pastor, he has brought a strong emphasis on God's Word, has helped the church develop a vision for the future and has encouraged and taught young preachers. Colin and Karen have two sons, Andrew and David.
Pastor Scott was born and raised in Mt. Prospect, Illinois. Before coming to The Orchard in 2007, he served as a church planter for the EFCA in Valparaiso, Indiana, and Bolingbrook, Illinois, and as a Sports Ministry Director for Athletes In Action in Tampa, Florida. Scott has helped the church move to a multi-site model for ministry and reinforce the strong commitment to the gospel. Scott and his wife Cindy, who grew up at The Orchard, have four children: Alyssa, John, Matt, and Ben.
Kyle is a gifted preacher who has been strategically equipped for ministry through Unlocking the Bible's pastoral residency. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, he moved to Chicago to attend Moody Bible Institute where he received a life-transforming, unforgettable education. He has great confidence in the gospel of Jesus Christ and extreme zeal for discipleship among the body of believers. With great clarity of calling Kyle often says, "By God's grace, I'm just as clear that I'm called to pastoral ministry as I am clear that my name is Kyle Green." Kyle and his wife Melina have two young sons who they like to call "The Green Beans," Avery and Amari. The Greens love to eat Kyle's signature popcorn that he makes every Friday for movie night.
Tom grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He attended Wheaton College, where he met his wife, Kari. Tom and Kari were married in 2004, and they have two daughters, Kettie and Tovie, and a son, Thomas. Tom served as our contemporary worship pastor while completing his Master of Divinity degree at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in 2007. He was the high school pastor from 2008-2012, and now serves as pastor of the Barrington Campus.
Josh grew up in Minnesota and has been married to his wife, Sarah, since 2010. They have three children, Nora, Quinn and Haddon. Josh has attended The Orchard since 2011 and in May 2016, he began his role as Pastor for The Orchard - Northfield. Josh loves Jesus, his church, his family, and super heroes.
Justin grew up in Crystal Lake, Illinois. He attended Judson University where he met his wife, Valerie. They have three boys: Elijah, Luke, and Levi. Over the past 20+ years in ministry, Justin has served as a youth pastor, family pastor, church planter, executive pastor, and hospital chaplain. Justin has a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership, 300 hours of clinical pastoral training, and completed an eight month full-time pastoral training residency with Reach Chicago (EFCA).
Brad grew up in Glen Ellyn, IL. He received a B.A. in Biblical Literature from Taylor University, a M.Div. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and is currently working on a D.Min. at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Brad has been on staff at The Orchard since 2011 and now serves as the Pastor at The Orchard - Arlington Heights. Brad is married to Kristen and they have two children, Joanna and John.
Pastor - Vernon Hills
Tom grew up in Chicago, Illinois. He attended the University of Illinois in Chicago where he completed his Bachelor of Arts in History. Soon after, Tom began his pursuit of the Master of Divinity at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, completing his degree in 2010. Tom has served in various ministry positions in the Chicagoland area and has served at The Orchard since 2013. He has been married to April since 2011 and both are kept on their toes with their three energetic kids.
Director of Human Resources
Beth is originally from southeastern Michigan and attended Michigan State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Employment Relations and Organizational Psychology. Beth moved to the northwest suburbs in 1993 to pursue a career in human resources and while doing so earned her MBA with an emphasis on Organizational Development at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. Beth has held various corporate and consulting positions focused on employee benefits, recruiting, and staff development. Beth and her husband Andres, a school Social Worker in District 211, have five children and enjoy attending band and choir concerts, sporting events, and ballet recitals.
Herb was born and raised in the Chicagoland area. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Trinity International University in Deerfield, Illinois. After spending six years in the marketplace, God called him into full-time ministry in 2003. He has been married to his wife, Alice, since 2010 and they have three children: Jadon, Maddie and Natalie. Herb's hope is that all people could really experience the transforming power of the gospel.
Joel grew up traveling as part of a military family, attending, and graduating from high school in Nairobi, Kenya. Joel graduated with a bachelor’s degree in computer Science from Wheaton College. He gained experience as an IT Helpdesk Supervisor at Wheaton and now serves as the IT Coordinator at The Orchard. Joel loves traveling and trying new things. He lives in West Dundee with his wife, Kenah.
Director of Administration
Claire grew up in southeastern Michigan. She studied social work at both Central Michigan University and the University of Michigan before moving to the northwest suburbs in January 2006. The Orchard became her church home shortly after moving. Claire joined the staff in March 2008 to help develop and support the LIFE Group ministry. After serving as the Director of Communications for nine years, she became the Director of Administration in 2021.
Human Resources Coordinator
Michelle grew up in Long Grove, IL. She attended Olivet Nazarene University where she received her bachelors degree in Business Administration with a concentration in management and played volleyball for the ONU Tigers. She joined the staff in December 2008 and has served as the Administrative Assistant to the Arlington Heights Campus and Executive Assistant to Executive Director of Operations. She currently serves as Human Resources Coordinator. One of her favorite verses is Ephesians 6:7. She has one beautiful daughter, Gianna.
Heather grew up in the far south suburb of Frankfort, Illinois. She and her husband, George, met at Lake Geneva Youth Camp the summer of 1978 during their high school years and were married in 1984. They raised three sons and were delighted when they became blessed with a daughter-in-law and later again with granddaughter, Madison. Heather is excited to be serving at The Orchard after 30 years of being a homemaker and serving in various volunteer roles in the church.
Receptionist and Facility Scheduler
Born and raised in Michigan, Marilyn is the daughter of a pastor. She married her high school sweetheart, Forrest, and they are the parents of four adult daughters. Their family also includes four sons-in-law and 12 grandchildren. Marilyn returned to college in 2007 and earned a Bachelor of Arts from Judson University in 2009. She began attending The Orchard in June 2007 and joined the Barrington Campus staff in December 2010. Her passion is facilitating the work of the ministry by assisting staff and church members, which she has been privileged to do for over two decades. Marilyn’s ministry verse is Ephesians 5:2.
Pastor of Family Ministries
Dennis was born and raised in eastern Iowa. He attended the University of Northern Iowa where he studied music education. He spent five years teaching instrumental music at a middle school in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Feeling a call to full-time student ministry, Dennis began seminary in 2006. He graduated from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in 2009 with a Master of Divinity and a desire to invest in the next generation with the gospel. Dennis brings more than 10 years of full-time student ministry experience to The Orchard. Prior to joining The Orchard’s staff, Dennis served as Pastor of Student Ministries at churches in Cedar Falls, Iowa; Lansing, Illinois and Orland Park, Illinois. Dennis and his wife, Kelli, were married in 2007 and have two children, Emilee and Joshua.
Katy grew up in the northern suburbs of Chicago. She has a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Illinois-Chicago. She worked as a social worker at a school for children with special needs in grades K-12 for six years. She and her husband, Greg, have been married since 2003. They moved to the northwest suburbs in 2005, at which point they began attending The Orchard, becoming members in 2009. They have three children: Luke, Abby, and Brendan. Katy has served in a number of ministries at The Orchard over the years, including high school ministry, LIFE Group leader, lay pastor, welcome/hospitality, and women’s ministries.
Director of Women's Ministries
Heather English is our new Director of Women’s Ministries for the Arlington Heights congregation. She was born and raised in Arlington Heights and Palatine. God gave her the gift of saving faith at an early age, and she was baptized by her grandfather. Heather attended Calvin College, where she met her husband, Jason. They were married in 2001 and have three kids: Christopher, Carson, and Emilie. Previously, Heather taught high school English while completing a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction. She stayed home for 13 years with her kids and remains busy volunteering in her kids’ schools and activities. She has felt a call to women’s ministry since age 16 and look forward to seeing the Lord’s faithfulness in building His church.
Receptionist and Facility Scheduler
Elizabeth grew up in Burlington, Iowa and attended Millikin University, where she studied piano and received a Bachelor in Communications. Elizabeth and her husband, Dale, have two sons and live in Arlington Heights. She and her family have been members of The Orchard since 1999. Elizabeth has enjoyed serving in various ministries and currently serves as Sparks Director and is on the Orchard Kids Welcome Team at the Barrington Campus.
Larry grew up in the Chicagoland area where he began his career in audio visual technology in live sound, studio recording and mobile DJ work. It was during this time that Larry met his wife, Karin, and they began their walk with Christ together. Shortly after this, a door was opened for Larry to use his skills to support ministry and he realized he had found his calling. Prior to joining the staff at The Orchard, Larry worked for more than 12 years shepherding teams to deliver worship services and curate God’s Word through the use of technology. Larry and Karin love to spend time with family, enjoying nature, and sharing the blessings that God continually unveils.
Jason grew up in Dowagiac, Michigan, where he met his wife, Jenny. Jason started his accounting career as an intern with Honeywell, who eventually moved them to Phoenix, Arizona. While in Phoenix, both Jason and Jenny put their faith in Christ. Jason attended the University of Phoenix where he received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. Prior to joining the staff at The Orchard, he worked in accounting in the manufacturing, financial, and nonprofit industries. Jason and Jenny homeschool their three children and enjoy spending time on the beach, hiking, and camping.
Eri was born and raised in Japan. At age 14, not knowing much English, she came to United States to attend a Christian school in Oklahoma. There she came to know Jesus her personal Savior and Lord. Eri's husband Greg, a photographer, and adult children, Myles and Jessica, have been attending The Orchard since 1994. Eri joined the staff in 2006, serving in various ministries, and now supports Congregational Life and Women’s Ministries. She enjoys leading an inter-generational LIFE group for women. One of her favorite verses is 2 Corinthians 9:8.
Pastor of Congregational Life and Worship
Tae was born in South Korea and moved to Virginia in middle school. He graduated from Wheaton College with degrees in Business and Economics, and Christian Education and received his Master of Divinity at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He has served in various pastoral roles since 2009. His relationship with The Orchard began through the two-year pastoral residency through Unlocking the Bible in 2015. He is married to Christeen, and has two kids, Abigail and Simeon.
Carl comes to The Orchard from Fargo, North Dakota. He is currently attending Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, following in his father’s footsteps pursuing a Master of Divinity. He has attended The Orchard since 2018, has served in student and children’s ministries for most of his life, and hopes to enter pastoral ministry. Carl is excited to be able to serve Northfield as an intern and hopes to make an impact for Christ and His Kingdom.
Director of College Ministries
Alex grew up in a Christ-centered home in the northwest suburbs. Her parents taught her diligently about the Lord which is why she became a believer at a young age. Alex attended Olivet Nazarene University where she grew more deeply rooted in her walk with Jesus, and truly understood grace in the mundane moments of life. Alex has a passion for words, writing, reading and communicating, which is why she became an English teacher. She currently teaches at Wauconda High School. Because of Alex's deep growth with Jesus in college, she desired to serve college students by fellowshipping in the Word, prayer, and discipleship which is why is excited to be the Director of College Ministries. Alex is married to Johnny. They have one daughter, Piper, and a little one on the way.
Director of Women’s Ministries
Members of The Orchard since 2003, Laura and her husband, Dave, have three children - Megan, Adam, and Aaron. Prior to coming to The Orchard, Laura worked as a software engineer and also served in youth ministry, worship, small group leadership and crisis pregnancy counseling. She joined The Orchard staff in 2008 and transitioned to women's ministries in 2010. Laura has a Graduate Certificate in Biblical Counseling through the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation and is currently working toward a Masters in Counseling through Westminster Theological Seminary. She has a passion for helping women apply the Gospel to their lives and is thrilled to be serving at The Orchard.
Rachel grew up in Mill Creek, Indiana as a pastor’s kid. After completing her Bachelors Degree in Education at Judson University, she became Executive Director of a childcare facility. She and her husband, Alex, moved to Marengo 13 years ago. Rachel and Alex, along with their four children, call The Orchard their home.
Pastor of Congregational Life
Greg was born and raised in Hamilton, New Jersey. He received his M.Div from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he met his wife, Megan. He served as a Discipleship Pastor while church planting in Pittsburgh, PA, prior to coming to The Orchard in 2021. Greg is passionate about seeing people grow closer to God and one another, especially through LIFE Groups. In his free time, he enjoys playing violin, woodworking, gardening, playing ice hockey, and wrestling his two boys, Graeson and Theodor.
Jeanne grew up in Arlington Heights in a family of eight kids. She graduated from Arlington High School before it closed in 1984. Jeanne has enjoyed creating art in all mediums for as long as she can remember. She attended Columbia College to study Graphic Design where she fell in love with the beauty of figure drawing. She moved to Wauconda in 1996, bought her first house and started her family. She has two daughters, Emma and Grace.
Pastor of Worship and Families
Dillon grew up in Arlington Heights and has attended The Orchard since 2001. While at The Orchard, he served in a variety of ministries, including Awana and the Middle School ministry. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Exposition from the Moody Bible Institute, he is now pursuing a Master of Divinity degree at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Dillon served as a Student Ministries Intern for the Arlington Heights congregation beginning in May 2014. He served as Interim Pastor at Marengo from February to June 2020 and is now serving as the Pastor of Worship, Children and Congregational Life. He is passionate about clearly and effectively preaching God’s Word to the church and hopes to serve as a missionary in Hungary one day.
Children and Student Ministries Coordinator
Julie went to college at the University of Illinois where she met her husband, Jacob. In 2010, she graduated with a degree in Chemistry and moved to Texas to teach. In 2018, Julie, Jacob and their two daughters moved back to Illinois and started worshipping at The Orchard. Julie and her family enjoy playing games and baking together.
Michael was born in raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He became a follower of Christ in 2010, and soon after joined the youth worship band at his church. Serving on this team led Michael to feel a call to vocational worship ministry. He attended Liberty University and graduated with a Music and Worship degree in 2019. Michael is passionate about singing God’s truth with God’s people, and is excited to grow personally and spiritually as he joins The Orchard.
Executive Director of Operations
Russ grew up in Galesburg, Illinois and graduated from Illinois State University. Prior to joining the staff at The Orchard he worked in hospital operations and account management with a software development company in the healthcare industry. Russ and his wife Julie, a teacher, have three children and enjoy camping, kayaking, bike riding and Blackhawks hockey along with most any sporting event.
Emily was raised in the South, spending time between Arkansas, Alabama, and the Carolinas, before following the Lord’s lead to come to the snowy Midwest to invest in further education and ministry. Emily graduated from Wheaton College with a degree in Biblical and Theological Studies and is committed to facilitating the work of Gospel ministry in the local church by tending to the details behind the scenes.
Director of Global Ministries
Brad was born in Colorado and grew up at Calvary Bible Evangelical Free Church in Boulder. He finished high school in Vienna, Austria where he started corresponding with his future wife, Kari. Brad is a licensed aircraft mechanic and pilot, served as a Russian Linguist in the United States Air Force, and went on to earn a B.A. in Aviation Science from College of the Ozarks. Brad and Kari helped plant the First Evangelical Free Church in Springfield, Missouri before being sent to Budapest, Hungary in 1999. They were supported missionaries of The Orchard while serving with ReachGlobal. Brad and Kari have four children: Whitney, Kelsey, Peter, and Jacob. As the Director of Global Ministries, Brad will play a key role in helping us fulfill The Orchard’s mission around the world.
Pastor of Student Ministries
Josh Newton began attending The Orchard in 2008 after moving to the Chicagoland area in 2006 from Boone, NC. He came with his wife, Diana, leaving the Appalachian Mountains to follow the Lord’s call to youth ministry. While earning his Master of Divinity he served as a youth intern under Bing Nieh, working with our middle school students. He graduated from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in December 2010 and transitioned to Pastor of Student Ministries at the Barrington Campus in the spring of 2011. Josh, Diana and their chiweenie, Scout, now live in Palatine and are excited to see what the Lord has in store for them in the years to come.
Kelsey was born and raised in Minnesota. He grew up in EFCA churches and has been involved in ministry since his freshman year of high school. He attended the University of Minnesota-Duluth for a short time before transferring to Trinity for the five-year M.Div. program. He loves seeing how God is at work in the world and how he is being used at The Orchard.
Ryo grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago with a passion for all things music. He became a follower of Christ in 2000, and has been attending The Orchard with his wife, Nao, and their three kids, Shion, Lin, and Rae since 2017. He has a passion for serving the Lord, and is grateful to be doing so as a member of The Orchard's staff.
Director of Children's Ministries
Victoria grew up in Palatine, Illinois before attending Wheaton College for a Bachelor’s in Christian Education and a Minor in German Language. After serving as a Director of Children’s Ministries in Bloomingdale, IL, she’s spent the last few years as a 1:1 Aid at a Therapeutic Day School for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder while also pursuing a Masters in Christian Formation and Ministry from Wheaton College. She is deeply passionate about helping kids of all abilities hear the Gospel and know Jesus as their Savior. She lives in Schaumburg with her husband, Brent Steinke.
Kurt Pazdra II
Kurt grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He put his faith in Christ at the age of seven when presented with the gospel by the late Reverend Billy Graham. After being involved in church service and leadership through high school, Kurt studied at Wheaton College where he received his B.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies. While on staff as a pastoral intern, Kurt is currently studying for his Masters of Divinity at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
Frank, his wife, Diane, and their three kids, Anthony, Kaitlin, and Kyle, have been living in Arlington Heights and attending The Orchard for 17 years. They have served in Sunday school, Awana, and Middle School ministries. Frank studied architecture at IIT in Chicago before he owned and operated a North Shore landscaping company for more than 20 years. He joined The Orchard staff in January 2006.
Pastor of Congregational Life
Ryan was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. Ryan went to school at Trinity International University where he earned both a bachelor’s and master's degree in theology. Before serving the Itasca congregation, Ryan served for two years as the Director of Middle School for the Arlington Heights congregation.
Director of Children's Ministries
Robin grew up in Mexico, Missouri. She attended Missouri Institute of Science and Technology where she met her husband, Joe. Joe and Robin were married in 1992 and they have six children: Lauren, Sara, Nathan, Ashley, Maggie, and Ptolemy. After working as an engineer for several years, Robin took time off to homeschool her children. Robin has previously served as a Children’s Ministry Director as well as in benevolence, missions, small group leadership, and biblical counseling. She enjoys reading, cooking, and playing piano in her free time.
Valerie grew up in Michigan and traveled to Illinois to attend Judson College. She received her bachelors degree in Visual Communications, and shortly after, met her husband, Brent. They are raising two young boys and stay busy volunteering with school, sports, and church activities. Valerie is excited to see God working through the Café ministry.
Meritt grew up in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania where he put his faith in Christ at a young age. He spent four years in Virginia while he attended Liberty University and studied Project Management (’18). As a Pastoral Intern at The Orchard, he is pursuing a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He is passionate about biblical teaching and enjoys hiking, sports, and a good book.
Director of Children’s Ministries
Heather has attended The Orchard since 2003. She and her husband, Steve, have three children: Colin, Sean and Meghan. She became a Christian at the University of Kentucky in 1988. After receiving her Master’s degree in Learning Disabilities, Heather taught students with special needs for ten years and coached various activities before staying home to raise her children. During those years she volunteered in various ministries at The Orchard.
Director of Communications
As a native of Arlington Heights, The Orchard has had a life-long impact on Annie’s personal faith journey. She found Christ while attending Illinois State University, has earned her MBA in Marketing and has over 20 years of marketing and communications experience in both non-profit and ministry organizations. Annie is a resident of Crystal Lake, enjoys coffee, singing and spending time with her two children, Samantha and Luke and her rescue Lab, Wrigley. Her life verse is Hebrews 11:8.
Pastor of Children’s and Student Ministries
Jeremy was raised in Arlington Heights and has attended The Orchard since he was in the nursery. He spent a year after high school studying in England at Capernwray Bible School. There, he grew in his understanding of the Word and the vitality of it being in his daily life. After receiving his Bachelor's Degree in Youth Ministry and Counseling at Moody Bible Institute, he returned to England as a missionary serving at Capernwray. He returned to Chicago the following year to pursue further education, and it was during that year he met his wife, Kristin, who he married in June 2016. He completed his Masters of Divinity at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in 2021. He is passionate about Student Ministries because it had a massive impact on his coming to know Christ as Lord of his life.
Trey graduated from Taylor University with a BA in Christian Educational Ministries and an MDiv from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He is married to Nikki and they have three children: Crew, Greyson, and JD. They have been worshiping at The Orchard - Barrington since the fall of 2016, and Trey began his role at The Orchard in 2019. As Associate Pastor, Trey serves alongside Tom Olson to oversee the ministry operations and staff at Barrington. He is also responsible for outreach initiatives.
Ilir was born and raised in Albania and was led him to faith in Christ as a teenager. He met his wife Megan while living in Kentucky and they now have two young children. Recently their family returned from two years of church-planting in the Balkans. God has grown Ilir’s commitment and desire to see the Gospel take root among the Albanian-speaking people.
Mark grew up in Des Moines, Iowa where ministry was a big part of his life. After high school, he joined his parents for two years in Russia where they worked with the Medical Center “Agape” taking God’s love to the literal ends of the Earth. After attending Moody for a year, he moved to Chicago and began to pursue his passion for all things media. He worked at Willow Creek for 12 years in their production department prior to working at The Orchard. He loves to travel and has been fortunate to visit many places around the country and abroad. Mark and his wife Heidi love spending time with their children, Malachy, Owen, and Madeline.
Global Ministries Coordinator
Georgette and her husband, Joe, came to The Orchard in 1996 and soon after began serving in Student Ministries. In 2007, Georgette joined The Orchard Student Ministries staff. Georgette now works alongside Brad Mullet, coordinating Global Ministries at The Orchard. She enjoys facilitating mission trips and has been blessed to serve personally on short team teams for Katrina, Bangkok, Greece and Hungary. She and Joe have two adult children, Andrew (and wife Emily) and Ally and (husband Will).
Director of Campus Ministries
Grace grew up in Wisconsin and went on to study Organizational Communications at Cedarville University with minors in both Marketing and Biblical Studies. She enjoys an organized space, anything chocolate, and exploring coffee shops with her husband, Christopher.
Pastor of Outreach
Shohei was born and raised in Japan. He came to Chicago in 2004 with his family and has been on staff at The Orchard since 2008. He loves to share the good news of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19-20) and has a vision for all diverse people being united in the name of Jesus worshiping Him together (Revelation 7:9). He graduated from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in 2008 with his Master of Divinity. Shohei and his wife, Nami, have two children, Paul and Rayna. He enjoys reading, exercising, and playing electric guitar.
Rita was raised in Central Florida where she met her husband, Brian. All three of their children, Emily, Ben and Sara, were born there. They moved to the northwest suburbs of Chicago in 1994 and began attending The Orchard in 1999. After serving as the interim accountant here, Rita closed her 12-year-old accounting business, knowing she was called to work at The Orchard. Rita and her family attend the Barrington Campus.
Pastor of Congregational Life
Luke was born in Chicago and raised in Deerfield, IL. After high school, he went to culinary school in Providence RI, and worked as a chef in several exclusive restaurants in southern California. After ten years, Luke returned to the Chicagoland area and found his passion for God’s Word and spiritual growth. Upon graduating from Trinity with a Master of Divinity, Luke and Rachel married and currently live in Carol Stream. He has moved-out of the kitchen to pursue pastoral ministry but still loves to use his culinary skills and hospitality for the gift of the gospel.
Linda grew up in Palatine and met her husband, Clint, at Trinity International University. They have been members at The Orchard since 1999 and attend the Arlington Heights Campus. During those years, Linda has served in many areas including Middle School Ministries. Linda has two married children and multiple lovely grandchildren.
Worship Pastor Dan Wells became a Christian in 1992 and poured his life into the Church. In the spring of 2000, he began full-time ministry at the Evangelical Free Church in Orange, CA, where he served until God called him here to The Orchard in September 2007. Trained in music at UCLA, Dan holds BA and MA degrees in composition and piano performance. He has been married since 1995 to his wife, Midge, and has three wonderful children, Lea, Donny, and Debbie.
Griffin was born and raised in Fargo, North Dakota. He studied music at North Dakota State University while also cultivating a deep love for local church ministry. Upon graduation, Griffin came to The Orchard in August 2016. He and his wife, Alex, were married in 2017. Griffin and Alex enjoy experiencing God’s creation in nature and making food together.
Russ earned a Bachelor of Science in Business from Taylor University, where he met his wife, Sandy. They live in Arlington Heights and have attended The Orchard since 1982. Prior to coming on staff in April 2010, he was project manager for a large real estate/property management firm in Chicago. Russ has previously served on the Audio Visual and Properties Councils. Russ and Sandy have two grown daughters who live in the area.
Sandy grew up in Erie, PA and met her husband, Russ, at Taylor University in Indiana. They have been attending The Orchard since shortly after their marriage in 1982 and have two adult daughters who are married and live in the area. Sandy came on staff in 2004, working for Pastor Colin's radio ministry, Unlocking the Bible, and in 2006 became Pastor Colin’s Executive Assistant.
Children’s Ministries Coordinator
Amy grew up in Palatine and at The Orchard. She studied Elementary Education at Wheaton College. After meeting her husband, Karl, at The Orchard, they married in 2002. They have two daughters, Kaeleigh and Madison.
Luke grew up in Mattoon, Illinois, where his father worked at a paper company as a maintenance supervisor, and his mother worked at their church as a counselor. In 2018, after graduating from Eastern Illinois University with a bachelor’s in accounting, Luke enrolled at Trinity Evangelical Divinity school with an intention to go into pastoral ministry. He is passionate about gospel-centered teaching and discipleship. His goal is to lead and disciple people to be rooted in the gospel and equipped for ministry in their families, communities, and beyond.
Lauren grew up in Ohio and put her faith in Christ when she was 5-years-old. She attended The Chapel in Akron, Ohio where she met her husband, Matt. At that church, she began serving in children’s ministry. Through many years and different ministries, she’s enjoyed teaching children in various capacities and has been involved with Orchard Kids since 2011 at the Arlington Heights Campus. She enjoys working on repurposing furniture and home décor and maintains a DIY blog in her “spare” time. Her son and daughter-in-law live in Boston and her twin daughters, Sarah and Megan, work in the tourism industry as adventure guides.
Pastor of Seniors and Care
Matt grew up near Cleveland, OH. While serving in the Air Force in Germany, he became a follower of Jesus Christ. After returning to the states, he met his wife, Lauren, while attending The Chapel in Akron, OH. They married in 1984. Matt graduated from Moody Bible Institute with a degree in Pastoral Ministries and served as the youth pastor at Trinity EFC in South Bend before becoming Senior Pastor of Living Hope Fellowship in Itasca, IL in 1996. Matt and Lauren have a son Aaron, and twin daughters, Megan and Sarah. He joined the staff of The Orchard in June 2010.
Mary grew up in South Bend, Indiana. She graduated from Bethel College in Mishawaka, Indiana with a bachelors degree in Music Education. She started to attended The Orchard in 1979, served two years in Korea with TEAM (sent by The Orchard), helped plant Grace Church in Palatine and returned to the Arlington Heights Campus in 2008. She has more than 25 years of IT experience in computer software, data analysis and reporting tools. Mary has been on staff since April 2008 helping to support the church management software.