THE IMMANUEL TEAM

Meet the team. This group works crazy-hard to create environments to help you engage, get involved, and grow in your faith journey. The best part? They're very normal people! Find out just how normal by reading their bio.


If there's anything we can help you with, please let us know. We're here for you.

  • JOSH PETERSEN

    LEAD pastor

    After serving as the Student Ministries Pastor for 10 years, Josh Petersen is now the Lead Pastor of Immanuel Church. He’s married to Heidi and together they live with Jake, Logan, Cole and Sawyer at the circus they call home.

  • JURRELL BELONGA

    executive PASTOR

    Jurrell and his family moved to Lake County from New Orleans in the summer of 2007 and they have been part of the Immanuel family since 2008.  He served as an Elder from 2010 until he joined the Immanuel staff in 2013.  Jurrell and his lovely wife Sheryll, have three sons: Jurrell Jr., Joell and Jamel. 

  • TONY BEAUDION

    RECOVERY PASTOR

    For nine years, Tony has lead the Recovery Ministry at Immanuel. He's been married to his wife, Pamela, for 35 years and they have three kids and six grandkids. Tony especially enjoys watching the Bears, Blackhawks, and Cubs - a true Chicago sports fan.

  • BRYAN Bicket

    PASTOR OF GROUP LIFE

    One of the pastors at Immanuel, Bryan likes sports, good food, and hosting people at his home. Most importantly, he loves Jesus, his unbelievably incredible wife, Betsy, and their three sons, Caleb, Joshua, and Josiah. Bryan and his family have just begun the journey known as foster parenting. 

  • Carlton Cessna

    Executive Director of icSports

    Carlton, his wife Laurie, and their son Nathaniel joined Immanuel in 2017. He has been leading Sports and Recreational ministries for over a decade. Carlton loves coaching youth sports and sees sports as an amazing way to connect with kids and adults and introduce them to Jesus. Born near Pittsburgh, PA, Carlton is an avid fan of his Pirates, Penguins, and Steelers.

  • Joanna Elrod

    SERVICE PROGRAMMING DIRECTOR

    Joanna oversees our service programming department including our worship and technical teams. Joanna also works part time as real estate broker. In her spare time she loves to travel and spend time with her family and friends. 

  • DAVE HUNSBERGER

    TECHNICAL DIRECTOR

    Dave's youth as an entertainment technician, actor, and musician has equipped him perfectly for his role of Technical Director. He spends his days designing and perfecting various technical elements within a Sunday service and within the church itself. On any given Sunday, he can usually be found behind either the sound console or the drums. 

  • JAY JENISON

    creative Director

    Jay is husband to Michelle and father to sons Bonn and Finn. When he isn't creating multi-media content, he can be found spending time with his family or fishing lakes in his kayak (usually not catching much).

  • Jenn Jenison

    Creative media Specialist

    Jenn is a Biola University graduate, with a fine arts degree in sculpture and design. In her free time she can be found roaming the aisles of antique shops and bragging about the best state in the country, Michigan.

  • DAGMAR MAY

    PRESCHOOL DIRECTOR

    Dagmar loves being a mom to her two daughters, Megan and Kalie. She lives in Bristol, Wisconsin with her husband and two pugs. When not at work she enjoys reading, trying out a new recipie in the kitchen, coffee with friends and getting lost in the depths of Pinterest.

  • ERIK NESS

    ICYOUTH PROGRAMming DIRECTOR

    Erik works with two teams of volunteer staff creating environments where middle school and high school students can find community and build their relationships with God. He loves doing this ministry with his wife Casey, and enjoys staying active and cooling off with a Dr. Pepper!

  • LINDA SCHULTZ

    Director of guest services

    Linda loves to help visitors get connected and supports a team of volunteers who create a welcoming, comfortable, and caring Sunday morning environment. She and her husband Art, have three adult children. They enjoy traveling, boating, and nature hikes.

  • ZACH SMOLE

    ICKIDS DIRECTOR

    Zach has 2 young children, Jaynie and Zachary, and is married to Natalie. Before Immanuel he was an elementary school teacher for 14 years and has enjoyed working with kids in all facets and all ages. When Zach isn’t hanging with kids, he enjoys fishing (mostly through the ice during winter) or watching baseball and college football.    

  • Gaylord strahan

    Manager of FACILITIES

    Gaylord has been a part of the Immanuel family since 1971, and has been on staff since 2001. When he's not busy at work keeping Immanuel ready for the countless ministries that happen each week, he can be found gardening and spending time with his wife, Marilyn. 

  • MARC TANTILLO

    ICYOUTH DIRECTOR

    Marc is a man of many passions. Music, food, poetry, well told stories and art fill Marc with inspiration. These things have fleshed out the beautiful doctrine Marc learned in church life and religious education. All these things have flowed from being made into a new man himself, and Marc therefore longs to continue to see Christ make all things new. Marc lives in Lake Villa with his wife Melissa and their family of 6 kids.

  • SUE VANLANINGHAM

    office administrator

    Sue enjoys being behind the scenes in Immanuel's offices, serving for almost 16 years. She loves checking things off her to-do list and is considered slightly obsessive by some, but prefers to be called detail-oriented. Sue and her husband Mike, have two married children and five grandchildren and one big, black Beauvier des Flanders named Elah. 

  • Diane Verratti

    ministry facilitator

    Diane Verratti is thankful to God for the privilege of serving on Immanuel's staff since 1988. Reading (mostly mysteries) and walking are favorite leisure activities. She loves - in no particular order - cats, strong coffee, her husband, sons, their wives and their children. She has been actively involved as a volunteer in the revitalization of Waukegan's downtown for the last 16 years.

  • HEATHER WELSCH

    congregational care coordinator

    Heather is the extrovert of the front offices, ready to welcome each guest with a smile, hug, joke or a listening ear when needed. Immanuel has been her home church pretty much since birth. Heather and her handsome husband Jon, love spending time as a family with their three incredibly active boys.

  • JOn Welsch

    Manager of Facilities and Grounds

    Jon is a newer addition to the Immanuel staff. When he's not busy setting up hoops, chairs in the auditorium or making sure the AC is working, he enjoys connecting with people over his love for coffee roasting and more importantly his love for Jesus. Even though his passion for all things coffee is great, his greatest joy is rough housing with his three boys and spending time with his beautiful bride, Heather.