About Us


Senior Pastor Grace Imathiu


First Church staff members work alongside volunteers to plan, nurture, and grow our ministries.  We would love to connect you with worship, fellowship, learning, and service opportunities. To reach us  by email or phone, please view the listings below.



Grace Imathiu – Senior Pastor. Grace serves as the lead pastor of the First Church congregation with preaching, worship, staff leadership, and administrative responsibilities. Click here to learn more about Pastor Grace. To read the transcript of a July 2018 interview with her, click here.  You can contact her by email or at 847-864-6181 x217.

Pastor Jane Cheema and Pastor Bonny Roth

Pastor Jane Cheema and Pastor Bonny Roth

Jane Cheema – Pastor of Youth and Family. Jane is our pastor responsible for all youth and children’s ministries at First Church with additional responsibility for our mission and outreach activities. You can reach her by email or at 847-864-6181 x215.

Bonny Roth – Pastor of Pastoral Care and Adult Education/Faith Formation Coordinator. Bonny is our part-time pastor responsible for visiting members, providing pastoral care during crises and distress, and serving as staff liaison to our Lay Visitors and Congregational Care Committee.  Bonny also overseas adult education classes and small groups.  Please contact her by email or at 847-830-4636.


Mary Taylor-Johnson – Director of Membership and Visitor Connections.  Mary’s responsibilities include visitor outreach, the Inquirers Class and membership process for those who wish to join First Church, and membership retention and engagement.  You can reach her Mary via email or at 847-864-6181 x216.

Brian Schoettler – Minister of Music/Organist.  Brian leads the First Church music program, serving as organist and directing the Chancel Choir, Handbell Choir, Children’s Choir, Gospel Choir, Festival Choir, and instrumental ensembles. You can reach him via email or at 847-864-6181 x219.

Cherie Asante – Children’s Ministry Coordinator. Cherie works with parent volunteers, Children’s Ministry staff, and Pastor Jane to run our children’s Sunday School program, Children’s Chapel, First Steps to Faith, summer camps, J.U.M.P. youth group, and seasonal family programs. Please contact Cherie by email or at 847-864-6181 x211.

Beth Ruppe – Total Child Center Director. Beth is the Director of the Total Child Preschool and Childcare Center, a First Church outreach program housed on the second floor of our building. Please contact her by email or at 847-864-6181 x218.


Candi Boutwell – Church Business Administrator. Candi is responsible for all aspects of the church’s administrative operations: office management, building management, financial management, and supervision of our janitorial staff and services. She can be reached by email or at 847-864-6181 x214.

Pam Farnquist – Administrative Assistant & Web Content Coordinator. Pam takes care of website and social media updates and podcast production. She also manages the wedding booking process at the church. Pam also puts together the weekly worship service bulletin and First Things First bulletin insert. She creates many of our publicity pieces and performs other publishing jobs as needed. You can reach Pam by email or at 847-864-6181.

Scott Freeman – Finance Manager. Scott is responsible for all accounts payable and for contribution records for the church’s donors. In addition he keeps the financial records for the church’s $4.1 million endowment.

Lee Peakes – Weekend Custodian. Lee is responsible for Saturday and Sunday setup and janitorial services for the church.

Steve Silverman – Weekday Custodian. Steve is responsible for all setup and janitorial services for the church during the week.


Our organizational structure reflects the wide variety of committees and groups that work to support and expand our ministries. Each committee consists of church members and a staff liaison. Click here to see our organizational chart.