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. 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 Discipleship and Mission. Jane provides leadership for youth ministry including the confirmation process for 7th and 8th grade students and learning and fellowship opportunities for high school students. In addition, she leads mission trips and other service projects for youth and works with the Mission and Outreach Committee to provide and oversee opportunities for adults. You can reach her by email or at 847-864-6181 x215.

Bonny Roth – Pastor of Pastoral Care and Adult Faith Formation. 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 coordinates faith formation opportunities such as small groups.  Please contact her by email or at 847-830-4636.


Jane Cheema — see above.

Colin McDonald – Director of Children’s Ministry. Colin works with parent volunteers and Children’s Ministry staff to run our children’s Sunday School program, Children’s Chapel, summer camps, J.U.M.P., Club 123, nursery programs and seasonal family programs. Please contact Colin by email.

Alex Rea – Nursery Coordinator.

Lisa Gresch – Connect56 Coordinator.

Alexander Dungan – Youth Ministry Intern.

Pauline Omboko – Children’s Ministry Intern.


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.

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


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.

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.

Bella Vavra – Administrative Assistant. Bella assists with the church’s database management and communications.

Nate Brimner Smith – AV Technical Director. Nate coordinates the technical aspects required to successfully record and stream church services, as well as assisting in the general maintenance and operation of audio, video, lighting, and stage equipment.

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.