Emily grew up in California and fell in love with Chicago while studying Sociology and Urban Studies at Wheaton College. She started attending New Community in 2007, and lives in Avondale with her husband Mark and three little and rambunctious kiddos: Veronica, Davey, and Nehemiah. Prior to NewCom, Emily envisioned and led programs in nonprofit, higher education, and start-up spaces. In addition to serving as Executive Director, Emily directs our Children, Family, and Youth Ministries. When she isn’t dreaming about new ways to align our church ministries and integrate kids into the NewCom mission, she’s running through the neighborhood, drinking coffee, or talking about current events.
Ruth Nakai was born and raised in Ohio– a state most known for its cornfields and good people! She graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in secondary math education and spent several years post-graduation serving her church there. In 2009, she moved to Chicago because she felt God leading her to live in an under-resourced community and to learn from her urban neighbors there. She fell in love with the city, and since then has lived on the South, West, and North sides of Chicago. Over the past 13 years, Ruth has been involved in various kinds of work: high school teaching, managing and shepherding young adults, community organizing, working at a non-profit, and mentoring youth. When she is not working with New Community, she is probably painting (watercolor), spending time together with her husband (Kenny) or two children, or sharing good food and conversation with close friends.
Carlton Coleman hails from Rockford, IL – home of Cheap Trick and the Rockford Peaches. He has a heart for ministry and a passion to lead God’s people into the Lord’s presence through sincere worship and praise. Over the past 20+ years, Carlton has served in many Worship Ministry capacities from Worship Leader to Minister of Music. He’s also had the privilege of sharing the stage with artists such as Fred Hammond, PFR, and DC Talk. A former Judson (University) College Alum, Carlton serves as a Worship Leader and keyboardist for New Community.
Jessica Renteria is from Sycamore, IL, where she lived with her parents and younger brother until she went to college at North Park University. During her undergrad, Jessica doubled majored in Youth Ministry and Biblical-Theological Studies. Throughout her undergrad, she served and led middle schoolers and high schoolers in three different ministries. Currently, Jessica is pursuing her Master’s in Mental Health Counseling at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. It was during these opportunities that Jessica felt a strong calling and passion in serving and leading youth. As a result, Jessica prayed for God to open an opportunity to serve and lead youth in the Chicago, IL, area. As the Director of Youth Ministries at NewCom, Jessica desires to lead youth to grow deeper in their relationship with God and to participate in God’s work in our world. When Jessica is not working at NewCom, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, watching movies, going to coffee shops, and working out.
After growing up in the Minneapolis area of Minnesota, John followed the call God placed on his heart to begin training for a life of ministry by attending Bethel University. John majored in Biblical and Theological Studies and also attained a minor in Reconciliation studies, setting his heart on fire for Christian education, discipleship, and racial justice. After graduating, John served in multiple capacities with kids including teaching and mentoring children in under-resourced areas of North Minneapolis and St. Paul. Shortly after getting married, John and his wife Bobbie Jo moved to Chicago in the summer of 2020 to begin studying at North Park Theological Seminary where John is currently working towards his Master of Divinity. When not studying theology or teaching kiddos about Jesus, you can find John at a brewery, talking about current events, exploring Chicago or catching a baseball game.
Constance was born and raised in Joliet, Il. After completing her undergraduate and graduate studies at Northern Illinois University, she spent the next few seasons of life working in undergraduate admissions for higher education. These experiences journeying with students and their families through their educational and life transitions nurtured her desire to serve in full-time ministry. Constance is an inquisitive sister who enjoys meeting new people, helping others, creating community and exploring the city through live music.
The Leadership Team is a group of lay leaders who oversee church membership, finances, and staff-related matters. The membership of New Community elects the Leadership Team to serve as representatives of the congregation in overseeing the spiritual welfare and business affairs of the church in collaboration with the Lead Pastor. Each Leadership Team member serves a minimum of two years, and is available to discuss issues that pertain to church business matters. To contact one of our Leadership Team members, please use one of the email addresses below:
We have reserved parking on W. Logan Blvd, designated with orange cones between N. Francisco Ave. and Sacramento Ave. Parking is also available on W. Schubert Ave., Sacramento Ave. and W. Diversey Ave. within approximately 2 blocks of our church.