SOTP Staff

Pastor Mark Boster

Pastor Mark Boster

Pastor Mark Boster grew up in Quincy, Illinois. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in History and Political Science from Indiana State University and his Master of Divinity degree from The Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. Mark has served congregations in Centralia, Illinois and Washington, Illinois.

In 2004 Mark, who felt a strong calling to mission ministry, took what he considered to be a “leap of faith” and accepted the position as first called pastor to Shepherd of the Prairie. He and his wife Annette moved their family of six to Huntley where they began their new life. Annette remembers taking children Zac, Seth, Jon and Grace to Chesak School to attend their first SOTP worship service in a multi-purpose room. The children were stunned to be in school we called church and wondered, innocently, “Where are the pews?”

Fast forward to today. Through prayer, perseverance and God’s continuous provision of so many servant hearted people, Shepherd of the Prairie has become a vibrant growing church family. With our recent building expansion, we will now have pews. Mark and Annette are grateful. The Boster children are now adults, taking their own “leaps of faith”!

email Pastor Mark

Pastor Bill Waxenberg - Director of Adult Education

Pastor Bill Waxenberg

Pastor Bill has been a Lutheran minister for 47 years, having served congregations in Washington, Texas, and Iowa. Nine years ago he and his wife Carol moved to Huntley and now reside in Sun City. Their daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter live in Palatine; and their son and his wife are world travelers who live in a variety of locations and are currently residing in Spain.

Pastor Bill is a graduate of the University of Iowa (and passionate about the Hawkeyes), and a devoted follower of the Cubs.

Pastor Bill was not reared in the church, and both he and his wife are Lutherans by choice. "I am excited about being a Lutheran Christian and look forward to growing with you in faith as we explore what it means to be the people of God in this time and place."

email Pastor Bill

Brian Buesing - Contemporary Worship Leader

Brian Buesing

Brian has been involved in music for a big part of his life. His music experiences include marching band and various choirs at Lake Park High School, choir at Eastern Illinois University, and various bands on the side. His worship experiences include praise and worship bands at Bloomingdale Alliance Church in Bloomingdale, The Methodist Wesley Foundation at EIU, Spring Valley Prespitarian in Roselle, and here at Shepard of the Prairie in Huntley. Brian also writes and performs songs for various celebrations such as holiday and retirement parties, and staff meetings at his full time job in Barrington School District 220.

Brian is a math teacher at Barrington Middle School Prairie Campus and has taught grades varying from 6 through 12. He has also coached both girls and boys volleyball at Barrington High School as well as Barrington Middle School Prairie Campus.

Brian received his Bachelor of Arts Mathematics Degree from Eastern Illinois University, Master of Arts Degree in School Leadership from Concordia University River Forrest, Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from National Louis University in Chicago, IL, and Special Education Certification from University of St. Francis in Joilet, IL.

Brian is passionate about working with youth, helping to develop a life long love for learning, and sharing God's love with the world! He enjoys playing and listening to music, movies, sports, and being with his family. He is extremely excited to join the staff at Shepherd of the Prairie and lead the contemporary worship band!

email Brian

Becca Colson - Youth Intern

Becca Colson

My name is Becca Colson. I'm from Belvidere, IL, and I'm currently 20 years old. I'm studying at Judson University, double majoring between psychology and Christian ministries, and I'll be graduating next fall! I enjoy reading, when I have the time, and writing, drawing, or listening to music. I got engaged to a wonderful man this summer, and we'll be getting married this next August. My favorite place is Blackhawk Baptist Camp in Oregon, IL, where I spent my summers and grew closer to God and my best friends. God gave me a passion for working with youth, and I am super excited to grow and learn in this position!

email Becca

Melanie Chesny - Accounting Administrator

Melanie Chesny

Melanie Chesny serves on the SOTP staff as part-time Accounting Administrator. In this role she pays the church's bills, produces monthly financial statements for the Finance Team and Church Council and processes all staff payroll. Previously Melanie has worked as the Accounting and Human Resources Manager for a privately held print and brand management organization. She carries with her over twenty three years of combined Finance, Accounting, Payroll and Human Resources experience.

Melanie and her family moved to Huntley, IL in May 2017, which at the time she stayed at home with her young children. She joined SOTP in January of 2020.

email Melanie

Tessa DeLong - Director of Children and Family Ministry

Tessa DeLong

Tessa’s background includes being a recent graduate of Judson University with a Bachelors Degree in Youth Ministry and Adolescent Studies. Tessa was a nominated member of Judson University’s Christian Ministries and Biblical Studies, Theta Alpha Kappa Chapter. She is also a Certified Administrative Therapist (CAT) and has worked with and provided Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Therapy to individuals with autism. Additionally, Tessa has worked alongside a church Children Ministry team and helped to develop and run a Vacation Bible School (VBS).

Tessa aims to provide a program not only for the children of Shepherd of the Prairie but for their families as well. She wants to create a program that reflects the gospel as well as pours into the hearts and lives of our children and families

email Tessa

Jill Gillming - Director and Lead Teacher - Little Lambs

Jill Gillming

Jill Gillming is the Director and Lead Teacher for the Little Lambs program. She graduated from Illinois State University with a degree in Education. She has worked in the Huntley school district as a teacher and an aide for Kindergartners with special needs. She was a Director of Education at a Sylvan Learning Center. Jill lives in Huntley with her husband and her two children. The Gillming family are charter members of Shepherd of the Prairie.

email Jill

Donna Kelly - Connections Minister

Donna Kelly

I grew up in Los Angeles, CA and went to Lutheran schools all through my first year of college. After we were married my husband and I moved to Rochelle, IL where we lived with our two children (now grown). After his retirement from the police department in Rochelle, we moved to Rowlett, TX where we lived until 2009, when my husband died.

I can’t remember a time when God and my church family have not been some of the most important things in my life. While we were active in our home congregation my husband and I also spent twenty years ministering through Lutheran Marriage Encounter and it was a wonderful opportunity to grow in our faith. I have been trained as a Lay Chaplain, a Conflict Mediator, a Grief Counselor and have completed the ELCA diakonia course.

I have two grown children, two “children-in-law” and four beautiful grandchildren. My favorite things to do are spending time with my “kids”, gardening, painting, decorating and all types of crafts.

I am very excited about being a part of my family here at Shepherd of the Prairie and about serving as Connections Minister. I look forward to continuing the ministry God has called me to.

email Donna

Dennis Lilla - Computer Applications and Tech Support

Dennis Lilla

Dennis' educational background consists of a BS in Electrical Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), a MS in Electrical Engineering from Midwest College of Engineering and a MS in Computer Science from IIT. He enjoyed a 37-year career at Zenith Electronics Corp as an circuit design engineer and Scientific Computer Analyst.

Dennis started at SOTP as the part-time office manager from 2004-2009 working for Pastor Ken McKnight in the Citiizens Bank church office. His responsibilities involved typical office tasks such as layout and production of the Sunday Bulletins and the "Daily Devotional" documents. Other office duties include phones, mailings, special scheduling, helping office volunteers and designing office procedures and forms. He was also involved with the first major re-design of the church Web site

Dennis is currently working as the church Computer Application and Tech Support person. His duties consist of almost anything computer-related: hardware and software support for the office network, computer backup strategy, congregation communication via the "Daily Devotional" and "Friday Flourish" emails and layout/production of the Sunday Bulletins. He is also serving as Webmaster for the church Web site.

email Dennis

Jane McMullen - Music Director

Jane McMullen

My heart, O God, is steadfast;
 I will sing and make music
 with all my soul.
Awake, harp and lyre!
 I will awaken the dawn.
I will praise you, LORD,
among the nations;
 I will sing of you among the peoples.

--Psalm 108:1-3

Jane has spent her entire adult life passionately leading God’s people in worship through the powerful vehicle of music. Her experience spans 30 years and includes liturgical and non-liturgical music, choral music, handbells, and instrumental music in traditional, alternative, blended and contemporary worship styles.

Jane grew up in Barrington, Illinois and was a graduate of Barrington High school and a active member of St Matthew Lutheran Church where her Uncle, her early years mentor Walter Krauss, was organist and choir master. After high school Jane attended Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan studying music with an emphasis in violin performance, choral conducting and literature. Upon completion of her studies, Jane has done extensive free lance violin work as well as private instruction. Jane has held several Church positions where she has added much to their programs including orchestras, handbell programs and new contemporary bands. For two years, Jane was a member of the Northern Illinois Synod Worship team and directed the Synod assembly choir and a handbell choir for Festival worship.

Jane lives in Huntley and is married to Tim, they have two grown children, Shannon, 27 and Kevin, 24. When not working, Jane volunteers as Director of Encore String and Wind Ensemble, enjoys swimming and is an avid cook and baker.

Jane is humbled and honored to have been selected as Worship and Music Director of Shepherd of the Prairie and is excited to see what plans God has for this awesome and thriving church family.

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. -- Hebrews 13:15

email Jane

Matt Morrison - Operations Manager

Matt Morrison

Matt is so excited to be part of the Shepherd of the Prairie Lutheran Church team! He graduated from Western Illinois University with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, minoring in Sociology and Spanish.

Since graduating college, he has worked for different non-profits and government bodies dealing with social issues such as poverty, homelessness, domestic violence, hunger, mental health and public transportation in various team and leadership roles.

Growing up, Matt knew his purpose was to serve the people. He felt that the world could always use more people who were willing to help those in need and feels that in his role, he will be able to bring a very people centric focus to his work. Matt plans to be an energetic and positive presence to add the already great team that SOTP has!

email Matt

Michelle Rankin - Office Manager

Michelle Rankin

After working as the assistant to a Regional VP of Marketing for Cingular Wireless, Michelle and her husband Roy were blessed with their first daughter. She was able to stay home for 12+ years with all three of their girls (babysitting and tutoring other kids also). Now that their girls are all in school, Michelle incredibly thankful to have this position where she can work and serve God.

email Michelle

Mike Yndestad -- A/V Coordinator

Mike Yndestad

Mike grew up in Naperville, Illinois and was confirmed at Our Savior's Lutheran Church and graduated from Naperville North High School. Mike and his family: Rachael, Annika, and Luther are active members of Shepherd of the Prairie Lutheran Church. In addition to being a member and lead volunteer for SOTP’s Community Outreach Team, Mike taught Sunday School for several years.

Mike’s educational background includes having a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Fine Art from Illinois State University, which included Honors recognition in Photography, plus completion of a minor curriculum in Cinema Studies. Mike also offers technical knowledge of and experience with audio visual systems and operations. Mike has over 25 years of experience in professional presentation support and corporate communication and marketing.

email Mike

SOTP Council

The Shepherd of the Prairie Congregational Council is the official lay governing body of this congregation and is responsible for administering the total life of the congregation, both spiritual and temporal.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Congregational Council is responsible for assisting the pastors in the spiritual oversight of the congregation and to see that all rules and regulations of the congregation are rightly executed. The Council also transacts all necessary business of the congregation and provides such personnel as are needed. The Council is made up of boards each of which share responsibility for the work of the ministry of this congregation.

Mike Luecht
Sarah Wolf
Joyce Shotick

Bob Mollis
Cheryl Adams

Kathy McGuine

Ellen Nissen

Christa Serpe