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.Read More
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”!
Pastor Ryan Mackey grew up in Dixon, Illinois. It was at Dixon High School that he met his wife,
Tara. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Augustana College in Rock Island,
Illinois and a Master of Divinity degree from Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa.
Pastor Ryan’s career in ministry began when he was hired to be the Youth and Family Ministry
Coordinator at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Dixon in 2012. After six years of serving
Immanuel, he felt the Holy Spirit calling him to finally enter seminary and begin a new chapter
as a rostered minister in the ELCA.
Through Wartburg’s Collaborative Learning program, Ryan was able to attend classes full-time
on-line via Zoom, while also serving as the pastoral leader of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran
Church in Manlius, Illinois. This amazing program allowed Ryan to gain four years of pastoral
experience while learning and exploring his faith in seminary.
During the summer of 2022, Ryan accepted his first call at Shepherd of the Prairie and was
ordained on July 23, 2022.
Ryan and Tara live in Crystal Lake with their three amazing boys, Derek, Evan, and Jack. The
whole family enjoys being a part of this genuinely welcoming and vibrant worshipping
Kenda Coots is the new Assistant Teacher for our Little Lambs Preschool program. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Southern Illinois University and a Master’s degree from Northern Illinois University in Early Childhood Special Education.Read More
Kendra has led preschool classrooms and worked in the Early Intervention Program as a Developmental Therapist. She is very excited to share her passion in working with children and families at Little Lambs Preschool program. Kendra lives in Huntley with her husband and her three children.
Jill Gillming is the Director of Children and Family Ministry. She graduated from Illinois State University with a degree in Education.Read More
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.
I can’t remember a time when God and my church family have not been some of the most important things in my life.Read More
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 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.
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.Read More
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.
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.
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
Music has always played an important role in Jeff’s life. From hearing popular songs on the radio and playing those songs on the piano as a young child, to touring the US, Europe, and Asia as part of the Judson University Choir and Handbell Choir (and meeting his wife Emily in Japan), to leading corporate worship for more than 20 years, music continues to play an important role in Jeff’s life.Read More
As a passionate worshiper, Jeff strives to lead others in developing a lifestyle of worship. He holds a Master of Worship Studies degree from the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies and has led various workshops and seminars on worship design and the use of technology in worship. A key verse for Jeff is Colossians 3:17, which says, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Jeff, his wife Emily, and his sons Elijah & Samuel are longtime Huntley residents. Jeff is absolutely thrilled to join the team at Shepherd of the Prairie and is excited to serve the community in which he lives.
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.Read More
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!
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 in 2001 followed by their next two daughters in 2003 & 2008.Read More
Michelle was thankful to be able to stay home for 12+ years with all three of their girls while babysitting and tutoring.
Once their youngest started kindergarten, Michelle started working at SOTP and is incredibly thankful to have this position where she can work and serve God – and all of you.
Dave Shotick serves Shepherd of the Prairie as Accounting Administrator. In this role he is responsible for paying the church’s bills and producing monthly financial statements.Read More
Dave has a degree in Accounting from the University of Illinois and is a CPA. He is retired from a career of over 30 years in various accounting positions at Caterpillar, Inc. He and his wife Joyce moved from Peoria to Huntley in 2015 to be closer to their family and joined Shepherd of the Prairie at that time. Dave feels blessed to have the opportunity to serve by helping to care for the financial resources that our members and friends so generously share with the church.
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.Read More
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.
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.
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.