Current Elder Board

Willow Creek’s Elders are nominated by the congregation and serve according to the role of an Elder laid out in Scripture. To learn about the characteristics, skills, commitment, and duties of an Elder, read Willow’s Elder qualifications.

DeAnne Appleton

DeAnne and her husband, Lance, have been active at Willow South Barrington since 2004. DeAnne has served in the Care Center, and currently serves as a co-leader of the Rebuild Grief workshop, as a co-leader of her small group, and as a volunteer with a prison ministry. A retired educator, she serves on several boards in the community. DeAnne’s spiritual gifts are shepherding, wisdom, teaching, leadership and administration.

Gary DeClute

Gary and his wife, Jacqueline, began attending Willow in 1990 and currently attend our Wheaton Campus. He served in a number of roles on the Sports Ministry team, Harvest team, Care Center team, Prayer team, and Pastoral Visitation team. Currently, Gary serves as a small group leader of two groups. He has worked and served as the Executive Director for Victory Sports. His spiritual gifts include teaching, leadership, administration, and shepherding.

Harold Engelmann

Harold has been an active member of Willow South Barrington since 1998. Over the years, he has served as a small group leader for men, couples, and in Next Gen ministries (both kids and students). He also served as a table leader in the Biggies and Marriage ministries. Harold is an Enterprise Architect in IT at Zurich Insurance. His spiritual gifts are teaching, leadership and discernment. Harold and his wife, Pam, have three children.

Simon Goodall

Simon gave his life to Christ through the Student Impact (HSM) ministry shortly after moving from the UK in 1993. After several years away, God called them back to the Chicago area and to Willow, where he has used his spiritual gifts of leadership, administration, and giving to serve in a number of ministries, including small groups, sections, kids ministry, and C.A.R.S. Simon and his wife, Stephanie, currently live in Inverness with their four children, and they all attend the South Barrington campus.

Sophia Narasimhan

Sophia began attending Willow in 1996 and increased her involvement in 2002 when she began facilitating women’s Bible studies. Sophia and her husband, Ravi, attend the South Barrington campus. She served as a junior high ministry small group and point leader for nine years and currently serves as an HSM small group leader. She has worked as an Executive Director at JLL and is currently the Global IT Audit Lead at Kraft Heinz. Her spiritual gifts include leadership, pastoring, teaching, and wisdom.

Mike Shintani

Mike has been actively involved at Willow since 2002. He served in several positions on staff at Willow, including Executive Director of Ministries. As a volunteer, Mike has served in many areas, including Willow Students, evangelism, and the prayer team. Mike is the Chief Operating Officer at a Chicago-based construction firm. His spiritual gifts are shepherding, leadership, discernment, wisdom, hospitality, and administration. Trinity and Mike, and their two daughters, attend the South Barrington campus.

Elders in Training

In order to best equip individuals to serve as Elders, they undergo one year of training prior to their serving term. When the congregation nominates and affirms Elders, they become “Elders in Training,” participating in Elder meetings and training but do not have a vote on the board until they are fully installed.

Elders in Training will be listed below once they are confirmed.