Pastoral Staff

Senior Pastor

Scott Boerckel

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Scott loves being a pastor and teaching God’s Word. Before he was a pastor, he worked as a ceramic engineer (and bonus points for anyone who actually knows what that is). He sometimes uses the training that he received at the University of Illinois (Go Illini!), Grace Theological Seminary, and Jerusalem University College. Scott’s wife, Carol, is an awesome watercolor artist who really knows how to think Christianly about the arts. Scott likes cycling with friends, enjoying his ever growing family, and learning from the community of God’s people at East White Oak.
Senior Associate Pastor

Traig Whittaker

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Pastor Traig came to East White Oak in 2000 with over ten years of ministry experience, all in the Peoria, IL area. For seven years he served as the Executive Director of the Christian Center, a ministry to families, children and youth. Immediately prior to joining the pastoral staff here, he served as the Director of Christian Education at Grace Presbyterian Church (PCA). Traig is a graduate of Wheaton College. He grew up in the Peoria area and came to Christ at a young age under the influence of his Christian family. His ministry responsibilities include oversight of the church's Christian Education programs and some administrative duties.
Associate Pastor of Youth & Young Adult Ministries

Walt Baertsch

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Pastor Walt came to East White Oak with fourteen years of ministry experience, twelve of which have been years spent in youth ministry in Wisconsin and Colorado. Prior to coming to Illinois, Walt served as the Senior Pastor at Northwest Baptist Church in Denver. He is a graduate of Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota where he majored in Bible and Youth Ministry. Walt also holds a Masters Degree in Global Leadership from Fuller Seminary. Pastor Walt's ministry is focused primarily on Junior and Senior High School students.
Associate Pastor of Outreach and Discipleship

Justin Waples

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Pastor Justin is East White Oak’s Outreach and Discipleship Pastor. Justin graduated with his Bachelors in Religion from Liberty University and his Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministries from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. Before coming to East White Oak, Justin worked in the Energy Management and Building Automations industry for 8 years, followed by his Associate Pastor role in Virginia as an Outreach and Families Pastor. Justin is married to his wife Abigail and they are blessed with three children. Justin and his family love exploring God’s beautiful creation through biking, hiking & camping. They love to explore new places and take walks with their two golden retrievers. Justin is passionate about equipping the saints for ministry and helping each member reach out and connect with their neighbors and community and grow as maturing followers of Jesus Christ.
Pastor of Spiritual Development and Missions

Jeff VanGoethem

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Dr. Jeff VanGoethem has been in pastoral ministry for 40 years, including nearly twenty as Senior Pastor of East White Oak. He has returned to East White Oak after pastoring for some years in Dallas, Texas to serve as our Associate Pastor of Spiritual Development and Missions. Pastor Jeff has a heart for prayer and missions. He is a graduate of Central Michigan University and Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M. and D.Min.). He is also an adjunct professor in the D.Min. program of the Seminary, working primarily with doctoral students who are rural and small town pastors. He grew up in the small town of Norway, Michigan in the U.P., and met and married his wife Karen there. They have four daughters and four grandchildren and enjoy family activities, sports, and especially the Green Bay Packers.

Ministry Staff

Director of Children's Ministries

Kris Seifert

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Kris Seifert has a degree in Elementary Education from Illinois State University. She came to East White Oak with many years of ministry experience to children through Sunday school, Children's Church, and Vacation Bible School. She also served Bible Study Fellowship as their Children's Supervisor for five years. Her ministry is primarily focused on Sunday morning programs.

Support Staff

Monica Ball

Office Manager

Emily Henard


Shelley Jun

Financial Secretary

Lindsey Studnicki

Administrative Assistant

Bruce Jacobs

Building & Grounds