“Be shepherds of the church of God,
which he bought with his own blood.” — Acts 20:28
Rev. Sue Allen, Lead Pastor
Pastor Sue was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minn., and transferred to Illinois in 1979. She received her master of divinity degree from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and served several suburban congregations prior to her call here to Living Lord. “My passion is communicating God’s love, grace, and forgiveness. I look forward to helping you find your passion in ministry so that together we can grow deeper in faith and serve a world in need.”
“Where I am, my servant also will be.” — John 12:26
Bob Esmail, Director of Youth and Family Ministries
Bob’s main responsibility is to oversee the development and growth of Living Lord’s Youth and Family Ministry. This ministry focuses on the faith development of the entire family. Under this model, the church provides resources and helps build relationships within families and the church community. Bob also leads teen Bible studies and a variety of weekly youth activities, coordinates the teen small group ministry, plans and leads mission trips, assists with the Confirmation Program for seventh and eighth graders, and helps with Midweek MANIA, our ministry to fifth and sixth graders.
Bob and his family have been members of Living Lord for more than 16 years. Before joining the church staff, he was actively involved in working with the youth of Living Lord for more than 10 years as a volunteer. Bob finds the most rewarding part of his job is that “the youth trust and accept me as a friend and mentor. They invite me into their lives.” He’s found that these relationships have brought him closer to God through the teens’ “authenticity and honest love for Christ.”
Steve Ricci, Director of Sunday School and Youth Choir
After a 41 year career in the transportation industry and 24 years as a Sunday School volunteer, Steve joined the Staff of Living Lord in 2019 as Director of Sunday School and Youth Choir. Steve taught Sunday School for five years and along with Mary Ellen, his wife, has led the Music portion of this ministry for 24 years. As Sunday School Director Steve oversees programs for preschoolers, and grades K -6. He is responsible for curriculum selection, recruiting volunteer staffing, coordinating training, purchasing supplies, and teaching and adhering to our Safe Haven training. Each summer, Steve is also responsible for the selection and oversight of VBS, managing over 150 children, parents and teens in this vibrant and exciting faith journey. Additionally, Steve facilitates communication among the parents, church staff, and church council.
Steve has been an active participant in vocal and instrumental music his entire life. He and Mary Ellen lead the JOY! Choir, for 1st through 8th grade children and The Little J’s, a weekly parent/child music and Bible story ministry for preschool and kindergarten age children. Steve and Mary Ellen also direct the yearly Living Lord Christmas Pageant, managing over 50 children, teens, and adults in the telling of the Christ child’s birth. Steve and his family have been members of Living Lord for over 25 years.
Nicolette Mills, Office Administrator
Nicolette serves as the office receptionist, assists in managing worship-assistant schedules; helps prepare weekly worship materials, coordinates mailings; performs data entry; copies bulletins and other printed items, and assists with record keeping and special projects that come up on a daily basis. Nicolette also generates the weekly e-mail newsletter and the bi-weekly printed newsletter.
Nicolette had her first communion, as well as her Confirmation here at Living Lord. She graduated from Illinois State University, and after 11 years in the Early Childhood field, Nicolette joined the staff here at Living Lord in 2020. “I am so blessed to be able to give back to a place that shaped the person I am today.”