Ministry Staff

Staff Image Boerckel - Pastor Scott's bio picture


Scott Boerckel

Senior Pastor

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 the Oak.


Staff Image Whittaker - Pastor Traig Whittaker






Traig Whittaker

Senior Associate Pastor

Pastor Traig came to EWO 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 at EWO 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.


Staff Image Baertsch - Pastor Walt Baertsch



Walt Baertsch

Associate Pastor Youth

Pastor Walt came to EWO with fourteen years of ministry experience, twelve of which have been years spent in youth ministry in Wisconsin and Colorado. Prior to coming to East White Oak, 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. Pastor Walt's ministry is focused primarily on Junior and Senior High School students.



Staff Image Van Gundy - Pastor Larry Van Gundy


Larry Van Gundy

Associate Pastor Outreach & Care

Pastor Larry has been in pastoral ministry over the last 25 years. He is a graduate of Grand Rapids School of the Bible and Music, where he majored in Bible. He also earned a Bachelor's Degree in Church Ministries and a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Counseling from Liberty University. Pastor Larry oversees local outreach and helping people grow to greater participation in the ministry at EWO from welcoming guests to becoming members.


Staff Image Josh Prather


Josh Prather

Assistant Youth Pastor

The newest member of our pastoral team, Josh came to EWO in April 2015.  He serves in the youth ministry as the primary teacher for both Jr. and Sr. High.  Josh earned a B.S. in Biblical Studies and is currently pursuing an M.Div. in Biblical Counseling from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  Prior to coming to EWO, Josh worked on staff at a camp in New Hampshire for 6 years. Josh and his wife, Marcie, are the parents of two young energetic boys.   



Staff Image Seifert - Kris Seifert



Kris Seifert

Director of Children's Ministries

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 EWO's Sunday morning programs.




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