Contact Us

Sunday services at 9:30am and 11:30am
 2495 Howard St Evanston, IL 60202
(e) [email protected]
(p) 847-328-4544

Upcoming events at Evanston

Our History

The Evanston Vineyard

We have served northern Chicago, Evanston, Skokie and the surrounding area for over 40 years. Our church has significant diversity — there is no ethnic majority and we have people coming from 55 countries. No matter your age, stage of life or background, we expect you’ll find something in common with our church family.

We are a non-denominal congregation, and a member of the Vineyard Association of Churches. The Vineyard is a movement with roots in both pentecostal and evangelical strands. We started in 1976 with about forty people, and today we host 1200 on any given Sunday.

We place a high priority on contemporary worship, Biblical teaching, openness to the Holy Spirit, and committed relationships. We have a heart, vision and boldness for evangelism and ministry to the whole person. We are called to be a church of transformation and mercy for those who have not or could not “make it” in the traditional church.

The Vineyard Movement

Vineyard churches root their theology in Jesus’ teaching on the kingdom of God, embracing an ‘inaugurated eschatology’ – where God’s beautiful future is breaking into our present experience.

In the Vineyard, we see Jesus’ teaching on the kingdom of God as the overarching and integrating theme of the Scriptures.

From our beginnings, the Vineyard has been committed to the proclamation of the kingdom of God, and to bearing witness to the deeds of the kingdom through healing (physical, emotional, and social), doing justice, and delivering those held captive by evil.

We are a people of the Kingdom of God who…

* Partner with the Holy Spirit

* Experience and worship God

* Reconcile people with God and all creation

* Engage in compassionate ministry

* Pursue culturally relevant mission in the worldEach Vineyard church is unique to its specific context, but operates through the lens of these values as we minister among diverse populations and in unique environments.

Our Team

  • Steve Nicholson
    Steve Nicholson Senior Pastor

    Steve Nicholson began ministering as a college student through InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in the early 1970s. After graduation, he moved to the Chicago area where he and several other twenty-something leaders founded what would become the Evanston Vineyard. Steve led the Vineyard USA’s church planting task force for over twenty years, and has trained and ministered to church leaders in India, Australia, New Zealand, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Turkey, Lebanon, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil, Chile and several Central Asian countries as well. Steve and his wife, Cindy, live in Chicago. They have three adult children.

    Areas overseen:  Oversee pastors, primary teaching pastor, primary leader for vision and development

  • Bill Hanawalt
    Bill Hanawalt Executive Pastor

    Bill, a second-generation church planter, was part of the original team that started the church in 1976. Bill received his Bachelor’s degree from Yale University and completed his seminary training at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (now Trinity International University). Bill & his wife, Cheryll, also serve as the Vineyard USA Missions Regional Coordinators for North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. He has been married to Cheryll for 47 years and they have three married sons and six grandchildren.

    Areas overseen: Teaching, Church Council, Global Connections, financial and building operations, Vineyard Institute

  • Cindy Nicholson
    Cindy Nicholson Assistant Pastor

    Cindy Nicholson is a Connecticut Yankee who has found herself for more than three decades living by the shores of Lake Michigan in Chicago. Having married her husband Steve three years into the planting of what is now Vineyard Christian Church of Evanston, she has lived all her married life intimately involved with church planting and church life. Until 2011 she served on the national board of the Vineyard USA, most recently co-leading a task force on women and pastoral ministry. Cindy and Steve have three children, all now married with children of their own.


    Areas overseen: Sunday Morning Prayer Team, Intercessory Prayer

  • Cheryll Hanawalt
    Cheryll Hanawalt Global Connections Pastor

    Cheryll Hanawalt was part of the church planting team for the Evanston Vineyard and is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor providing counseling services for over 30 years. She has coached and trained both professional counselors and church leaders. Cheryll and her husband, Bill, also serve as the Vineyard USA Missions Regional Coordinators for North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. She has been married to Bill for 47 years and together they enjoy three married sons and six grandchildren.


    Areas overseen: Women’s ministry, healing ministry

  • Brian Van Der Werff
    Brian Van Der Werff Worship Pastor

    Brian has been part of the Vineyard movement since 1990, did his pastoral internship at Lakeshore Vineyard in Holland, Michigan, and has been on the pastoral staff of Evanston Vineyard since 2000. He has been leading worship in a wide variety of contexts since 1991. Brian has a deep passion to see people come to intimately know and experience God and the power of His Kingdom in the context of authentic Christian community. He earned an M.A. in Christian Studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, in Deerfield, Illinois, and a Master of Divinity degree from North Park Theological Seminary (Chicago). Brian has been happily married to his wonderful wife Melody since 2005, and they have two sons, (Jackson, 3yrs, and Aiden, 6 mos).

    Areas overseen: Worship, Gospel Choir, media, lighting

  • Dave Sandell
    Dave Sandell Communication & Administration Pastor

    Dave joined our pastoral staff in 2008 and works largely behind the scenes to create the Sunday morning, web and creative experiences of the Evanston Vineyard. He has a BA in Communication and 10+ years of communication strategy experience. He and his wife, Verity, live in Skokie and have three kids, all literal miracles.


    Areas overseen: Communication, video, design & branding, facilities management, special services (e.g. Good Friday)

  • Liz Hawes Ng
    Liz Hawes Ng Community Life Pastor

    Liz joined our staff in 2009 and brings over 10 years of experience in pastoring small groups and leaders. Liz first started following Jesus through a volunteer trip to a Native American reservation when she was 17. She has spent time on the church planting team of the Mercy Vineyard in Minneapolis and earned her M.Div. at Bethel Seminary in 2009. Liz continues to lead volunteer trips to the reservation, and she is a founding member of the non-profit Hope for the First Nations. Liz and her husband, Jason, live in Evanston and have two children.

    Areas overseen: Small Groups

  • Renée Cunningham
    Renée Cunningham Neighborhood Campus Pastor

    Renée pastors our Neighborhood Campus, the second location of the Evanston Vineyard. Renée is a teaching pastor at the Neighborhood Campus and oversees the campus leadership team. Renée’s relationship with Jesus began here at the Evanston Vineyard where she spent most of her formative years. After serving as pastors at La Viña Las Condes in Santiago Chile, Renée, a Chicago native, and her husband Bruce, returned to Chicago in 2011. Renée graduated from North Park Theological Seminary in 2014 with an M.A. in Christian Spiritual Formation and joined the Evanston Vineyard pastoral team in 2015. Bruce and Renée have three young children.

  • Iris Andersson
    Iris Andersson Children’s Ministry Pastor

    Iris joined our pastoral staff in 2012 as our Children’s Pastor. Her love and passion for children has led to more than 20 years of experience with children and their families, spending most of her adult life volunteering for children’s programs at local schools and with various community programs, as well as within her church. She served as the Director of Children’s Ministry at her previous church. Her dream is that every child who walks through our door would know that they are special, a creation of God, loved and valued by His people. Iris and her husband, Gus, are parents to two sons, aunt and uncle to 24 nieces and nephews and love celebrating life with their family.

    Areas overseen: Nursery, Pre-school, Kids Church, Family Events, Vacation Bible School, Small Groups 4 Kids, Child Dedications

  • Stephanie Regester
    Stephanie Regester Middle School Pastor

    Stephanie spent many years volunteering with kids at church while getting bachelor’s degrees in English and philosophy at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, then a master’s in journalism at Northwestern University, which led to her first career as a newspaper reporter. After five years as a features writer, God called her into full-time church leadership in 2007, when she moved to Nottingham, England to train at Trent Vineyard. Stephanie returned to Evanston in 2012 to become Evanston Vineyard’s first Middle School Pastor. She and her husband Andrew, a Nottingham native, enjoy life in southwest Evanston with their adorable little boy and lively rescue dog Lizzy.

    Areas overseen: Limitless Middle School Ministry (5th–8th Grade)

  • Chris Herning
    Chris Herning Senior High Pastor

    Chris oversees the high school and rock show ministries at the Vineyard. He has been on staff since 1994. He and his wife, Brooks have been doing youth ministry together since 1990. They live in Chicago with their three daughters. Chris’ heart is to help kids realize what an awesome thing a relationship with God is, and to help empower them to share this life changing relationship with their friends.

    Areas overseen: VisionQuest (VQ) High School Ministry, college-aged ministry, Rock Shows

  • Dorren Rodriguez
    Dorren Rodriguez Connect Pastor

    Dorren joined our pastoral staff in 2017. He oversees welcoming those who are new to the Vineyard, Sunday morning volunteers, and 18-20s ministry. Dorren grew up in Chicago, and started following Jesus in 2009. Afterwards, he took part in worship teams, leading small groups, and a church plant. In 2012 he moved to KC MO to attend Bible school. There he took part in a pastoral internship, and met his wife Rebecca. In 2014, Dorren moved back to Chicago to attend Moody Bible Institute and to focus on helping refugees on the Northside of Chicago. From 2016-2017, he helped around 20 Syrian and Iraqi refugee families.

    Areas overseen: Connect ministries, Sunday morning volunteers, 20s & 30s ministry

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