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 started in 1976 with about forty people, and today we host over 800 on any given Sunday.
We are a member of the Vineyard Association of Churches. The Vineyard is a movement firmly rooted in the Bible-believing, charismatic, contemplative and restorative justice streams of the historic church. Founded in the early 80s, the Vineyard has more than 2000 churches all over the world.
Visit the Vineyard USA site to learn more: https://vineyardusa.org/about/core-values-beliefs/
What are our Congregational Values?
Worshipping the True and Beautiful God - - We believe that God is true, authentic, good, and beautiful. We want to glorify him with all of our lives. In worship we experience his presence. Worship renews us, anchors us in the love of God, orients us to him, increases our receptivity to God’s work in us, strengthens us, and unites us.
Balancing the Word & Spirit (Kingdom of God) - - We are a church that treasures the Scriptures. The revelation of God through the Bible is our standard for all of life. The proclamation of the Kingdom of God is located in the Scriptures. We value the naturally supernatural work of the Holy Spirit. We expect that the Kingdom of God will show up in our midst: in healings, prophecy, the driving out of demons, and other revelatory acts, submitted to the Scriptures. We also believe the Spirit speaks to us personally and through community. Hearing from God sits at the center of our church’s history, so prayer is part of everything we do.
Becoming like Jesus (Formation) - - Becoming like Jesus is the highest good of every single person. When we become like Jesus, we bring the highest good to the communities, societies, and cities to whom we belong. Becoming like Jesus is the center of our worship. Becoming like Jesus means that we do the work of spiritual formation. Jesus was humble. He was merciful, compassionate and displayed radical welcome for all. Becoming like Jesus means we will live lives marked by integrity and forgiveness. In his death and resurrection, Jesus inaugurated the incoming Kingdom of God. Becoming like Jesus demonstrates we belong to that Kingdom, even as we are exiles in this world.
Being an Emotionally Healthy Community - - We believe that Jesus was the most emotionally healthy person who ever walked Earth. Emotional health is the capacity to be aware of, control and express one’s emotions; and to handle relationships with wisdom and empathy. In order to have thriving communities, we must grow in our emotional health. In order to support and love each other as brothers and sisters, we must grow in our spiritual formation and in our emotional health. Emotional health will give us the courage and compassion we need to listen to others, to invite others’ opinions, to seek collaboration, and to hold each other accountable. We will value the opinion of those who think differently than we do.
Doing Restorative Justice - - Biblical justice is the restoration of God’s intention for all of creation as displayed in Genesis 1. It is founded upon the truth that all humans are “created in [God’s] image.” This means that “all humans are equal and... deserve to be treated with fairness and justice.” (cf., Bible Project). Sadly, the Fall threw the world into sin and confusion. Injustice became the norm. We believe that the church is God’s instrument to combat that injustice and to restore his loving intention to all people, at an individual and societal level. This means we are committed to showing mercy and serving every person. This means we will feed the poor. This means that our design as a church is to be diverse and multiracial. We will be a church for every tribe.
Embracing the Future - - The future is alive with the possibility of the Kingdom in Chicagoland, because Jesus is alive and well and at work. Every cultural moment brings its unique challenges; rather than run from them, we will face those challenges head-on, all the while holding fast to our orthodoxy. We will embrace Holy Spirit inspired creativity. We will innovate new ways of doing church. We will develop more and more leaders. We will invest in the next generation.
What can I expect when I visit?
Visiting a new church can be daunting. We get it! So here’s a run-down of what you can expect on a typical Sunday at EV.
Before you arrive: Wear whatever you’re comfortable in. Some of us are very casual, while others prefer formal dress. Anything is fine! Bring your Bible, or follow along on the screens or programs provided. If you’re bringing kids, plan to arrive 15-20mins early to register them and check out the classrooms.
Parking: We’re located behind the Jewel Osco at 2495 Howard St, Evanston. Follow the signs from the street and you’ll find a large parking lot with free parking. First time guest? Awesome! We have special parking spots just for you, in the front parking lot. Simply drive straight up to the turn circle, locate the space and park. Lots of accessible parking spots are there, too.
Heading In: Our Welcome Team will be ready to greet you at the front entrance and hold the doors. Follow the signs to locate Kids Check-In, La Viña Auditorium and the lobby. As you enter the lobby, you’ll find a Welcome Center with people there to answer any questions you may have.
Services: As you enter the Main Auditorium, you’re invited to collect a program and communion. You’ll notice that our room is set up “ in the round”, with a center stage and circular seating - please sit wherever you like. Every service begins with prayer, followed by contemporary worship and communion. We pray the Lord’s Prayer together, greet each other, take our offering and then listen to some short announcements. The morning concludes with a sermon, typically ranging from 25-30 mins in length. At the end, a prayer team is available to pray for any physical, spiritual or emotional needs. We also leave space for ministry time.
Afterwards: Head out the Welcome Center and pick up a gift to celebrate your first visit! Then head over to the coffee bar and grab a drink or pastry. You’ll notice that people like to hang out at the tables and couches after each service: we’re a friendly crew! From Spring through Fall, the outside patio will be set up, too.
Have more questions? We’d love to answer them. Email: [email protected]
Meet Our Team
Ted Kim has been pastoring in churches for more than 20 years. First as a worship pastor, and now as senior pastor, Ted has done ministry in Washington, California, and New York, plus overseas in places like the United Kingdom, Africa and the Middle East. Ted is passionate about proclaiming the beauty of Jesus and stewarding the formation of our desires toward God, so that we can all flourish. Ted first attended and interned at the Evanston Vineyard in the 1990s, while he was earning a bachelor’s degree in biology at the University of Chicago. Ted also holds a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He is married to Brittany, an Old Testament scholar, and they live with their three children in West Rogers Park.
Areas overseen: supervising pastors, primary teaching pastor, primary leader for vision and development
Hailing from rural New South Wales, Australia, Jess was raised in the middle of nowhere and is still adjusting to the street lights of Chicago. She has Bachelor degrees in political science and social work, and an Advanced Masters degree in social work from the Australian National and Australian Catholic Universities. She is currently completing a Masters degree in theology, through the Australian College of Ministries. Jess moved to the USA in 2009 and met Jesus here at the Evanston Vineyard. She is passionate about drawing people together, particularly those who are new or unsure about church, and welcoming them into community. Jess and her husband Tim live in Evanston and have two sweet kids. She loves to chat and meet new people, so please say hi on a Sunday!
Areas overseen: team development and culture, design + communications, internships, Alpha.
Ben is the pastor overseeing Operations at the Evanston Vineyard. He worked in Information Technology and Project Management for several years before making the transition to full-time ministry. Ben has a passion for developing systems and processes that help things run smoothly and efficiently. Ben is also passionate about prayer, discipleship, and helping others flourish through the development of spiritual practices. Ben and his wife Eva live in Skokie with their two lazy cats Mishu and Edgar.
Areas overseen: Operations and finance.
Brian Van Der Werff
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. Brian is also committed to prayer and pastoral care. He earned a master’s degree in Christian Studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and a Master of Divinity degree from North Park Theological Seminary. Brian has been married to his wonderful wife Melody since 2005, and they stay busy with their three awesome young sons Jackson, Aiden and Rowan.
Areas overseen: Prayer teams, Benevolence Ministry, Newcomers, Marriage Ministry.
Keva is from Southern California. After receiving her B.A. in Black Studies and Women’s Studies, God connected her to a church where she learned to love the Bible, experienced deep community, and discovered God’s concern for those on the margins of society. Since then, Keva has been passionate about the church’s role in meeting the spiritual and material needs of those experiencing lack. She later earned her Master of Public Administration degree from Syracuse University, with an emphasis on non-profits. She has over ten years of experience with a focus on mobilizing the church to love their neighbors well. As a member of church staff, she’s directed community centers, led worship, and helped to create systems and structures. When she’s not working, Keva enjoys growing in contemplative faith practices, being active and creative, and sitting in the sun.
Areas overseen: Care Center, Restorative Justice Ministries
Liz Hawes Ng
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 Master of Divinity 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 southwest Evanston with their two cool kids.
Areas overseen: Small Groups
Children's Ministry Pastor
Iris joined our pastoral staff in 2012 as our Children’s Pastor. Her hope is that every child who walks through our door would know that they are special, a creation of God, loved and valued by Him and His people. Her love and passion for children has led to more than 30 years of experience with children and their families, focusing most of her attention on children’s programs at local schools and with various community programs, as well as within her church. Iris and her husband, Gus, live in Chicago and love any opportunity to host a party and celebrate life with their family and friends. Iris and Gus are proud parents to two incredible young adult sons and one amazing daughter-in-law.
Areas overseen: nursery, preschool, Kids Church, family events, Vacation Bible School, Small Groups 4 Kids, child dedications
A former Chicago newspaper journalist, God called Stephanie to full-time church leadership in 2008. She spent 5 years training in large church ministry at Trent Vineyard in Nottingham, England, where she also met and married Nottingham native Andrew. She returned to Chicago in 2012 to become Evanston Vineyard’s first Middle School Pastor. She holds bachelor’s degrees in English literature and philosophy from St. Catherine University, a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University, and a Certificate of Biblical Studies from the Vineyard Institute. Stephanie and Andrew love life in southwest Evanston with their two miracle children and lively shepherd mix Lizzy.
Areas overseen: Limitless Middle School Ministry (5th–8th Grade), communications, leaders and members events, Emotionally Focused
Adama Cheikh Diakhaté grew up in Rogers Park, Chicago and Evanston. He is Senegalese-American; the son of an immigrant father and an Evanston native mother. He earned his bachelor’s degree in elementary education with a special education endorsement at Trinity International University. Currently, Adama is working towards his masters of Theological Studies at TEDS in Deerfield, IL. He decided to follow Jesus on April 4th, 2016 around 4:30am. Since then, God has continually re-written his story and Adama has enjoyed the journey thus far. He is passionate about encouraging people to walk in step with the Spirit while upholding their racial, ethnic, and cultural identities. Adama’s deepest commitment is to empower people, especially youth, to become agents of change by using their unique gifts and talents.
Areas overseen: EV Youth: High School Ministry
Chris oversees the College Age ministry 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 adult daughters. Chris’s 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: College Age Ministry
Pastor - La Viña
Samuel is a second generation pastor from El Savador. Samuel made his way from Central America to the Evanston Vineyard at the end of 2008, along with his wife Victoria, their son, and their two daughters. Samuel is senior pastor of our Latino congregation, La Viña. Samuel’s vision is to evangelize, disciple and release leaders to become a church community guided by God.
Areas overseen: La Viña Ministry
Pastor - La Viña
After Victoria Cordero received Jesus into her heart, she gave up her plans to be a secular singer just like her mother. She studied nursing, languages, and graduated from the Conservatory of Music. She was also a Soprano in the National Choir of El Salvador in the 80s and 90s.
She has lived in Skokie, IL with her husband and three children since 2008, dedicating herself to serving God and our Hispanic brothers and sisters in our Latino ministry, La Viña Evanston. Vicky is responsible for overseeing the prayer ministry, kids ministry for latino events, counseling, voice training, leading worship, and other tasks.
Areas overseen: La Viña Ministry
Pastoral Intern: Worship
Born in El Salvador, Sam was introduced to classical music as an infant and developed a love for all genres of music growing up. When he was twelve, Sam and his family moved to Skokie, IL where he began participating in worship as a drummer in the Spanish congregation, La Viña. In 2016, he became the worship leader of La Viña while working as an IT support tech for Diamond Technologies. In September 2022, Sam received a calling to pursue worship pastoring full-time and began an internship under Ted Kim and Casey Corum. At the heart of Sam's vision for the worship ministry is a desire to embrace spontaneity in worship, allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us and reveal His will for us.
Sam and his wife, Meli, love leading worship together and they continue to live in Skokie, with their beautiful cats, Navi and Saria, alongside their charming but mischievous chihuahua mix, Max.