Staff Stories

Chapel staff members share their stories on their paths to God and how God has transformed their lives.

Mark Nelson – Libertyville Campus Student Pastor


“Where have you seen God move in your life lately?”

I’ve seen God move in how we came to The Chapel. He used a series of events, going back 12 years, to prepare us for this move. Moving to Illinois was a decision that happened out of prayer.  We were stable in Texas with a great home at Church In The City. Chonna was at CITC for 19 years and I was there for 12, but last Fall we started to hear God speak to our hearts about moving.  We didn’t know what that looked like and, if it was really a move, leaving CITC and the IMPRINT Students & Young Adults ministries would be hard. Couple those thoughts with the fact nearly all of our family, friends and contacts being in Texas and moving becomes scary.  I approached our senior pastor in January with the idea and he was so gracious in committing to pray with us for God’s will to be worked out.  Because we didn’t have any direction on where to go, we honestly expected a 2 year journey before finding out where God wanted us to land.  However, God is really good at surprises and by mid-April we were in Libertyville visiting The Chapel for the first time.  By Sunday morning, we knew The Chapel was our new home. God is great at Win-Win… CITC found a great pastor for IMPRINT; our house sold in a week and we secured a great Townhome in Gurnee!  On top of all that, we already love The Chapel, Chapel Students and the Libertyville campus like family! They weren’t all pretty events, but God loved us through every minute. Through this I’m gaining a new revelation of Jesus Christ as my friend.

“What is God teaching you lately?”

For the past few years, God has been teaching me how to take advantage of His presence. It’s the words in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 that say “Never stop praying.” (NLT) I read this and understand that to always be praying mostly means I should always be listening. Always listening means that I can always take advantage of His presence, because He’s close enough to be heard. That verse is sandwiched between verses that talk about joy and thankfulness. So, in His presence is “fullness of joy”. Even when things aren’t “fun” God is still “good”, so thankfulness and joy are how God is teaching me to always be in His presence. I’m not great at it, but I’m learning. 🙂

“What Biblical promise is a Game Changer in your life?”

The promise of faithfulness is my Game Changer. Paul writes this out in Romans 8:28 NLT, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them”. God doesn’t cause all things, but this promise says that He is present, aware and helping us in all things. I’ve watched this promise in action so many times (mostly in hindsight), but God is always faithful to His Word!


Joe Walters

Senior Graphic Designer

Jeremiah Carlson

Young Adults Pastor

Kristen Del Valle

Associate Children's Director