Elder Jon Beran
Jon Beran and his wife, Nita moved into Austin in 1980 and joined Rock Church in 1986. He and his wife were part of the original planning team for the medical ministry arm of Circle Community Center, which grew to be Circle Family Healthcare Network. Jon has been a Family Physician with CFHCN for the last 34 years, in spite of battles with cancer that both he and his wife have had. He’s a member of the medical staff at West Suburban Hospital and Oak Park Hospital. At Rock Church, he has served as a member of the missions committee, and as a small group leader. He participates in the planning team for Adult Sunday School. He has also served a term as Church Chairman.
Elder Billy Russell
Billy has been a member of Rock Church for eleven years and currently serves as an Elder. He has also served as Co-Chair of the Deacon Board. He is a certified Fork Lift Operator and experienced as a Receiving Clerk, a Punch Press Operator, an Order Filler, A Porter, and a Spray Painter. After coming to Rock Church from the Transformation Crusade ministry, Billy has served as a salvation counselor, small group leader, deacon, and speaker in the Prison Ministry. He still works with the Deacons, oversees the Visitation ministry, and is coordinating the new men’s ministry, Brother2Brother.
Elder Victor Moore
Vic came to Rock Church by way of a Promise Keeper’s Meeting in Detroit, where he was living. After hearing Pastor Raleigh Washington speak, he decided that if he ever lived in Chicago, he would attend Pastor Washington’s church. When his job moved him to Chicago, he came to Rock.
Vic met his wife, Alfiya, on vacation in Afghanistan, visiting old friends from the Navy. She was living with the friends while serving as a medical professional at a Christian hospital in Kabul. Vic traveled to Kazakhstan, Alfiya’s home country, to accompany her to the United States before their marriage here at Rock Church. Unsurprisingly, his area of oversight is Global Missions.
Elder Gerald Nordgren
Gerry heard Chuck Hogren, founder of the Cabrini Green Legal Aid Clinic, speak while he was in law school, inspiring Gerry to use his legal skills to help people who could not afford it. Most of Gerry’s law offices have been on the West Side of Chicago and most in Legal Aid. While a student, he did an internship at the Garfield-Austin Legal Services of the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago. After being licensed by the State of Illinois in 1979, he was hired by a law firm with offices at Madison and Pulaski, and after they dissolved, he had a private practice there.
After Dan Van Ness took a job with Prison Fellowship & Restorative Justice in 1981, Gerry started working in the legal ministry at Circle Community Center. In 1983, Gerry co-founded the Austin Christian Law Center (ACLC), first at 440 N. Mayfield, and then at 118 N. Central, where he worked until December 1988. In 1990, through federal funding, Gerry started working at the DePaul University Legal Clinic. His job was to supervise law school students, mentoring them and teaching them practical applications of the law as they served people who had no money. In 1994 the funding for the program ended, so in 1995, Gerry began working for the Chicago Legal Clinic, Inc., who served the working poor in the South Chicago neighborhood. The Chicago Legal Clinic merged with the Austin Christian Law Center and became the Austin Circle Law Center, so Gerry was able to work again at Circle Urban Ministries. Since the Chicago Legal Clinic laid him off in 2009, so he has had his own law firm, Nordgren Law Offices, in downtown Chicago.
In January 2013 Gerry and his wife, Nancy, started attending Rock Church. In the spring of 2014, they moved into the Austin neighborhood, a home-coming for Gerry, since his first home was an apartment at Washington Blvd and Lavergne.
Elder (Pastor) Ed Johnson
Pastor Ed was in the U.S. Air Force for 23 years as an aircraft mechanic and production supervisor. During that time he volunteered as a youth director in Tampa, FL and Las Vegas, NV. Seeing himself in the kids at their age—seeing their eyes opened to a new world and seeing their emotional and spiritual growth develop had a dramatic impact on Ed. “I could have been a By The Hand kid, but there was no By The Hand to help me.”
He served from 1989-2009 as Youth Pastor at Rock Church and Chaplain for Circle Urban Ministries. He currently works with By The Hand in Englewood as Spiritual Development Specialist.
He participated in the Kenya 2016 Missions trip and lives in the Austin neighborhood.
He and his wife DeMurma Johnson (Rock Church’s Office Administrator) have been married for 50 years and have 4 adult children and 2 teenage grandchildren.