About Us

  • District Superintendent

    Rick Thompson  |  gld@gld-efca.org  |  574.299.9711

    Rick and Jan Thompson met at Wheaton Graduate School and their first year of marriage was on campus at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.  After thirteen years serving the Hope Evangelical Free Church of Dubuque, Iowa, God called them to Moscow, Russia from 1992-1997 as the EFCM Eurasia Director and a senior pastor of Moscow Bible Church. Rick served as the EFCA district superintendent in Texas from 1997-2004 and now with the Great Lakes District since April of 2004.  { READ MORE }

  • Director of church Multiplication and Admin

    Brett Gleason  |  brett@gld-efca.org  |  847.840.6686

    Brett is a member of the Orchard EFC and serves as Director of Church Multiplcation and Administration for the GLD.  Brett grew up in West Des Moines, Iowa.  He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Iowa in 1996 and a Masters of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in December 2002.  Brett and his wife Stephanie have four children and reside in the northwest suburbs of Chicago.

  • Northwest illinois Area Superintendent

    Larry Elliott  |  larry.elliott451@gmail.com  |  815.297.4775

    Larry and Carol reside in Freeport, IL where he served as Administrative Pastor at Park Hills EFC from 2007 to 2019. He served as the Executive Director of the Freeport YMCA for 26 years. Both Larry and Carol are graduates of UW and Larry got his post grad work from a unique local church training program in Ames, IA advised by Dallas Seminary and Trinity professors. He loves teaching God's Word, helping others apply the truths of scripture and has recently been a trainer for Bible Pathways in Kenya. Larry and Carol have 2 married sons and 4 grandchildren.

  • Chicago Suburbs Area Superintendent

    Don Erickson  |  DOn.erickson@gmail.com  |  847.452.5101

    Don served as senior pastor of Living Grace Community Church in Cary, IL for 33 years. Prior to that he served as an associate pastor in two churches for a total of 8 years. In January of 2018, he began training pastors internationally in Honduras, Zambia, Cuba and Albania. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Wheaton College and Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Don and his wife, Claudia have been four children and two grandchildren.

  • Quad Cities Area Superintendent

    Mark Balmer  |  markb@parkviewchurch.org |  319.354.5580

    Mark is currently serving as the Lead Pastor of Parkview EFC in Iowa City. Prior to that he spent nearly 25 years at Park Hills EFC in Freeport, Illinois. Mark got his degree from Trinity Western University in Langley, B.C. and then took additional classes at Moody. In 2012, he joined the GLD staff serving as an Area Superintendent. Mark and his wife, Charmaine have eight children.

  • indiana/Ohio Regional Superintendent

    Collin Seitz  |  cseitz@gld-efca.org  |  574.935.3833

    Collin serves as Pastor of Administration and Care with Crossroads EFC in Plymouth, IN.  Married to his wife, Gloria for over 40+ years, they have four grown children three married and one single — and 10 grandchildren (2 in Heaven).  Collin has served as lead and/or staff pastor in six churches in Illinois, Washington, Michigan and Indiana, as well as served on three district boards in nearly 45 years of service for Christ.  Collin enjoys hiking, travel, reading and playing with/praying for his grandkids as often as possible.

  • S Ohio / N Kentucky Area Superintendent

    Mark Burks  |  markburks.connect@gmail.com  |  502.509.4492

    Mark currently serves as the Senior Pastor of the Grace EFC in Louisville, KY. He is a graduate of Ohio State University and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mark and his wife Amy have been married since 1993 and have two sons Bradley and Kyle.  He has been serving “normal” churches in Ohio, Michigan, and Kentucky since 1996. Mark loves the local church and is committed to helping pastors stay connected and qualified.

  • Chicagoland Regional Superintendent

    Steve McCausland  |  STEVE@GLD-EFCA.ORG  |  253.279.6816

    Steve and Amy did ministry in the Pacific Northwest for nearly a decade before coming to Trinity International University, where Steve completed an MDiv/PhD and Amy finished a Masters in Mental Health Counseling. During their seven years at Trinity, Steve served on staff in student life, was a lecturer in music for the undergrad, and did consulting with the Center for Transformational Churches. Amy is a licensed trauma therapist. Together they have four kids. 


    Ricardo Palmerin  |  ricardo.palmerin@efca.org  |  630.670.7531

    Ricardo and his wife Josefina served as national staff of Inter-Varsity CF of Mexico by four years and they were planters of the First EFC of Mexico 1988-1996. They have two children. Ricardo earned his Bachelor degree in Engineering and diploma in Theology in Mexico City, and he earned his Master of Divinities from the Northern Baptist Seminary in 1999. He is serving with the Great Lakes District as Director for the Hispanic Ministries, and he is part of the national leadership team of the EFCA Gateway Theological Institute.

  • Church Planting Catalyst - Chicago Suburbs

    Cabot Ashwill  |  cabot@lifespringefc.org  |  815.230.7101

    In that famous message given on a hillside, Jesus told the crowds “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matt 6:21). Cabot is on a lifelong journey learning to treasure the Son of God. He is the Lead Pastor at LifeSpring Community Church, a church with a passion to care for the community and a heart to send our Christian workers. As of 2020, Cabot has been involved or partnered to plant seven churches in the United States along with other missionaries and pastors to existing churches. In addition to pastoring and planting, Cabot has led business as mission ventures, compassion ministries with the EFCA and served as the Director of International Ministries for EFCA TouchGlobal. Cabot holds a B.S. from Pepperdine, an M.Div from Trinity; but more valuable than any of those things is his wife, Asia, his four children and passion for Jesus.

  • Church Planting Catalyst - Detroit

    Mike Hanafee  |  mikehanafee@resdetroit.org  |  313.819.0150

    Mike serves as the GLD church planting catalyst in Michigan. He pastors Restore Church in central Detroit, a church he planted in 2012 and from where he hosts a church planting residency. Restore Church helped plant Cornerstone Church in Detroit and is currently hosting a second church planting resident. Mike's desire is to get more churches into planting new churches and to help train new church planters. Mike came to Christ in the Marines where he served as an Infantry Officer. At last count he and his wife Susan have 6 children. Mike looks for any opportunity to deer hunt and is a chronic Tigers, Red Wings, Lions, & Wolverines fan. 

  • North MI Relational & directional Retreats

    Gerhard deBock  |  pastorgary@trinityinfo.org  |  231.796.2600

    Pastor Gerhard (Gary) deBock holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology from The Kings College in New York, a Master of Divinity and a Doctorate of Ministry degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. He has served as the Senior Pastor of Trinity Fellowship in Big Rapids, MI since 1983 and does Directional and Relational Retreats in Northern Michigan for the GLD. Gerhard has a heart for the world, partnering with and coaching missionaries and pastors in various places. He and his wife Kathy have three grown children and two grandchildren.

  • Pastoral coach

    Knute Larson  |  knutelarson@gmail.com  |  330.618.6316

    Knute likes the title "coach" for his ministry with pastors and churches around our GLD, but also when he teaches pastoring at Trinity, Grace, and Moody.  He pastored 43 years, the last 26 at The Chapel in Akron, Ohio.

    For great resources, check out Knute's website at knutelarson.com!


    Cyndi Leamon  |  cleamon@gld-efca.org  |  574.536.3270

    After a 21-year business career, including Vice President for Education and Events, while also serving the local church as a lay leader, Cyndi responded to God’s call into staff ministry. Since 2008, she has been a ministry staff Director serving in transformational disciple-making ministries for women and children. Cyndi and her husband have been married over 30 years and God has blessed them with three adult children and three grandchildren.


    Dan Sommer  |  dan.sommer@efca.org  |  269.921.5491

    Dan graduated from TIU in 1995 with a B.A. in youth ministry and served in full time student ministries with the EFCA for more than 25 years. In 2021 Dan joined the GLD staff serving part-time as the Director of Student and Missions Ministries.  Dan is also the Director of International Youth Missions with Apex Missions in the EFCA. God has given Dan a heart for youth, youth ministry, and missions. He and his wife Jen reside in southwest Michigan and have two daughters.

  • Pastors' wives

    Jan Thompson  |  jancthompson@gmail.com  |  630.881.7050

    Jan and her husband Rick, our GLD Superintendent, live in the Chicago area. Initially, their shared vision for ministry led them to Iowa and Moscow, Russia to establish churches. Then the Lord led them to the EFCA Texas, and now Great Lake Districts Superintendent roles. Jan is the team leader of the GLD Pastors’ Wives’ Ministry with the goal to connect, encourage and resource each one. She enjoys writing and leading retreats and seminars. Rooted Woman of Valor, her first published book, is available on Amazon. 

  • Credentialing Assistant

    Michelle Sincock  |  credentialing@gld-efca.org |  224.848.0382

    Michelle enjoyed working in the Christian book publishing industry for eight years and now writes, edits, and proofreads in a freelance capacity. She has a BA in Print Media Communications and Bible from Moody Bible Institute. Michelle and her husband, Ben, have two young boys and serve at Grace Church in Schiller Park, IL.

  • Accounting

    Mathew Mathai  |  mmmathai@comcast.net  |  574.329.9733

    Mathew has served the GLD since 2003. Prior to this, he taught Computer Applications and Accounting Software. Mathew and his family immigrated from India to U.S twenty five years ago and now live in Osceola, IN.  He earned his Master's Degree in Commerce from Bhopal University, India and also has Associate Degrees in Computer Information Systems and Accounting from Ivy Tech Community College, South Bend, IN.  He and his wife Ammu have been married for thirty six years and have two children, Sherin, Monsu and two grand kids.

  • gld Office

    Amanda Bruney  |  gld@gld-efca.org  |  574.299.9711

    Amanda has served the Great Lakes District since 2002.  She has a Bachelors degree from Bethel University in Mishawaka, Indiana.  Amanda and her husband, Jeff, have 2 children and reside in Northern Michigan.