Pastor,  Staff & Elders

Mike Penza

Lead Pastor 

First things first: Since Mike was born and raised in Wisconsin he will forever remain a Green Bay Packers fan. Some of Mike’s hobbies include improving his disc golf game, running, drinking tea,  and as a total extrovert – being present with people as much as possible. Mike is married to Kaylyn and they have four beautiful daughters.

Mike thrives when he is teaching and preaching God’s Word, discipling God’s people, and equipping God's church to work together to fulfill its unique calling. He was a triple-major in college (English, Philosophy and Political Science) and completed seminary (M.Div.) and post-grad research (Th.M.) at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Harvard. 

Nicole Baker

Office Manager 

Nicole grew up in the church as a child but didn't hear the gospel until she was an adult. She met her husband, Kyle, who is also a Chicago-land native, while away at school where Nicole got her degrees in the biological sciences. Nicole was married, baptized and has raised a family here at Gracepointe church. She and her husband have a daughter and a son and feel blessed by the solid Christian teaching their entire family is receiving.

If you can't find Nicole in the office, be sure to check downstairs where she may be teaching or hanging out with our youth! In her free time,  Nicole loves exploring nature, participating in athletic contests, getting dirty working outside or using power tools to construct her latest home improvement project.

Aaron Cooper

Pastoral Intern 

Aaron is a current student at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, studying for an MA
in Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern Languages.

Tim Jamison 

Elder Chairman 

Tim has been a member of Gracepointe Church since moving to the area in 1985. He has been walking with the Lord since accepting Christ at the age of 17. Tim works as an inspection compliance manager for a life and security company in Lake Zurich.

He serves in the children’s ministry and on the First Impressions team. In his free time, Tim enjoys reading, biking, getting out in nature, and golfing.

Steve Erl


Steve and his wife, Allison, live in Round Lake with their six-year-old daughter. Steve is on the sales team at Learning Resources in Vernon Hills. After meeting Allison in 2009, Steve began attending Gracepointe with her and quickly fell in love with the church (and Allison).

Steve feels honored and humbled to serve and be a part of this congregation. Throughout his time at Gracepointe, he has run the sound board, led a class on church history, and he and Allison have led Financial Peace University. Steve enjoys the outdoors and spending time with extended family. During the winter months, he heartily cheers on the Chicago Bears!

Ken Stratman 


Ken and Celia  have been married since 1979 and have two adult children. Ken has served at Gracepointe Church over the years as an elder, worship leader, and as co-leader of Gracepointe Wildfolk.

He is the senior vice president of Custom Roofing Contracting. Ken enjoys golfing, bicycling, hiking, target shooting, and rock climbing.

Andy Searle 


Andy has been attending and serving at Gracepointe and living in Mundelein since 1992. He is a graduate of Wheaton College where he met his wife, Jennifer. They have three adult children and one grandchild. Andy has taught Sunday school, led small groups,  and served as an elder and chairman of the board.

Jennifer and Andy love to travel and see new places. They especially love national parks and hope to visit many more in the future. Andy is a big sports fan and loves to cheer on the Bears, the Cubs, and, as a San Francisco Bay area native, he enjoys following the Golden State Warriors. Andy enjoys walking, biking, and being outside.