Brandon Cooper, Senior Pastor
As a native of the Chicagoland area—born in Evanston, raised in Glenview—Brandon has a deep love of the culture and community of this city. He is the fourth of five children, and is happy to have his entire family still living in the area. He attended the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana), where he studied English Literature, before completing his Master of Divinity at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School with an emphasis in Discipleship-Evangelism. He is author of A Word to the Wise: Lessons from Proverbs for Young Adults. He and his wife served on the mission field in Bogotá, Colombia for seven years, giving him a deep passion for missions, Latin American culture, and the country where his first two children were born. Brandon and his wife, Amy, have four adorable daughters: Charis, Adiel, Ceely, and Brielle. He loves literature and music and is an avid soccer enthusiast (Arsenal FC) and lifelong Chicago sports fan.
Kyle Bjerga, Pastor of Discipleship and Family Ministries
Kyle has lived in the Chicagoland area his whole life, and while he has never lived in Elmhurst, he has always had a special place in his heart for this community. He grew up attending church in Elmhurst, graduated from Elmhurst College, and has many family members still living in the area. After serving as a teacher in public and private schools he felt called to pursue vocational ministry and enroll at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School where he graduated with his Master in Theological Studies. He has served as an area director for a parachurch ministry, a youth pastor, and currently serves as the Discipleship and Family Ministries pastor here at Cityview. Kyle married his high-school sweetheart, Jackie, in 2008, and they have had the privilege of serving in ministry together for over a decade. Kyle and Jackie have three boys, Carson, Parker, and Bryant. He loves date nights with Jackie, playing with his kids, watching his beloved Cubs, working out, golfing, and eating deep dish pizza.
Christina Hernandez, Director of Communications/Children’s Ministry Coordinator
Director of Communications/Children's Ministry Coordinator
Christina was born and raised in the Chicagoland area, with family roots from the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. From a family of six, she was one half of a surprise pair of identical twins. Her life took an unexpected turn that resulted in her pursuing ministry work. As a result, she graduated from the Moody Bible Institute where she studied music and theology. She has served in parachurch and children’s ministries, has a passion for the worship team, and helps in Kids’ City and the communications department here at Cityview. She has an 11-year-old son, Isaiah, who loves science. Her desire is to know God and make him known to those she meets.
Lud Anderson, Elder
Lud (which is short for Ludwig,) grew up in northeastern Pennsylvania, about 30 miles north-east of Scranton. (He is not named in honor of Beethoven, but is actually Ludwig III). He came to Chicago to attend Moody Bible Institute, met his wife Karen there on a blind date, and the rest is history as they say. Besides having a BA from Moody, Lud has an MA from Wheaton College in Interpersonal Communication. He has worked in Human Resources for a number of years in both manufacturing and ministry settings. Currently, he is the Director of Employee Learning and Development at Moody. Sorry, but Lud is a lifelong Mets fan (although he was happy to see the Cubs end their long championship drought), and he is a Bears and Blackhawks fan. He enjoys playing golf, and has played trumpet in the Elmhurst College Symphonic Band for many years. Lud and Karen have two adult daughters, Bethany and Laura, and have attended Cityview for over 30 years serving in a variety of ministries.
Don Gauthier, Elder
Don originally springs from our favorite neighboring nation to the north, Canada. Now a US citizen, Don came to the Chicago area in 1999 and has lived in the Elmhurst community since 2002, when he also began attending Cityview Community Church. Don studied Electrical Engineering in Toronto where he met his wife, and is now an IT Director with the Kellogg company, meaning his children still believe their dad has the dream job of making Frosted Flakes every day. A long-standing member of Cityview, Don has served in numerous capacities over the years. Don and his wife Julie, who is a professor at Northwestern University, have two wonderful children, Alexandra and Samuel, who were both born and raised in the Chicagoland area. Don considers himself a handy man (think Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor) with a passion for family time, all things technology, woodworking, hockey (#KeepDreamingMapleLeafs), golf, and lacrosse, and says he could never live anywhere else now due to his love for the amazing Chicagoland cuisine.
Pat Ward, Elder
Pat is an Elmhurst lifer, having lived here his entire life except when away at the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) to receive his degree in accounting. He’s served in a number of ministries in his 36 years at Cityview, from a brave couple of years discipling middle-schoolers, to teaching high school students and adults, to leading a Community Group. You’ll also see him playing guitar in the worship band. He studied theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and while he wasn’t able to finish, is thankful for that theological training. Pat says he has a hard time explaining his job at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (without people falling asleep), but assures you he helps make government better. He’s married to Leigh, a kindergarten teacher at Timothy Christian Grade School, and has high school daughters, Annika and Elsa. He enjoys eating out with his family, admits to being a big science fiction geek, and loves golf, music, and fantasy football.