Rev. Will Pareja, Pastor/Elder
I was born into a moderately devout Catholic home in Cartagena, Colombia. Several years later after my parents came back to the USA, a faithful neighbor friend invited my mother to study the Bible. Six months later, my mom was saved out of works-based salvation here in Chicago (my dad, too, shortly thereafter). A couple of years later, I attended a summer vacation Bible school in which the college-aged, fire-and-brimstone preacher called us to faith and repentance. The Holy Spirit really rocked me out of my self-righteous salvation “project” at that time and brought me to faith and repentance as a 10 year old.
Rachel and I met in our mid-20s during my grad years in South Carolina. We married in winter 2002. God graced me, and gave me one of my greatest means for survival in my wife, Rachel! God brought along our firstborn, William Haddon, while serving Him in Mexico in 2003. We passed through a bitter providence with the stillbirth of Nicolas Augusto in 2006. God in his kindness and mercy, however, blessed us with Gabrielle Analise in 2007. Then, Jacob Martin rounded out our team in 2014. Our home has been a theatre of Christ’s redemption. We love to play, sing and dance together and have a ton of fun.
God led us to Addison Street Community Church through one of my closest friends, Kevin Oberlin, whose parents, Ralph & Mary, came to faith through this church over 40 years ago! I've been privileged to lead this church since November 2012.
Our church seeks to follow Scripture’s teaching on church leadership and governance as carefully and clearly as we can discern. While we acknowledge that several good denominations use the same Bible to arrive at different conclusions for their practice, we as a congregation humbly seek to ideally submit to the Holy Spirit’s direction and structure using both heart AND mind together to follow Jesus and make him famous.
Over ASCC’s long history, it has been common to have teams serving and leading. Much stock has been put on having a central leader or solo pastor. In other words, a pastor with a team(s). As established in our Doctrinal Confession Sec ( 12 ), we accept that the two offices of the church are elder and deacon. Our central leadership is currently composed of an elder, trustees, deacons and a secretary/treasurer.