becoming a people to reach people for Christ
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Worship God with us this Sunday at 8:30am or 10:15am

Upcoming Activities

Newcomer's Lunch Sunday, April 29th at noon in the gymnasium. Have lunch with the pastors and their families. RSVP to by April 25


"Praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord who the house of the Lord." Psalm 134:1

Maywood's ministry staff are true servants of the Lord. They glorify Him daily as they serve and meet the spiritual needs of our congregation.

Responsible for leadership and oversight of all Children’s Ministries, infant through 5th Grade, which includes Sunday morning Faith Factory, AWANA, Tutor Club, Club 45, and other events. All of this accomplished alongside parents, whenever possible, as they are the primary spiritual teachers in their children’s lives.


Ryan Renner, Pastor of Children’s Ministries

Pastor Ryan Renner was born and raised in Burlington, Iowa. He was blessed to grow up in a Christian home and came to know Christ as His Savior around the age of 9 years old. At age 16, he experienced a “dark night of the soul,” which resulted in His faith in and walk with Christ becoming much stronger. While attending Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, IL, he sensed God calling him to work with kids in full-time ministry and graduated with a B.A. in Children’s Ministries. Nothing excites Ryan more than sharing the Gospel with kids and helping develop them into disciples of Jesus Christ.

Ryan has a deep desire to see Children’s Ministry implemented in a way that keeps God’s Word and Jesus Christ at the center and seeks real heart change in a child’s life that goes beyond mere “head knowledge.” He loves to use object lessons, games, drama, crafts, and other fun activities, but realizes these are all tools used to reach the ultimate goal of shepherding and making disciples. Understanding there is a spiritual battle being waged for the hearts and minds of all believers, Ryan knows this includes children, and believes ministry to them is at the foundation of the Church body.

Ryan’s parents live in Iowa, while his two siblings, Katie and Ian live in Minnesota. He loves to sing, act, and play board games. He also enjoys hiking, geocaching, and being with his family and friends. Ryan lives daily by 2 Cor. 12:7-10 understanding Christ’s “grace is sufficient” and that His “power is made perfect in weakness.”

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Phone: 815 874-6806 Ext. 233

Responsible for the teaching and preaching of the Word of God, vision-casting and equipping of current and “next generation” leaders through networking, mentoring and discipleship. He invests in the Pastoral Staff and Elders to ensure alignment of ministries with the core values, mission and vision of Maywood.


Dr. Gary E. Kniseley, Lead Pastor

Pastor Gary Kniseley grew up in Sterling Heights, Michigan. He came to know Christ as Savior at the age of 13 and while in high school he sensed God's call on his life for the pastoral ministry while serving in his local church. He attended and graduated from Maranatha Baptist University earning a bachelors degree in Bible and Church Ministries. He is also a graduate of Moody Theological Seminary where he earned a Master of Ministry and a Master of DivinityHe recently completed his Doctorate of Ministry from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with an emphasis in Church Revitalization.  He desires to preach and teach the Word of God as God’s final authority that provides solid answers for changing times and godly living. He wants to help the church embrace its vision of "Becoming a People to Reach People for Christ!"  He believes that the church must remain Biblically rooted, driven by the Gospel, for the glory of God.

Before coming on staff at Maywood in January 2005, he owned his own flooring business for approximately ten years. Pastor Gary and his family were a part of the Maywood family prior to coming on the pastoral staff. Gary is married to Adina and is blessed with two sons and a daughter-in-law (Ethan; Ross & Allison).  Gary enjoys partnering with his wife whenever possible in ministry—as a team of two.

When he has the opportunity, Pastor Gary enjoys riding his Harley Davidson, skeet shooting, kayaking, fishing, hunting, skiing, family vacations, reading, and spending time with his family. His favorite verse is Psalm 86:11, "Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name."

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Phone: 815-874-6806 Ext. 221

Read Pastor Gary's devotional blog:

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Responsible for leadership of discipleship and body-life at MEFC. This focuses on life groups, adult Bible classes, college and career ministries, teaching and pastoral care. In addition to his other responsibilities, he directs the Welcome/Connections ministry.


Dave Currie, Pastor of Discipleship and Body-life

Pastor Dave Currie was born in Little Rock, Arkansas but has spent most of his life in northern Illinois. He graduated from the Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, IL. where he earned a B.A. in Pastoral Studies in preparation for seminary. He later earned a M.A. at Trinity International University in Systematic Theology with a cognate in Philosophy of Religion. He desires to communicate the truth of God’s Word through preaching, teaching, and counseling. He is energized by seeing people come to know Christ and grow in their relationship with Him. He sees the need of understanding one’s faith and integrating it into their lives. Further, he sees the need for believers to be equipped to communicate their faith to a world in spiritual darkness. He is convinced of the importance of apologetics in connection to evangelism and looks for opportunities for personal evangelism. His desire is for God to use him to exhort and encourage others in their Christian life.

Pastor Dave has a diverse past work history while being involved in ministry as a volunteer. Pastor Dave first interned at Maywood in 1998 before coming on staff. He began his Pastoral ministry in 1999. While at Trinity, Dave met his wife, Becky who was a student at the college. Dave and Becky have two children: a son, Eli and a daughter, Janey.

In his spare time, Pastor Dave enjoys being a Chicago Bears, Cubs and Blackhawks fan, and spending time with his wife and children.

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Phone: 815 874-6806 Ext. 231


Responsible for leadership and oversight of Student Ministries, both Middle and High School, including teaching, preaching and counseling. Dedicated to equipping and affirming parents in their efforts to disciple their children.


Ben Tyler, Pastor of Student and Family Ministries

Pastor Ben Tyler grew up in a Christian home in a Chicago suburb. He came to Christ while in high school and became convinced God was leading him into ministry while studying engineering at the University of Illinois - Chicago. Ben attended Moody Bible Institute from August 2007 to May 2011, earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in Youth Ministry. Ben has a strong desire to impact the next generation of students by coming alongside parents to best equip students to be fully devoted followers of Christ.

Ben loves to laugh and have fun and feels it is important to integrate times of fun and laughter into his ministry. He believes God intentionally created all of humanity with the capacity to laugh, and while youth ministry should not be about making students smile and attend youth group because it's "cool", the times of fun are valuable opportunities for students to learn about each other.

Ben and his wife, Kim, have been married since 2010, and have two children: Asher and Nora. Both Ben and Kim grew up with fathers that labored in pastoral ministry, and they are humbled that God would call them to serve in this capacity.

In his spare time, Ben loves spending time with his family, playing and watching sports, photography, listening to music, playing guitar, reading, fishing, and snowboarding.

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Phone: 815 874-6806 Ext. 232

Responsible for the oversight and direction of all worship and music ministries of Maywood Evangelical Free Church and focuses on creative outreach for the church at large.


Aaron Wong, Pastor of Worship and Creative Outreach

Pastor Aaron Wong was born and raised in Hong Kong. He graduated from Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, IL, where he earned a Bachelor of Music with an emphasis in Classical Guitar. He has also completed a Master of Arts in Transformational Leadership from Bethel Seminary, St. Paul, MN.

He desires to communicate the gospel via music, and to lead the church to live a life of worship that extends beyond Sunday mornings. He is fully convinced that biblical worship requires both the intellectual understanding of the Triune God, and the emotions generated by the transformational power of the gospel. He longs to see more people coming to know Christ and living with a strong sense of meaning and purpose as a result of the relationship with our Creator.

Before coming on staff at Maywood, he had a variety of ministerial experiences in many different parts of the country, as well as overseas in England and Hong Kong.

Aaron and his wife, Abbey, have been married since 2011. They have three children: Kayley, Emmy, and Jace. In his spare time, Aaron enjoys going out with all three of his girls, watching NCIS, NCIS LA, Hawaii Five-O, and playing Rummikub and Speed with Abbey. He also enjoys being a loyal fan of Manchester United, surfing when he is around some good waves, watching Formula 1 Grand Prix and Jamie Oliver’s cooking show. His favorite classical musicians include Hilary Hahn, Lang Lang, and Alan Tripp.

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Phone: 815 874-6806 Ext. 223