Our Staff

Pastoral Staff 

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Scott Boerckel

Senior Pastor


Scott loves being a pastor and teaching God’s Word.  Before he was a pastor, he worked as a ceramic engineer (and bonus points for anyone who actually knows what that is).  He sometimes uses the training that he received at the University of Illinois (Go Illini!), Grace Theological Seminary, and Jerusalem University College.  Scott’s wife, Carol, is an awesome watercolor artist who really knows how to think Christianly about the arts.  Scott likes cycling with friends, enjoying his ever growing family, and learning from the community of God’s people at The Oak.

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Traig Whittaker

Senior Associate Pastor


Pastor Traig came to The Oak in 2000 with over ten years of ministry experience, all in the Peoria, IL area. For seven years he served as the Executive Director of the Christian Center, a ministry to families, children and youth. Immediately prior to joining the pastoral staff here, he served as the Director of Christian Education at Grace Presbyterian Church (PCA). Traig is a graduate of Wheaton College. He grew up in the Peoria area and came to Christ at a young age under the influence of his Christian family. His ministry responsibilities include oversight of the church's Christian Education programs and some administrative duties.

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Walt Baertsch

Associate Pastor of Youth Ministries

Office: 309-454-3833

Pastor Walt came to The Oak with fourteen years of ministry experience, twelve of which have been years spent in youth ministry in Wisconsin and Colorado. Prior to coming to East White Oak, Walt served as the Senior Pastor at Northwest Baptist Church in Denver. He is a graduate of Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota where he majored in Bible and Youth Ministry.  Walt also holds a Masters Degree in Global Leadership from Fuller Seminary.  Pastor Walt's ministry is focused primarily on Junior and Senior High School students.

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Josh Prather

Associate Pastor of Youth and Young Adults


Pastor Josh came to The Oak in April 2015.  He serves in the youth ministry as the primary teacher for both Jr. and Sr. High, and leads our Young Adult and Singles ministry.  Josh earned a B.S. in Biblical Studies and is currently pursuing an M.Div. in Biblical Counseling from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  Prior to coming to The Oak, Josh worked on staff at a camp in New Hampshire for 6 years. Josh and his wife, Marcie, are the parents of two young energetic boys.   

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Justin Waples

Associate Pastor of Outreach and Discipleship


Pastor Justin is The Oak’s Outreach and Discipleship Pastor. Justin graduated with his Bachelors in Religion from Liberty University and his Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministries from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. Before coming to The Oak, Justin worked in the Energy Management and Building Automations industry for 8 years, followed by his Associate Pastor role in Virginia as an Outreach and Families Pastor. Justin is married to his wife Abigail and they were blessed with their daughter Karoline in 2013. Justin and his family love exploring God’s beautiful creation through biking, hiking & camping. They love to explore new places and take walks with their two golden retrievers. Justin is passionate about equipping the saints for ministry and helping each member reach out and connect with their neighbors and community and grow as maturing followers of Jesus Christ. Learn more about Growing at The Oak by clicking here.

Ministry Staff 

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Kris Seifert

Director of Children's Ministries


Kris Seifert has a degree in Elementary Education from Illinois State University. She came to East White Oak with many years of ministry experience to children through Sunday school, Children's Church, and Vacation Bible School. She also served Bible Study Fellowship as their Children's Supervisor for five years. Her ministry is primarily focused on The Oak's Sunday morning programs.

Support Staff 

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Amy Masters

Office Manager


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Susan Simmons

Financial Secretary


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Emily Henard



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Tanya Birdsall

Office Assistant


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Bruce Jacobs

Building & Grounds Supervisor