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Our Team

Pastors

Rusty Railey

Lead Pastor

Rusty Railey

Lead Pastor

Rusty Railey is a ministry veteran of almost 20 years most noted for his innovative approach to ministry. Rusty is known for his unique ability to bring the Word of God to life in ways that challenge and inspire the heart of a believer. His relevance and genuine love for others as well as his driving passion to see all experience a relationship with God appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds.

Victoria’s heart is not only to be an inspiring mother and encouraging wife, but to also communicate God’s Word with warmth and laughter, inspiring other ladies to pursue a more intimate relationship with Him. Her passion is to see herself, her family and others embrace the joys of walking with Christ in everyday experiences. Victoria has been a teacher specializing in reading and kids with disabilities for 10 years before being full time in ministry with her husband, Rusty. She enjoys drinking coffee, nutrition, fitness and creating memories with Rusty, Ruthie and Vera.

Connect with Rusty Railey:   Email  Facebook    Twitter   
 

Jim Arnold

Senior/Executive Pastor

Jim Arnold

Senior/Executive Pastor

Jim and Debbie Arnold grew up together and attended the same church, First Assembly in Akron, Ohio. They were married and raised their three children there. Jim was called into the ministry as an assistant pastor in his home church, then went on to serve as a lead pastor in Ohio and Florida. The Arnold’s were called to First Assembly in 2009. Pastor Jim and Debbie have been married for over 35 years and God has blessed them with three children, Katie, Danny and Laura, plus two grandchildren, Lucie and Luke. Jim enjoys walking, anything to do with American history, and spending time with his best friend, Debbie. Debbie is a kindergarten teacher and her two favorite kids in the world are her grandchildren.

Connect with Jim Arnold:   Email   
 

Sid Casillas

Spanish Pastor

Sid Casillas

Spanish Pastor

Pastor Sid and his wife, Frances, began the Spanish ministry 5 years ago knowing and believing that God spoke to them saying, "Begin this ministry and you will see that I will do great things". This journey has allowed them to see God save, heal and transform many lives. Together they both enjoy riding bikes, walking, reading, and visiting with their grandchildren.

Connect with Sid Casillas:   Email   
 

Danny Hermida

Worship Pastor

Danny Hermida

Worship Pastor

Danny is the Worship Pastor and Creative Arts Director of First Assembly Joliet and is assisted by his wife, Marie. Together they oversee the Creative Arts Department. Their heart and passion is to produce a culture of worship at First Assembly of Joliet and an environment where God’s presence is invited.

Danny has served as worship pastor for both English and Spanish congregations throughout his time in ministry. He started leading worship at the young age of eleven. Marie started working in the ministry at fifteen years old and has worked in children’s ministry, youth ministry, worship, and has served as a missionary to several different countries. Together Danny and Marie have over thirty years of ministry experience and have reached over twenty-five different countries around the world with the gospel message and their worship.

When they have spare time they enjoy spending time with their two children Janessa and Elijah, hanging out with friends, being active outside, watching soccer, hiking, biking, traveling, and exploring the great city of Chicago.

Connect with Danny Hermida:   Email  Facebook    Twitter    Instagram
 

Marie Hermida

Kid's Interim Pastor

Marie Hermida

Kid's Interim Pastor

Marie’s heart is to create a fun and friendly environment where kids can come to learn more about their faith and how to put it into action in their everyday lives. 

Marie started working in the ministry at fifteen years old and has worked in children’s ministry, youth ministry, worship, and has served as a missionary to over twenty different countries. She has been a camp director for a summer camp in Southwest Missouri for eight years and worked as a children’s pastor at a large church in Kansas City before she moved to Illinois. 

When she has spare time she enjoys spending time with her husband and their two children Janessa and Elijah, hanging out with friends, being active outside, hiking, biking, traveling, and exploring the great city of Chicago.

Connect with Marie Hermida:   Email   
 

Shad Peyton

Student Pastor

Shad Peyton

Student Pastor

Shad Joined Joliet First in July of 2016. Shad and his wife Tanya have two beautiful little girls, Ireland and Evelyn. They strive to live a life on purpose, loving God, loving people and sharing the Love of Jesus with everyone they meet. Shad attended and graduated from The Florida School of Discipleship with a focus on student ministry, and has served as a student pastor since 2012. His ministry dream is to see a generation of young people consumed by the presence of God, who live in pursuit of the Kings heart. Shad’s love and passion for young people is evident in his approach to preaching and ministry. He loves conversation, arguing about sports, good pizza and spending time with his 3 girls.  

Connect with Shad Peyton:   Email  Facebook     Instagram
 

Jon Carlson

Communications Pastor

Jon Carlson

Communications Pastor

Jon is the Communications Pastor here on staff and is married to Elizabeth. Jon is passionate about making it easier for everyone to take their next step with Jesus and creating great art. 
Jon loves spending time with his wife and son Judah, talking about fonts, color palettes and different aesthetic mediums. 

Connect with Jon Carlson:   Email  Facebook     Instagram
 

Anita Jaegar

Discipleship and 50+ Pastor

Anita Jaegar

Discipleship and 50+ Pastor

Anita coordinates the Discipleship Program and runs the 50+ Ministry here at First Assembly. Anita holds her Ministerial License through the AG. She encourages folks over the age of 50 to participate in group activities, spiritual growth, evangelistic outreach and fellowship events. She has been married to her husband, Bill, for 36 years. They are retired Chef Instructors with over 25 years of teaching experience. They where heavily involved in the food industry until they both answered the call to ministry on their lives. Their hobbies and interests include hunting and fishing.

Connect with Anita Jaegar:   Email   
 

Steve Caraker

Prayer Pastor

Steve Caraker

Prayer Pastor

Steve and Shannon have served together in ministry for 12 years and have three children. Elijah, Noah, and Austin. Steve is our prayer pastor here at First Assembly, while Shannon is passionate about worship arts and women's ministry. They enjoy camping, fishing, reading, and spending time with their children.

Connect with Steve Caraker:   Email   
 

Church Staff

Cindy Hollenstein

Connections Director

Cindy Hollenstein

Connections Director

Cindy is a graduate from Rockford Master’s Commission where she passionately pursued the Lord for 2 years through discipleship, missions and studying the word. During these years, she had the opportunity to travel serving in missions to over 7 countries, sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.   Graduating in 1997 with a certificate in ministry with the Assembly of God, Cindy met her husband while on staff at Rockford First and married in 2001.  Cindy and Joe have two beautiful children, Lydia and Henry and really enjoy spending family time together.  The Hollenstein’s recently moved to Joliet area after living in Sarasota, Florida for 10 years working as entrepreneurs, and come here with an excitement to be part of all that the Lord is doing at JFA!

Connect with Cindy Hollenstein:   Email  Facebook    
 

Joy Ure

Executive Assistant

Joy Ure

Executive Assistant

Joy moved to Chicago to come on staff as the Executive Assistant to the Lead Pastor, Rusty Railey. She graduated from Central Bible College in 2004 with a bachelor degree in Church Administration and has been engaged in many different aspects of church ministry her entire life. She believes that seeing people fulfilled in life and meeting the needs around her is never considered work. Joy is passionate about serving the Lord and serving people. She is excited about doing life together with the First Assembly Family. Joy enjoys spending time with her family, hanging out with friends, playing and watching sports, going out to eat and shopping.

Connect with Joy Ure:   Email  Facebook    
 

Bonnie Ure

Financial Administrator

Bonnie Ure

Financial Administrator

Bonnie joined the team to serve as the Financial Administrator. She is excited to mix her passion for accounting with her heart to serve the local church. Bonnie has over 25 years of accounting experience in both private and corporate firms. Bonnie with her husband Steve, enjoy serving in ministry, making new friends and helping people feel at home at JFA.

Connect with Bonnie Ure:   Email  Facebook    
 

Tanya Peyton

Nursery Director

Tanya Peyton

Nursery Director

Tanya joined our team in July 2016. Tanya loves her family! She and her husband Shad have two amazing little girls, Ireland and Evelyn. Tanya has served in children’s ministry for most of her life and as a Children’s Pastor at her last church. Her heart is seeing children grow in faith and learn how deeply Jesus loves them! Tanya loves Café Con Leche (Cuban Coffee), working out, organizing everything, and spending quality time with her family!

Connect with Tanya Peyton:   Email  Facebook    
 

Lauren Hammermeister

Kids First Jr Director (Preschool & Kindergarten)

Lauren Hammermeister

Kids First Jr Director (Preschool & Kindergarten)

Lauren Hammermeister was born and raised in Joliet First Assembly. She attends with her husband Brian and son Jackson. Lauren has been involved in children's ministry her entire life. She was a Cosmetology Educator for 8 years before the Lord called her to Children's Ministry full time. Her heart's calling is raising up our next generation of church leaders and missionaries. She is passionate about Early Education and enjoys teaching preschool at Kids Connection. Lauren is completing her BA degree in Education. Her hobbies include reading, cooking, and going to school.

Connect with Lauren Hammermeister:   Email  Facebook    
 

Bob Coveny

Facilities Manager

Bob Coveny

Facilities Manager

Mission Statement: Our people are empowered to serve the congregation and staff in a way that mimics God's finest. The building and grounds will be maintained in a manner that will impress anyone entering our facility.

Bob has been attending First assembly for 33 years is married to Gina and has 3 Children, Scott, Lauren, Lindsey and 1 grandchild, Jackson. Bob has been involved in the music ministry for 33 years, playing drums, leading worship and on the sound team.

Connect with Bob Coveny:   Email   
 

Jeff Nestor

Jeff Nestor

Building maintenance - since January 2016.

Active member at Joliet First Assembly for over 30 years. Currently serving on the worship team and an adult leader in our youth ministry. It is an honor to be a part of this church body and I'm excited to see what God is doing here and in this community. 

Connect with Jeff Nestor:   Email