Jarrett Stevens

Lead Pastor

Jarrett grew up in the East Bay of San Francisco. He came to faith at a young age, but it wouldn’t be until college that he would intentionally start following Jesus.

He met Jeanne while on a week long trip to Chicago and never quite recovered. After dating a few years, they were married and began working at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill.

Jarrett worked at Willow for 12 years as a teaching pastor for AXIS before moving to Atlanta to work with North Point Church. While there, Jarrett worked as the singles pastor and as leader and communicator for 7|22. He’s the author of The Deity Formerly Known as God as well as the upcoming title Four Small Words.

Jarrett is known for his humor and honesty in his teaching, and he is a creative leader with a pastor’s heart. Without a doubt his greatest joy is his relationship with Jeanne, who continues to fascinate him, as well as their two beautiful children, Elijah (whom Jarrett still dresses) and Gigi (self-proclaimed diva of the house).

Jeanne Stevens

Lead Pastor

Jeanne Stevens is one of the lead pastors of Soul City Church in the dynamic West Loop neighborhood of Chicago, IL. Soul City began in the fall of 2010. Prior to starting Soul City Church, Jeanne served on the staff of Willow Creek Community Church for 11 years as a Student Ministry Pastor and on the staff of North Point Community Church for 4 years.

Jeanne has had the opportunity to teach, pastor and speak into the lives of thousands of people across the US and around the world. Her passion to develop leaders, to encourage people to live from the fullest part of themselves and to live boldly give her a unique voice of hope and challenge.

Jeanne is the author of Soul School, a contributor to the Bible Study and DVD Series “Twelve Women of the Bible” as well as “Real Women, Real Faith”.

In addition to pastoring Soul City Church, Jeanne finds great joy in being a wife to her husband of 20 years, Jarrett, and a mom to her 10-year-old son, Elijah, and 7-year-old daughter GiGi. The Stevens family lives in the West Loop of Chicago and love trips to the park, cheering for the Chicago Bulls, and the continued pursuit of the city’s best taco.

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Kurt Duggleby

Director of Next Steps and Connections

kurt duggleby

Kurt was born in San Francisco and grew up in Orange County, CA. While he was often in and around church, he didn’t have a transforming relationship with Jesus until he was in High School. While in high school he felt God moving his heart towards building a church where even those that didn’t like church could connect with Jesus, but didn’t know when or where that would happen.

While attending UCSB, Kurt met and fell in love with the amazing Katie Miller and they married soon after graduation. Kurt had the opportunity to intern in the High School Ministry at Saddleback Church, which helped lead to his first full time ministry position as a Student Ministry Pastor in Des Moines, Iowa.

In the Summer of 2009, a unique tweet caught Kurt’s attention and began the adventure of prayerfully considering a move to Chicago to be a part of Soul City Church. In the Summer of 2010 the Dugglebys followed the call to move to Chicago, and they have loved this city ever since! Kurt serves as the Director of Next Steps and Connections and is passionate about helping people find community, discover their passions and take their unique next step toward Jesus. Kurt and Katie welcomed their daughter Selah Mae in March 2015, and they currently live in the West Loop neighborhood of Chicago with their puggle Lulu.

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Sara Emmerson

Creative Director


Sara was born and raised in sunny Southern California. From an early age she loved Jesus, loved worship, and loved using her gifts at church. She graduated from Hope International University where she received a degree in Ministry with a Music and Theater Minor and met her husband, Todd Emmerson.

From 1999 to 2001 Sara served at Willow Creek Community Church in Barrington, IL, where she first met Jarrett and Jeanne Stevens. She then spent a short season in Southern California working at Crossroads Christian Church before taking on the role of Creative Arts Producer at Christ Community Church in St. Charles, IL.

Eleven years later Sara got a call from Jarrett Stevens asking her to come be a part of Soul City Church. Sara and Todd sought God in prayer until His leading was clear, and in the Spring of 2015 Sara accepted the position of Creative Director. Sara and Todd currently live in Geneva with their son, Lincoln, who is a huge Blackhawks fan, and their daughter, Lila, whose love for life is contagious.

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Nick Mancini

Director of Family Ministries

Nick grew up in Hoffman Estates, IL and graduated from Judson University in Elgin, IL with a degree in youth ministry and adolescent studies.

He worked at Willow Creek Church for over 10 years, and also worked for an organization called Youth for Christ where he started outreach youth ministry programs all around the Chicagoland area. After working with Youth for Christ, Nick took a job out in Oklahoma at Life. Church where he worked as the youth content developer.

When Nick moved to Oklahoma, he thought was just going there for a job, but happened to meet his wife, Kristen, who also worked at Life.Church. Kristen and Nick have 2 boys, Roman and Jaden.

Having grown up in tough family situation, Nick is passionate about joining with families in leading their kids into a transforming relationship with Jesus Christ.

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Ebele Onyema

Love Works Director


Ebele grew up a first-generation American in the south suburbs of Chicago – in a town whose water tower features the phrase, “A Community of Churches.” Nurtured by her devout Nigerian parents and her town’s holy water, Ebele came to faith at a young age, but it wasn’t until adulthood that she stepped into an actual relationship with Christ and experienced the unexplainable peace that comes with that decision.

Ebele earned her bachelors in Political Economics from Georgetown University, and did what all immigrant parents hope their daughters will do with their econ degrees – she moved to New York City to pursue a career in production. Ebele has worked on behalf of Oprah Winfery, the Southeastern Conference, MTV, the FedEx Cup, and New York Fashion Week.

After a number of incredible years, Ebele began to feel restless in New York. She returned home to Chicago to pursue a career that would allow her to engage her passion for social justice and leadership development. Ebele earned her masters in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago and spent several years working with young people and staff in school and community settings. In her role as Love Works Director, Ebele is committed to engaging Soul City in conversations about justice and dignity, and mobilizing the church to be a compassionate and bold agent of change in this city and the world.

Ebele loves her early morning boxing class; owns three harmonicas that she plays very poorly, but loudly; and spends a joyful amount of time daydreaming about the taco salad at Little Goat and the brisket at Franklin’s in Austin, TX.

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Patrick Mayberry

Worship Leader

patrick mayberry

Patrick was born and raised in a small town in Tennessee. Through Young Life and some great mentors, he came to understand what a relationship with Christ really looked like. Patrick has always had a love for music, and in college he was challenged to lead worship at a college ministry. Instantly, he became passionate about worship and hasn’t lost his zeal since

Patrick and his wife, Jenny, first met in the waiting room of a doctors office at age four. In their freshman year of college, they began dating. Six years later, they were married. They now have three kids, Maggie, Jude and Tripp.

Patrick was the Creative Director at The River Community Church and later partnered in planting a church in downtown Nashville. After feeling a strong pull from the Lord, Patrick and Jenny, moved back to their hometown in Tennessee for a season. After less than a year in their hometown, God made it very clear that he was leading them to be a part of Soul City Church.

Patrick has a passion for music, worship, and people. His excitement for life is contagious. Leading people into an authentic worship experience with God is something he strives to never stop perfecting.

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Lizzie Wheat

Operations Coordinator

lizzie wheat

Lizzie was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina. In middle school she really came to own her faith for herself through a middle school Bible study group at her church. Through getting involved in youth group at church she met the boy who would become the love her life, Chris Wheat. They started dating in high school and got married during college in 2006.

She went to the College of Charleston and earned a degree in International Business, but during this time a passion for youth ministry developed, and so the business world took a back seat. Between volunteering and being on staff, Lizzie spent 7 years leading middle and high school students. It was during this time that she started to discovered how her administrative gifts were very useful in ministry and complemented her passion for helping students find their identity in Christ.

In 2011, God called Chris and Lizzie to leave Charleston and join the Soul City adventure in Chicago. Lizzie has been able to lean into her administrative gifts through her role on the team and has come to really understand that what she once thought of as simply a “type A personality” is actually a gift. In her free time at home in Tri-Taylor, Lizzie loves to cook, eat, ride her bike and read!

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Chris Wheat

Technical & IT Director

chris wheat

Chris grew up in northern Virginia and moved to Charleston, SC in middle school. It was there that he met his best friend and beautiful wife, Lizzie Wheat. They dated through high school and college and got married in 2006. After high school, Chris joined the staff of the church where they met, and he served as the Audio and Technical Director for 7 years. During this time he graduated from the College of Charleston with a degree in Set and Lighting Design for Theatre. Chris loves enhancing worship environments through technology and gets to do this weekly as the Technical Director at Soul City.

Chris and Lizzie live in Tri-Taylor with their dog, Stella. In his free time, Chris likes to run, ride his bike, eat good food and work on projects around the house.

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Jeremy Lopez

Visual Director


Jeremy was born and raised in sunny Los Angeles, California and migrated to Chicago, Illinois as a pre-teen. While he was born in a sunny climate, he much prefers the frigid cold Chicago has to offer.

He was raised in the faith but made his own deep commitment to Christ at 14 years old. It was then that he embraced a deep love for music and the arts.

It was at 17 years old where he met Jasmine, the girl who would become his wife six years later. Her passion for photography and his desire for film led them to begin working together to serve God through their gifts. After many years of freelance visual work, God led Jeremy and his family to Soul City Church. It was then that God fulfilled a life long desire for him work in full time ministry. He now has the opportunity to use his film and visual gifts to enhance the connection between God and his people.

Jeremy also has a passion for leading people into undeniable worship experiences with God and has greatly enjoyed being a part of the Worship Collective. He and his wife live near Brookfield with their three daughters, Dakota, Savannah and Remy.

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Sean DelBeccaro

Director of Small Groups


Sean was born and raised just outside of Chicago in River Forest. Sean began intentionally following Jesus in High School due to two key relationships: a close friend and a local Youth Pastor. Through their example of love and grace, Sean’s faith was developed throughout high school as he prepared to go to college at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. While originally intending to pursue business, Sean felt a call to ministry in college through his work with a non-profit missions organization and his involvement in youth ministry in a local church. Sean ended up staying in Texas after college to attend seminary at Baylor where God continued to mold Sean’s calling. Sean loves to play golf, read, explore the great outdoors, and is an avid supporter of Chicago and Baylor sports.

While studying at Baylor, Sean met the nicest girl on the planet: Julia. Julia works as a nurse but loves to read, play outside, travel, and is always willing to laugh at all jokes, no matter how funny they are. Sean and Julia are recently married and are already enjoying the lifelong adventure of marriage.

Sean is passionate and excited about seeing people transformed through a relationship with Jesus. Sean believes that all people are created from community for the purpose of community and hopes to help others on their spiritual journey by encouraging and promoting inclusive spaces where life can be shared together and the love of Jesus can be experienced.

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Soul City Church is lead by a wise group of individuals that make up our Elder Board.
Elders at Soul City are responsible for:
Determining overall vision and future direction of the church
Creating policies to define church values and biblical operating procedures
Ensuring the church’s teachings and practices reflect accurate biblical theology
Providing avenues for pastoral care, conflict resolution, discipline and restoration
Provide accountability to the Lead Pastors to ensure the vision and values determined by the Elders are being carried out

Our current Elders are Kim Pickett, Judy Golz, Jeanne Stevens, and Jarrett Stevens.


Kim Pickett

Kim Pickett and her husband Sean and their daughter Emory live on Chicago’s Near West Side and are grateful for Soul City’s investment in them over the last three years. Kim is grateful for the opportunity to invest back in Soul City as an elder and use her background in non-profit development and passion for disciple making to serve the church.


Judy Golz

Judy is a community psychologist. She and her husband, Greg, have 3 sons and 2 daughter-in-laws, all of whom are active at Soul City. Judy and Greg help to lead Soul Mates and are so excited to see and hear how the Lord is transforming lives.