No Matter Who You Are or Where You Are On Life’s Journey, You Are Welcomed Here.

Church Council

Here at Christ Church United Church of Christ, we have a Church Council of seven members who are voted upon. They meet monthly on the second Wednesday at 7 pm throughout the year. They address the needs of the church. 

Rev. Jon Gilbert Martinez
Pastor

Rev. Jon Gilbert Martinez, or simply Rev. Gilbert as he prefers, embodies a rich tapestry of heritage. A multi-generational Tejano (Texan) and Chicano (Mexican-American), he’s brought his faith and leadership to Chicagoland since 2015.

Gilbert’s educational background is as impressive as it is diverse. Holding a Master of Divinity from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (2019), a Bachelor’s in Sociology, and a minor in Psychology from the University of Texas-Pan American, his thirst for knowledge extends further with two associate degrees from South Texas College.

His dedication to Christ Church U.C.C. is evident in his journey. He began serving as a designated-term pastor in February 2021 before being called settled pastor on January 9, 2022. Before that, he served San Lucas UCC-Chicago in various roles, including digital outreach minister, community pastoral care minister, and pulpit supply minister.

Beyond the church’s walls, Gilbert actively serves on numerous boards and committees. He’s the Vice President of the Self-Help Closet & Pantry of Des Plaines, Tuthill Commission of the Illinois Conference of the U.C.C., and Church & Ministry Committee of the Chicago Metropolitan Association of the Illinois Conference of the U.C.C. He contributes to Advocate-Aurora Health’s Mission & Spiritual Care Committee.

His commitment extends further with past positions, such as communications consultant for The Colectivo de U.C.C. Latinx Ministries and service on the U.C.C. Mental Health Network Board of Directors, U.C.C. Media Justice Board of Directors, Vice-Moderator of the Chicago Metropolitan Association of the Illinois Conference of the U.C.C. focused on diversity, mental health, and media justice.

A champion for social justice, Gilbert advocates for community service, mental health awareness, immigration and refugee rights, and the L.G.B.T.Q. Community and an inclusive welcome for all. This passion is reflected in his completion of Mental Health First Aid and Companionship certificates, with him even being a certified instructor for Companionship training.

But faith isn’t just about service for Gilbert. He prioritizes self-care and cherishes time with his family: his son, teenage nieces, sister, husband, and beloved pets.

Rev. Gilbert Martinez is a leader who inspires through his dedication, diverse background, and unwavering commitment to his faith and the community.

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Jezzle Pacifico Patterson
Administrative Assistant

Jezzle thrives on quality time with loved ones. When she’s not busy, you’ll find her enjoying the company of her family, friends, and her adorable Shiba Inu pup. A true Chicagoan at heart, Jezzle bleeds orange and navy blue, cheering on the Chicago Bears every N.F.L. season.

But Jezzle’s interests extend beyond the football field. She’s an avid music lover, constantly seeking new artists and sounds to fill her days. To unwind, she enjoys catching up on the latest movies and television shows, keeping her finger on the pulse of pop culture.

Jezzle joined the Christ Church U.C.C. ministry in December 2023. 

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Kyle Speer
Finance Manager

Kyle has been a dedicated member of the Christ Church UCC family since 2016. When he’s not lending his talents to the church, you can find him cheering on the Chicago White Sox, showcasing his musical abilities, or engaging in a friendly game of cribbage. But Kyle’s true passion lies in his family life. As a proud husband, father of four, and owner of two dogs, Kyle thrives on the joys and challenges of a bustling household.

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Hana Fujisaki
Church Organist

Chicago’s own Hana brings a melody to our community and her classroom. A talented pianist and music teacher, Hana’s passion for music extends far beyond the notes. When she’s not inspiring her students, you can find her indulging in her love for jazz, its improvisational spirit reflecting her creative spark.

But Hana’s heart also holds a special place for the rich flavors of her Japanese heritage. A true connoisseur, she seeks out the perfect bowl of ramen, a taste that transports her back home.

Hana joined us at the Christ Church U.C.C. sanctuary in 2018, sharing her gift of music and enriching our community with every beautiful note.

Leslie Thomas
Church Pianist

Leslie’s love for music resonates within the walls of Christ Church U.C.C. Since 2019, her piano playing has graced our sanctuary, and her contributions extend beyond solo performances. Leslie has also lent her talents to the church choir, creating a harmonious blend of voices.

Music education is another of Leslie’s passions. As a middle school music teacher in Mt. Prospect, she inspires the next generation of musicians. Her artistic pursuits extend to the stage, where she thrives as a performer and a music director in theater productions.

While Arlington Heights is her home base, Leslie cherishes her family in Iowa. She tries to bridge the distance and spend quality time with them whenever possible.

Emanuel Alvarez
Maintenance Technician

Emanuel joined our ministry in December 2023.

Tommie Jordan
Custodian

Tommie joined our ministry in March 2024.

All Members, Lay Ministry