Elders

In a word, to be an elder at Christ Presbyterian Church means to be a “Shepherd.” The elders at Christ Presbyterian are guys who truly love Christ and Christ’s people. They are teachers, leaders, and equippers of the church. If you’re looking for a church where the pastor does all the work, Christ Presbyterian is probably not the church for you. The elders are the first line which demonstrates Christ’s command for all of us to be ministers. They are peers with the pastor, making decisions together, leading together, pastoring together. Member families and individuals at Christ Presbyterian are assigned an elder/shepherd who keeps in regular contact. Our elders are a resource for you - to ask questions, to lend a listening ear, to offer advice when sought. It gives all of us at Christ Presbyterian a rich reservoir of people to call upon and depend on. The Ruling Elders of this church are chosen from qualified male members of the church, elected by the congregation, and ordained and installed by the Session.

Rev. Jon Nielson, Teaching Elder and Moderator

Untitled design (8)Pastor Jon has served as Senior Pastor at CPC since 2017. He earned a BA in English literature at Wheaton College in 2005 and received both his Master of Divinity and Doctorate of Ministry from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He was ordained in the PCA (Chicago Metro Presbytery) in 2010. From 2015-2017, Pastor Jon was the student ministry director at Princeton University for Christian Union. Before that, he served at College Church in Wheaton from 2010-2015 and at Holy Trinity Church in Chicago from 2005-2009. Jon and his wife Jeanne have four children. They love serving the CPC family, staying active together, and cheering on Chicago sports teams. Jon is the author of several books and Bible studies (see here and here). 

Caleb Odell, Teaching Elder

Untitled design (4)Caleb has been a member of Christ Pres. since the summer of 2018 soon after graduating from Wheaton College. He then received his Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) in 2022. Caleb grew up in Lincoln, NE, the son of PCA pastor, as one of five kids. He moved out to the Chicagoland area to attend Wheaton College where he got his B.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies and Business/Economics while also competing on the Wheaton Wrestling team. He now lives in Wheaton, IL with his wife Elise and son Wayne where he enjoys reading, talking with people, and playing sports.

Brian Martin, Teaching Elder

Untitled design (3)Brian and his wife Valerie became members of Christ Presbyterian Church in 2020. The clear expositional preaching, Christ-centered worship, and welcoming community all made CPC feel like home. Brian received a BS in Communications Education from Miami University (OH) and a Master of Divinity from Covenant Seminary in St. Louis. He served in various pastoral roles before moving to Wheaton ten years ago to start a job at Crossway, and both he and Val currently work on the manufacturing team there. They have three children: Caleb, Tobias, and Eleanor. He enjoys reading, running and backpacking.

Kent Cochrum, Ruling Elder

Untitled design (6)Kent has been a member of Christ Presbyterian Church (PCA) since 2017 and an elder since 2019. He and his wife Cindy were drawn to CPC because of the strong biblical teaching and the deep relationships among the community of believers here. Kent has lived in the Chicago area since moving from Austin, TX to attend college in the 1980's. He received a bachelors degree in music from Wheaton College and masters degree in music from Northwestern University. As an elder, Kent enjoys studying God's Word with others. He serves on the music team, helps co-lead a community group, and occasionally teaches in the Adult Sunday school class. "One of my greatest joys is joining with God's people as we serve the Lord, are transformed by His Word, and raise our voices together in response to His goodness." Kent is married to Cindy and they have four adult children and three daughters-in-law. He works as a sales manager and residential mortgage originator at CIBM Bank in Wheaton, IL. When he's not working, Kent enjoys traveling, hiking with Cindy, and finding unique coffee shops.

Peter Hubbard, Ruling Elder

Untitled design (9)Peter and his wife Elizabeth have been members at CPC since 2019. They were attracted to the commitment to Biblical preaching and the welcoming community at CPC. Peter became an elder in 2021. Peter and Elizabeth met at Wheaton College and have six children. They enjoy being active and enjoying God’s creation. Peter enjoys coaching youth sports, teaching bible studies and discipling men. 

  

John Messer, Ruling Elder

Untitled design (12)John and his wife Cindy became members of Christ Presbyterian Church soon after they relocated to Wheaton from Seattle, Washington in 2020, to be close to their adult children and granddaughter. They appreciate CPC’s solid biblical teaching along with its warm and caring community. John became a CPC elder in 2024 and has a professional background in management, real estate and finance. He also enjoys studying God’s word, spending time with family and friends, DIY projects and running, plus always making time for good fellowship and coffee.

Matt Roberts, Ruling Elder

Untitled design (7)Matt has been a member of Christ Presbyterian Church (PCA) since 2018. He and his wife Jodee were drawn to CPC due to the church being part of the PCA, the strong Biblical teaching and warm community of believers. Matt recently became an elder in 2021. Matt and his family are transplants and relocated to the Chicago area from eastern PA (go Eagles!) in 2010. He received a bachelor's degree in Economics from Lafayette College and an MBA from Lehigh University. Matt & Jodee have one son-in-law, Caleb, three adult children (Rachel, Isaac, Elise) and an energetic middle schooler, Maddie. "Jodee and I have been blessed by so many families at CPC. We have enjoyed serving in (Voyagers) youth ministry and hosting Community Group." In his free time, Matt enjoys spending time with Jodee, reading, apologetics, most things outdoors, (hiking, biking) playing basketball, reading, coffee, and good New York style pizza. (Feel free to ask where to find the best NY Pizza in the Chicago suburbs!)

Kevin Todd, Ruling Elder and Clerk

Untitled design (5)Kevin came to Christ Presbyterian Church (PCA) in the summer of 2017 with his wife Brenda, and they soon both joined as members, as did their daughter, Grace. He became an elder in 2019. Kevin is a transplant from Minnesota (which has "real winter") and married Brenda, a Wheaton native, 30+ years ago. They have three adult daughters and a preschool foster son, of whom they are reasonably (and justifiably) proud. Kevin is a partner in the Chicago law firm of Hoogendoorn & Talbot. "As an elder at CPC, it is my desire to see the Kingdom expand through justice, mercy, love of neighbor, sound theology, and fidelity to the Word, and for these to be living realities for and through the people of CPC." He's amazed that the creator and sustainer of everything so loved us that in eternity past he declared us to be his own. A favorite passage of Kevin's is Colossians 1:15-20 which captures the simple and compelling beauty of Jesus and the Gospel. In his spare time, Kevin enjoys anything outdoors (especially cycling, and hiking with his kids and dog Strider), travel, reading, U2, folk/lyric-driven music, and good conversation-especially if it involves pizza and craft beer.