MEET OUR DEDICATED STAFF

SENIOR PASTOR: JOHN N. BATES

Pastor Bates has been with St. Mark’s since 1998. He received a B.A. from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, with a double major in Religion and Psychology.  Pastor Bates received his Master of Divinity from the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, Illinois. 

Originally from Kewanee, Illinois, Pastor Bates has lived in Germantown Hills since 1989.  He and his wife Pam have two grown children and four grandchildren: Kerra (Tim) McCoskey (Jonah and Evan) and Chad (Joy) Whittington (Lucas and Campbell). 

Pastor Bates has taught Introduction to Philosophy, Social Psychology, and World Religions as a part-time instructor at Illinois Central College. He is also a former Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Peoria.  Pastor Bates is a member of Washington Rotary and a Paul Harris Fellow.  He enjoys golf, biking and water skiing.

E-Mail: JBates@StMarksWashington.org

STAFF

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Dick Hanson
Visitation Pastor
Nancy Vogel
Director of Children & Family Ministries
Kirsten Tharp
Parish Nurse
David Blasco
Choir Director
Kathy Bell
Organist
Stephens, Tammy
Executive Dir. of Operations
Yvonne Shields
Bookkeeper
Stacey Watson
Secretary
Caitlin Greenwood
Childcare & Preschool Director
Randy Flex
Daytime Custodian
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Reverend Richard J. Hanson

Pastor Hanson has been our Visitation Pastor since 2014, after serving for five years as our Interim Associate Pastor. A Chicago native, he has lived in Peoria for 16 years. Pastor Hanson attended Lane Tech High School in Chicago, as well as Carthage College in Carthage, Illinois. He received his Master of Sacred Theology at Maywood Seminary (Lutheran School of Theology) in Maywood, Illinois.

A 1974 "Who’s Who in Illinois" member and recipient of the Illinois Department of Corrections’ Race Relations Award in Rock Island, Pastor Hanson is a member of the Peoria Heights Lions Club and the Senior Golf Association. He enjoys playing board games and collecting stamps.

E-Mail: dicbarbh@mtco.com

David Blasco

David Blasco, a Peoria resident, leads our Traditional Choir and our Children's Rejoice Choir.  David has a vocal performance degree from Northern Illinois University and is the music teacher at Peoria Academy.  David has sung in several groups throughout Central Illinois and throughout Europe with the Dominican Festival Choir (and is featured on their Spain CD).  David has also sung at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

E-mail: djb4066@sbcglobal.net

Kirsten Tharp, BSN, RN

Kirsten Tharp joined St. Mark's staff as Parish Nurse in 2018. Kirsten is a registered nurse with experience in critical care and office nursing in addition to previous years serving as a parish nurse at church in Peoria. Kirsten is passionate about meeting the health and spiritual needs of all generations and is excited to partner with us at St. Marks. Kirsten, her husband Brian, and their four children live in Washington. 

E-mail: ktharp@stmarkswashington.org

Nancy Vogel

Nancy Vogel is originally from Peoria, and currently lives in Metamora with her husband, Curt, and their three children. They became members of St. Mark’s in December, 2007. Nancy joined us as Director of Children and Family Ministries in July of 2014.  A graduate of Bradley University, Nancy earned a degree in Early Childhood Education and Special Education. She has worked in the field of early childhood for the past 25 years as a mom, teacher, trainer of teachers, and author. She has written several books for preschool teachers, as well as articles for parents of young children.  In her free time, Nancy enjoys Bible study, rollerblading, gardening, scrap-booking, and spending time with her family. She is a year-round volunteer for Operation Christmas Child, serving as a Church Relations Team Member. Nancy is also the Project Leader for the church’s annual shoe-box collection, and acts as the Collection Center Coordinator at St. Mark’s.

E-mail: nvogel@stmarkswashington.org

Caitlin Greenwood

Caitlin Greenwood, our Childcare and Preschool Director, began her career with St. Mark’s in 2011. She received a Bachelor of Arts, with a concentration on child development. She graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 2009. Caitlin is a member of the Director Network, as well as Alpha Sigma Lambda (National Honor Society for Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning).  Born and raised in Central Illinois, Caitlin is married with two children.  Her certifications include the following:

  • Illinois Director Credential - Level II - Department of Human Services

  • Early Childhood Education Credential - Level 4 - Department of Human Services

  • Infant Toddler Credential - Level 2 - Department of Human Services

  • CPR and First Aid Certified – American Heart Association

E-mail: preschool@stmarkswashington.org

Kathy Bell

Kathy Bell has served as church organist at St. Mark’s since 2006. A Washington native, she studied Music Education at Illinois Wesleyan University.  In addition to her musical duties, Kathy teaches music to kindergarten through 4th grade students. In her spare time, Kathy plays for community organizations.

Yvonne Shields

Yvonne joined St. Mark’s staff in 2014. She was born and raised in North Dakota and lived in San Antonio, Texas for 8 years before moving to Pekin in 1994, where she lives with her husband and three children. Yvonne has worked for 16 years in a church setting in bookkeeping and financial support.

 

E-Mail: bookkeeper@stmarkswashington.org

Tammy Stephens, IOM

Stacey Watson

Stacey Watson became the Secretary at St. Mark’s in 2017. Stacey worked in Human Resources/Recruiting at Caterpillar Inc. for 16 years before spending time at home with her children. She spends much of her time attending school and sports activities.

E-Mail: office@stmarkswashington.org

Randy Flex

Randy began as St. Mark’s daytime custodian in 2014. He and his wife, Kristin, joined St. Mark’s in 2013. Together they have six children and one grandson.

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GROWING IN FAITH AND DISCIPLESHIP