Our Leadership

Say hello to the leadership team here at Village!

Meet Our Leadership Team

Say hello to the leadership team here at Village! Got questions for the lead team at Village? Contact us by clicking here.

"A ship in harbor is safe. But ships weren't built for the harbor."

Mark Doebler - Lead Pastor

Pastor Mark is a native of South Carolina. His education is in both Business Management and Pastoral Studies. After college, Pastor Mark served in the U.S. Infantry and followed that up with being an entrepreneur before transitioning into full-time ministry. He planted Second Chance Church in Peoria, serving as lead pastor there for 14 years, and then served as lead pastor of Orchardville Church in Orchardville, Illinois before coming to Village Church. Mark and his wife Lesley have two grown sons and live in Forest Park.

Pastor Mark loves preaching, travel, golf, college football, and all things University of South Carolina. 


"Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'" John 14:6

Ross Kniseley - Worship and Youth

Ross and his wife Allison were married in 2015 shortly after graduating highschool. Ross served as the interim worship director at Maywood Free Church in Rockford, IL for a year and a half while the church looked for a new worship pastor. During this time, he worked as a CNC Machinist at Woodward Inc. 

During the Covid pandemic, Ross and Allison decided they wanted to commit to full time ministry. They had worked together for many years in youth and worship ministries and felt God calling them to serve full time. 

In fall of 2021, they began studying at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. Ross is majoring in Biblical Studies with a minor in Music. Allison is majoring in Youth Ministry with a minor in Ministry to Women.

In June of 2022 Ross began serving as the Worship Director for Village Church, and has been serving as the Youth Director since October.

Ross enjoys anything automotive, music, good coffee, and spending time with friends and family.

"Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality." Romans 12:10-13

Mary Case - Kids Ministry Director and Congregational Care

"I grew up in the Catholic Church and attended Catholic school through college. After marrying my husband we searched for a Christian church where we could grow in our Lord, be fed and serve others. As I grew in knowledge of my Lord, I proclaimed my trust in Jesus as my savior through baptism at a church getaway. God directed our path through raising 9 children. John, Maddie, Maura, Beth, Ray, Bekah, Rachel, Mary Hope and Trecie. Two are now married and we have six grandchildren! Years ago, our daughter Trecie passed away from a terminal illness at the age of 3 1/2. She taught us patience, perseverance and joy through trials and tears. Losing Trecie encouraged me to be trained as a Stephen’s Minister to serve others experiencing loss. I then went back to school at Moody Bible Institute and studied Biblical Leadership. I also serve as a chaplain.

I love serving our children and families at Village Church. Bible verses, songs, stories and games are a part of our ministry. But it is also important for our children to be an active part of serving our church, both inside and outside of our church doors. Our Village Kids bring joy and blessings to us regularly presenting the Christmas pageant, the Easter Story and singing Thanksgiving songs. My vision is to actively engage our children and families in missionary support and actively serve our surrounding communities, engaging those around us to know, love and serve our Lord."


"Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers. Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction." Psalm 1

Brian Swanson - Elder

"I have been married to my wonderful wife, Jill, for 43 years. God blessed us with two children, Sarah and Adam, a daughter-in-love, Alicia, and three grandchildren: Aliyah, Aidan and Ava - referred to as the A Team for obvious reasons.  In my free time I enjoy camping, canoeing and reading. I have built three of my own strip wood canoes. A good friend and I go canoe-camping for two weeks in some northern Wisconsin flowage each year. I look forward to being out in the wilderness, sitting with a cup of coffee and reading God's Word. Professionally, I spent 25 years as a commercial photographer and 17 years as a computer programmer. I am now retired from my paying job and am happily pursuing the (deferred payment) jobs God has for me to do. "

"Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer's; he makes me tread on my high places. " Habakkuk 3:17-19

Mark Hall - Elder

"I was born at the front end of the last quarter of the so-called 'baby boom', my Wonder Years ran from 1972 to 1977. I served 6 years in the US Navy as a Personnelman - often referred to by those in the manual trades as a Pencil Pusher. I currently work at the University of Illinois Hospital as Supply and Surgical Implant Manager to Perioperative Services (aka 'The O.R.). I'm not really a fan of sports, which can make me an outsider in a town like Chicago! My biggest interest is music, both in live settings and at home. However, I'm not a musician - the only thing I play is my stereo, oftentimes quite loudly."

Angelito Bernardo - Elder

Angelito, or Lito as his friends call him, has been attending Village Church of Oak Park for 7 years. He has remained in Village Church because of the church's love for the Lord, the Lord's people and the lost. He is a physician with specialty in kidney disease, dialysis, hypertension and kidney transplant. After his training in Chicago, he practiced medicine in the academic setting by seeing patients, training future doctors and specialists and also doing medical research. Lito is currently the global scientific and medical head at Baxter Healthcare with headquarters in Deerfield, IL. 

Lito and his wife Elnora have two grown sons and live in River Forest. Lito loves classical music, American theater, travel and history. 

“ If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” - 1 John 4:15-16

Jim Tragos - Elder

I live in River Forest with my two beautiful children and amazing wife, Sandy. I currently work as an attorney but I am hopeful to one day become a full time Elvis impersonator. Family time is especially important to me and I love playing whiffle ball, board games, and foosball with my wife and kids. If I could travel to Greece every summer I would, but luckily, my wife encourages us to travel and experience other parts of the world. I am extremely grateful that the Lord has blessed me with such a loving family and church.