OUR STORY

The Orchard Network was birthed in 2012 by the leadership of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church. Recognizing the critical need for the next generation of gospel leaders as well as the value of partnering with the local church, The Orchard tasked The Network to develop ministry training programs to provide a breadth of exposure to a variety of ministries and a depth of practice to sharpen skills for effective deployment into pastoral, church planting and missions work.

Our mission is to Grow Gospel Leaders for Churches.

Colin Smith

Colin is the Senior Pastor of The Orchard and serves as President of The Orchard Network. Born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland, he trained at London School of Theology, where he met his wife, Karen. He later received a Masters of Philosophy at London Bible College and went on to serve as pastor of Enfield Evangelical Free Church in England for 16 years before coming to The Orchard in 1996. Pastor Colin serves on the council of The Gospel Coalition and is the author of several books including 10 Keys for Unlocking the Bible and more recently Momentum; Pursuing God’s Blessing Through the Beatitudes. He can be heard daily on the Unlocking the Bible radio broadcast at unlockingthebible.org. Pastor Colin strongly and consistently emphasizes God’s Word and helped the church develop a vision for the future which included the development of young leaders formalized through The Orchard Network.

Pete Alle

Pete is the Executive Director of The Orchard Network.  He and his wife Sarma have been members of The Orchard since 2008.  Pete has served professionally in executive strategy, operational and planning roles in the food industry as well as consulting.  The Orchard’s strong emphasis on the study and application of God’s Word led Pete to enroll in The Orchard Network’s lay-leader course, LEVERAGE, from which he graduated in 2016.  He and Sarma are currently enrolled in MOMENTUM.  Participating in these courses confirmed and further ignited his passion for seeing the Gospel reach more people through the ministry of The Orchard Network.  Pete and Sarma currently lead and co-lead LIFE groups, while Pete is also actively mentoring and discipling men in one-on-one and group settings.  Pete serves as an elder and Vice-Chairman of The Orchard, and also has an active ministry with the Latvian Baptist Church in America.

Laura Eder

Laura was appointed Director in April 2016. Prior to taking on this role she supported the Executive Pastor of The Orchard for eight years, gaining skills in organizational and strategic planning and administration. Laura studied English Education at Northeastern Illinois University and has a background in Financial Compliance Management and Corporate Training. She has been married to Dan since 1990 and attends the Itasca Campus of The Orchard with their three children. She and Dan share a passion for marriage ministry and sermon-based LIFE Groups.

Arthur Kok

Arthur is the Director of Training. He joined The Orchard Network in March 2014, after completing his theological studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.  His experience includes 5 years of church ministry in China and Singapore.  Arthur has been married to Jo since 2008 and attends The Arlington Heights Campus of The Orchard.  They have two children, Mya and Elliot.  Both Arthur and Jo have counseling degrees from Trinity and share a love for multi-cultural ministry and LIFE Groups.

RESIDENTS

$team_image['alt']
Karolina Bajkowska

Bi-Vocational Missions Resident partnering with The Orchard preparing for the mission field.

$team_image['alt']
Dillon Mack

Missions Resident partnering with The Orchard in preparation for long-term ministry in Hungary. Image coming soon.

$team_image['alt']
Colton Tatham

Church Planting Resident partnering with Olathe Bible Church in Kansas City as he prepares to launch a new campus in the next two years.

$team_image['alt']
Danny Russell

Church Planting Resident partnering with Evanston Bible Fellowship to plant a church in the Chicago area.

$team_image['alt']
James Park

Missions Resident partnering with The Orchard as he and his family prepare to head to Asia for long-term cross-cultural work. Picture coming soon.

$team_image['alt']
Val Lelle

Bi-Vocational Missions Resident partnering with The Orchard preparing for the mission field. Image coming soon.

$team_image['alt']
André Ballard

Pastoral Resident partnering with The Orchard at The Arlington Heights Campus as he prepares for long-term pastoral ministry.

BOARD

$team_image['alt']
Bill Bradish

Chairman

Bill is the Elder Chairman of The Orchard

$team_image['alt']
Charlie Hess

Treasurer

$team_image['alt']
Ruthie Archer

Secretary

$team_image['alt']
Tim Beechick

Member at Large

$team_image['alt']
Keith Foley

Member at Large

Keith is the Membership Elder of The Orchard

$team_image['alt']
Brett Gleason

Member at Large

Brett is the Director of Church Multiplication and Administration at the Great Lakes District of the Evangelical Free Church of America

$team_image['alt']
Sue Levon

Member at Large

$team_image['alt']
Brad Mullet

Member at Large

Brad is the Director of Missions for The Orchard

Partners and Organizations We Love