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About Us


Mercy Hill is led not by an individual but by a team of leaders who together make decisions and use their gifts to care for members of our church family and lead us in our mission. The teamwork approach to leadership is modeled through all the various ministries and activities of Mercy Hill, with a team of elders carrying overall responsibility for overseeing the affairs of the church.

Current Church Elders and Pastoral Staff:

John Leitzel John Leitzel serves as the lead elder for Mercy Hill and is on the full-time pastoral staff for the church. John earned a PhD in synthetic bio-organic chemistry from the University of Chicago and was a tenured professor at Chicago State University prior to joining the pastoral staff at Living Word Church in Lansing, IL in 2001. John led the team that planted CrossPoint Church in Crown Point, Indiana in 2006, pastoring that church until moving to Zambia with his family in 2012. John serves as part of the apostolic leadership team for our network of churches, Lifelink, in the USA and internationally (, as he helps maintain our global partnerships and strengthen emerging leadership teams around the world. John and his wife, Karen, have two daughters, Elizabeth and Sarah. John can be reached at:

John Hamstra, Jr. John Hamstra, Jr. serves as an elder in the church, and was the founding pastor of Mercy Hill from its launch in 2009 until 2018. John currently works full time for Leep’s Supply Co.

Other Elders: Other elders at Mercy Hill include Tim Griffin, John Hamstra, Sr., and Bryan Hoogerwerf

Corey Knudsen In 2015, we welcomed Corey Knudsen to our staff as Worship Director/Youth Pastor. Corey and his wife Brooke serve on the worship team and lead our youth group for students in Jr. High and High School, which meets on Sunday nights at Mercy Hill. Their son, Oliver, was born in December 2017. Corey can be reached at:

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