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Our Team

Our Staff

“And He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds, and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ …” – Ephesians 4:11-12

Matt Johnson, Lead Pastor

Matt grew up in Iowa, but has spent most of his adult life in the Chicagoland area.  He received a B.A. in Film from Full Sail University in 2006, after which he worked for and volunteered in several churches in the Des Moines area while contemplating his calling. He and his wife Jessica met during that time and were married on June 11, 2011. A year after their marriage, they moved to Chicago for Matt to attend Moody Theological Seminary and Jess taught art in the inner city. Matt graduated from Moody Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity in 2015. Matt loves storytelling and seeing lives changed through effective communication of the Bible, and is currently working on a Doctorate in Practical Theology focused on helping people better understand God’s Word. Matt and Jess have two children, Lucy and Levi. As a family, the Johnson’s love exploring new playgrounds, cooking food, playing Frisbee, and reading books.

Matt Yamada, Asst. Pastor

Matt was born in Hawaii and grew up in Okinawa, Japan.  He graduated from Pensacola Christian College with a degree in Pastoral studies. He also studied Biblical Counseling at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and is currently working on obtaining his Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.  Matt and his wife, Ai, have been part of our church family for many years.  Ai works as a nurse and they recently had their first son.  Their utmost desire is to reach the Japanese people with the good news of the Gospel.

Daniel Chookaszian, Worship Pastor

Daniel grew up in our church and attended Northeastern University where he majored in business. He then attended Moody Theological Seminary and graduated with a Master in Divinity where he also met his wife, Alayna. Daniel currently works in the financial industry and he and Alyana have two daughters and they are very active in our church life. Daniel also loves leading worship and writing worship songs.

Joel Johnson, Cornerstone Ministry Coordinator

Joel is from a small town in northern Idaho. He is currently finishing his bachelor’s degree in Biblical studies from Moody Bible Institute. He has a heart for lost people and desires for everyone to know Jesus. His dream is to help the hurting find rest for their souls. He just recently married his bride Lindsea, and they are excited for a life of ministry together. Outside of church and school Joel loves to be outdoors. He loves to golf, fish, hunt, camp, shoot archery, hike, ski and much more. He loves anything that involves the mountains, and enjoys God’s beautiful creation.

Sami Marquez, Youth Coordinator 

Sami is a moody student studying youth ministry. He has always had a passion for discipling youth and is thrilled to be pouring into the students at Cornerstone. He grew up in Boise, loves playing soccer and loves Jesus. 

Amber Kretekos, Church Administrator / Children’s Director

Amber is a current student at Moody Bible Institute. She has always had a love for the Lord at an early age however, when she was a junior in high school, that’s when she took hold of her faith. God is constantly growing her in many new areas. Amber loves to help young students and has a huge heart for children who frequently don’t get seen. In addition to her work as a part-time Church Administrator and Children’s director at Cornerstone Church and has been leading a girl’s high school small group for the past 7 years. In Amber’s free time, you can find her making coffee.

Gia AmbrosiaChildren’s Director

Gia is studying at Moody Bible Institute. She is majoring in Children and Family Ministry. Gia took hold of her own faith in 8th grade and since then she has continued to grow in it. Gia loves working with kids and helping others learn about the Lord and His goodness. Gia has also been a high school girl’s small group leader for 3 years and enjoys encouraging others to grow their relationship with the Lord. When Gia is not at Cornerstone or school she is out with friends and family. 

Abby Peterson, Children’s Nursery & Pre-School Coordinator

Abby is a student at Moody Bible Institute.  She is majoring in Children and Family Ministry.  Abby was raised in a Christian home, took ownership of her faith in high school, and continues to grow and learn how to be more Christ-like every day.  In addition to her love for Christ and the city of Chicago, Abby has a heart for children and has been serving in children’s ministry with kids of all ages for nearly a decade. When Abby is not at Cornerstone or school, she is playing games with friends and family, working in a coffee shop, or painting.

Lindsea Johnson, Communications Specialist

Lindsea is currently completing her bachelor’s degree in Human Services at the Moody Bible Institute. She is newly married to her loving husband Joel Johnson. In high school Lindsea had the opportunity to be a counselor at a faith-based camp for children in Foster Care. This camp changed her life and she developed a passion for eradicating generational cycles of abuse by reaching underprivileged children and their families through the Gospel. During her free time you can find Lindsea thrifting, exploring new coffee shops, and spending time with her family and friends. 

Our Elders

“Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood” Acts 20:28

The Elders of Cornerstone Church shepherd the flock by guarding, feeding, and overseeing those who have been entrusted to them.

Don Chookaszian
Ninos Dekelaita
Craig Tinder
Steve Jensen
Richard Odisho
Daniel Chookaszian
Matt Yamada

 Our Deacons

 “For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Timothy 3:13

The Deacons of Cornerstone serve our congregation by caring for the many physical and financial needs of our buildings and grounds.

Our Deaconesses

“I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church at Cenchreae, that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints, and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well.” – Romans 16:1-2

The deaconesses of Cornerstone serve the body in a variety of ways including CARE ministry and special events. They also keep areas of our church clean and tidy, prepare the elements for the Lord’s Supper.


Thank you for joining us in praying for our Pastors, Staff, Elders, Deacons, and Deaconesses as they serve our congregation and community!