The mission of Oak Lawn First Church of the Nazarene is to live in relationship with God, by knowing Jesus Christ, by growing into his likeness and by showing it through loving deeds and actions.
Pastor Gary Aills, Senior Pastor
Pastor Gary Aills came to Oak Lawn First as the Senior Pastor in 2000. Pastor Gary has Pastoral Ministries degree from Hobe Sound Bible College and continues to work on his Masters through Olivet Nazarene University. Pastor Gary has 32 years of pastoral experience in Ohio and Kentucky, as well as Illinois. Pastor Gary enjoys fishing, boating, playing the guitar, watching The Ohio State Buckeyes, and spending time with his wonderful, fabulous wife Lynda and two sons, Nathan and Nicholas.
Pastor Jeff Grindle, Associate Pastor
Pastor Jeff is our Associate Pastor as well as our IT and media guy. He also acts as chaplain for Oak Lawn Day Nursery/Early Childhood Academy. Originally from Massachusetts, he entered the United States Navy after high school. During the sixteen years he spent in the Navy, Jeff began to study for the ministry, earning a Bachelor of Theology degree from Andersonville Theological Seminary in Camilla, Georgia. He has ministered at three churches in Louisiana, Kansas, and Illinois. Jeff and his wife, Susanne, have five children and two grandchildren.
Lynda Aills, OLDN Director
Lynda has been the Director of OLDN here at Oak Lawn First since 2000. She has a B.S. degree in Education with proficiencies in English, Literature, and Psychology, and a Masters Degree in Education. Lynda has served many years as a High School English teacher in public schools in Illinois, Ohio, and Kentucky. She has also enjoyed teaching at Olivet Nazarene University for the past eight years and was presented with the Snowbarger Excellence in Teaching Award during the 2009 Graduation Ceremonies at Olivet. Lynda is married to Pastor Gary Aills and they have two children, Nathan and Nicholas.
Barbara Innis, Administrative Assistant
Barbara Innis is our new Administrative Assistant, but she is no stranger to Oak Lawn First Church of the Nazarene. Barbara met her husband, Ken, at this church in the 1980’s, they were married in this church, and they both have been an integral part of the church for many years. Barbara has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Northern Illinois University, but found that rather than teaching, she much prefers working behind the scenes, supporting those who are on the “front lines”, getting the job done. She has been an Office Manager/Administrative Assistant for various companies since 1989, and held a part-time position of Bookkeeper for OLDN from 2001-2004. Barbara and her husband have two grown children, James & Jessica.
Debbie Buckingham, Sunday School Superintendent
Debbie Buckingham is the current Sunday School Superintendent and is the contact person for Christian Education at Oak Lawn First. Debbie works with a team of well-trained staff to provide fun, excited learning environments for all ages, including Children’s Church.