Pastoral Staff


Vince Brackett

Co-Lead Pastor

Vince is a graduate of DePaul University's school of secondary education and of the Vineyard Institute's pastoral studies and leadership development program. He is the child of a culturally Catholic family from Evanston, Illinois, and did not grow up a spiritual person. But after losing his mom to cancer at age 15, Vince found himself experiencing deep and healing friendships with some school friends who were part of a Vineyard church. Through that Vineyard church, Vince had his first ever spiritual experiences and over the course of a few years he became enthralled with Jesus of Nazareth's model of helping others into experience of God. He spent seven years in volunteer leadership and one year as a pastoral intern at that church leading small groups, directing bands and music for worship, and co-leading an evening service.

In 2008, Vince synced up with and began blogging for a conversation of secular & multiculturally-minded church leaders and pastors from around the country, which would later become Blue Ocean Faith. It was at that time Vince started to feel like God was encouraging him to start a new church in his beloved north side of Chicago for more secular-background people like him, and that began the story of BLV.

Vince and his wife Keziah live in Albany park with their two boys, and two housemates. He likes to spend his free time slowly sipping coffee while listening to podcasts, learning about productivity apps (and telling others about them), playing basketball, or playing music.


Kyle Hanawalt

Co-Lead Pastor

Kyle is a graduate of North Park University with a BA in Biblical and Theological studies, and of Trinity International University with a Masters of Divinity and focus in Cross-Cultural Ministry. He grew up in two different worlds at once -- he is the son of a Vineyard pastor, but his schooling and social life were informed primarily by the largely secular and liberal-leaning environment of his hometown Evanston, Illinois. As a result, Kyle from a young age longed to build bridges between the depth and meaning he found in his experience of faith and the perspectives and richness he found in the wider culture of the Chicagoland area.

In 2004, Kyle moved to Australia for a Pastoral Internship, which began a 5 year process of wrestling with how to reconcile the two worlds he grew up in -- examining at every turn culture's role in why some people find faith to be a viable option but many people don't. Eventually ending up teaching English in Korea, Kyle felt God encouraging him to try and tear down many of the cultural barriers to faith. It became clear to him that church itself was the best place to break down these barriers, so in 2011 Kyle altered his career path by enrolling in seminary at Trinity, and began dreaming with Vince about a church that could connect the faith he loves and the wider culture with which he identifies.

Kyle also works for a before-school program in Evanston. He and his wife Michelle live in Lincoln Square with their son and daughter. He loves all things sports, so if you find yourself in small talk with Kyle, you can always ask about the Bears.