Church of the Brethren
Illinois & Wisconsin District

Connie Burkholder, Interim District Executive
Blaine Miner, Moderator
Harold Rose, Moderator-Elect
Andrea Garnett, Administrative Assistant
Andrea Garnett, Newsletter Publisher
Jim Miner, District Webmaster


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    The Leadership Team of the Illinois/Wisconsin District has called Walt Wiltschek to serve as District Executive Minister.  He will begin serving in this half-time position in a virtual capacity on September 1, 2021 until he relocates to the District in November.

    An ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren, Walt currently is pastor of the Easton, MD Church of the Brethren in the Mid-Atlantic District as well as an academic advisor at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills, Maryland.  Walt also serves as chair of the Camp Mardela board of directors and is a member of the district ministry interviewing task team. 

    Walt has extensive experience in various areas of denominational life having served for 10 years on the Church of the Brethren communications staff, including six-plus years as editor of the Messenger magazine. He held the position of University Chaplain and Director of Church Relations for Manchester University from 2010-2016.

    Prior to serving as associate pastor of Westminster Church of the Brethren in Westminster, MD, Walt was a sports copy editor and staff writer of the York Daily Record in York, PA.

    Walt is a graduate of York College of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science in secondary education/mathematics as well as a Master of Arts in communications and journalism/media from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL.  His theological training includes a Certificate of Biblical Studies from Eastern Mennonite Seminary and a Master of Arts in Religion from Lancaster Theological Seminary with a concentration in education and youth ministry.

    Walt brings a deep love of youth ministry and camping having given volunteer time serving in a majority of the Brethren church camps over the years.


  • National Junior High Conference 2021

    The next National Junior High Conference will be July 23 – 25: 

    National Junior High Conference at Elizabethtown College.

    Online registration opens in January.

  • Guest Speaker List

    There is a Speakers List for the Illinois/Wisconsin District. Persons included in this document have accepted the invitation to be available to preach during worship services or for other special events as indicated. Hopefully you will find this tool useful and valuable when the need arises for inviting a guest speaker.

    The speakers on this list are all credentialed ministers, either licensed or ordained. We would like to expand the list to include more credentialed ministers as well as interested laity. If your name is absent from the list and you have interest in serving as a guest speaker, please inform the district office. We would also welcome the names of persons you might suggest for inclusion on the list.

    Since this is a new venture, it is likely we may need to provide more information than is included. Your input as to how the list can be improved would be welcomed.

    Please share with the District Office any questions, comments, or concerns you may have.

  • Mission and Mortar

    The purpose of the Illinois/Wisconsin District is supporting the growth and development of the member churches. One means of support is financial assistance. Congregations in good standing are eligible to apply for assistance through the Mission and Mortar Program

    Sustaining and developing ministry (mission) within congregations, as well as maintaining property (mortar), is sometimes hindered because of inadequate financial resources. The Illinois/Wisconsin District realizes that this dilemma exists and desires to financially support congregations that are in good standing with the district and have specific needs. Application for assistance may be made for up to a three-year period with reductions in the amount of support for each subsequent year. In the event that multi-year assistance is needed, a graduated agreement for funding will be arranged, but a request for the funds must be made annually.

    Read the brochure for more details.

  • Information Reporting

    All ordained ministers, licensed ministers, and congregations need to keep the District Office informed of changes in contact information. Changes include: phone number, cell phone number, email address, mailing address, and congregational email or website. Please email Andrea Garnett,, or call (309)649-6008 with your updates. Your effort will save valuable staff time trying to track down these changes. Other information to share: changes in key leadership positions at the church or the death or serious illnesses of minister, retired ministers, or spouses. Help us serve better!

  • CEU Credits for Ordained Ministers
    Do not wait to begin to log your Continuing Education Units. The 2015 Five-year Ordination Review process for ALL ordained ministers will launch in 2014. Ordained ministers are required to produce verification of 5 CEU credits for this five-year period. It is your responsibility to secure certificates, letters or verifying documentation regarding CEU credit. Retired clergy are exempt from this requirement with the exception of those retired clergy actively involved in Interim Ministry.

    CEU Notation: The district does not grant CEU credit for personal study and/or self-designed experiences you have had and/or books you have read. It is the minister's responsibility to secure a CEU certificate, Letter of Verification, and/or authentication document for completed training, seminars or workshops, or learning experiences offered by the presenting organization. This verification should always state the number of hours of the training - 10 hours of training equals 1.0 CEU credits. Please take personal initiative to become a life-long learner and increasingly effective minister of the Gospel.

  • Gifts Discernment
    The Gifts Discernment and Call Committee seeks your help. We are commissioned to call active, informed, and committed members of congregations or fellowships from within our District to positions of service. These persons, both pastors and lay members, are to be called from all parts of the District and to represent the diversity among us. Our committee's knowledge of members eligible and capable to serve is limited. Therefore, we make this appeal for assistance.
  • Each congregation in the district has a Liaison Leadership Team member who may be contacted with any questions or concerns about the ministries of our district.
  • Add news, announcements, or your congregation's web site URL to the district site. Email your information to the

  • Please check the District Disaster Response website for disaster relief news.