John Houston

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I was born and raised in the northwest Chicago suburbs and grew up actively involved in a mainline protestant church. I attended Northern Illinois University where I received my BS degree in chemistry with a minor in mathematics. While at the university and early in my work life, I became very disillusioned with organized religion and stopped going to any church. When my son was about four years old, we decided we ought to at least provide our children with a church experience. We ended up attending a small EFCA church in Illinois. While the Bible seemed to make sense, there were many things about the faith that I just didn’t understand such as how was Christ raised from the dead; how could He have paid for my sins when I wasn’t even born yet, etc., etc., etc. I finally got to the point where I was totally confident that the Bible and it’s message was true and even though I didn’t understand how God did the things He did, I would accept Christ’s finished work on the cross for me that I might have eternal life and peace with Him. Since then it has been my heart’s passion to serve Christ by helping others come to know Him and grow their walk with Him.

1994 was a difficult year for me as my wife of 24 years was diagnosed with cancer in the spring and went home to the Lord that September. Through that time and becoming a single parent of two teens, God taught me many things for which I am very grateful. I met my second wife, Peggy, through the singles ministry here at Brookside and Pastor Steve married us in 1998.  

From college graduation until 2004, I worked in various technical and management positions within the information technology field for several large corporations. In 1988, I accepted a job transfer to Omaha and went to work for Peter Kiewit & Sons. Several years later I went to work for First Data Corporation. In late 2003, I felt God telling me that it was time for me to leave my position at First Data. I wasn’t sure what He wanted me to do next. I was serving as a lay elder at Brookside Church at the time. In October of that year, Pastor Steve asked me to consider coming on staff full-time in the role of Executive Pastor. I accepted and joined the staff in January 2005. Since that time, I’ve had an incredible opportunity to see how God is working through Brookside to impact the lives of people. I feel so privileged to work with the outstanding staff and volunteers we have here at Brookside.