Our staff is committed to delivering quality care.

Our staff comes to us from Apostolic Christian congregations all over the United States. Scroll through to see how God led each individual or family to work at Gateway.

Please be praying for us as we strive to uphold our Christian values in a fallen world. The work of planting seeds can be tough but our hope is in God giving the increase.


And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men. Colossians 3:23
Janice Anliker

Janice Anliker

Director of Education

HOMETOWN: Elgin, IL

What brought you to Gateway?

Ever since I left  the first time in 2001, I felt like I was not “done” with Gateway. I have enjoyed tutoring in the houses after school and always thought I would return to Gateway Woods School as a math teacher…never imagined it would be as the Director of Education.

Eric & Marissa Bahler

Eric & Marissa Bahler

Gateway Farms Managers

HOMETOWN: Wolcott, IN

What brought you to Gateway?

A desire to share the love of Christ, and to experience more of Him.

Kristi Baran

Kristi Baran

Assistant Houseparent (Cypress House)

HOMETOWN: Watford, MI

What brought you to Gateway?

When I first looked into Gateway I only sensed God’s interest in me coming here, so I begrudgingly complied. However, by the time I accepted the position He had changed my heart to want it, too. I remain grateful for the truth of Psalm 37:4 and the many ways He has continued to sanctify my heart to look more like His.

Jan Baumgartner

Jan Baumgartner

Adoption Program Manager

HOMETOWN: Merrillville, IN

What brought you to Gateway?

I first came to Gateway Woods as I had worked with troubled kids for many years but I felt led to live with troubled kids as a houseparent. Also we wanted our children to have this experience to develop compassion for the hurting.

Hannah Beer

Hannah Beer

Office Coordinator

HOMETOWN: Leo, IN

What brought you to Gateway?

My parents worked at Gateway as houseparents for 5 years while I was growing up, and I came to love this organization: it’s mission, the hearts of the people working here, and the fact that God was so central to every decision. Then I fell in love with administration and accounting, which I went to college for. God opened doors like crazy my last year of school, and I started working full-time at Gateway the Monday after I graduated.

Heather Beer

Heather Beer

Business Coordinator

HOMETOWN: Bradford, IL

What brought you to Gateway?

Feeling the pull to some sort of family ministry, Joe and I considered adoption and other mentoring options, but it was made clear that was not where God wanted us. One morning while praying, God asked Joe, "Why not Gateway?", and we spent the next three months exploring, interviewing, and moving to Leo to be houseparents. After houseparenting, I was blessed to be able to continue serving in an administrative role.

Shanna Conner

Shanna Conner

Adoption Case Manager

HOMETOWN: Tipton, IN

What brought you to Gateway?

I received my Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy in 2009 and briefly worked in Counseling and Adoption services at a local agency in Fort Wayne. Shortly after, my husband and I adopted our first son from Ethiopia in 2010, followed by domestic adoptions of our second and third sons in 2011 and 2012. Gateway Woods provided the home studies for each of our adoptions and I got to know Jan Baumgartner during this time. We stayed in touch over the years as I would occasionally bump into her and other staff from Gateway volunteering with another local Christian agency who partnered with Gateway. Jan had mentioned the possibility of working with her at Gateway a couple of times and eventually, the timing was right for both Gateway Woods and myself. I am grateful to God to be a part of Gateway Woods, allowing me to utilize both my professional and personal experience to encourage, support, and guide adoptive families and birth parents through the adoption process. 

Samantha Erickson

Samantha Erickson

Foster Care Case Manager

HOMETOWN: Elkhart, IN

What brought you to Gateway?

I had been feeling, a push to leave my other job, I had been praying on what other opportunities and possibilities God had out there for me, Dan Sparling, mentioned to me one day that the Foster Care department was actually hiring; and it was not coincidental that he’d brought it up — I knew it was God, speaking to Dan for me! My husband and I really began to pray about this potential opportunity, and over time it became clear that this was where God was leading me! Now, I am here and really excited to see where this takes me!

Emily Fischer

Emily Fischer

Communications Administrative Assistant

HOMETOWN: Peoria, IL

What brought you to Gateway?

When a friend shared the job opening on Facebook, I couldn’t stop thinking and praying about applying for the position. I skipped walking at my college graduation to come train right before Christmas that year. From the time I applied to my first day on the job was less than a month so it was all super fast but when God says, “go”, who am I to tell Him "no”?

Leanne Fischer

Leanne Fischer

Teacher's Aide

HOMETOWN: Leo, IN

What brought you to Gateway?

We heard about a prayer vigil that was being held by Gateway staff to pray about critical staffing needs. We began thinking about going back to Gateway, and we began the application process.

Paul Fischer

Paul Fischer

Maintenance Supervisor

HOMETOWN: Leo, IN

What brought you to Gateway?

We heard about a prayer vigil that was being held by Gateway staff to pray about critical staffing needs. We began thinking about going back to Gateway, and we began the application process.

Cordin Gerber

Cordin Gerber

Assistant Houseparent (Maple House)

HOMETOWN: Bluffton, IN

What brought you to Gateway?

Although my family has had a lot of experience with Gateway in the past, I never expected God to call me to this mission. That quickly changed when I volunteered this past summer. Spending time on campus gave me a glimpse into life at Gateway, where I realized some of my passions aligned with the job description of Assistant Houseparent.

Diane Wieland-Gerber

Diane Wieland-Gerber

Home Based Worker

HOMETOWN: Paulding, OH

What brought you to Gateway?

Me coming to Gateway was like Jonah and Ninevah. It took six months of God nudging until finally I called and talked to Jeff Schumacher. I was not a member of the AC church at the time, but  he told me to come over “and see how the Lord leads”. I thought I was safe. But then I talked with John Stoller and was hired into Foster Care. When I got into Home Based, I realized that God had been preparing me for this job for a long time. I feel this is where God wants me.

Lucas & Andrea Gerber

Lucas & Andrea Gerber

Alternate Houseparents (Maple House)

HOMETOWN: Bluffton, IN

What brought you to Gateway?

Our family has strived to follow Christ and be a witness to others. We fostered through Gateway Woods for 1.5 years and we felt like God was calling us to help in more than just fostering. After 6 months of praying and consideration we came to Gateway to become houseparents.

Mick & Brooke Gerber

Mick & Brooke Gerber

Alternate Houseparents (Cypress House)

HOMETOWN: Bluffton, IN

What brought you to Gateway?

After years of being prodded by friends & family to consider Gateway, and after some God-incidents, calls from The Spirit, and much prayer & consideration, we finally decided to submit to His Will and turned & sprinted toward where He wanted us...Gateway Woods.

Ed Graf

Ed Graf

Executive Director

HOMETOWN: Akron, OH

What brought you to Gateway?

Starting out in life I never dreamed I would be part of the Gateway Woods ministry. As a mechanical engineer working in management for an automotive manufacturer, I thought my career course was pretty well set. God upset my plans in 1993 when he orchestrated a confluence of events that would change the course of our family’s life for the better, and bring us into the Gateway Woods community.

John & Theresa Hartter

John & Theresa Hartter

Lead Houseparents (Hickory House)

HOMETOWN: Sabetha, KS

What brought you to Gateway?

God. Prayer. A truck, trailer and some friends!

Chad Heiniger

Chad Heiniger

Development Coordinator

HOMETOWN: Elgin, IL

What brought you to Gateway?

We were church representatives for GW in the Elgin, IL congregation for about four years. During that time my love for Gateway Woods grew and when I heard of an opening for Development Coordinator I felt God leading me to pursue that position. I came on staff as Development Coordinator in January of 2016.

Vikki Heins

Vikki Heins

Counselor

HOMETOWN: Allentown, PA

What brought you to Gateway?

I came to Gateway Woods as a result of God's call on my heart to help children and families in crisis. Gateway provides the platform from which I can use my faith, life experiences, and academic studies for the betterment of youth. I believe every aspect of my life has prepared me for this opportunity.

Chad Kaeb

Chad Kaeb

Development Director

HOMETOWN: Bloomington, IL

What brought you to Gateway?

God went to great lengths to persuade my wife Kristy and myself to pursue houseparenting at Gateway Woods in the fall of 2009. I am so thankful that He moved us out to Gateway Woods, as we learned much through our 4 1/2 years of working with hurting youth and their families. I am thankful to now have the opportunity to advocate for these individuals through the role of public relations and donor relations.

Kristy Kaeb

Kristy Kaeb

LARC Coordinator

HOMETOWN: Roanoke, IL

What brought you to Gateway?

Chad and I first came to Gateway as houseparents in the fall of 2009. I am so thankful that He moved us out to Gateway Woods, as we learned much through our 4 1/2 years of working with hurting youth and their families. I am thankful to now have the opportunity to advocate for these individuals through the role of LARC Coordinator.

Kacie Klopfenstein

Kacie Klopfenstein

Assistant Houseparent (Oak House)

HOMETOWN: Leo, IN

What brought you to Gateway?

After moving home from a year of serving at Casa Vida y Esperanza, a children's home in Magdalena, Mexico, I struggled to get back into the mindset of going to work in order to solely make money. Over a 6 month period, God continually reminded me of the need for Gateway staff and how I could come alongside His work being done there, while also providing for myself financially. A win-win if you ask me!

Julie Maibach

Julie Maibach

LARC Coordinator

HOMETOWN: Fairbury, IL

What brought you to Gateway?

When we moved to Leo, it was because of my husband’s job at Gateway. Since then, I have subbed off and on at Gateway Woods School and have come to know so many of the residents and their need of a Savior. I feel privileged to continue to serve these dear young people through the LARC Program.

Charla Leman

Charla Leman

Supervising Counselor

HOMETOWN: Sardis, OH

What brought you to Gateway?

When I was a kid my sister was an alternate houseparent at Gateway Woods and that was my first exposure. After graduating from college I was looking for a job as a counselor and Gateway had an opening. It has been a blessing working for such a great ministry.

Mark Maibach

Mark Maibach

Chief Financial Officer

HOMETOWN: Sterling, OH

What brought you to Gateway?

In 2009, the company I was working for was going out of business. As I was looking for what God wanted next for not only me but my family, He laid Gateway on my heart. It is a blessing to use His gifts for Kingdom work.

Terri Mueller

Terri Mueller

Adoption Case Manager

HOMETOWN: Bluffton, IN

What brought you to Gateway?

A pulpit letter was read that a counselor was needed at Gateway. My sister said that maybe I wasn’t following God’s leading if I didn’t pursue the Gateway job. An acquaintance I hadn’t talked to for ten years called to make sure I knew about the job opening and that it would be a good fit for me. I applied…and ended up getting a job in a different department!

Michelle Norman

Michelle Norman

Foster Care Case Manager

HOMETOWN: Decatur, IN

What brought you to Gateway?

I worked with the Department of Child Services for almost 10 years and I had been praying for a job with a faith based organization. God answered with this amazing opportunity to work with Gateway woods under an amazing mission statement to honor and obey God by providing help and healing to troubled children and their families so that they can in turn bless others. I love how God has been preparing me to work faithfully under this mission statement. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Jesus Christ, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10

Rob Parker

Rob Parker

LARC Manager

HOMETOWN: Fort Wayne, IN

What brought you to Gateway?

I grew up a lot like many of the kids we are doing life with at Gateway Woods, so I have a lot of compassion and understanding for them. God has given me a heart to connect kids to the resources and relationships that they need to not only survive but to thrive in their God given purpose, and this is exactly what the LARC initiative is all about.

Connor Pfister

Connor Pfister

History Teacher

HOMETOWN: Bluffton, IN

What brought you to Gateway?

I felt led to Gateway because I find it a meaningful mission and a place to practice James 1:27. I find here the opportunity to serve others, to work in a Christian environment, and practice the art of teaching.

Clint Plattner

Clint Plattner

Residential Program Manager

HOMETOWN: Princeville, IL

What brought you to Gateway?

Our families modeled the value of serving others. This opened our minds to the possibility of joining the mission at Gateway Woods. God opened doors for us and compelled us to walk through them.

Kirby Reutter

Kirby Reutter

Supervising Counselor

HOMETOWN: Rockville, CT

What brought you to Gateway?

In 2007 I was pursuing a degree in clinical psychology in Vermont (which is a long way from Indiana). I needed an internship to complete my degree. A door opened for me to pursue a paid internship at Gateway. I said there’s no way I’m moving out there…and so I closed the door. Then my wife said: "You made a mistake." As usual, it turns out she was right. Plus I learned the hard way that it does not pay to be a Jonah. So 1.5 years later, I accepted a counseling position at Gateway…and God has been far more gracious than I deserve.

Beth Ringger

Beth Ringger

Adoption Case Manager

HOMETOWN: Rittman, OH

What brought you to Gateway?

I initially came to Gateway alongside my husband and family to serve in the residential program. After experiencing what it was like working in a Christian ministry, I was excited to continue on at Gateway in a different facet. Adoption is especially near to my heart as our oldest son is adopted.

Jon Ringger

Jon Ringger

Communications Coordinator

HOMETOWN: Bluffton, IN

What brought you to Gateway?

Our family came to Gateway in June 2013 to become houseparents. In September of 2016, I transitioned into the admin building. God is good!

Matt & Rachael Ringger

Matt & Rachael Ringger

Lead Houseparents (Pine House)

HOMETOWN: Indianapolis, IN

What brought you to Gateway?

God tore down some walls in our life, bringing us to a greater place of dependency on Him. He made our hearts ache for something different from what we were doing and in the process helped us to realize that He wanted us to work at Gateway Woods—Matt because of the help he could provide because of past life choices and Rachael for her love and empathy working alongside Matt. God has taught us so much and continues to make us depend on Him in daily life as Houseparents.

Keith & Emily Schambach

Keith & Emily Schambach

Alternate Houseparents (Oak House)

HOMETOWN: Elgin, IL

What brought you to Gateway?

We have a long family history in the Leo area. Gateway Woods and similar ministries have been near to our hearts for a long time. We served at CVE in Mexico for three years and then lived in Leo and Elgin doing landscape and maintenance work. We felt the calling from God to get back into working with hurting families and teens as a career and God opened the doors to come to Gateway as alternate Hp's. We enjoy serving the residents and families at Gateway and need prayer to continue to share Jesus' love to all we meet.

Dan Sparling

Dan Sparling

Foster Care Program Manager

HOMETOWN: Fort Wayne, IN

What brought you to Gateway?

Since I was in high school I felt God’s calling on my life to help kids who are involved in the child welfare system. God gave me a true heart to serve these kids in many capacities. I worked for the Department of Child Services for several years and learned of Gateway Woods as part of that work and the reputation that Gateway has of truly impacting the lives of children. After much prayer I made the decision to apply to work at Gateway Woods and am truly blessed to be a part of this ministry!

Laura Steffen

Laura Steffen

English Teacher

HOMETOWN: Latty, OH

What brought you to Gateway?

My first experience at Gateway was a time of incredible spiritual and personal growth. Gateway’s mission is forever on my heart, and I was glad to be able to once again participate in what God is doing here.

Nick Steffen

Nick Steffen

Counselor

HOMETOWN: Bluffton, IN

What brought you to Gateway?

Gateway Woods provided me an opportunity to develop my counseling skills within a Christ centered organization that seeks hard to hold onto both the highest professional standards and our shared commitment to our Christian faith. Gateway offers a dynamic team environment pursuing a meaningful ministry to serve kids from hard places as well as their families.

Kirk & Jeana Steidinger

Kirk & Jeana Steidinger

Alternate Houseparents (Hickory House)

HOMETOWN: Champaign, IL

What brought you to Gateway?

God laid Gateway on our hearts during a time of transition in our life. We had a desire to grow and to follow God’s call to serve the hurting and the fatherless. We felt God calling us to step out in faith, trusting His will for our life, and eventually ended up here at Gateway!

Todd & Kara Strahm

Todd & Kara Strahm

Lead Houseparents (Maple House)

HOMETOWN: Sabetha, KS

What brought you to Gateway?

Through adoption, encounters with young women (birthmothers) showed us what life can be like for others. People who have little (or no) support system or resources struggle with so many life situations that were never obstacles or barriers to us. At the same time, we felt our occupation/livelihood becoming an idol in our lives. God spoke to our hearts and called us to change gears. We soon found ourselves at Gateway Woods as houseparents!

Nichole Suvar

Nichole Suvar

Systems Coordinator

HOMETOWN: Briceton, OH

What brought you to Gateway?

Paul and I have felt led to missions for quite some time, but overseas missions just weren’t panning out. We felt led to live/work/serve at Gateway as Houseparents as a state-side missionary role. 8 years later I’m still here serving in a more behind-the-scenes supportive role.

Traci Steidinger

Traci Steidinger

Counseling Assistant

HOMETOWN: Fairbury, IL

What brought you to Gateway?

I originally came to Gateway with my family to work in the residential program. After our time there I was later offered a position in the office and felt I should take it so I could continue to be a part of "helping the hurting" in a small way.

Kelsey Tiernon

Kelsey Tiernon

Counselor & Home Based Worker

HOMETOWN: Decatur, IN

What brought you to Gateway?

Since I was young, I knew I wanted to work in the helping field. However, it wasn’t until 2015 that I felt the call to become a counselor. During my graduate program at Huntington University, it came time to research internship placements and knowing that I wanted to be involved in a God centered organization, I reached out to Gateway Woods; I interned the Summer of 2016. Since graduating in 2017, God has been pursuing me to apply at Gateway Woods. I finally followed through in December and I’m excited to begin my journey in helping the hurt and broken here at Gateway Woods.

Luke & Shari Tucker

Luke & Shari Tucker

Lead Houseparents (Oak House)

HOMETOWN: Toledo, OH

What brought you to Gateway?

God really convicted us in many ways that our lives on earth are not about our comfort and security. We were living the American Dream in a lot of ways, and in that we felt we were ignoring the call and words of Jesus. We were challenged that the words Jesus spoke in the New Testament He really meant. Life here is not about what material things we can accumulate, or how much fun we can have with the comfortable people around us. God brought us to Gateway to grow and teach us and for us to learn how very much we need Him. And along the journey we are blessed to show the heart of the Gospel, that God redeemed us in our brokenness through Jesus Christ, and He longs to do the same for all His children.

Jeff Waibel

Jeff Waibel

Director of Clinical Services

HOMETOWN: Bay City, MI

What brought you to Gateway?

In 2001 I graduated with a degree in social work and my first thought was to work for Gateway Woods. I had spent some time at Gateway Woods as the volunteer coordinator and I had become convinced that the work being done at Gateway was extremely important. In many ways, it is the front line of the gospel. Since I had a professional degree I was hired as a counselor and have spent the last 15 years trying to create the sort of setting where young people can feel safe, work on the challenges in their lives, and interact with people who were truly trying to follow Jesus. I’ve seen a lot of change over the past 15 years, but my belief in the work we do has not changed. If anything, I have become more convinced of the necessity of our work here at Gateway Woods.

Brian Wenninger

Brian Wenninger

Math Teacher

HOMETOWN: Latty, OH

What brought you to Gateway?

When I found out that the previous Math teacher was planning to leaving I talked to Janice and let her know that I would be willing to help with the high school classes if she didn't have a Math teacher by August. I really appreciate the ministry of Gateway Woods and wanted to help out if I could. August came and there was no full time Math teacher so I am teaching Algebra 2.

Brock Williamson

Brock Williamson

Science Teacher

HOMETOWN: Latty, OH

What brought you to Gateway?

There was a need. I prayed. They hired me.

Chelsea Williamson

Chelsea Williamson

Assistant Houseparent (Pine House)

HOMETOWN: Paulding, OH

What brought you to Gateway?

A deep desire to follow God’s prompting in serving others.

Lydia Williamson

Lydia Williamson

Foster Care Case Manager

HOMETOWN: Sabetha, KS

What brought you to Gateway?

I had the opportunity to volunteer at Gateway one summer and was moved by the ministry and the houseparents who worked in the residential program. Two years later I learned about the job opening as an Assistant Houseparent, and God nudged me to apply. Throughout the hiring and cross country moving process God granted me a wonderful peace which gave me the courage to follow Him where He wanted me to go, and that was Gateway.

Amanda Winn

Amanda Winn

Counselor

HOMETOWN: Gridley, IL

What brought you to Gateway?

Since I was young I have desired to help those in need but I was not sure how I would do this. I prayed that God would show me what to do with this desire and He lead me to Gateway. It's been challenging but also really rewarding working with troubled youth and their families.

Danielle Wirtz

Danielle Wirtz

Foster Care Case Manager

HOMETOWN: Luverne, MN

What brought you to Gateway?

I worked at Gateway as a counselor from 1998 to 2002. For the last 15 years I have stayed at home raising our children and running our home. After learning about the need for help in the Foster Care Program, the Lord provided me with another opportunity to serve at Gateway. 

Jesse & Karla Zimmerman

Jesse & Karla Zimmerman

Lead Houseparents (Cypress House)

HOMETOWN: Forrest, IL

What brought you to Gateway?

After adopting our daughter, Wren, and personally building relationship with her birthparents for the 6 months before Wren was born, our hearts broke for those who come from difficult places. Getting to see first hand the daily reality of teens/young adults trying to manage their lives when they haven’t been taught about God or provided with stability and loving nurture throughout their childhood gave us a passion to do something more. God led us to Gateway Woods to begin doing our part to heal the hurts from childhood instability. We view our daughters birth mom as our “burning bush” as God used her to get our attention and show us how he wanted to use us for His purposes.

Kristin Zimmerman

Kristin Zimmerman

Dean of Students

HOMETOWN: Gridley, IL

What brought you to Gateway?

I came to Gateway Woods as a volunteer the summer of 2007. That experience left an imprint on my heart that made me want to devote myself to “inspiring hearts and minds” at Gateway Woods School.

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