Charles Lyons

Senior Pastor

Charles has served as the pastor since 1974. He preached his first sermon at the age of 14. At 15, he formed a small ministry team and began holding services in Chicago rescue missions. After graduating from Baptist Bible College in Springfield, MO, Charles came back to Chicago and led a dying 25- member congregation to become the Armitage we know today, a dynamic congregation comprised of over 40 nationalities. As the Senior Pastor, Charles sets the course for Armitage through his teaching, preaching, and leadership; directing the church in fulfilling our mission to proclaim the gospel, nurture disciples, and exalt Christ in the City. Charles and his wife, Georgia, have raised 5 children in what the Chicago Tribune called “the deadliest police beat in the country.”



Jeremy Crowe

Community Life Pastor

Jeremy came to faith in 1997 and has been serving at Armitage since 2002. He currently serves as the Community Life Pastor overseeing pastoral care, assimilation, grow groups, and our Global Partners. He has earned degrees from Crossroads Bible College and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife Nerissa were married in 2005 and have four children: Micah, Josiah, Caris and Caleb. Like a good Midwesterner, Jeremy is known to cheer for the Chicago White Sox and the Indianapolis Colts. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his family, gardening and reading Christian books.



Steve Laughlin

Spiritual Formation Pastor

Steve grew up in Chicago and got a taste of urban ministry by witnessing his dad’s street outreach in the 80’s. He made a profession of faith at a young age, but in his late teens and early adulthood pursued the life of a prodigal. Finally, he fully surrendered his life to Jesus in 1987 at the age of 21. He joined Armitage in 1991 and served for many years as a volunteer youth director, came on staff in 2001, and was ordained as a pastor in 2003. He received his degree in Bible & Theology from Moody Bible Institute in 2010. He has worn many hats during his tenure, including Sunday School teacher, Youth Pastor and Student Ministries Pastor. Currently, he serves as Spiritual Formation Pastor overseeing all Bible Study ministries, leadership development and the CAUSE Internship Program. He has been married to Sherry since 1998 and they have four children—Benjamin, Samuel, Anisa and Klaudia. He is a man of many hobbies, including playing guitar, gardening and the exploring the outdoors—all of which are only enhanced by a hot cup of Earl Grey tea.



Leandro Gomez

Spanish Language Congregation Pastor

Leandro is the pastor of the Spanish Language Congregation. He was born and raised in Argentina. He came to Christ in a Bible Summer Camp organized by Word of Life in the year 2000. From that time on, he always felt the Lord was calling him to the ministry. He earned his bachelor and master degree in the field of Law at the National University of Cordoba. After practicing corporate law for two years, in 2013 the Lord confirmed him the calling to full-time ministry. He studied at Moody Theological Seminary and graduated with a Master of Divinity. Pastor Leandro has been serving as a Minister since 2016 and was ordained at Armitage Baptist Church in May 2017 when he became the Pastor of the Spanish Language Congregation. He has been married to his wife Tamy, and they have a gorgeous baby girl (Francesca).



Angel L. Vega

Operations Coordinator

Angel was born and raised in the heart of Chicago’s inner city. A 19-year veteran of children’s ministry, Angel has served with children since his salvation in 1996, beginning as Children’s Ministry Director at Armitage Baptist Church. Angel served at Armitage from 1996 to 2011, when he was called to the staff of Tower Grove Baptist Church in St. Louis, Missouri, as the Children’s Director/Business Administrator. In 2014, the Lord called Angel back to Chicago to help care for his ailing parents. He now serves again on the Armitage Baptist Church staff as the Outreach and Engagement Director. Angel has spoken at Lifeway’s National Children’s Conference and children’s camps, and has been published in Children’s Ministry Magazine.



Leo Barros

Worship Arts Minister

Leo Barros came to Christ in 1984. He began his studies in music at the age of seven. At the age of 12 Leo started his studies on the violin, and since then he has always been involved with music. Coming from a family of ministers, Leo has ever participated in the ministry of music in the church of his grandfather, developing his talents to the service of God. In 1999, he entered the Theological Seminary in Brazil graduating in Church Music. In 2004, Leo continued his studies at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, graduating in 2010. In 2011, he and his family moved to the USA for a master’s degree in music. After graduating from Campbellsville University, Leo moved to Fort Worth where he began his Ph.D. in Music. Leo Barros started his Ministry at Armitage Baptist Church in July 2017. Leo is married to Claudiane and has three children: Leticia, Daniel, and Lucas.



Vanessa Alas

Youth Director

Vanessa was born and resided in Cicero, Illinois, while most of her education and life experiences were in Chicago. She was saved at the age of 8 at Awana Bible Club at Cicero Bible Church. She attended New Jerusalem Evangelical Baptist Church in Chicago from one week old to the age of 19, when she came to Armitage. She has also served at the local parachurch organization, Inner City Impact. since 2013 working with high school students. She is the first generation child (along with her younger brother) of a Mexican mother and Salvadorian father. She graduated Moody Bible Institute in 2017 with a Bachelor’s degree in Youth Ministry and an Interdisciplinary in Urban Ministry and Counseling. Vanessa has a passion for teens, for Chicago, for Christ, for coffee and tacos (although not in that order).