Adam Ward is the Lead Pastor of Christian Life Church. He has attended CLC since May 2011 and has served the church since January of 2012 as youth pastor. He also serves on the board of elders and worship team. Formerly, he and his wife, Emily, served seven years as youth ministers at Little Chapel Church in Harrisburg, Illinois. Adam also currently works at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale in the cardiac catheterization lab. Adam is a registered nurse and has been a RN since July 2009.

Adam and Emily have two children, Landon Walker and Arissa Jane. Emily is currently a school teacher at Unity Christian School in Energy, Illinois. Adam enjoys bow hunting, basketball, and riding ATV's. His favorite food would be a New York Strip steak from Fireflies in Effingham, Illinois.

Adam's heart is to see the Body of CLC encounter Jesus—not relying on the world for joy, happiness, recognition, or fulfillment—but giving their lives to follow the One who gives life, and life abundantly—Jesus.

You can contact Adam at award@clcherrin.com


Lori Burchell serves as the Executive Pastor of Christian Life Church. She began attending CLC in 2001 and started volunteering in the Production Department soon after. Leaving her position of 16 years as the Director of Partner Relations for an international Christian television network, Lori came on staff of CLC in June of 2012.

Raised in a family of pastors, Lori has been singing in church since she was four years old and began leading worship at the age of 16. Now over 25 years later, Lori continues to serve as one of the Worship Leaders of CLC, as well as overseeing the entire Production Department.

Lori frequently ministers in the Word at CLC, as a guest speaker in other churches, and at women’s conferences. She has organized several community worship services, including the multi-cultural, “Unity in Worship” events held at CLC.

She understands the power of worship and what happens when people experience the presence of God, especially during corporate worship times. Lori’s passion is that everything that is done in our services (worship, drama, sound, lighting, and media) should be done with excellence to compel individuals towards a life-changing experience with Christ.

Lori and her husband Mike have five grown children between them and two beautiful grandchildren. Lori’s hobbies include reading fiction, walking, and listening to worship music.  While she enjoys traveling, she describes herself as more of a homebody.

You can contact Lori at lburchell@clcherrin.com.


Tirzah Bourque is the Youth Director of Christian Life Church.  After relocating from Louisiana to Southern Illinois, Tirzah and her husband began attending CLC in May of 2016. It wasn’t long before they began volunteering in the youth department and in December 2016, she came on staff as the Youth Director.  In addition to this, Tirzah serves on the Worship Team, playing keys.

Ministry is nothing new for Tirzah and Louis. Before coming to Southern Illinois, they both served in Children's Ministry and as Life Group leaders at their home church.  They were married in November of 1999 and have two children, Tiffani (age 14) and Gabriel (age 11), who are homeschooled.  Louis is a Field Service Technician for Airgas.  

Tirzah loves spending time with her family.  They enjoy traveling, hiking, amusement parks, playing games, and discovering all the new places around Southern Illinois. In her spare time, she loves to paper craft, journal, sew, workout, and experiment with new recipes. 

Tirzah's desire is to see young adults come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. In addition, she wants to see them develop a firm foundation with Christ, through a deeper and intimate relationship with Him.


Jacob Davis, the Production Team Assistant has been attending CLC all of his life. He has served on the worship team as a drummer and sound tech for 13 years. Coming on staff in 2015, he now oversees the tech (sound and lighting) and worship teams. His heart is to bring an excellent offering to the Lord that inspires the CLC congregation.


Julie McSwain is the Kids’ Life Director at CLC. She has served in this position since January of 2016. She began attending CLC in 1992 and served in many areas of ministry, such as youth leader, nursery worker, worship team singer, and as an Elder for almost five years before becoming the children’s ministry director. In addition, Julie has taught Spanish at Unity Christian School since 2010, where she also serves as planning and event coordinator. One of her main passions is working with international students; she has worked with the Program of Academic Exchange since the end of 2007.

Julie received her Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Spanish and minor in English from MSU Murray, Kentucky in 1998. She received her Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from SIU Carbondale in 2003.

She met her husband Tim at Murray State and they have been married since May of 1998. They have two children: Caleb (age 12) and Rachel (age 9). But they claim many other children – former youth, god-children, and past foreign exchange students.

Julie enjoys spending time with family and friends – on the beach! She really enjoys cooking and baking, painting walls and furniture, and reading. She has many favorite foods and loves to try new ethnic foods in particular. However, her favorite treat is her mom’s homemade apple pie; although, she is close to mastering it. She won the CLC pie contest a few years ago with her mom’s “recipe.”

You can contact Julie at jmcswain@clcherrin.com