at Torch of Faith

Pastors Mark and Mackenzie Carter

Lead Pastor & Swordgirl Pastor

Pastor Carter serves as Lead Pastor of Torch of Faith. “Carter” is really Pastor Mark’s last name, but most folks just call him “Carter”. He received a Masters of Pastoral Ministry degree from Trinity Theological Seminary in 2008. Carter is currently pursuing an additional MA in Biblical Exposition from Moody Bible Institute.

Carter has a burden and passion that people would know the thrill and joy of walking deeply and tightly with Jesus Christ through dynamic encounters with Him in the Word of God.

Pastor Carter is stoked about genuine spiritual substance and raising up leaders who will tap their unique giftedness and walk in the power of the Spirit, becoming a blessing to the earth.

Mackenzie Carter leads the Swordgirl Women’s Conference with her incredible team, where every year hundreds of women gather together to experience the refreshing love and presence of God and move forward in freedom, truth, and God-confidence into their unique design and destiny.

One of her passions is to preach, write, encourage, awaken, and empower people to step boldly into their God-given callings as individuals loved and known by their Creator.

Kenzie and Mark love doing ministry together and have been married since 1999 and have five children: Rachel, Skylar, Emily, Amber, and John.

Brandon Adkins

Worship Pastor

Brandon Adkins is the Worship Pastor at Torch of Faith. (Sidenote: the plural of Adkins is Adkai and a flock of Adkai is commonly known as The Adkai Family.) Brandon has been committed and passionate about music ministry for the past ten years and has served in a worship leading role for eight years.

Brandon has a passion for helping people open their hearts to the Holy Spirit in worship and is excited about the transformational encounter that happens through the spiritual discipline of corporate worship. He is also very passionate about coaching, mentoring and pastoring other musicians and worship leaders, helping them grow into the fullness of their calling as music ministers.

Heather Venuti

Generations and Next Steps Director

Heather Venuti serves as the Director of Generations (Wonderland, Junior High, High School, and College). In her role, she is responsible for raising up leaders and developing engaging experiences that propel the next generation to discover, experience and meet Jesus.

She graduated from Marquette University with a degree in Theology in 2003 and has been on staff at Torch of Faith since 2012. Heather lives in Spring Grove with her husband and three children.

Heather Manahan

Care Pastor

Heather Manahan is a wife of 19 years to Dan Manahan and together they have 6 children.

Heather has learned to seek the Lord through regular morning Scripture intake and singing His praise throughout the day.  Meditating on God’s Word in both times of joy and trouble has become key to living life to the full!  Her desire is to point others to Jesus as she shares the message of Christ found in John 10:10. Heather believes, “Jesus has come that we may live life in all it’s fullness; joyFULL, hopeFULL, and peaceFULL!  We choose to live in this fullness as we focus on Him rather than our circumstances.” Heather hopes to grow more intimate with Jesus as she waits on the Holy Spirit and listens to His voice. (John 10:27)  

Alaina Bennetts

Youth Pastor

Alaina has been working with youth since she graduated High School! Her college years took her to Trinity International University where she graduated with a bachelors in Communications and spent a year at Nicolet Bible Institute. She looks at her job as a chance to create discipleship relationships that will last outside the church walls – so they can live out the Great Commission.


If you see Alaina during the week you can find her with a water bottle and a coffee in hand, usually a student near by and Spotify playing.


Sundays  |  9:30 & 11:00am

954 W. Brae Loch Road, Grayslake IL 60030