About Christian Horizons senior living - Christian Horizons
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Learn about us, our history and leadership

As a faith-based not-for-profit, Christian Horizons has a mission to honor God by providing a continuum of excellent care and support services, primarily for older adults. 

This mission demands we continually evaluate the best way to serve residents and guests. Technology, expectations and amenities are always changing. It’s more important than ever we grow to serve—so you may live and age better.

You can expect new programs, new construction, new renovations and expanded service areas. We believe this represents commitment to our mission.

Browse this website widely, and catch the vision of all our ministries in all our locations. When it makes sense—we are there for you.

Count on us to keep our eyes on the future, persistently finding new and better ways to serve you through our mission.

Woman Man Close

Husband and wife residents share a heartwarming moment.

From a history of faith, compassion and care…

We were founded in 1962 inspired by one man’s dream of creating a place where his loved ones could age with dignity in a Christian atmosphere. He and men from nearby churches raised funds to purchase property in Lincoln, Illinois, where they built and opened the first Christian Nursing Home, with 48 beds, in 1965.

Christian leaders from other areas soon expressed interest in Christian Nursing Homes. This prompted a long period of expansion—adding memory care, short-term rehabilitation, skilled care and hospice care, as well as senior independent and assisted living options in many of our communities. 

…A leader in senior healthcare and living

Today, over 50 years later, we’ve changed our name to Christian Horizons, and we’ve become one of the nation’s largest, faith-based, not-for-profit senior living providers—with 13 communities across four states, all deeply committed to the well-being of our residents and their families. And we are continuously expanding to meet the needs of today’s seniors, with new options, including GracePoint Short-Term Rehab facilities, Safe Haven hospice and CareLink home care.

Firmly grounded in our Christian heritage

Christian Horizons is supported by the Independent Christian Churches and Churches of Christ and remains true to that heritage. ­

Over 200 churches provide hundreds of volunteers and thousands of volunteer hours—adding countless personal touches—resulting in extra joy and happiness for our residents and guests.

Leadership committed to the future

Christian Horizons is led by a team of dedicated senior professionals with deep experience in senior living, healthcare and ministry.

Jake Bell

Jake Bell
CEO

Jake Bell

Jake Bell
CEO

Jake Bell is the CEO at Christian Horizons. 

Jake has spent most of his career working in Christian not-for-profit senior housing and health systems. He has served the last three years as the Chief Operating Officer for Lutheran Senior Services, a senior housing and service provider in Missouri and Illinois. Prior to that, he was the President and CEO of Mercy Medical, a regional health corporation of Catholic Health East. His extensive background includes experience as executive director of a retirement community in North Carolina and administrator of a nursing home in Oklahoma. Senior health care runs in Jake’s family; his father spent his career as a nursing home administrator and in senior housing.  

Jake and his family enjoy going to Cardinals games, music festivals, concerts, and volunteering in the community.

Chuck Schmitz

Chuck Schmitz
CFO

Chuck Schmitz

Chuck Schmitz
CFO

Chuck Schmitz is Chief Financial Officer and an ex officio Board member of Christian Horizons. He is responsible for overall financial management of the organization; its financial reporting and transparency; and for multiple organizational functions including Treasury, Investments, Financing and Budgeting. Additionally, Chuck participates in shaping strategies for Christian Horizon’s long-term mission and short-term goals.

Chuck has over 25 years of financial oversight experience in several industries including legal professional services, distribution, construction and health care. He began his career working for a large CPA firm in St. Louis and maintains two designations from the state of Missouri: Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA).

He is married with two children and lives in St. Charles, Missouri.

Jenelle Bertolino

Jenelle Bertolino-Ishmael
Chief Operating Officer, Home and Community-Based Services

Jenelle Bertolino

Jenelle Bertolino-Ishmael
Chief Operating Officer, Home and Community-Based Services

Jenelle Bertolino-Ishmael is the Chief Operating officer of Christian Horizon’s Home and Community-Based Services Division and directs the growth and development of Hospice and Home Care Services. She has managed multiple acquisitions and integrations of home care services, organized strategy for population health initiatives and is the lead for networking and partnership development with acute care institutions and physician networks in central Illinois. 

Jenelle is a management professional with 24 years of diverse healthcare experience. In her last 11 years, she has served in executive level roles, expanding services and developing programs that have increased revenue and profit while providing high-quality outcomes.

Jenelle previously served as Executive Director of Orthopedic Service Line, AhtletiCare/TherapyCare Services and Neuroscience Service Line at HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Illinois.

Sherry Gutermuth

Sherry Gutermuth
Senior Regional Vice President

Sherry Gutermuth

Sherry Gutermuth
Senior Regional Vice President

Sherry Gutermuth currently serves as the Senior Regional Vice President for Christian Horizons. She has been actively involved in the health care industry ministering to seniors her entire career. Sherry’s journey began as a nursing assistant, where, early on, she identified a need for continued efforts in care and quality of life for seniors. She went on to serve as a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator for over nine years, successfully turning three long-term care facilities into quality, financially sustainable communities. Sherry joined Christian Horizons in 2002.

Carol Houle

Carol Houle
Vice President, Human Resources

Carol Houle

Carol Houle
Vice President, Human Resources

Carol Houle is Vice President of Human Resources at Christian Horizons, which she joined in 2008, serving in several HR leadership roles. Her experience as an HR leader includes more than 15 years experience assisting healthcare organizations in managing their workforces.

Carol is a graduate of the University of Illinois in Chicago. She earned the certificate in Professional Human Resources Management (PHRM) from the Human Resources Certification Institute in 2011, demonstrating in-depth knowledge of the technical and operational aspects of Human Resources practices. She also received the SHRM-CP designation from the Society of Human Resources Management in 2015.

Beth Huck

Beth Huck
Vice President, Sales and Marketing

Beth Huck

Beth Huck
Vice President, Sales and Marketing

Beth Huck is Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Christian Horizons. She has 15 years of sales experience in the senior housing industry, including 10 years at the community level as a director of sales and marketing, and five years as a regional sales director.  

Beth has worked with over 60 communities, including the opening of nine assisted living and memory care communities and five independent living communities. She has experience with all levels of care, with an emphasis on independent living, assisted living and memory care. 

Beth’s passions are helping seniors and their families and supporting the sales teams to be the best they can be.

Keith Ray

Keith H. Ray
Senior Vice President, Church and Business Development

Keith Ray

Keith H. Ray
Senior Vice President, Church and Business Development

Dr. Keith H. Ray is the Senior Vice President of Church and Business Development at Christian Horizons. In this capacity he is involved with launching and promoting the Home Care Division through acquisitions and key partnerships, overseeing and developing the Chaplaincy Program, initiating and exploring new business opportunities in pharmacy services, facilitating educational conferences for corporate leadership, collaborating with staff in church relations, and representing Christian Horizons to legislative entities. 

Dr. Ray has a long and distinguished career in Christian higher education. He served as president of Lincoln Christian University (LCU) in Lincoln, Illinois for 16 years, leading the school to record fundraising, enrollment, capital improvement and academic excellence. Prior to LCU, Dr. Ray was president of Dallas Christian College for four years, where he engaged in new initiatives to expand and grow the school.

In his spare time he enjoys reading, golf, tennis, water skiing, kayaking and walking.

Connie Rhodes

Connie Rhoads
Vice President, Corporate Compliance

Connie Rhodes

Connie Rhoads
Vice President, Corporate Compliance

Connie Rhoads is the Vice President of Corporate Compliance for Christian Horizons and its affiliates and has led the Compliance Department since 2010. Connie has over 13 years experience in regulatory compliance and is Certified in Healthcare Compliance (CHC). She is also an Occupational Therapist by background.

Gordon Venturella

Gordon D. Venturella
Senior Vice President, Marketing and Development

Gordon Venturella

Gordon D. Venturella
Senior Vice President, Marketing and Development

Gordon currently serves as Senior Vice President of Marketing and Development for Christian Horizons. His background includes working with a variety of not-for-profits, higher education, mega-churches and international relief organizations. He is credentialed as Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) and is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. 

He has served as Vice President of Advancement at three universities and as Director of Major Gifts for the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, a Philanthropy 400 not-for-profit based in Chicago and Jerusalem. He has also served as Associate Vice President at Concordia University, Chicago.

Gordon has worked with two international consulting firms, Cargill Associates, Fort Worth, Texas and Panas, Linzy and Partners, Chicago where he was a partner.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is a policy-governing board responsible for the oversight of the ministry of Christian Horizons. There is a minimum of 13 members, all of whom must be active Christian Church or Church of Christ members in good standing.

Ron Sewell, chairman
Terry L. Goodner
Don Fitzgerald
Randy E. Clark
Mark A. Behrends
Scott Williams

Nick A. Filing
Tim A. Burrell
Tom Kerins
Pat M. Lincoln
Bill D. Carter
Jim S. Frasure

Bob W. Crosby
Steve Gnuse
Mike Dunaway
Doug Wiley