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Elena serves as the Communications Director for Faith in Place. Her passion for environmental justice grew from her time working in community public health in Latin American and the Middle East and from own her story as a daughter of a Cuban refugee. After growing up in Tennessee, Elena got her B.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Tennessee, a Master of Arts from North Park Theological Seminary, and a Master of Public Health (MPH) in Environmental and Occupational Health from the George Washington University. Her MPH thesis research focused on how to build climate resilience among Latinx youth through climate communications. 


Christina Krost joined Faith in Place in March 2015 to organize houses of worship around smart energy programs in southern Illinois. In January of 2021, she began serving as Policy Coordinator for the Faith in Place Action Fund, using her policy expertise to grow and strengthen its policy platform.

She grew up in suburban Detroit and holds a BA from Albion College and an MAT from Marygrove College. She taught in both public and private elementary schools in Illinois and Michigan for 10 years before leaving teaching to assist her husband in following his call to ministry and to raise her three young daughters. Christina loves to share her passion for green living and environmental justice with others because it reflects her love for creator and neighbor.



Pastor Onqué currently serves as Pastor of St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church, a 98 year old historic church on the south side of Chicago. Over the past 12 years under his leadership, the church has grown tremendously. He serves on several community boards because volunteering his time to community efforts is an integral part of his ministry. He is currently the President of the Congress of Christian Education Department of the Salem Baptist District Association of Chicago and Vicinity, Treasurer of Baptist General State Convention of Illinois, and a commissioner for African American Families Commission for the State of Illinois.

Rev. Brian Sauder is President and Executive Director of Faith in Place and Faith in Place Action Fund. His passion for environmental justice motivates his work fundraising to grow the vision of Faith in Place. Rev. Sauder received his B.S. from the University of Illinois in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, M.A. in Religion from Urbana Theological Seminary, and M.B.A. from the University of Illinois. Rev. Sauder is ordained by the Mennonite Church U.S.A. and worships with Chicago Community Mennonite Church in East Garfield Park.

Our Staff

Elena Bettis,
Communications Director
Rev. Brian Sauder,
Executive Director
Rev. Scott Onqué,
Policy Director

All Faith in Place staff support the Faith in Place Action Fund as needed. The five staff listed below serve in leadership in for the Faith in Place Action Fund to provide direction for advancing our mission.

Christina Krost,
Policy Coordinator