The Awaken Team


Director of Awaken, Marcus DePeal

Marcus is a pastor, spoken word poet, songwriter, podcast host, and co-author of The Foundation. Called to ministry at just eight years old, he eventually earned a Masters of Practical Theology from Indiana Wesleyan University and has been leading Awaken Campuses ever since. When he's not working, Marcus can be found cheering on his Atlanta Braves, playing basketball, or discussing theology and culture with his family and friends.

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Associate Director of Awaken, AJ Wilk

AJ is well known for his passion for cultivating deep relationship with God and with people. Now a pastor and co-author of The Foundation, he was first called to ministry in high school where he started a ministry centered on reaching his school for Jesus. Having earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Indiana Wesleyan University, AJ now lives in Indianapolis, IN with his wife Michaela. In his free time, he enjoys watching movies, playing sports, or having intentional conversations with those in his life.


Awaken Board Member, Josh Lavender

Josh is the worship leader of Trinity Church in Indianapolis, IN, and is currently pursuing his Doctorate in Worship Studies. Raised in the church as the son of a theologian and a worship leader, planning intentional worship services and writing music for the Church are some of Josh’s greatest passions, with good coffee and a warm fire being not too far behind.


Awaken Board Member, Elisa Teller

Elisa is a worship leader, graphic designer, and social media manager. She studied Media Design at Indiana Wesleyan University and received her Master’s in Ministry from Asbury Theological Seminary, making her the most diverse asset on the team. Elisa loves using the arts in worship and teaching the ways of Jesus as she does. She also played college soccer, has a deep passion for coffee, and is an amazing mentor to many young women in her life.


Awaken Board Member, Taylor Wilding

Taylor is a worship pastor, songwriter, and scholar. Having studied at Houghton College in New York and the Institute of Worship Studies in Florida, he brings a well-rounded perspective on worship and formation to the team. Taylor is married to his wife Jennifer, and they're expecting a baby girl in the coming months. Outside of ministry, he enjoys roasting his own coffee, playing hockey, and watching the New York Rangers whenever he gets the chance.