Clint Cook

Lead Pastor

Born and raised in St Louis, Mo, I was called to the ministry at the young age of 16. I married my bride and the love of my life (Judy) in May, 1983. Two years later, we moved to Springfield, IL, where I began my first and only Lead Pastor position at Real Life Church. I serve now as the main teaching Pastor and provide directional leadership for the church. 

My passions are the love for our Savior Jesus Christ, Judy, my family and the members of Real Life church.

Brian Burris

Administrative Pastor

I accepted Christ when ​I was nine years old and was baptized shortly thereafter. In May of 1996 ​I renewed ​my commitment to Christ. In June of 1996 ​I married Dottie Bennick and we moved to Springfield. ​We found Real Life Church in October 1996 (after being invited for a Friend Day.) In December of 1997 ​we began leading the youth group and continue to lead as volunteers in that ministry. In July of 2007 Real Life Church hired me as part-time Administrative Pastor to assist in organizing and overseeing various ministries of the church. ​I am also employed part-time by ​Rochester School District as a school psychologist​. ​

I hold a BA in Psychology from SIU-E, a Master’s Degree in Child Psychology from SIU-E, and a Specialist Degree in School Psychology from SIU-E (I liked the campus, so I stayed there for a while...)​. ​I am ​a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and maintain a small practice where ​I specialize in individual therapy for children and adults, as well as family and couple therapy. 

Dottie ​and I ​have two wonderful children, Emma and Nicholas, who keep smiles on ​our faces and ​our schedules busy. 

When I'm not working or chasing kids around, I enjoy fishing and tinkering with my boat motor (one day I'll have it running well, and be able to fish on the lake)​. 

W​hen I think about a verse for my life I often think of Job 40:15 "Take a look at Behemoth, which I made, just as I made you.​.. " This verse often describes my days.​

Renee McCoy

Children's Director

Being raised in a strong Christian home I became a believer and follower of Christ at a very young age. My parents and church family teaching me clearly through instruction and example the truth found in God’s Word. 

Throughout my life I have taught music in classroom settings as well as private piano lessons. My passion was to teach children the appreciation of music. I have also served the church as music director and a piano accompanist. 

I have currently been serving as Children’s Director at Real Life Church Since the winter of 2013. The urgency to equip children as early as possible with the knowledge and truth that only comes from instruction and example has become my privilege and responsibility. My prayer is to partner with parents in preparing the next generation.

Blake Thomas

Youth Pastor

My wife, Abby, and I joined the Real Life Church family in August 2016. We both grew up right here in Springfield, IL and are proud to call this home. I grew up in a Youth Pastor’s home and always considered myself a Christian. But September 2009 is when I decided to truly center my life on following Jesus. Shortly after that I began pursuing full-time ministry and attended Lincoln Christian University. I always tell people, “I am who I am today because of solid men that God has put in my life to lead me and encourage me; my dad being #1 on that list (and my mom who has always been a rock to our family). That is why I love student ministry. Teenagers need adults in their lives to care for them and show them who Jesus is through their own life example.

I love to spend my time doing things outside or working with my hands; whether it is hiking, hunting, fishing, or carpentry. One of my favorite things to do in the world is hang out and eat with family and friends. 

I value organization and order in my home and life and always pay special attention to detiail.

Jacob Norton

Worship Minister

I grew up in Rochester and graduated from Rochester High School. I first became a Christian at Rochester Christian Church where I came to accept Jesus and was baptized at the age of seven. Around the age of twelve, I became involved in the worship team and this quickly grew my passion to worship through music. I also being shadowing my worship minister, where I learned many of the things I still use in my ministry today. 

Musically, I began taking basic music lessons at a very young age. When I was old enough I began taking lessons from our own children's director, Renee McCoy. She has be a major influence in my life both musically and spiritually and I will be eternally grateful to know her. Through her, I first became involved here at Real Life and I’ve loved it ever since. I could not be more excited or thankful to be apart of the staff here at Real Life. 

When I'm not working, my passion is fitness. I love to workout and can easily bore people to death talking about working out for hours!

Janice Grosse


I grew up on a farm in Windsor, IL with my parents and 2 sisters. I was not raised in church as a child, but always knew Jesus loved me. In my adult years, I have experienced just about every denomination of Christianity you can think of, but I was eventually baptized by immersion at Broadway Christian Church in Mattoon, IL. I joined the Real Life Church team in April, 2005. I have 2 daughters, 4 grandsons, and 1 granddaughter. I love tspend time with my family and spoil my grandkids. 

Psalm 46:10 has always been a favorite verse of mine. "Be still and know that I am God." It has served as a constant reminder to me to trust God no matter what the circumstances are and to remember that He works for my good.