Ella Knowlton

Host Church: Church of the Incarnation

Hub: Wheaton, IL

Ella Knowlton


My journey with Jesus and his church begins with my parents, who both came to know Jesus in college. They entered full-time ministry when my dad became a pastor in rural Wisconsin. As my parents taught me and my brother and sister about Jesus, the truth of the gospel was incredible and personal to me and I began following him from a young age.

From my start at Wheaton College, I knew I wanted to do vocational ministry of some sort. I always said that church ministry was my parents’ thing and not mine, but after participating in church life at Church of the Resurrection (the Cathedral church of the Diocese of the Upper Midwest) in college, the Lord softened my heart. More and more, I began to see Jesus as a person who is living and present in my life, and he gave me newfound love for his church. In fact, I came to love the church so much that in my senior year, when I felt the Lord calling me to the work of church planting at some point in the future, I was excited.

Ministry Residency

The Lord called me to church planting much sooner than I expected! After college, I worked at a youth ministry organization for two years, and then Chad and Kirstin Magnuson, our church planters, asked me to join the staff of Church of the Incarnation.

Because I am on the ground at a very young church plant, my role as a Ministry Resident has a lot of variety. Currently, I am leading our music ministry, coordinating Sunday morning serving teams, and managing weekly communications. Every day looks different, and my favorite part about this role is that I get to participate in so many aspects of church life.

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