Our Staff

Our dedicated and experienced staff have a wide range of backgrounds, many having found stability in life as residents of ICM! We all know from firsthand experience that healthy and productive relationships are essential for those wanting to escape homelessness, and work as a team to bring about the best outcomes.


Click each photo for a biography, each name for an email link.

  • scott payne

    executive director

    I never dreamed I would be working with the homeless for a quarter century. 


    I grew up in San Jose and graduated from Lincoln Christian College (University) in 1982. I began in ministry at Shawnee Christian Nursing Center in Herrin, IL where I served as Chaplain, then Administrator for 7 years. From there, my family and I moved to Oswego, IL where I preached and ministered in a local church for 4 years. After moving back to central Illinois, we felt God leading us to work with the homeless at Inner City Mission. 


    My parents dedicated me to ministry the moment I was born and made sure I was raised in the church. My parents gave me a foundation of truth and love, and for that, I will always praise God.


    In the fall of 1977, the gift of a lifetime walked into my life—a young lady by the name of Constance Ann Gillespie. Four years later I married her, making January 10, 1981 the most significant day of my life. Over the years, God has blessed Connie and I with six children, each unique in his or her own wonderful way.


    Connie and I, with children in tow, came to Inner City Mission on the prayer that God was leading us to the right place in ministry. He knew much better than I, because working with the homeless has turned out to be the perfect fit for all of us.


    If I had to sum up my deepest desires and prayers for Inner City Mission, it would include this: 


    • ICM would no longer have to turn away people in need because we’re full.
    • Those living in our shelter would find lasting joy and peace in Christ.
    • Our surrounding community in central Illinois, and beyond, could better understand the causes of homelessness.
    • The Body of Christ will come alongside as a surrogate family to people in need.


    Helping the homeless and those living in poverty has become my life’s work. I’m excited to see where God takes this ministry in the future.

  • connie payne

    Writer, editor, mailing coordinator

    Hi! I’m Connie Payne, and I’ve worked in several capacities at the Mission over the years: Lodge Supervisor (when my children were young), Case Manager, Administrative Assistant, Director of Operations, and Regional Director of Communications. 


    Now, I think I’ve finally found my perfect niche. I write and/or edit our letters, newsletters, brochures and booklets, coordinate our mailings, and help Scott bring awareness of homelessness to Springfield and surrounding communities. Right now, Scott and I are writing a book on homelessness, which we hope to publish in the near future.


    My husband and I have been blessed with six children, sons & daughters-in-law, and several beautiful grandchildren. As you might imagine, our lives are busy.


    My journey as a Christian began in Junior High at the age of twelve when God became real to me in a powerful way. I knew at that moment I would spend the rest of my life serving God in some capacity. I knew that if I should ever marry, it would be to someone with a great passion for the Lord. I found that in Scott and we made plans for full-time Christian ministry together.


    Scott and I raised our family alongside the Mission, and now as adults, our children thank us for the wonderful ministry experiences they gained along the way. We have a lot to be thankful for, and Inner City Mission has been a great blessing in our lives.


    My prayers for the ICM staff:


    • That we keep God first and foremost, using His strength and wisdom.
    • That we are God’s instruments, having hearts of compassion like Jesus.
    • That the distractions of life won’t stop us from doing His will.

    My prayers for our residents:

    • That they find a relationship with Jesus Christ, the Great Healer.
    • That they find lasting stability, that ends their homelessness.
    • That they learn to give back and help others.


  • tylinda blackstock

    Director of resident services

    I grew up in a small rural community in Illinois. I married my husband in September of 1982, and we raised two beautiful daughters who are both married and living their lives happily. We've been blessed with a perfect little grandson too. God has been so good to my family and to me.


    I've been with ICM since 2001. I’ve worked in several different capacities and have loved every new challenge presented. We truly are a family at Inner City Mission, residents included. I love it that God sends us these special people and gives us the opportunity to help each one of them.


    Just to be able to freely talk about Jesus at work and to pray with residents and co-workers is a blessing! We at ICM are not only allowed to do so, but are encouraged to on a daily basis. It's part of the job description. What a Blessing!

  • caleb Payne

    director of operations

    I grew up around Inner City Mission, often joining my parents, Scott and Connie, for overnight shifts. I developed deep friendships with some of the residents’ children that I still have today.


    I began working at Inner City Mission in 2003 as a hauler/donation handler. Upon entering college at Lincoln Christian University in Lincoln, I became a lodge supervisor.


    The year 2011 marked a year of transition in my life. In that October I was married to a wonderful, Godly woman named Bethany. She is the love of my life and my partner in ministry.


    In November of that same year I received my Bachelor of Arts degree from Lincoln Christian University with a major in Intercultural Studies (I am pursuing a Master’s in Philosophy). That same month, I became the Director of Operations at ICM. It was quite a transition, taking a more behind-the-scenes role, but it has been neat to see every side of the organization. I now take much pleasure in teaching various classes for our residents and getting to know them outside of the work environment. 


    In July of 2014 Bethany and I became parents for the first time. It is our hope that our children grow up experiencing and learning from our ministry at ICM as I did when I was a youngster.


    God has truly blessed my life by allowing me and my family to be a part of this ministry.

  • donna lomelino

    renew ministry director

    Hi, my name is Donna Lomelino. As Human Resource Director, my primary role is to help the homeless who come through our doors to develop their potential and find all that God has in store for them.


    I came to ICM in 2008 as a resident, homeless, burdened by my past, and as immersed in chaos as anyone who comes through these doors. Tragedy had brought me to the Lord and the Lord had brought me to Inner City Mission!


    With the guidance of ICM staff I completed the Stability for Life program and enrolled at Lincoln Christian University. In May of 2013, I graduated with a bachelor’s degree and began working for ICM. Now I give back by helping create an atmosphere that allows for healing and change. I am able to speak to the residents as someone who has experienced some of the same heartache and pain they struggle with.

  • Bobbi reddix

    Renew store manager

    Type content here...

  • norman mccormick

    Director of Development

    Type content here...

  • brenda hamilton

    director of adult education

    Type the content for this list item here. This is just example text to show you what it will look like when you enter text content into this list item. Your unique, authentic, and appropriate text will be filled into this section. Once you click into this text area, you will see the filler text disappear.

  • brienna higginson

    stability coach

    Type content here...

  • Jacob Payne

    stability coach

    Type the content for this list item here. This is just example text to show you what it will look like when you enter text content into this list item. Your unique, authentic, and appropriate text will be filled into this section. Once you click into this text area, you will see the filler text disappear.

  • sarah Logan

    Stability coach

    Type content here...

  • michelle oast

    maintenance

    Type content here...

  • sherri hall

    office/reception

    Type content here...

  • peggy blakley

    office assistant

    Type content here...

  • w.allen & Deleta payne

    honarary grandparents

    Type content here...

  • isaac payne

    donations handler

    Type content here...

  • jeff higginson

    honorary chaplain

    I am a graduate of Lincoln Christian University, married with two children. My wife, Julie, makes quilts for charity auctions. Our son, Jason Wetherholt, is a youth minister in Champaign. He and his wife have two little girls. Our daughter, Brienna, is a Freshman at Lincoln Christian University.


    I rededicated my life at age 16, after the death of a friend in a car accident. My spiritual journey has been shaped in a major way by several close friends whose lives challenged me to live more like Jesus. Since the early 1980’s I have ministered at different churches in the areas of youth and worship ministries.


    Between 1997 and 2014 I served as the Chaplain/Director of Volunteer Services. ICM is a perfect fit for me. It allows me to introduce believers to broken people. I have seen God use these relationships to change people on both ends.


    The Jeff Higginson Band has helped raise almost $50,000 for Inner City Mission over the last decade. We would love to bring the band to your town.

© Inner City Mission

714 N 7th Street

Springfield IL 62702

217-525-3940