A Ministry of Hope and Healing to the Hurting

Advisory Board

Lynda Sargent, Founder & Executive Director


Lynda Sargent was born and raised in the West End neighborhoods of Rock Island. She earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Accounting from St. Ambrose University. She retired from her work as an Accountant with Unity Point Health at Trinity Rock Island in 2012 to focus on shepherding the vision the Lord has given her for Heart of Hope Ministries. She is a devoted Servant of the Lord, and the Community in which she serves. She has been given a sincere and caring heart for those in need within our community. She eagerly looks forward to what the Lord’s divine purpose has ahead for Heart of Hope Ministries. She is the proud mother of two daughters.

Tanner Payton, President

Pastor Tanner was born and raised in Southern Missouri. He is married to lifelong Rock Island resident, Amy Stephens Payton and has two young daughters. He has been preparing for and serving in full-time ministry for fourteen years. Before coming to the Quad Cities he served in various positions in Hollywood, CA, West Plains, MO, and Minneapolis, MN.

He received his B.A. in Pastoral Studies from North Central University in Minneapolis.

Pastor Tanner moved to Rock Island in February 2012 to co-Pastor Word of Life Church after the founding Pastor, Steve Stephens, his father-in-law, passed away unexpectedly.

Rosalind Burns, Vice President


Rosalind Burns earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Bradley University, and her Juris Doctor from Drake University School of Law. She is a former legislative attorney for the Illinois General Assembly’s Legislative Reference Bureau. She currently works as an attorney for the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., where she resides with her husband, James, and their Boxer puppy, Samson. She was raised in Rock Island and shares the heart, soul, and vision of Heart of Hope for her hometown and the surrounding area, and she is pleased and extremely proud to serve as an advisor and editor to the organization.

Ametra Carroll-Castenada, Secretary

Ametra Carrol-Castaneda, Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor was recently rehired as Neighborhood Organizer for Community Caring Conference (CCC).  She previously worked for Robert Young Center as Mental Health Professional and site-coordinator for Douglas Park Place housing complex for women recovering from drug and alcohol addiction.  She serves on the Rock Island Economic Growth Corp. board of directors, RI Co.NAACP Community Outreach Committee chair and a member of RI Rotary Club.

Kim Nickels, Treasurer

Kim is an accounting and finance professional with over 25 years of experience in a wide variety of industries. She currently serves as Stabilization Coordinator and Interim Business Manager for UnityPoint Health – Trinity. In this dual role, she supports executive leadership with their ongoing goals of improving the financial health of the Trinity healthcare system. She also supports various clinical departments with their financial and data analysis needs. In addition to her role at Trinity, Kim also provides accounting and tax services to several businesses as part of her personal work as a CPA, including a local brewery and non-profit organization.

Kim spent the first 15 years of her career in public accounting, specializing in the agriculture industry. Then in 2008 she took the position of CFO with the Putnam Museum. Over her six years there the position grew into the VP of Finance and Operations, and she added on the oversight of the giant screen theater, facilities, human resources, IT, and visitor services.  Kim developed extensive experience in non-profits, museums and the film industry while at the Putnam.

Kim grew up in the west suburbs of Chicago and has lived in the Quad Cities for almost 20 years. She is pleased to be a member of the board of Heart of Hope, and to help further the organization’s mission of supporting the residents of the West End of Rock Island.

Gary Rowe, Fundraising Committee

Gary Rowe has 35 years’ experience in nonprofit fundraising in the Quad Cities. He retired as Director of Development for Western Illinois University-Quad Cities. He currently is Executive Director of the Rock Island Community Foundation and Community Services and Consultant for the Genesius Theatre Foundation. Board memberships include Heart of Hope Ministries, Autism Society of the Quad Cities, Rock Island Parks Foundation, WVIK Community Advisory Board, and Norma Leah Ovarian Cancer Institute.

He and his family live in Rock Island.