Annual Gathering Speakers

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Keynote Speakers

Ebassa Berhanu
Lead Pastor  //  Faith Lutheran Church, Castle Rock, CO

Ebassa is a child of God redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus. He is the lead pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Castle Rock, Colorado. Ebassa and his beautiful wife, Hana have 4 children together. Ebassa is passionate in seeing people fall in love with Jesus and investing in the next generation.

 

Steve Turnbull
Senior Pastor  //  Upper Arlington Lutheran Church, Columbus, OH

Steve is the senior pastor at Upper Arlington Lutheran Church. He loves Jesus, his wife, his children, God's church, deep dish pizza, and dark coffee.

 

Graeme Sellers
Lead Pastor  //  Wonderful Mercy Church & Prayer Garden, Gilbert, AZ

Graeme started out for the road to Hollywood, determined to write and direct with his friend and collaborator, Bruce, whom he met at Tri-City Mall, where they both worked—Bruce making sandwiches and Graeme selling t-shirts. Bruce went on to win numerous local Emmys and released his first independent feature-length film, “Raising Buchanan,” in 2019. Graeme’s life turned in a different direction. A graduate of Fuller Seminary, he was awarded fellowships to pursue theological studies in Aberdeen, Scotland, and Dunedin, New Zealand. The lead pastor at Wonderful Mercy since 1994, Graeme served for 20 years on the National Leadership Team of the Alliance of Renewal Churches and 12 years on the pastoral advisory board for PrayerQuake. When not hanging out with his wife of 30 years and four children, Graeme enjoys deep-sea fishing, single malt scotch, Americana roots music, and the poetry of W. H. Auden and e.e. cummings. He and Bruce are in talks (sadly, just with each other) to resume work on a screenplay they began in 1987, an adventure thriller set against the backdrop of World War I.

 

Steven E. King
Managing Editor  //  Sola Publishing, Graham, NC

A graduate of Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN, The Rev. Dr. Steven E. King has served as pastor of congregations in LaSalle and Lake Hanska, MN, as well as a mission developer in Maple Lake and Oakdale, MN.  In his current role as the managing editor of Sola, he has produced many Bible studies and other educational resources for children, youth and adults.  Certified in both LCMC and NALC, he received his Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) from St. Paul Lutheran Seminary in 2019, out of which was written his two-part Bible Study series, “Disciples of the Cross.”

 

Ryan Alexander
Lead Pastor  //  Hosanna Church, Lakeville, MN

Nothing gets Ryan up in the morning like the thought of more people waking up to God’s transforming love for them in Jesus. He longs for Hosanna Church to become everything God has created them to be so that His irresistible love can reach and empower those very people. He grew up in a small mill-town on the west coast, and at 20 years old, he woke up to God's real and relentless love for him in Jesus.  He is exceedingly blessed to be married to a bright, beautiful woman named Jenn.  They are partners in life and ministry.  Together, they are raising three awesome (and very noisy) young men. They prioritize spending time with each other as a couple and family, and love living life together.  It won’t take you long to discover that Ryan is an avid sports fan with a lasting affinity for teams from the Pacific Northwest, where he grew up. That said, he has also joined the hearty, steadfast throng of Minnesota fans who, without skipping a beat, can say: “There’s always next year…”  Above all, Ryan loves Jesus.  He saved his soul, and keeps on freeing him from himself day after day.

 

Andrea Paulson
Pastor  //  Hawley Lutheran Church, Hawley, MN

Over the past 14 years, Andrea has served in various ministry contexts. Andrea's desire in life is to point to Jesus through content creation, curriculum development, teaching God's Word, and equipping people of all ages so they can point to Jesus.  Andrea is involved in the well being and care of ministry leaders and is supporting our LCMC, advocating for small ministries and encouraging the local church. She's married to her high school sweetheart, Jeff. They are parents to Lucas, Alex, Lisa and Amelia, and to a very protective German Shepherd, Dakota. She's especially thankful for coffee and worship music, and can't wait to get back to Catadupa, Jamaica.

 


Preachers

BECKY HAND
Pastor  //  Faith Fellowship, Odessa, TX

Becky Hand grew up in Odessa, Texas and in 2006 was called to serve as pastor of a newly forming church, Life in Grace Lutheran.  This small congregation supported her education and paid for her entire seminary tuition at the Institute of Lutheran Theology.  In 2020, this congregation merged with another church to form Faith Fellowship in Odessa, where Becky serves as the founding pastor.  In addition, Becky serves on the LCMC Ministry Board, the ILT Board of Directors, and as Program Coordinator for Augustana District.  She is married, has three grown step children, four granddaughters, two dogs, two birds and one Lord and Savior.

 

Ryan Alexander
Lead Pastor  //  Hosanna Church, Lakeville, MN

Nothing gets Ryan up in the morning like the thought of more people waking up to God’s transforming love for them in Jesus. He longs for Hosanna Church to become everything God has created them to be so that His irresistible love can reach and empower those very people. He grew up in a small mill-town on the west coast, and at 20 years old, he woke up to God's real and relentless love for him in Jesus.  He is exceedingly blessed to be married to a bright, beautiful woman named Jenn.  They are partners in life and ministry.  Together, they are raising three awesome (and very noisy) young men. They prioritize spending time with each other as a couple and family, and love living life together.  It won’t take you long to discover that Ryan is an avid sports fan with a lasting affinity for teams from the Pacific Northwest, where he grew up. That said, he has also joined the hearty, steadfast throng of Minnesota fans who, without skipping a beat, can say: “There’s always next year…”  Above all, Ryan loves Jesus.  He saved his soul, and keeps on freeing him from himself day after day.

 


Bible Study Leader

WENDY POCH
Pastor  //  Spirit of Hope, Lutheran Church, Parker, CO

Wendy grew up on an apple orchard and lived in both northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin before moving to Parker, Colorado in 2008.  She is a cradle Lutheran who took a journey through the LCA, ELCA, LCMS and is now home in her much beloved LCMC (talk about alphabet soup!).  When asked about his journey, she describes herself as a theological Goldilocks: moving from a denomination that was too hot, then too cold, and now is in an association of churches that is just right!  Of course, God did a considerable amount of stretching and growing her in the process!   She has been a member of Spirit of Hope Lutheran Church in Parker, CO since 2011.  She served as the congregation's youth leader, pastoral intern, associate pastor, and is now the solo pastor of the congregation.  Wendy received her MDiv from the Institute of Lutheran Theology (ILT) and serves as the Chair of ILT's new Alumni & Graduate Association.  In October of 2021, Wendy also answered a call to serve on the LCMC Ministry Board.

As a former music education major, Wendy loves Lutheran liturgy and hymnody as well as contemporary praise and worship styles. As such, favorite past times include singing with the choir and praise team. She believes that our youth are not just the future of the Church, but are also the Church now and that adults learn as much from them as they do from us. She is passionate about doing mission and ministry outside of the church walls - taking the church to the people, not waiting for people to come to the church. She recently launched a local coffee shop ministry and volunteers as an emergency NICU chaplain at a local hospital.  Her favorite Bible verse is Psalm 37:5 “Commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him, and He will act”.