Staff Directory

Pastors

 

 

Pastor Paul Nelson
Paul A. Nelson
Senior Pastor since 1998
paul@immanuel.us, 952-230-0351 (direct dial), 952-937-8123 ex. 51
 
Paul leads Immanuel’s staff and congregation with love and warmth, welcoming all. He is dedicated to helping people of all ages live out their faith and share Jesus’ love in their daily lives. He particularly likes helping men find ways to support one another in faith. It was even the subject of his doctoral thesis!

Paul loves family time and cherishes his wife, Karen, their two adult daughters and two young granddaughters and grandson. He is happiest when participating in family celebrations, gatherings, game nights, traveling, Granddaughter Mondays and time with grandson, Theo. He is an avid reader and loves to hear about what you’re reading too. A good run, an invigorating hike, an evening of curling or a camping trip rank high on his list of leisure activities.

DEGREES: Bachelor’s in Business Administration, Master of Divinity, Doctor of Divinity

FUN FACT: Paul was Immanuel’s first youth minister in 1985 and served as its associate pastor for three years.

 

 

Pastor Angela
Angela Fairbanks Jacobson
Associate Pastor since 2016
angela@immanuel.us, 952-937-8123 ex. 53

 

Angela embraces her exploration of faith as a lifelong adventure, and is excited to be taking this leg of the journey with members of the Immanuel community. “What if…?” and “what is God up to?” are two of her favorite questions as she pursues spiritual vitality and nurtures faith formation in daily life.

Some of Angela’s favorite places include the Mississippi river walks, cross-country ski trails, a yoga mat, a canoe, a playground and anywhere in the company of her husband Karl (also a pastor) and their five children – Hannah, Sam, Nora, Lucy, and Claire. She is also fond of napping in a sunbeam. No matter where life’s twists and turns and ups and downs take her, she holds close to her GPS blessing: “God, go before us, to prepare and provide, and sustain and surprise us with the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.”

DEGREES: Bachelor’s degree in English Literature, Master of Divinity

FUN FACT: For over a decade, Angela lived the quiet life up north on Lake Superior.

 

 

Faith Formation

 


Paul Erdmann
Paul Erdmann
Youth and Family Minister since 2003
paule@immanuel.us, 952-230-0355 (direct dial), 952-937-8123 ex. 55

Paul helps our middle and high school students grow in faith, learn leadership skills and gain confidence through experiencing God’s love and forgiveness. By engaging both students and their families in our dynamic Confirmation program, mission trips, backpacking and skiing adventures, service projects and all sorts of other fun activities, he helps families develop healthy Christian relationships and explore the role faith plays in their daily lives.

Paul loves the outdoors and is especially fond of sailing, camping, and traveling. Paul and his wife, Abby, have 5 children in their blended family, ranging from kindergarten to a senior in high school—every day is an adventure!

DEGREES: Bachelor’s in Business Administration; Master’s in Youth and Family Ministry

FUN FACT: Paul and his family have an annual tradition of retrieving their Christmas tree via bicycle!
 
 

Grace Porter
Children's, Youth and Family Ministry since 2021
grace@immanuel.us, 952-230-0356 (direct dial). 952-937-8123 ex. 56

Grace says her happy place is on the stage, especially performing musical theater and singing in choir. But she’s also great behind the scenes, which is a large part of her role at Immanuel. Grace has worked at Immanuel as our Childen's Ministry Associate since 2019, as our Children's Ministry Interim Director in the summer of '21, and now as our Director of Children's and Family Ministry!

When not working or entertaining, Grace enjoys traveling, the outdoors, music, books and spending time with family and friends.

DEGREES: Theology and Public Leadership degree with a concentration in Youth Studies and a minor in Music.

FUN FACT: Grace and her two siblings have been members of Immanuel since birth.

 

Savannah Olaphson
Coordinator of Service and Justice Ministries since March 2022, Deacon Intern
savannah@immanuel.us, 952-230-0357 (direct dial). 952-937-8123 ex. 57
 
Savannah helps Immanuel live out its vision of care and service and explore the relationship between faith and justice. 
 
Before moving here in 2022, she lived and attended school in Montana and Washington. It’s no surprise that she loves mountains and water, especially Flathead Valley and Glacier National Park in Montana. She also loves to travel to unfamiliar places where she can walk on new ground, build new relationships, discover new foods and immerse herself in new cultures.
 
Savannah got married in June 2022. Their pet cockatiel, Tuna, couldn’t be happier.
 
FAVORITE ACTIVITIES: hiking, backpacking, skiing, boating, cross-stitching, reading, running and playing board games.
 
DEGREES: Bachelor’s in Anthropology and Religion, Master of Arts in Diaconal Ministry
 
FUN FACT: Savannah finds travel to be a deeply spiritual act. The topic of her capstone paper was Travel as a Living Liturgy.
 


Kari Totall
Parish Nurse since February 2018
parishnurse@immanuel.us, 952-836-4484 (Cell)

After a decade of volunteering as Immanuel’s Parish Nurse, Kari officially assumed the title and added her name to the staff roster. In that role, she does what comes naturally to her – compassionately support our seniors and those who are facing a health care crisis or end-of-life issue. In addition to sharing her professional expertise, she connects those she serves to helpful community resources. She also works to educate our congregation about health and wellness and occasionally coordinates some fun activities, like yoga classes.

Kari loves outdoor activity – especially racking up miles on the bike trails, boating and skiing with family and friends. She and her husband Tom joined Immanuel in 1999 and raised their three children in the congregation.

DEGREES: Registered Nurse

CERTIFICATIONS: Hospice and Palliative Nursing, Parish Nurse Certification, Advanced Care Planning

FUN FACT: Kari has worked in hospice care at Park Nicollet for 30 years.
 
 

Music Ministry

Kyung Ko
Minister of Music since 2022 (Begins July 5)
kyung@immanuel.us, 952-230-0361 (direct dial), 952-937-8123 ex. 61
 
Kyung oversees Immanuel’s many music and worship ministries and staff. He leads the Reformation Choir, band and instrumental players and the bell ringers. He believes the congregation’s singing at worship is a powerful message which reflects our identity as the children of God in all circumstances. 
 
Kyung and his wife Jiwhi met when both were directing different music ensembles for the same church. They have two children, both in elementary school.
 
FAVORITE ACTIVITIES: Running, swimming and finding good local coffee shops.
 
HAPPY PLACE: His living room, when he and his family gather around the piano to make music, lift their voices in song, and dance.
 
DEGREES: Bachelor’s in Church Music, Master’s in Choral Conducting, Doctoral in Conducting.
 
FUN FACT: Kyung owns several coffee machines (hand drip, moka, automatic and semi-automatic). He strives to  become a better barista everyday.
 

HyeonJeong Lee
Organist/Accompanist since 2020
jeong@immanuel.us 
 

Jeong is the organist for our traditional Sunday service and provides organ and piano accompaniment for the Reformation Choir and a host of vocal and instrumental ensembles and soloists.

Her family includes two adult sons and a granddog named Luna. She loves feeding her body and mind through reading, walking and traveling, and has a recently acquired interest in camping.

DEGREES: Master’s in Church Music; Master’s in Sacred Music

FUN FACT: Jeong spent a year singing with our Reformation Choir prior to stepping into the organist/accompanist role.

 

Dennis Wallisch
Servant Song Director since 2021
dennis@immanuel.us

Dennis believes contemporary music and worship is an important part of any church’s menu of offerings. He is delighted to be the chef for that menu item at Immanuel, where he says the people are welcoming and the musicians are excellent.

The father of two — a teenage son and a young adult daughter — lives in Victoria. He loves exploring and discovering new things, from art and music to landscapes and outdoor activities. He is a big fan of disc golf and ice fishing and especially loves doing those things with his teenage son.

DEGREES: Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Music Education

FUN FACT: Dennis earned his degree at North Dakota State University 
 

Office Staff

Kelly Meyers
Church Administrator since 2022
kelly@immanuel.us, 952-230-0360 (direct dial), 952-937-8123 ex. 60

Kelly is the guardian of our financial records and physical facilities, ensuring that we are good stewards of our assets. She also manages human resources and supports Immanuel’s communications program. Her critical behind-the-scenes work ensures our congregation has the resources it needs to fully live out its mission.

Kelly and her husband have three daughters, three granddaughters and two kitties.

FAVORITE ACTIVITIES: Singing, travel, NASCAR, hockey

HAPPY PLACE: Near water and in the company of family

DEGREES: Bachelor’s in Vocal Music with a minor in Communications

FUN FACT: Kelly first joined Immanuel’s staff in 2020, working part-time in communications.

 

Martin Rathjen
Martin Rathjen
Communications since 2002
martin@immanuel.us, 952-230-0354 (direct dial), 952-937-8123 ex. 54

While Martin’s Australian accent is fading, his passion for helping children, youth and families grow in faith is not. Martin guided Immanuel’s Stepping Stone and Confirmation ministries until February 2022, he then moved to part-time managing our robust communications program. His proclivity for technology is a great asset - but he always knows when to call the IT guys for help! He enjoys mountain wilderness backpacking, international travel and amateur photography – both when he is on duty and off.

Back to the accent: Some hearing Martin for the first time think he might be from the East Coast! In fact, he’s a pastor’s kid who grew up in Australia and New Zealand. He ventured to Seattle when he was 19, then on to Minneapolis where he met his wife Kim. They have two adult daughters who grew up in this congregation.

DEGREES: Associate’s in Biblical Studies; Bachelor's and Master's in Christian Education

FUN FACT: Martin is a dual citizen of Australia and the USA, as are his two adult daughters.
 
 
MaryKay Copp
MaryKay Copp
Administrative Assistant to Pastors since 1997
marykay@immanuel.us, 952-230-0359 (direct dial), 952-937-8123 ex. 59

MaryKay provides support for our pastors, making sure all the details are handled. She loves having the opportunity to develop caring relationships with our members and staff, getting to know their families and especially meeting the children and watching them grow up. Day by day, she relaxes by painting, sewing, reading and spending time with friends. But her happiest of getaways is a trip to Florida!

DEGREES: Certified Executive Secretary and Occupational Therapy Assistant

FUN FACT: MaryKay is one of four siblings.


Terrie Falkenstein
Church Secretary since 2002
terrie@immanuel.us, 952-230-0358 (direct dial), 952-937-8123 ex. 58

Terrie’s is often the first face you see or the first voice you hear when you stop by or call our office on weekdays. She loves to welcome you, help you feel comfortable and make sure you find the person or information you are looking for. In addition to being our friendly receptionist, she prepares our worship service bulletins and monthly member newsletters - just a couple of more ways to help you feel welcome and in the know.

Terrie treasures time with her two adult children -- Brent living in Colorado with his spouse, Misty and Laura who is in the  Army and currently stationed in Tacoma, Washington. She relaxes by reading historical fiction and mystery novels, playing computer word games and spending time on or near the water, preferably with the company of good friends.

DEGREES: Associate’s degrees in General Education, Medical Secretary, Physical Therapist Assistant

FUN FACT: Terrie has a twin brother who has a set of boy and girl twins!
 
 

Music & Worship Support


Christina Orton
Christina Orton, Epiphany Choir, K - 2
christina.abadir.orton@gmail.com

Barb Savereide
Barb Savereide, Cornerstone Choir, Grade 7 - 12
bsavereide@comcast.net

Joan Meyer
Joan Meyer
Evening Organist

Dave Paul
Dave Paul
Worship Media Specialist
 

Support Staff

Darrell Fusaro
Darrell Fusaro
Custodian
 

Aaron Gilbert
Sunday Custodian
 

 

 



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A member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America