I began my work as an ordained pastor 40 years ago, starting in the inner city of Philadelphia and serving most of my years as the Senior Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Roselle, Illinois. Karen and I have been married for almost seventeen years now — we have eight children between us and ten grandchildren so far.
Being a pastor has been the greatest adventure of faith and life I could have asked for. Like everyone, I have my struggles, but joining Jesus on His mission at St. John has changed me — for the better.
I believe you’ll experience Jesus here, too. Every week I look forward to what God will do for me and through me as He grows me in faith, in hope, in love, and in relationship with Him and others. Let’s discover together what life and world impact God has in store for all of us! No matter what your past has been and what you plan for the future, we can know this for sure every day: “God is good — and we are blessed.”
Bill began his professional ministry in the church in 1973. He served four congregations in Oregon over course of 22 years in the areas of evangelism, youth & education. During this time he also taught at Concordia University Portland. In 1996 he accepted a call to Concordia University Chicago where he served as the director of the Director of Christian Education Program. In 2008 he accepted the call to Mount Olive. Bill has a Master’s Degree in Education and a Doctorate in Theology. His favorite Bible passages are Hebrews 12:2; Galatians 2:20; Philippians. 2:3-8; 1 John 3:16-18; John 3:17; & John 17:15-18.
John Schmid comes to Mount Olive after serving Rockford Lutheran Schools for 17 years as band and music teacher. His background in music spans from classroom teaching to private lessons to performance. He is a graduate of Concordia University, Nebraska and holds a master's degree in music education from Baylor University. Mr. Schmid also enjoys playing guitar and singing as part of bands Epiphany and Threefold Cord.
Creativity runs in the family, as John's wife, Cheri, is an art teacher and both of their children are active in the arts community.
Jeannie received her B.S. in Elementary Education from Northern Illinois University and her M.S. in Family Life through Concordia University, Nebraska. She taught a variety of grades in both public and parochial schools before homeschooling her own five children.
Besides her passion for children's ministry, she enjoys sewing, baking, running, and most of all, spending time with her husband, kids and grandkids. Her favorite Bible verse is Philippians 4:4.
Korey has been happily married to James since 2001 after they both graduated from Concordia University in Chicago. James serves as a Firefighter/paramedic and together they have been homeschooling their three daughters, Elizabeth, Moriah, and Madelyn since 2012.
Aside from coordinating Youth Ministry and Confirmation for Mt Olive, Korey also serves as a director for a local homeschool community with Classical Conversations. Her deepest desire is to see every Christian grow to understand who they are in Jesus and live out their God-given calling with joy. She has a specific passion for strengthening Christian marriages and families.
She is excited to equip parents to walk alongside their kids, helping them to know, love, and serve Jesus in a world that desperately needs the hope He alone gives. Her favorite Bible verses include Romans 8:28 and 2 Corinthians 5:17.
David and Valerie Federwitz and their family faithfully serve the people of Ghana, West Africa through Lutheran Bible Translators.
To learn more about their ministry, visit the Lutheran Bible Translators website.
Rachel Krause serves the Lord through The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) in Germany, based in Leipzig. In her role as a refugee outreach missionary, she assists German congregations with their outreach to refugees and immigrants from the Middle East. This ministry includes catechetical instruction, German language instruction and other outreach activities that help build relationships with the refugees.
Rachel’s hometown is here in Rockford, and we are proud to be her home congregation. She earned a bachelor’s degree in history and theology from Concordia University Nebraska, Seward. She also received a nursing assistant certification from Rock Valley College, Rockford, Ill. Prior to serving in Germany, Rachel worked as a kindergarten teacher’s aide, an after-school care provider, an au pair in Germany and a 4th/5th grade combined classroom teacher. In addition, in 2015, she had a summer music internship at Trinity Lutheran Church in Frankfurt, Germany. Rachel also has assisted at Mt. Olive in our children’s ministry over the years. In her free time, Rachel enjoys reading, cooking, playing the piano and hiking.
Pray for Rachel as she serves in Germany. Ask God to be with her as she enhances her German fluency (and learns Farsi and/or Arabic as needed). Pray that God opens the hearts of the people with whom Rachel will work and live. Pray for peace from the wars and strife the refugees have witnessed and that they will find true peace in a relationship with Jesus Christ. Ask God to use Rachel as He has planned and that her words and actions bring Him honor and glory. Let us give thanks that Rachel is serving God’s children in this part of the world.