Rev. Ryan Michael Hersch, pastor, received his Master of Divinity degree from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in September, 2003, and was ordained to the ministry of Word and Sacrament on September 27, 2003. He is currently studying for his Doctor of Ministry degree in congregational mission and leadership through Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. Pastor Ryan’s first call was to Alleluia Lutheran Church in Phoenix, where he served first as transformation pastor and then as lead pastor for nearly five years. Pastor Ryan and his wife Adriana reside in Scottsdale, Arizona.
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Jayne Baker, Diaconal Minister, received her Master of Divinity degree from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in December, 2011, and was consecrated to the ministry of Word and Service on April 22, 2012. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from the University of Michigan in 1965 and a Master of Health Services Administration from the University of Saint Francis in 1992. She brings over 40 years of health care administration experience to Ascension, combined with a lifelong passion for social justice ministry and serving the needs of the greater community. Jayne has three sons and four grandsons. .
Tom Mueller, Parish Administrator, oversees the functions of the church office, vendor agreements, purchasing, plant maintenance, financial planning, maintenance and reporting, facilities use, and web maintenance. He brings over 25 years of experience in retail management and buying to this position. Tom is assisted by Tina Samuel, office support, and Carol Hoy, office volunteer.
Dr. Christopher Samuel, Cantor and Choirmaster, is a prominent member of the valley’s music community. He has served as director of music in various Christian congregations and is the director of the Valley Chamber Chorale. As a choral clinician, Dr. Samuel has conducted workshops in Arizona, California, Georgia, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Dakota, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, and as a church organist and recitalist, he has performed throughout the United States, England, and Italy.
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Judy Lenz, lead Children’s Minister, directs Ascension’s Sunday school program. For many years, Judy served with distinction as Ascension’s preschool director. She is assisted by teachers Tammy Barks, Diane Ewell, and Vivian Mora.
Dale Niehaus, organist and choral accompanist. Having enjoyed his years of accompanying the congregation and working with the choir and soloists, he is very excited about the future at Ascension. “Soli Deo Gloria”