Ministry Team @ Hope

So here we are - The Ministry Team @ Hope!

Below is a little bit about each of us. 

If you have any questions about the ministries that we lead or about what we wrote in our bios, feel free to email us directly.

SEE YOU AT CHURCH!

  • Rob Zahn, senior Pastor

    Pastorrob@hope-lutheran-church.com

    Hello! About me? Well, how about we do this in sound bites (feel free to ask questions later): born in California, raised in Minnesota/N. Dakota by my mom, B.A. in Music from Concordia College, MN, seminary both at Wartburg Theological in Iowa and Luther in Minnesota earning my M.Div., served as Youth Pastor in Las Vegas, NV, thanks to my buddy Mike I played a bit with The Second City Comedy Club, a professor at Waldorf College, a mission Pastor in Wisconsin and now here at Hope in Michigan, currently doctoral work at George Fox. I play a few instruments (started the violin in 1st grade) and played guitar in a band or two, been to 15 countries, husband to Brenda, father to my three AWESOME girls…questions?


    Most Embarrassing Moment: 1st job leading a staff activity, I’m in the middle of a circle of 20 church staff people…and fog horn went off (gas)….oh my


    Verse: Matthew 5:44 “…love your enemies…” - I believe the gospel really IS that radical!

  • Hi! I’m a native New Yorker, born and raised in Queens, Long Island. After graduating from college in Ft. Wayne, Indiana and seminary in St. Louis, I came to Oakland County, Michigan – and never left! I’ve served churches in Farmington, Novi and Royal Oak, been a part-time hospital chaplain at Oakwood in Dearborn and a police chaplain in both Novi and Royal Oak. I’ve also done some work with our Southeast Michigan Synod (group of congregations) over the years. After 43 years of full-time ministry, I retired in 2015 and since then, I’ve been working part-time with the folks at Shepherd’s Way in South Lyon. Coming together with Hope is a bit like coming full circle – I team-taught confirmation classes here with Pastor Vic back in the ‘70’s. I’ve been married to Deana since 1973 – she’s from Iowa, and we met and married in Farmington, where we were both working in the same congregation. We have two married sons and a two-year-old granddaughter who keep us young! We’ve lived in Novi since 1977, and currently share our home with a dog and two cats who take turns making our lives interesting. We love to travel – I’ve visited 48 of the 50 states, and look forward to seeing Alaska and Hawaii some day.


    Most Embarrassing Moment: When I was younger, my sermons were a bit longer than they are today. After going on at some length one Sunday, a little voice from the rear of the church – my young son – called out, “Amen, Daddy, Amen!” I have a feeling that the rest of the congregation was in agreement.


    Favorite Bible Verse: These days, it’s Romans 12:21 – “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

  • Chris childers, worship, music & the arts minister

    chris@hope-lutheran-church.com

    G'day Mate, I was born in Auckland, New Zealand at a terrifyingly young age to both my parents.  I grew up the 4th son of an evangelical minister/missionary, so life was really against me from the get-go.  I caught the performing arts bug at a very young age and all through my school career went on both national and international tours with various musical/performing arts groups.  I have been blessed with many opportunities to work in local church ministry and also para-church ministry groups since the age of 18.  In my early twenties, I moved back to New Zealand, studied contemporary music and started my first band.  We were very blessed for two of our singles to have success on national christian radio. After touring both nationally and internationally for the next four years, I felt called to a local church ministry in Las Vegas and remained in the Vegas area for the next 10 years.  That was until I felt called to the Metro Detroit Area to work at Hope... I am writing this bio while enduring my first mid-western winter and I'm really starting to question the whole "calling thing"... That being said I am completely excited to see what God is doing here at Hope. 


    Embarrassing Moment:  Performing an entire worship service with my zipper down.


    Favorite Bible Verse:  "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth..."

  • Donnie Lehmann, Children, Youth & family Minister

    Donnie@hope-lutheran-church.com

    I was born on an Air Force base in Alaska, and I then made my way to Kenosha, and could not think of any other place I would like to call home. There are four things that I love: God, Family, Youth Ministry, Sprint Car Racing and Food.  Most would say the order changes depending on how hungry I am. All kidding aside, serving is what drives me. Having been on multiple mission trips throughout the world and being involved in youth ministry, it is safe to say that I have found my true calling in serving the church. I am looking forward to helping the youth groups at Hope grow in their knowledge and understanding of the love that God has for them and how to share that love with all people. I also want to teach youth how to eat 26 tacos in one lunch sitting.


    Most embarrassing moment: I embarrass my wife on a daily basis, does that count…                                                                                    

    Favorite Bible Verse: Job 19:21-29… epic stuff……And Jesus in the boat sleeping…all of us need naps, even Jesus

  • Megan DeWyse, Children's Ministry Coordinator

    Hopekids@hope-lutheran-church.com

    Hi! I'm Megan. I have been a member of Hope since I was 5 or 6 years old! I have lived in Livonia, Michigan my whole life. I am a senior at Wayne State University studying Elementary and Special Education. I love helping little people learn and grow...I have been a preschool teacher, behavior tech for autism, nanny, substitute teacher and coach. Anything to do with kids, I'm in!! I have taught Kindergarten Sunday school at Hope for at least 7 years. I love watching them learn about God's love and His word. 


    Most embarrassing moment: In middle school, my skirt fell down in front of everyone in the hallway....


    Favorite Bible verse: Philippians 4:8 "Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just...if there is anything worthy of praise, think of these things"

  • allan Pfitzenmaier, Director of Operations

    office@Hope-Lutheran-church.com

    Hi, I am Allan Pfitzenmaier and I have been a member of Hope since its inception in 1977. During the majority of that time, I have owned and managed a consulting firm serving the regulated medical products industries.  Also, during that time, I have started and managed a number of other associated businesses, including a successful staffing firm and a software development organization. Most recently a partner and I started a Contract Manufacturing Organization to produce liquid injectable drugs, particularly new cancer therapies.  Once this operation was up and running, I decided that it was time to step back and enjoy my life and take things a little easier.

    God, however, had other ideas. When it became apparent that the former Director of Operations was looking to move on, a number of people, including my wife, suggested that I should consider taking on that position.  Absent a total conspiracy, it seemed odd to me that at least 3 people independently thought I should do this. I concluded that it must be a call from God, and I had no other choice but to accept it.


    I have been married to Francine for 42 years and we have 3 children and 5 grandchildren.  I am a BIG fan of the University of Michigan.  


    Most embarrassing moment: I am too embarrassed to say.


    Favorite Bible Verse: My confirmation verse John 3:16. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.


  • Hi Everyone! Guess this is where I tell you my life story in 30 seconds or less. Here it goes ...


    My Family:  I am the extremely proud mom of Ali (ask anyone who has stopped into Hope's office). I have an amazing husband, Pat, who has been my partner in crime for the last 35 years and we have a big, goofy goldendoodle named Leeloo (if you're into SciFi think The Fifth Element). Pat and I have lived in Farmington Hills since 1994 and before that we were both born and raised Downriver (if you don’t know where that is, stop by and we’ll chat). 


    My Qualifications:  My qualifications to be Hope Lutheran’s secretary ... not sure anyone is ever really qualified for a job but I do have a B.S. in Computer Science and Information Systems from the University of Michigan, I’m really good at math (algebra is my favorite; calculus not so much), and I LOVE spreadsheets! I've worked for Lockheed Martin (as a programmer, a systems analyst, and an Engineer in Charge), Complete Business Solutions Inc. (as an Account Manager), Canine College (I WAS the 'Student Services Department'), and now at Hope. I've also worked from home for various small businesses.


    Call me at the office or better yet stop in to chat ... I’d love to meet you!

     

    Most Embarrassing Moment:  I try NOT to have any of these ... they’re quite honestly ... embarrassing!


  • I was born in Columbia, SC, graduated from high school there and went to a small Lutheran liberal arts college, Newberry College in SC. I have 2 amazing daughters, Katie (in Denver, Colorado) who has two daughters, 14 and 9 and Nancy (New Hudson, MI) who has 1 son and another on the way. Being a mother was my very best job. Being a grandmother has been life’s greatest gift. I stopped working in 2014 and found myself retiring in MI, which was NOT part of the plan. However, my daughter, Nancy, and her husband, Chris, asked me to come to MI to take care of the new baby, Finley, who is now 3. This was not a hard decision. As a lifelong Lutheran with a few pit stops in Methodist, Celtic Catholic and Episcopalian churches (not all at the same time), I was looking at ELCA Lutheran churches within a 10 mile radius of our Novi home. Hope was the first church I visited and after many Sundays elsewhere, it is where I came back. I spent my professional life in some sort of customer service area with an emphasis on project management and process development and had a lot of wonderful experiences. I have not missed working at all. I love retirement. And yet, here I am. Working in the church office is not like work. It is so nice to be able to share some of my skills without all of the pressure. For me it’s a dream “job”. 


    Most Embarrassing Moment: Seriously only one? I could go on for days. Suffice it to say, that recently it would be that I seem to cry every time I “read” in church. From the betrayal of Jesus by Judas (how could he?) to the impending death of Isaac at the hands of his father, Abraham (what parent would ever concede to such a command?) brought tears. 


    Favorite Bible Verse: Psalm 118:24 “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it,” is the way I greet each morning quickly followed by Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God…”. These verses remind me to embrace the gift of a new day and be reminded that I need to be quiet and still if I am to hear God.

  • Brenda Soderlund, bookkeeper

    Bio Coming Soon

  • marcy bard, nursery director

    My name is Marcia Karen Bard, Marcy for short.  I was born on November 2, 1942 in Detroit to Harry and Sarah Swarts. I have one sister named Joanne Gail Pevos. I have been married to my husband Harvey for 41 years and I proposed to him.  We have two adult children. Our son Aaron is married to Emily and they have two boys, Joshua Holden 7 1/2 and Issac Max 6 years old. Our daughter Debbie is married to Korey Bahash and they also have two sons, Zachary Hayden, 9 and Andrew Dylan, 6. I worked for the Farmington Schools for 23 years, the last six of which were for the Head Start Program.  I love working with kids!


    Most Embarrassing Moment: occurred several years ago when we attended a New Years Eve Party.  I was wearing a long skirt with a top and the elastic in the waistband broke while we were dancing.


    Favorite Bible Verse: Moses parting the Red Sea.

  • danny morris, custodian

    I was born in Pontiac, Michigan and raised in Keego Harbor. I attended West Bloomfield schools where I was a stinker. After high school, I joined the Marine Corp, active duty four years. I am married to my wonderful wife, Jeanette, and have one daughter, Danielle. I was a journeyman carpenter for over 25 years, but am now retired. I am very active in my church, Grace and Peace in Pontiac. I play guitar and keyboard in the church band. I enjoy bowling and aeronautics. I have worked here at Hope for over eight years and enjoy my job and the people here at Hope very much.


    Most Embarrassing Moment: While working at Hope one day I approached a group of people with their backs to me. As I got closer I noticed their beautiful long hair, I asked “Could I help you ladies with something”. They turned around and much to my chagrin they were all men, some with facial hair!  Very embarrassing!


    Favorite Bible Verse: Psalm 23 "The Lord is my shepherd....."