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. You are also welcome to call the office at 248-553-7170.

  • Rob Zahn

    senior Pastor


    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!

  • Tom Scherger



    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 the Way in South Lyon.  Serving at Hope has been 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 granddaughter who keeps 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.

    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.”

  • Troy Nelson

    Minister of traditional worship


    Hello, everyone! I was born and raised in Iowa City, Iowa and I am a diehard Hawkeye fan! Go Hawks! 

    Growing up in the Lutheran church, I had a great time singing, leading the liturgy and playing trombone during my childhood, as well as participating in high school youth group. I earned my B.A. in Music and my teaching certificate at Luther College in Decorah, IA. I started my teaching and church music career in Iowa, serving at United Church of Christ Church. In 1993, I moved to Michigan, began my teaching and church music career in Michigan, and got married the following year. I earned my Master’s of Education in Curriculum, Instruction and Leadership at Oakland University in 1998. Since my move to Michigan, I have served the families in the Clarenceville School District as well as the St. John Lutheran Church community in a variety of capacities over the years. 

    Most important to me is my amazing family - husband to Kari and proud dad to Haley, Hannah, and Ryan! 

    Embarrassing moment: Hmm… hard to pick just one, but I’ll go with one from high school: I was asked to MC a community band concert at the last minute. Translation: I was reading the script for the first time during the concert…a script that was written by adults, for adults, with jokes and innuendos to match. To say it fell flat or worse is an understatement…

    Favorite Bible Verse: As the traditional music guy, I think I’ll go with a hymn, “On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand” or “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” depending on the day. All that to say, I believe deeply in Martin Luther’s quote, “Next to the Word of God, music deserves the highest praise.”

  • Donnie Lehmann

    Children, Youth & family Minister & technology guru


    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

  • allan Pfitzenmaier

    Director of Operations


    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 and have started and managed a number of other associated businesses, including a successful staffing firm and a software development organization. In 2010, 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 and my wife, 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 44 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.

  • sue audet



    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 (shoutout to taking the cool bio photo). I have an amazing husband, Pat, who has been my partner in crime since the '80s (wow on that!) 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 ... 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 since 2018.

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


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

  • reji musso

    worship admin


    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



  • Alicia Herrle

    Sunday school coordinator


    Hello! I was born and raised in the Metro Detroit area and recently lived in Tulsa Oklahoma for five years. My husband Sean and I were married at Hope in 2013 and we have really enjoyed attending again since we moved back. I’ve been lucky to be at home with our two rambunctious boys and two very fat cats for these past couple of years; before that I have a long history of working retail. I enjoy baking and decorating cakes and am big on DIY projects.  I’m excited to be a part of the Hope team!

    Most Embarrassing Moment: When first married, Sean went to the freezer for some ice cream. Upon opening the container of Neapolitan he was surprised to find no trace of chocolate.  I had very strategically carved out every bit from the strawberry and vanilla earlier… But hey, it was delicious. 

    Favorite Bible Verse: Romans 12:9 “Let love be genuine.”

  • Tami salisbury

    food coordinator


    I’m supposed to tell you my life history.  The first thing you should know about me is I love hugs and laughter. 

    I promise to leave out a lot of details as I was born and raised in Northwest Detroit 74 years ago. I went to public schools until it was deemed by my parents to send me to a private girls school, Liggett, with several other girls from our Episcopal Church. My dad hated boys. I always wondered why. LOL. Actually it was great fun and we still celebrate class reunions. 

    My next few years were spent at Eastern Michigan University where I received my Bachelors Degree in Education and Social Science. I taught 3rd grade in Wayne/Westland for four years. I was married in 1966.

    My marriage of 15 years ended leaving me with two beautiful children, Michael and Joy. I will tell you more about them a little later.

    After the divorce and my fathers’ death, I went into the family manufacturing business my father started in 1942. I became president of the company in 1991.  In the spring of 2003, we closed the business as we could no longer compete with foreign competition.

    I never wanted to be the boss again. I just wanted to work for someone else. I was burned out. I decided to follow my creative side and went to work for LazyBoy Galleries in the fall of 2003 where I became assistant manager within 6 months ... so much for not being a boss.

    The next job was at Greenpath as a bankruptcy counselor. I decided to retire when my grandson Mikey was born in 2008. 

    My son Michael is married to wonderful Sandi and has one fabulous son Mickey who is now 11 years old and in Middle school. They live in Sonoma, California.

    Joy (who passed away in March of 2018) gave me four wonderful grandchildren. Laural will be 21 in February and is studying to be a Vet Tech. Kylie and Sean (twins) will graduate high school this June. Kylie is planning on going to the police academy. Sean is going to pursue engineering and Robotics. Nicky (our baby from her second marriage) is 7. It should be noted that Joy's second marriage was to a very special man who adopted her 3 children and truly claims them as his own. What a blessing!

    Sorry, not as short as I hoped. I came to Hope with my Aunt Laura in January 1996. I have been here ever since. Hope is my faith home. I am currently serving as Hope's food coordinator for the second time. It is like giving a party every week. I want to be a "hostess with the mostess" and use my gift of hospitality. I love my job and all the people who help and support my ministry. I am also a Stephens Minister and try to help Donnie with Youth Group on Sunday nights. I love those kids. How lucky can one girl be?

    My most embarrassing moment:  Too many to mention.

    Favorite Bible verse: John 14: 1-2

    Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.

  • danny morris


    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 for 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 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 and 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....."