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The Rev. Dr. Mark E. Gehrke, was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as a Green Bay Packer football fan. He was baptized at Holy Cross Lutheran Church inMenomenee Falls, WI. Pastor Gehrke attended Wauwatosa West High School, Waldorf Junior College in Forest City, Iowa, Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where he majored in drama and religion. During the college years he worked for five summers as a lifeguard for the Milwaukee County pool system. It was while life guarding that Pastor Gehrke met his wife, Vicki. He and his wife have three boys, Jason, Jonathan, and Benjamin.
Pastor Gehrke was confirmed and ordained at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Milwaukee, WI. Following college, Pastor Gehrke attended Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. He interned at Miller’s Lutheran Church in Hickory, North Carolina, and earned his Masters of Divinity in 1984.
Pastor Gehrke has served the following congregations: First Lutheran and Gustav Adolphus Lutheran Churches, a two-point parish in Middle River, Minnesota (1985-1989). First Lutheran Church, Janesville, Wisconsin, as an associate pastor (1989-1992). Calvary Lutheran Church, in Beloit, Wisconsin (1992-1995). In November of 1995, Pastor Gehrke accepted the call as Senior Pastor to Faith Lutheran Church, Moline, Illinois.
Pastor Gehrke has served the church through the following activities: as a youth on a national youth board, as an adult on a youth board (1990-94), and other church committees.
Educational opportunities and service: During internship and seminary he served as a chaplain in North Carolina and at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. He did one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at St. Luke’s Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on the Neurological Intensive Care and Heart Units. Following seminary, he did a three-week study tour of the Middle East through the seminary. He has completed Lab 1 & 2 in Calling and Caring Ministries. He has attended numerous seminars and church growth clinics. He’s been on community boards, participated in Via de Cristo in 1997. Pastor Mark finished his Doctorate of Ministry in Pastoral Ministries through Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, IL in June, 2000. He has made three trips to Tanzania to meet with our companion congregation, the Engarenarok Parish (a painting of that relationship hangs in our entry way).
Other things that make Pastor Gehrke who he is are: spending time with his family, going to his sons’ sporting events, and camping. Some of his hobbies include Racing pigeons. hunting, woodworking, drama, photography, computers, sports, and sailing. Sailing is truly a love of his, as he and his father (a retired carpenter) built a 16′ sailboat together. Pastor Gehrke is also bare boat charter certified. Dog training has been a passion for him over the years, as well as starting a dove release business Heavenly Heights, releasing white doves for weddings, funerals, and special occasions (2007).
Service outside congregation includes the following:
Nine years as a Trustee on Trinity’s Hospital Board
Eight year member on the Robert Young Board
Staff for Leadership Lab, eight years
NTHI Night to Honor Israel Board Member since 2010
Pheasants Forever Board member since 2009, also served as Youth Chair
Rev. Tim Balfanz was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, as a Minnesota Viking fan. He attended White Bear Lake High School, Minnesota State UniversityMoorhead in Moorhead, MN, where he majored in exercise science and minored in communications.
After college, Pastor Tim became a personal trainer. He married his wife, Grace, on November 21, 2009. Pastor Tim began seminary in 2008 at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN. and he earned his Masters of Divinity in 2013. Pastor Tim’s first call is to Faith Lutheran Church in Moline, IL in June of 2013 as an associate pastor in youth and family ministries.
Pastor Tim and Grace have a beautiful daughter, Anya. Some of the other things he enjoys doing include spending time with his family, watching/playing sports, and camping/backpacking. Some of his hobbies are reading (especially books on history, theological, leadership), and watching movies. His biggest passions are growing in his faith and sharing Jesus Christ with others.
The Parish Nurse at Faith Lutheran Church is Barbara Marlin, RN.Barbara obtained her RN degree through Black Hawk College in 1992. She worked in the Mother /Baby department at Trinity Medical Center until coming to Faith in January 2004.Prior to that, she obtained her Nurses Assistant Certificate in 1981 and taught prenatal classes for nearly seven years in local hospitals.
Barbara married her husband Ted in September 1981.They have two children and six grandchildren. enjoys getting to know the people of Faith and being a resource for related questions and programs. Parish Nursing is much different than “hospital” nursing in that the scope of her practice is not just on the physical but the spiritual aspects as well. In her role as the parish nurse she makes home visits, hospital visits, and nursing home visits. In addition, blood pressure checks are available most Sunday mornings and during the week. Barbara also oversees other ministries in the church and coordinates events for senior fellowship, Foot clinics, Blood Drives, Prayer Shawl Ministry, and other programs as needed. One of her passions is small group bible studies and seeing people’s lives changed through them.
Our administrative assistant has been a member of Faith since 1982. She has grown up as a Faith Family member involved in many ministries in the church. She is happy to be able to serve in what ever way needed. Do not hesitate to contact her. If she doesn’t have the answer she will find out who does. She is married to her high school sweetheart Mike and they are blessed with their daughter Kari.
Dawn Johnson is one of our more seasoned staff members. She started in June of 1997 as the Director of the Faithfull, our contemporary band and she is also the director of The Voices of Faith, our church choir.
Dawn is the mother of two, Brandon and Justin and she is a full-time school teacher. She is married to a member of the Faith family, Mark Johnson.
Dana Calhoun has been Faith’s organist and pianist since 2006. He is married to Kimberly Calhoun and together they have two children, Kathryn and Sera.
Financial Secretary: Shirley Forret
Shirley Forret is the Financial Secretary at Faith Lutheran Church. In this position, she is responsible for recording all monetary and “in kind” giving by the congregation and for issuing quarterly giving statements. Shirley truly has a servant’s heart, you will see her all over the church cleaning, organizing, singing, and weeding.
Nursery Coordinators: Ginger Smith
Ginger is the Nursery Coordinator here at Faith. She focuses on showing God’s love to our smallest children of God and ensure their safety. Allowing their parents to further develop their walk with Christ during Sunday services, special services, small groups, classes, and/or events.
Information Technology Specialist: Mike Timler
Mike has served Faith LCMC very faithfully in the area of tech ministries. He is married to Kristen and they have two children.
Social Media Coordinator – Vacant
The Literacy Connection (TLC our tutoring program)
TLC Director: Abby Benavidez