We Are Here to Help6 min read

The Michigan District staff is committed to promoting the four-fold outcomes of the Michigan District as developed by the Board of Directors. Healthy workers lead ministries to more excellent health, producing new great commission and compassion initiatives in congregations and their local communities. Here is how the Executive Staff is organized to serve church workers and congregations.

Office of the President

Rev. David Davis represents Synod in connection with ordinations, commissioning, installations, and maintaining the official roster of ordained and commissioned ministers of religion. The president provides ecclesiastical supervision. He visits congregations and church workers within the district and works with Circuit Visitors to promote unanimous participation of congregations in the submission of annual statistical reports. The President’s Office works with congregations in constitution and bylaw proposed alterations, conflict management, pastoral vacancies, and by providing call lists. Mrs. Laurie Brown, Executive Assistant to the President, manages the day-to-day operations of the President’s Office and its staff.

Under the President’s Office, the Sower’s Fund is administered for professional church workers who have various emergency financial needs and have nowhere else to turn.

District Facilitators

Lead Facilitator Rev. Randy Johnson (West Region), along with the three other regional facilitators, Rev. Mark Brandt (North and East Region), Rev. Daniel Meckes (Metro West Region), and Rev. John Greig (Metro East Region) represent the District President. They do this by developing strong and effective working relationships with congregations and pastors; working closely with circuit visitors and pastors for the furthering of mission and ministries; networking congregations together; attending appropriate conferences; and interacting with pastors and other Recognized Service Organizations. The facilitators provide advice and resources such as consulting; demographic studies; strategic planning; and call process assistance. They provide support to congregations as they form dual or tri-parish agreements and cathedral model churches. District Facilitators also coordinate efforts toward new mission starts and mission renewal. They regularly contribute to the District’s online Resource Library for pastoral and congregational needs.

Education and Commissioned Workers

The Superintendent of Schools, Mr. Travis Grulke, and the Education Office work with the 140+ Lutheran schools, early childhood centers, and high schools across the state. Anything that has to do with Lutheran education and the 1,000+ educators and other church workers (non-ordained) serving in our congregations/schools runs through the Education Office.

The Education Office oversees Lutheran schools’ accreditation, board training, regional principal and director meetings, cluster meetings, and provides representation on the Michigan Association of Non-public Schools Board. It is responsible for school statistics, annual reports, and our District State Sport Championships. The Education Office also assists schools and congregations that are experiencing vacancies by providing call lists. Additionally, it coordinates the Hearts for Jesus initiatives, works with Ministry Safe, and assists with the District Youth Gatherings.

Conferences include principal conferences, early childhood directors and teachers’ conferences, school administrator conferences, and the tri-District Connections Conference. The Education Office also supports non-teaching workers through conferences and as they carry out their responsibilities in areas of family life, youth, education, worship arts, and diaconal ministries.

Mission Strategy

The Director of Mission Strategy, Rev. Dr. Todd Jones, in collaboration with key executives and the President’s Office, develops an annual mission strategy and manages the plan. He regularly gathers, compiles, and analyzes data and trends and communicates them to pastors and congregations. Dr. Jones guides the development of new church plants and coordinates the Michigan District Lutheran Ministry Leaders, providing support for great compassion ministries and their leadership. He collaborates with the District Missionaries at Large, ethnic ministries, and the Acts 2 Enterprise programs in Detroit, Benton Harbor, Flint, Pontiac, and Dearborn. In collaboration with the president and business office, Nativity Grants, Mission Grants, Start New and Start New Explorer grants are awarded. Several areas of broader mission reach include the Revive Fest and Campus Ministry. He also works with Communications in promoting and facilitating ministry presence online through the Digital Footprint Initiative.

Leadership Development

Rev. Dr. Robert Kasper serves as Director of Leadership Development for the Michigan District. In this role, he develops and implements a strategic plan to create a “Leadership Pipeline” for the District. The goal is to support and expand the leadership capacity and ministry health of existing workers and to promote the identification and training of more leaders from within our congregations and ministries. Dr. Kasper helps congregations to identify, equip, and deploy “home-grown staff” through alternate routes to ordination (SMP, EIIT, CHS, and colloquy) when required, as well as the training of Deacons and Ministry Assistants through the Michigan School of Missional Formation. He is involved in building relationships with ministry partners at Concordia University System and LCMS Seminaries. Dr. Kasper is engaged with varied District conferences for youth and adults, as well as our professional conferences for church workers. These conferences serve as opportunities to encourage and develop leadership capacity within the Michigan District.

Under Dr. Kasper’s leadership are specialized ministries such as Stewardship education, Commission on Church Worker Care, Community Worship Network, Parish Nurse Ministry, Intentional Interim Ministry, and Clinical Pastoral Education (Chaplaincy support).

Business Office and Human Resources

Vice President of Finance Mr. Chad Woltemath takes care of the day-to-day financial and administrative duties and property management of the District and is also available to guide and assist professional church workers and congregations in their business practices and processes through consultation and resources. Resources for congregations are available in the areas of worker compensation, a treasurer’s manual, tax guidance, and employment resource guides. A Treasurer’s Conference is provided for information sharing and to assist treasurers and financial managers of congregations.

The Business Office also provides event planning by assisting and supporting the various committees who furnish professional development such as workshops and conferences for District members. Some of the services offered are negotiation of hotel and speaker contracts, registration processing, publicity, and equipment needs.


Director of Communications Mrs. Debby Fall has the responsibility of the District’s website, YouTube channel, two podcasts, social media avenues, the blog, and email correspondence. Official publications include a weekly E-newsletter and a printed supplement to The Lutheran Witness, Michigan In Touch. The Communication Team works closely with various committees, commissions, and event planning in publicity, presentations, printed material, photography, and videography. The team is also involved in a wide variety of communication initiatives and projects with the District staff.

Call on us. We are here to help.

Executive staff (L-R): Rev. Randy Johnson, Rev. Dr. Rob Kasper, Rev. Dr. Todd Jones, Mrs. Laurie Brown, Rev. David Davis, Mr. Chad Woltemath, Mrs. Debby Fall, and Mr. Travis Grulke. Photo by Elisa Schulz/Michigan District, LCMS.

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About the Author

This blog was published by the Communications Department of the Michigan District, LCMS.

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David J. McCarty - May 30, 2023

Thank you to the President and District staff for all you do for the Pastors and congregations of the Michigan District. You are truly a blessing and support for those you are serving. God bless you, your families, and your ministry.