lucaswoodfordcircleAsset 7.png


Rev. Dr. Lucas V. Woodford
Phone: 952-223-2165

Read President Woodford's bio

President Woodford is a graduate of Concordia University, St. Paul and Concordia Seminary, St. Louis (M.Div. and S.T.M., 2003). His first call was to First Immanuel Lutheran Church in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, and he also served as Senior Pastor of Zion Lutheran Church and School, Mayer, Minnesota (2005 – 2018). He holds the D.Min. in Christian Outreach from Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne (2011). His project dissertation was published as Great Commission, Great Confusion, or Great Confession? (Wipf & Stock, 2012). He is the author of several articles that have appeared in Lutheran Witness and LOGIA. He has served the Minnesota South District as circuit counselor, member of the Board of Directors, Second Vice President, and was elected President in June of 2018. He is a member of the Board of Regents of Concordia University, St. Paul. He is a frequently invited conference speaker and has served as presenter at DOXOLOGY Spotlight/Insight Conferences.

Pastor Lucas and his wife, Rebecca, are parents of Bella (2003), Thaddeus (2007), Aletheia (2009), Klaci (2012), Soteria (2014) and Titus (2017). He enjoys reading, writing, hunting, fishing, and spending time with his family.

Bob SchulzecircleAsset 21.png

Executive Assistant to the President

Rev. Bob Schulze
Phone: 952-223-2154

Read Pastor Schulze's bio

Bob Schulze serves as Executive Assistant to the President in the Minnesota South District of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod. In this position he assists the President in his administrative responsibilities, and provides counsel and guidance to congregations and church staff in times of transition, conflict or crisis. His duties include the orientation of new workers in the District, in particular new pastors in their first years of ministry.

Bob graduated from Concordia, St. Paul in 1971, and from Concordia Theological Seminary, Springfield in 1975. He served for seventeen years in British Columbia, Canada leading congregations in Campbell River and Abbotsford. In Minnesota he served congregations in Bloomington, Worthington and Lakeville.

Bob and his wife Beth have four adult children - Jennifer, Kristen, Heather and Ben, and eight grandchildren.

William UtechcircleAsset 28.png

Assistant to the President: Missions

Rev. Dr. William Utech
Phone: 952-223-2151

Read Pastor Utech's bio

William Utech is Assistant to the District President for Missions in the Minnesota South District of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. In this position he works with pastors and congregations to plant new churches and begin new Gospel ministries that will introduce un-churched people to the person and work of Jesus. He encourages and promotes creative and new approaches to evangelism and outreach, and he facilitates the assessment and training of future church planters.

He comes to this position after serving as Associate Professor of Practical Theology and Director of Resident Field Education at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis for 17 years. Before that he served as pastor of Holy Emmanuel in Bloomington, Minn.

Dr. Utech has also served as a member of: the Board of Trustees of the Lutheran Haven Retirement Center of Oviedo, Florida; the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s Commission on Worship; and the Board of Directors of Grace Place Lutheran Wellness Ministries.

He and his wife Lori have two daughters—Annmarie and Claire.

Phil JohnsoncircleAsset 31.png

Assistant to the President: Congregation Mission Formation

Dr. Phillip Johnson
Phone: 952-223-2161

Read Dr. Johnson's bio

Phil Johnson serves as Assistant to the District President for Congregation Mission Formation in the Minnesota South District of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. In this position he assists pastors and congregations to develop intentional, purposeful engagement in ministry beyond their current membership by facilitating training and developing resources that contribute to a long-term process of mission formation and outreach leadership development.

Phil graduated from Concordia, St. Paul in 1982 as the second graduate of the newly formed Director of Evangelism program. He served for 20 years at Christ Lutheran in Lincoln, NE and Peace Lutheran in Arvada, CO as a Director of Christian Outreach. Prior to his current position he served for 12 years as an instructor at Concordia University, St. Paul and the coordinator of the Director of Christian Outreach program.

Phil and his wife Sandy have four adult children (Sarah, Andrew, Benjamin, Philip) and four grandchildren. In his leisure time Phil enjoys golfing, fishing, hunting, and spending time with family.

Fred HinzcircleAsset 34.png

Public Policy Advocate

Rev. Fredric Hinz
Phone: 507-317-9634

Read Pastor Hinz's bio

Fredric Hinz currently serves as the Public Policy Advocate for both Minnesota North and South Districts of the LCMS. As such, he represents the LCMS in matters pertaining to the life issues (abortion and doctor-assisted Suicide), issues related to marriage family and sexuality and issues related to religious freedom, including parental choice in education. A graduate of Trinity Lutheran School (Waconia), Mayer Lutheran High School, Concordia Seward, Chicago State University, and Luther Northwestern Seminary, Fred has taught biological science on both high school and college levels, owned and operated retail shoe stores, and served as a parish pastor in St. James, MN, and Gaylord, MN. In addition to active engagement in the public policy matters of the Synod, Fred also advocates for the advancement of Intelligent Design theory. He and his wife, Rachel, have been married for 40 years, and together they have three married children who have so far given them ten grandchildren. They reside in Gaylord, MN.

Sean MartenscircleAsset 35.png

Assistant to the President for Education & Commissioned Ministers

Sean Martens
Phone: 952-223-2152

Read Sean's bio

Sean Martens serves as Assistant to the President for Education and Commissioned Ministers. In this role, he is tasked with providing consulting services and assistance to the schools, administrators, and teachers of the district. Martens has also served as principal at Trinity Lone Oak in Eagan, teacher and interim principal at St. John Lutheran Church, Seward Nebraska, assistant football coach at Concordia University, Seward, Nebraska, and teacher/coach at Faith Lutheran, Las Vegas, Nevada. One of his passions is coaching and he currently is an assistant football coach at Apple Valley High School.

Sean is married to Brenda. They have four children—Devin, Zachary, Madeline, and Luke.

Kai LarsoncircleAsset 14.png

Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) District Vice President

Kai Larson
Phone: 952-223-2163

Read Kai's bio

Kai began his work with LCEF and the District in March 2017. Kai comes to LCEF with a communications degree from Minnesota State University and has worked in various roles in sales, banking and management for the past 14 years in Minnesota and most recently with New York Life.

Kai and his wife Kimberly have been married for 5 ½ years and have one child, Paige (4). Kai and his family are current members of Beautiful Savior, Plymouth, MN. His Dad was an LCMS pastor who has served in a variety of roles and districts in the upper-Midwest. Kai knows the LCMS culture, has a strong banking background and looks forwards to building relationships with congregations, pastors and leaders.

Rick MarkocirclAsset 30.png

Treasurer & Business Manager

Rick Marko
Phone: 952-223-2160

Read Rick's Bio

Rick has served as the Treasurer and Business Manager for the District since May 2014. He is a graduate from the University of Minnesota, with a degree in accounting. He is also a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Internal Auditor. Prior to working at the District office, Rick held various accounting and auditing positions with public and private organizations, including Control Data, NRG Energy, RSM McGladrey, Digital River, and St. Paul Public Schools.

Rick and his wife, Jill, have been married for 17 years and have two children, Josh (wife Brianna and new grandson Carter) and Kelsey. Outside of the office, he enjoys golfing, walking, bike riding, and working on projects around the house.

Matt SteinercircleAsset 26.png

Gift Planning Counselor

Matthew Steiner
Phone: 952-223-2155 or 651-641-8243

Debra ConnollycircleAsset 29.png

Administrative Assistant for President Woodford and Rev. Schulze

Debra Connolly
Phone: 952-223-2158

Read Deb's Bio

Deb serves the District as an administrative assistant, a role she's enjoyed since her first days at the office in January of 2007. Most of her time has been spent working with the District president and his assistant. She also enjoyed a short time serving in missions and mission formation. Deb attended Concordia University, St. Paul, back in the early 1970s, when it was a college. She completed the work for a degree in organizational management and communications in 2006.

Deb married her college sweetheart, Bruce, in 1976, then stayed home to raise five very wonderful and diverse children, which was and is the best job ever! She and Bruce are blessed to also have nine grandchildren. In her free time, Deb enjoys reading, gardening, and watching family members in sports, music, and drama events. God has been very good to her, and she loves walkin' with Jesus every day!

Julie BiglercircleAsset 23.png


Julie Bigler
Phone: 952-223-2159

Read Julie's Bio

Julie serves the District working with accounts payable and donors. She attended Minnesota State University, Mankato, and has worked here at the District since 1995. She previously worked as an administrative assistant in the aerospace and legal fields.

Julie is married to Bruce. They have two grown children and recently experienced the joy of their first grandchild. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her kids, granddaughter, and dog as well as reading, designing and creating jewelry, playing piano, and learning new things about our interesting world.

Kelly LamkincircleAsset 24.png

Administrator for 604.20 Background Checks

Kelly Lamkin
Phone: 952-223-2157

Sarabeth MarcellocircleAsset 27.png

Communications Manager & Commissioned Workers Assistant

Sarabeth Marcello
Phone: 952-223-2156

Read Sarabeth's bio

Sarabeth serves as communications manager and commissioned workers assistant. She tells the stories of the congregations, workers, and members of the District through online and print media. She also assists commissioned workers with rostering paperwork and serves as a support to the Assistant to the President for Education and Commissioned Ministers.

Sarabeth is a 2016 graduate of University of Northwestern--St. Paul with a degree in English and Bible. She was part of the 2017-18 Lutheran Young Adult Corps group placed in Boston. She is a member at Golden Valley Lutheran Church. In her free time, she bakes, dances, reads, and gets lost on bike rides.

Debbie Borchardt circle.jpg

Office Administrative Assistant

Debbie Borchardt
Phone: 952-223-2162

Read Debbie's bio

Debbie serves as the general office administrative assistant and receptionist. She supplements the work of the other administrative assistants in the office. Debbie is a graduate of Concordia University, St. Paul, with a degree in business administration. She has previously worked in the fine arts industry, publishing and licensing art images, and settlement administration.

Debbie lives with her husband, Bruce, on a farm just outside of Prior Lake. There have been sightings of her on a tractor, but only during desperate times! She and Bruce have two adult sons (Isaiah and Samuel) and enjoy camping, biking, hiking, and kayaking. They are members at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Prior Lake.





Archivist Emeritus

Dr. Glenn W. Offermann
Phone: 651-631-2637

The District Archives contain records, materials, and documents relating to the life and work of our congregations and the Minnesota South District through the years. The Archives contain congregational histories, congregational files, the papers of former District Presidents and other church workers, among other materials. Please consult Dr. Glenn W. Offermann, the District Archivist, for help in using the resources of the District Archives. He may be reached at 1371 W. Burke Avenue in Roseville, Minnesota 55113.