Meet our entire staff at Lutheran Church of the Redeemer.
Learn more about each person or give them a call – click on their picture or the globe.
Contact them via email – click on the envelope.
Rev. Randall Schlak
Reverend Randall Schlak was born in Cleveland Ohio to Ron and Gerry Schlak. As a youth, he attended Lutheran elementary and high schools, then earned a college degree at Concordia College in Ann Arbor. There he met his wife Andrea. They were married after graduation in 1986, in her hometown of Richmond Michigan. Randy then pursued his seminary studies at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and was ordained in June of 1990 at his home church in South Euclid, Ohio. He was then called to Saint John’s Lutheran Church in Mattoon Illinois, where he was installed as assistant pastor in July 1990. In 1994 he accepted the call to be senior pastor there. He remained in Mattoon until the Lord called him to Redeemer where he was installed as assistant pastor in 1998. In 2001, he accepted the call as senior pastor at Lutheran Church of the Redeemer. Pastor Randy and Andrea have three children, Megan, Stephanie and Jacob. Pastor Randy can be reached at 248.644.4040 x119
Vicar Jim Greenwalt
Jim Greenwalt is working on his Vicarage here at Redeemer through the Vicarage SMP program. Jim is a lifelong member who was baptized, confirmed and married here. Most of you know him through his work over the last 15 years in the music ministry. Yes, he’s our Tuba player. After many years of prayer and reflection with his family, Beth, Maggie and Reagan, Jim is entering the SMP (Specific Ministry Program) to begin his studies for the Holy Ministry. The SMP is a unique program that is a partnership of the Seminary, the District, the student (Jim), his mentor (Pastor Randy), and the congregation (You). It was started in 2007 and consists of 16 courses over 4 years. These courses are taken on-line, 2 hour online live classrooms and on campus intensives. The Student is allowed to take classes while simultaneously serving as a Vicar. At the successful completion of 9 courses (2 years) the student is Ordained. His “first call” will be to the congregation who “sponsored him”. There is then an additional 7 courses that have to be taken (2 years) to complete the program. There are some restrictions for an SMP Pastor. Because they have not received the full academic program as an M-DIV would, they cannot take a call to another church or serve as Senior Pastor. It is Jim’s intention to continue his studies for the full General Pastor. Vicar Jim can be reached at 248.644.4010 x117
Rev. Ron Farah
Ron is a 1963 graduate of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri. He has served parishes in Minnesota and Michigan. In 1975 he earned an M.A. degree in Psychology – with a major in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Detroit and worked as a Marriage and Family Therapist for many years. In 2001, he began a 5 ½ year term of service as the assistant to the President of the English District of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. Ron has been married to Talitha Ann (Scherer) since 1962. They have been blessed with five children, eight grandchildren, and a great-grandchild.
OUR MINISTRY STAFF
in alpha order
Director of Children's Ministry
Nicole’s family joined Redeemer while she was attending Westmaple Preschool. They fell in love with the church and have been here ever since! Nicole joined the staff in 2015. Nicole has a love for children which makes Children’s Ministry such a great position. To see children learning and getting excited about their faith is such a blessing. Nicole runs our Sunday School program and Moms Day Out during the school year. During the summer, she is busy with Vacation Bible School and Scampers (preschool camps). Nicole is married to Aaron and they have three growing children Lauren, Tyler and Joshua. She loves to craft and spend time with friends and family and participating in activities at church. Nicole Olds may be reached at 248-644-4010 x124.
Director of Men's and Senior Ministries
Gary and Pam Priskorn came to Redeemer from Trinity Lutheran Church/School in Traverse City in July of 2000 when Gary accepted a Divine Call extended by Redeemer to serve as Minister of Discipleship. He later assumed the role of Minister of Family Life which included various teaching roles, confirmation administration and instruction, and oversight of men’s and senior’s ministries. In the summer of 2012, Gary moved into “semi-retirement” which involves providing leadership in men’s and senior/Prime Timers’ ministries. Gary’s passion in ministry continues to be teaching and establishing and nurturing relationships with people. Gary and Pam have been blessed with two sons who are married and live in the area. Gary’s hobbies include gardening/yard work, woodworking and staying busy with “projects” of various kinds. His greatest joys in ministry at Redeemer are interacting and growing together with the people and being privileged to be part of a wonderful team ministry. Gary Priskorn may be reached at 248-644-4010 x123.
Director of High School
Gia was raised in the Redeemer family and learned the importance of faith in Sunday School, VBS, Children’s Choir, Confirmation, Christmas pageants, and Redeemer Summer Kamp. She graduated from Westmaple Preschool, Quarton Elementary, Derby Middle, and Seaholm High School. After graduating from Michigan State in 2014, Gia moved home and began volunteering as a Youth Group mentor. Since then she has been blessed with the great friendships of the other RYG mentors, and has served on several mission trips in Jamaica and Mexico. She became director of High School Ministry in 2018. Her upbringing in the Birmingham Public Schools and at Redeemer allows her to relate to the students and support them in the difficult journey of teenage discipleship. She feels blessed to watch the students challenge their faith in mission work, Bible studies, and in service to one another. The Redeemer family continues through the commitment of truly faithful teens! Gia may be reached at 248.644.4010 ext. 120.
Director of Music Ministry
Steve came on board as our music director in the fall of 2009. He has four children, Emily, Benji, Brady and Meara, and sings with his wife Amy in Redeemer Praise (our praise team) on a regular basis. Steve and his family live in Canton. Steve holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Wayne State University and a Masters in Music Composition from Oakland University. Steve has been assistant director of internationally acclaimed Wayne State Men’s Glee Club as well as the University’s Chamber Singers, Meadowbrook Estate Show Choir of Oakland University, and the Langsford Singers of Detroit. He currently directs the 70-voice Langsford Men’s Chorus, in part, to honor his mentor, the late Dr. Harry M. Langsford. That group rehearses right here at Redeemer on Sunday nights. The fall of 2017 also marks the beginning of Steve’s 28th year as Director of the Farmington Community Chorus. Steve studied jazz voice with April Arabian-Tini, composition with Stanley Hollingsworth, conducting with Brazeal Dennard, jazz piano with Matt Michaels, and jazz theory with Phil Mattson. He is a published arranger and has been commissioned several times to compose or arrange songs for area choirs. He is also called upon to lead music workshops with choirs in and out of Michigan. Steve is grateful to God for his church home at Redeemer! Steve SeGraves may be reached at 248-644-4010 x129.
Director of Women's Ministry
Redeemer has been her home for more than 40 years. She and her husband were married here, brought their sons up in the congregation, and then she took a job at Westmaple Nursery school without knowing it would be the job of a lifetime. Shortly after, Kitty (also know as Miss Kitty) was offered a volunteer position in Children’s Ministry, then a staff position and finally, full-time work for the church. To say that she have been enriched by all of this is an understatement. Miss Kitty can’t imagine spending my time anywhere else. Her current position is Director of Women’s Ministry, with some other wonderfully odd jobs thrown in. She is passionate about all ministry that cares for and loves those in and out of the Body of Christ. She is blessed to have many friends, loving family, three grandchildren and a husband whose patience has been tested while married to a church worker. When not at work in the preschool or at Redeemer, she loves spending time with friends and family at their cottage. She loves the water, kayaking, woodsy walks, night skies, reading, games, writing, and challenging herself to learn more about everything. Miss Kitty can be reached at 248-644-4010 x111.
Director of Family Life, Middle School, Outreach, & Confirmation
Laura has been at Redeemer her whole life. She was baptized in the Sanctuary on Valentine’s Day 1988, and has been highly involved ever since! She grew up at Redeemer through Westmaple, Sunday School, Confirmation, and Youth Group. Laura’s parents taught her the value of Christian fellowship, worship, and stewardship, and made faith a priority in her life through Family Life events and volunteering around the church with various tasks. After graduating from Hope College in 2009, she came home and volunteered with Youth Ministry events, and was eventually asked to co-direct Youth Ministry in 2012 as a part-time position. In 2017, Laura became a full-time staff member. She feels very blessed to be a part of Redeemer and enjoys working with congregation members of all ages. Laura is passionate about teaching others about God’s grace and love, and she strives to continue to learn how to be a better disciple of Christ, and to live a life serving Him. Laura Vowell may be reached at 248-644-4010 x121.
Assistant Director of High School
Eric grew up in Birmingham and Traverse City. He was fortunate to have been part of the youth group throughout high school. Eric graduated from Seaholm High School in 2007. He went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Tulane University in New Orleans and a Juris Doctor from Wayne State University. After being positively impacted by the youth group as a high school student, Eric is happy to be able to serve as Assistant Director for High School Youth Ministry. Prior to being on staff, he volunteered for several years as a mentor for the youth group, mission trips, and middle school ministry. His favorite aspect of working at Redeemer has been being able to help students survive the difficult stage of adolescence while also helping them solidify their faith. Eric stays busy working as a mortgage underwriter and volunteering for a tax-preparation non-profit and for the local courthouse. Eric may be reached at 248-644-4010 x120.
OUR OFFICE STAFF
Rose and her family joined Redeemer as members of the congregation in 1992. It has been the place they call their second home. Since the beginning, Rose has been very involved in the Children’s and Women’s ministry programs as an avid volunteer. It wasn’t until 2011 when she officially joined Redeemer’s staff. Her passion of helping people and her creativity has made the Redeemer office the perfect fit. Currently she is the office manager and oversees all activities that go through Redeemer’s busy office. What she likes most about working in the church office is that everyday is something new, whether its meeting a new face or learning a new computer trick. But most of all she is reminded of the awesomeness of her Lord and Savior daily. Redeemer is truly a blessing. Rose has been married to her husband David for 30 years and shares three grown children, Jordan, Jacob and Julia. She loves spending time at their second home on the lake in Northern Michigan and taking trips to visit her out of state children. Rose Kiehle can be reached at 248.644.4010 x116.
Therese is the newest member of our office staff and was introduced to Redeemer through Westmaple Nursery School. Her four children, Brady, Logan, Aidan and Abby all went to Westmaple. Her extended family, and many close friends, are active members here at Redeemer. She enjoys being part of a small group of Redeemer women and her kids love attending all the amazing Family Life events and the incredible VBS program each summer! Although Therese and her family are active members at Prince of Peace Catholic Church in West Bloomfield, they consider Redeemer a second church home. She enjoys getting to know all the amazing people that come through the doors of Redeemer and is happy to help with anything that anyone may need! Therese loves all the design work she gets to do in the office; a huge departure from her background in Elementary Education, but a fun skill she has learned and is constantly working to improve! She is a die-hard Michigan fan due to her time spent there as a Varsity Women’s Soccer Player and because that is where she met and fell in love with her husband A.J. Scheidt. When she is not at work she loves to do active things with her family, read a good book, exercise, play board games, and cheer on her kids at all their sporting events. She loves to travel and explore new places; but some of her favorite spots to go include her hometown of Chicago, up North Michigan, and to visit her siblings and nieces and nephews. Therese Scheidt may be reached at 248-644-4010 x114.
Professional Staff/Office Liaison
Although Pam has been an official member of Redeemer’s family since 1993, she has known about Redeemer since she was a kid. She attended many Redeemer functions with her childhood friend and her family since the age of 13. She went to Redeemer Summer Kamp as a participant and had a blast! Pam became part of Redeemer’s staff in 2011. She loves working in the church office and helping with whatever questions anyone may have. Pam coordinates the church calendar and Redeemer’s prayer ministry. She is also the volunteer coordinator and helps members be aware of and get more involved in the churches day to day activities and events. She loves her job because she enjoys helping people and leading them closer to Christ. Pam is married and has 4 children. She loves to travel, hang out with family and friends, growing her skin care/cosmetic business, exercise, read, and learn more about nutrition. Pam Tyndall may be reached at 248-644-4010 x118.
Laura recently joined the office staff but her kids have enjoyed many years at Redeemer through the VBS program, Kamp Redeemer and Youth group nights. She has a background in accounting which allowed for a seamless transition into the position at Redeemer. She feels everyone at Redeemer is welcoming and upbeat. You will find her working on the financials, members donations, and payroll. Laura currently attends Our Shepherd Lutheran Church with her husband Dave and her two children Ezra and Ziva. As a family, they enjoy traveling to National Parks, camping with friends and spending time on Lake Michigan. On a quiet day she enjoys sneaking away with a book or going on a bike ride. Laura may be reached at 248-644-4010 x110.
OUR COUNSELING MINISTRY
to make an appointment – 248-568-6040
Sandy Pourcho, Ph.D
Director of Counseling Ministry
Dr. Pourcho has been a therapist for nearly 20 years. Her clinical experience infused with Biblical knowledge has proven to be most beneficial to her clients. The added benefit of using EMDR to help clients with a traumatic or abusive events also has proven to be a valuable part of Dr. Pourcho’s counseling practice. For an appointment call 248-568-6040
Anna Lewis, LMSW
Mrs. Lewis has been a therapist for over 20 years. She loves to help people develop greater self awareness, which includes understanding one’s thoughts, feelings and behavior. This, along with knowing one’s identity in Christ, brings greater emotional freedom in life. Counseling Brochure For an appointment with Mrs. Lewis, call 248-224-0383.
WESTMAPLE NURSERY SCHOOL
Director of Westmaple Nursery School
Patricia and her family joined Redeemer in 1988. At the time the family consisted of her husband, Mike and 3 children, Adam, Katie and Mike Jr. One year later Stephanie was born and baptized at Redeemer. Her Redeemer family has been her home away from home. The programs offered here helped them grow their children into the godly, moral, still church-going young adults they are today. From Sunday school to confirmation to Redeemer’s Youth programs, their children have been supported and pointed in the right direction: JESUS. Nearly from the beginning of their membership her husband, Mike, became (and still is) an usher. He has been an Elder for the past 20 years as well as past Congregational President. Patty has served as a Sunday School teacher, Bible Study leader, VBS volunteer and 5th grade teacher. She is currently on Leadership Team having served for YEARS. Prior to having children she was a high school teacher who received her Master’s in Counseling and training as a “Play Therapist”. Little did she know then how the Lord would lead her to take on the Directorship of Westmaple Nursery School in 2007. It has been her joy to serve the parents and children of the school where Jesus is the anchor and to work in the place she loves with the people she loves! Patty can be reached at her direct phone line – 248.646.5155
Staff photo credits to Andy Tafel.