Pastor Stephen Helwig
Pastor Helwig has been leading our ministries at Gethsemane since 2008. Prior to Gethsemane he served the congregation of Gethsemane Lutheran in Lee's Summit, Missouri (2001-2008). He served on the Nebraska District Mission Board from 2002-2012 and is currently serving as the Nebraska District Vice President (2012-Present). He received his Master of Divinity from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, Wisconsin in 2001 and his Bachelor of Liberal Arts from Northwestern College in Watertown, Wisconsin in 1995.
Pastor Helwig is married to his loving and supportive wife, Carrie. They have been blessed with six children and are now enjoying a new chapter in life as grandparents. In his free time, Pastor Helwig loves spending time with his family - playing board games and watching movies. He loves camping and fishing and he is also an avid sports fan - watching and cheering on his favorite high school, college and professional teams.
His favorite part of being in the ministry is preaching and teaching - sharing a practical and relevant message of God's Word that will not only assure God's people of His love and forgiveness but will also empower and guide them in their lives of faith.
Pastor John Koester
Pastor Koester has been leading our ministries at Gethsemane since 2015. Before coming to Gethsemane he served at Trinity in Temple, Texas from 2006-2014. He also served his vicar year at Fount of Life in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 2004-2005. He received his Master of Divinity from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, Wisconsin in 2006 and his Bachelor of Arts in Preseminary Studies from Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minnesota in 2002.
Pastor Koester has been married to his wife, Liz, since 2005 and they have been blessed with three wonderful kids. In his free time, Pastor Koester enjoys marathon running, triathlons, golfing, hiking, backpacking and camping.
His favorite part of the ministry is teaching, specifically helping someone to understand something they didn't before. He loves being there when someone has that "ligh bulb" moment, especially when it comes to knowing salvation by Christ.
Karen Sloan - Office Secretary
Mrs. Karen Sloan has served in the office administrative support role at Gethsemane on a part-time basis since 1997. Serving the Lord at Gethsemane brings Karen a lot of joy. In addition to her work in the office, she serves as an organist, sings in the choir, serves on the Worship Committee, and assists with altar care. You might also find her at church with a paint brush in her hand, as she is the first to volunteer any time a painting project comes up.
Karen is married to her high school sweetheart, Jeff Sloan. They have been blessed with three children, who are all happily married. When she isn’t at church, Karen enjoys card making, playing pinochle, traveling, volleyball refereeing, and painting. Both she and her husband enjoy spending time with their grandchildren.