Welcome New Pastors!

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Pastor Cynthia M. Munker

Mt. Zion Lutheran Church, Litchfield
Trinity Lutheran Church, Litchfield
Installation Date:  July 23, 2017

Pastor Cynthia was born and raised in a northeast waterfront suburb of Detroit, MI. She received a BS in Special Education from Wayne State University and attended George Washington University for one year, studying child development before earning her M.Div. from Lutheran Theological School at Gettysburg in 1996. She met her husband Stefan in seminary while finishing seminary at the Lutheran House of Studies in Washington, DC. Cynthia served first as solo pastor, and then as intentional interim for 20 years in Metro Chicago Synod before accepting her calls to Trinity and Mt Zion in Litchfield. She and her husband enjoy traveling and discovering new places to visit. They have a cat named Amber who believes she is a person with fur.


Pastor Adam Connolly

St. John’s Lutheran Church, Springfield
Ordination Date:  July 9, 2017
Installation Date:  September 2, 2017

Adam was born and raised in the Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN area. He received a B.A. degree in Political Science from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities Campus in 2012. This past May, he received his M. Div. from Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN, with a concentration in Children, Youth and Family Ministries.

While in seminary, Adam worked in his home congregation, Peace Lutheran Church, Coon Rapids, MN as the youth director and church organist. He completed his Internship at Trinity Lutheran Church, in Sleepy Eye, MN and was ordained at his home congregation on July 9, 2017. He looks forward to the many possibilities the Springfield area has for ministry and discovering how the church can continue to spread the Gospel and reconnect with those who have left the church.

In his spare time, Adam likes following college sports, especially the Minnesota Golden Gophers and likes to golf. He looks forward to learning about and exploring the many different things thearea has to offer.


Pastor Stefan A. Munker

St. Paul Lutheran Church, Hillsboro, IL
Installation Date:  June 18, 2017

Stefan was born in Fürth, Germany. He studied at the Augustana Hochschule, Neuendettelsau, the Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich and Friedrich Alexander University, Erlangen (all in Germany). He received a M.A.R. degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary, Gettysburg, PA in 1996; and received his M. Div. degree from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago in 2003.  

He was ordained into the ministry of Word and Sacrament after receiving a call to serve as associate pastor to Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Burbank, IL. He served as the pastor at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, Mt. Prospect, IL (2010-2017), until he accepted a call to serve at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Hillsboro, IL.

Stefan was born and raised in the city of Fürth in Southern Germany. He was baptized at St. Peter and Paul Lutheran Church, Poppenreuth, where he was also confirmed. He began his theological education in Germany and participated in an exchange program with the Lutheran Theological Seminary, Gettysburg, PA. He met his wife, Cindy, as seminary students in Washington, D.C. Cindy grew up in the Detroit suburb of Saint Clair Shores, MI. As a trained interim pastor, Cindy has served congregations in the Chicago area. She has accepted a call to serve as the pastor of Mt. Zion and Trinity Lutheran Churches in Litchfield, IL.

Stefan is excited to share his pastoral passions in the areas of worship, teaching, discipleship, evangelism, and social ministry. In his spare time, he enjoys music, nature walks, gardening, science fiction, photography, bicycling, golf, going to concerts and plays, visiting museums, and traveling with his wife. The Munkers have a cat named Amber.

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 Pastor Linda Strader

Three Saints Parish
 ¨ St. Mark Lutheran Church, Chillicothe
 ¨ St. John Lutheran Church, Lacon
 ¨ St. Timothy Lutheran Church, Wyoming
 Ordination date:  February 10, 2017
 Installation Date:  March 12, 2017

      I was born in Mendota, IL. I received a B.S. degree in Special Education from Illinois State University, Normal, IL; a M.A. in counseling degree from Sangamon State University, Springfield, IL; and a M. Div. degree from Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN.   Prior to entering seminary, I was a teacher of the blind and visually impaired and a school counselor. I also served part-time as the Director of Youth & Family Ministries at Faith Lutheran Church, Jacksonville, IL.

      My husband, Jim, and I formed a blended family in 1996 and together we have raised our four children. We are now empty nesters. I loved serving a multi-point parish during my internship and I am both excited and grateful to have been called to share ministry with the saints from Three Saints!

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Pastor Rita Augsburger

First Lutheran Church
Decatur, Illinois
Install Date:  January 15, 2017

Rita was born and raised in St. Paul MN.  She received a B.S. degree in Physical Education and Coaching from St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN.  She received her M. Div. from Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, IA.

Prior to coming to First, Decatur, she served as the pastor at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Buffalo Lake, MN.  Prior to ordination, her work experience included serving as a teacher; church and hospital work; and being a Girl Scout Professional.

She is a widow, the mother of four, and soon to be Grandma.  She looks forward to her ministry at First, Decatur.