Welcome New Pastors!
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.
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!
Pastor Rita Augsburger
First Lutheran Church
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.
Pastor Melissa Ann Waterman
Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, De Soto, IL and
First Lutheran Church, Murphysboro, IL
Ordination: July 10, 2004
Installation Date: August 28, 2016
Melissa was born in Peoria, IL. She earned a B.S. degree (in Elementary Education) from Bradley University, Peoria, IL and an M.Div. degree from Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, IA.
Prior to accepting the call to serve as the pastor at Mt. Calvary, De Soto and First, Murphysboro, she served as the associate pastor at Zion Lutheran Church, Waterloo, IA and as the interim pastor at Faith Lutheran Church, Cuba City, WI.
Melissa writes: “I am an Illinois native, born and raised in Bartonville, IL. I am married to Paul, who is also ordained, and we have three children: Sophia, Anna, and Gabriel. I stay very busy with my family. I’m excited about coming back to Illinois and look forward to serving the amazing people in De Soto and Murphysboro.”
Pastor Paul Waterman
Epiphany Lutheran Church, Carbondale, IL
Ordination: July 9, 2016
Installation Date: August 28, 2016
Paul was born in Manchester, IA. He earned a B.A. (in Elementary Education) and an M.A. degree (in Post-Secondary Education: Student Affairs) from the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA. He received his M.Div. degree from Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, IA.
He was ordained into the ministry of Word and Sacrament on July 9, 2016 and the call to serve as the pastor of Epiphany Lutheran Church, Carbondale, IL is his first. Prior to his ordination, he served in post-secondary education student affairs at the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA and at Texas Lutheran University, Seguin, TX.
He is married to Melissa, who is also ordained. They have three children: Sophia, Anna, and Gabriel.