Our Staff - Faith Lutheran Church, Pierre, SD

Our Staff

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Meet our Staff

Rev. Dr. Cory J. Rajek, Senior Pastor

Originally from Merrill, WI, Cory J. Rajek is a graduate of Concordia University Wisconsin, with a B.A. degree in Pastoral Ministry and Theological Languages. In 1997, Cory continued his studies at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO. Cory was installed as the vicar of Faith Ev. Lutheran Church in Pierre, SD in 1999. After serving a year in South Dakota, Cory returned to Concordia Seminary to finish his studies. While in his last year of seminary, Cory met his future wife, Jennifer (Bartlett), at a church function while visiting a friend in the Milwaukee area.

In May of 2001, Cory graduated from Concordia Seminary (St. Louis, MO) and was ordained into the Holy Ministry on June 10, 2001 at his home congregation, Faith Lutheran in Merrill, WI. Throughout the years, Pastor Rajek has served several parishes in Iowa and Wisconsin.

On January 19, 2002, Pastor Rajek and Jennifer were married in Milwaukee, WI. Following their marriage, God blessed Pastor Rajek and Jenny with two beautiful daughters: Emiley and Alexis.

In 2008, Pastor Rajek decided to continue his studies and completed an M.A. degree in Servant Leadership from Viterbo University (La Crosse, WI). The following year, Pastor Rajek began working on his doctorate. In 2014, Pastor Rajek successfully defended his dissertation and earned a Ph.D. in Leadership for the Advancement of Learning and Service from Cardinal Stritch University (Milwaukee, WI). His dissertation topic centered on John 13, Servant Leadership and the role of humility. Since then, Pastor Rajek has completed an Executive Certificate in Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame.

Aside from serving as a pastor, Pastor Rajek was an adjunct professor for Viterbo University teaching courses in leadership, theology, and philosophy.

When he’s not working or studying, Pastor Rajek enjoys being with his family, spending time in the outdoors, and cheering on the Green Bay Packers.

Pastor Cory J. Rajek, Ph.D.
Senior Pastor

Pastor Joshua Baumann, Associate Pastor.

What an immense joy it is to serve the Lord Jesus as I serve the people of Faith Lutheran Church in Pierre, SD! The life, death, and victory of Jesus Christ certainly shapes, molds, and transforms us as God’s very own people! It is a humbling thing to serve in the office of pastoral ministry, and a great privilege to share in so many of the joys, as well as sorrows, God’s people face. Our hope is always, Christ crucified, Christ risen!

Not only do I serve in my calling as an Associate Pastor of Faith, but I also live out my vocation as husband and father of three precious children.

The Almighty God has provided three joy and life-filled children to my wife, Margaret, and I. Faith is one of the great joys and mysteries of life. I am always amazed as I watch the Holy Spirit grow faith in my three little children. It is also a wonderful joy to see Christian faith blossom in our Sunday School, Daycare, Preschool, and Midweek children here at Faith Lutheran.

The journey into pastoral ministry has not been done alone, but God has graciously given me a beautiful bride, Margaret. She has been a faithful and loving helpmeet since August of 2008 when we married. We both enjoy cheering on our Green Bay Packers! I also enjoy the outdoors in my free time, especially all that South Dakota has to offer when it comes to hunting.

What a wonderful thing that you paused and took time to check us out, to view our staff, and to see how God might be calling you to greater service, faithful worship, and a deeper love for the living Lord Jesus. So God be with you. May He bless you, keep you, and strengthen you in the knowledge of His tremendous love for you through Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son!

“We live by faith, not by sight!” 2 Cor. 5:7

Associate Pastor,
Joshua Baumann

Part-time Music Coordinator

Karen Lindbloom is married to Dr. B.O. Lindbloom and has two sons Chris and Rodd Bauck. Karen has been associated with Faith choir for over 20 years and has been a member of Faith since 1973. Her education includes a B.S. degree in vocal and instrumental music from Moorhead State University, Minnesota, and a M.M. degree in applied music from the University of South Dakota. She taught elementary music at St Joseph School for eight years and was a part of the Capital City Children's Chorus. She has done additional graduate work at the University of Minnesota and St. John's University. She is an accompanist at T.F. Riggs in Pierre.

Office Administrator
Helen Kiepke is our Office Administrator.

Director of Facilities
Jay Fredrich is our Facilities Director

Daycare Director
Jen Hovelson is our Daycare Director.

Preschool Staff
Jan Larson, Director/Teacher, graduated from SDSU in December of 1975 with a degree in Home Economics Education and has a current teaching certificate from the state of South Dakota. She started teaching at Faith Lutheran in the fall of l986. She is a member of the Association for the Education of Young Children and the Lutheran Education Association. She is active in the local, zone and district LWML, as well as teaching Sunday school, Vacation Bible School and singing in the choir at Faith. She is married, has two grown children and three grandchildren.

Donna Gohl, Teacher Assistant, has been at the preschool since it started in 1979. She is a wonderfully dedicated teacher assistant and loves children. Her many years of experience are a great asset to the program. Donna is married, has two grown children and two grandchildren.

In 2007 Anita Marso, Teacher Assistant, joined our staff as our third assistant teacher having previously been employed at the Faith Lutheran Daycare as an assistant director. She too has many years of experience and has a wonderful way with children of all ages. Anita is married with two grown children and two grandchildren.

Dusti Palecek, Teacher Assistant

We are fortunate to have Dusti Palecek on our staff at Faith Lutheran starting in December 2014.

Dusti has experience with children from raising her own children and operating a daycare in her home. She loves children and has a great way with them. She and her husband, Nick have two sons at home and have lived in Pierre since 2006.

Beth Hand, Teacher Assistant

Beth Hand was able to join our staff in September of 2015. She is a graduate of Dakota Wesleyan University. She and her husband Brad have lived in Pierre for the past 11 years. They have four children -three boys and one girl. Three of her children have attended Faith Lutheran Preschool. Beth has worked with children in a variety of ways for many years - most recently with the MOPS program in Pierre. She loves the little ones and has a great personality for helping them in a preschool setting. She is a wonderful addition to our staff.

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