Hi, I’m Ebassa Berhanu. I was born in Ethiopia where I lived until I was 12 years old. In 1991, I moved to Embarrass, MN where I attended Babbitt/Embarrass high school graduating in 1997. I continued my education at the University of Wisconsin-Superior graduating in 2002 with a B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis in Management and International Business. After college, I worked at Walgreens as a manager. I earned my Master of Divinity from Luther in 2009. I am currently working on my Doctor of Ministry with the concentration on Leadership in Preaching & Pastoral Ministry at Denver Seminary. I hope to complete my studies in May of 2018. I married my wife Hana in 2007, and we have four young children, Kaiyo, Deybi, Kobii, and Liben.
I was ordained a pastor in the Association of Free Lutheran Congregations. My first call was as a part-time pastor at Maranatha Free Lutheran Church in Spring Lake Park, MN. While in Spring Lake Park, I also worked as a supervisor at a thrift store owned by ARC. In September 2011, I joined the pastoral staff of Faith Lutheran as an Assistant Pastor of Youth and family. I accepted all pastoral responsibilities here at Faith in September 2012.
I describe myself as theologically conservative and orthodox. I believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the inspired Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16), inerrant in the original writings, complete as the revelation of God’s will for salvation, and the supreme and final authority in all matters to which they speak. I am very excited to be part of the FLC family and look forward to all that God has in store for this community! For fun, I like spending time with my wife and four children. I like reading spiritual books, playing basketball and going for a run.
You can reach me at email@example.com.
Shannon Fielding, Director of Children & Family Ministry
Hi, I am Shannon Fielding. My family and I moved to Castle Rock in 2002. We became members in 2005, and both of my boys attended FLP. I feel very blessed to be able to do what I love. I have always loved working with children. I taught elementary school for six years before my boys were born. I am a licensed teacher with a Masters degree in curriculum and instruction. For the last nine years, I have volunteered at Faith Lutheran Church for the Sunday School Program in many capacities.
Kevin Williams, Youth Pastor
Hello, I am Kevin Williams, I am the Youth Pastor here at Faith Lutheran Church. I was raised in Arvada Colorado and lived there until I moved to Seattle to attend Seattle Pacific University and study theology. I graduated with degrees in Theology and Christian Education with minors in Youth Ministry and Communications. While living in Seattle, I met my wonderful wife Erika, and we were married in 2013.
In summer of 2014 we left Seattle for Denver, but spent until Late Fall traveling around the western part of Canada. When I’m not working you will typically find me doing something outside with Erika. My list of interests is longer than it ought to be but some of our current favorite past-times are backpacking, mountain biking, ski touring, and rock climbing. I use my time outside to decompress and recenter my focus on my relationship with God.
I believe that Youth Ministry is one of the most important ministries of the Church, and I do not bear this weight lightly. I believe that for people of all ages growing in your faith comes down to actively processing and wrestling with questions. Who am I in relationship to God? Who am I in relationship to others? Do my actions really matter? I believe that church is a hospital for sinners not a museum for saints, and therefore, focus on meeting Youth where they are and seeking to help them gradually and sustainably grow in their faith. One adage that I ascribe to is that you need to give people the ‘grace to be and the space to become’.
So this is an open invitation, regardless of where you are in your faith, come check out our congregation. Come ask questions and learn how to live a better life. I tell students, you go to school to learn about academics, you go to church to learn how to live. If you have any questions please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jolene Hessler, Office Admin
Hello! My name is Jolene Hessler, my husband, Fred, and I have lived in the Castle Rock area for 15 years, we have a 13-year-old daughter, Sydney and have been members of Faith Lutheran Church for 14 years. Sydney attended FLP and is now an 8th grader at Trinity Lutheran. We are blessed to be a part of this church family. We live on 9.5 acres near Franktown where we tend to 2 dogs, 21 chickens, and 4 sheep. I went to Chadron State College and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Education. I enjoy working with our church members and I love seeing all of the wonderful children who come through the preschool!
Jennifer Barrera, Music Director
I am Jennifer Barrera and I was born and raised in the small town of Kimball, Nebraska, where I studied private piano and voice for most of youth. I was baptized and confirmed at First English Lutheran Church and spent many years as a church musician, playing for choirs and services. Upon graduating high school in 1996, I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps as a pianist. One of my proudest accomplishments was completing the grueling basic recruit training that all Marines are required to complete!
I was privileged to attend the Armed Forces School of Music at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Virginia and graduated from the six-month Basic Music Course in 1997. After one tour as a Marine at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina and having many positive opportunities to travel and perform many different genres of music in many military and civilian venues, I left the Marine Corps and began college a couple years later. I graduated in 2004 with an Associate of Arts in Music from Western Nebraska Community College in Scottsbluff, Nebraska and transferred to Chadron State College in Chadron, Nebraska In 2008, I earned my Bachelor of Science in Vocal and Instrumental Education, majoring in piano, with a heavy emphasis in vocal music education.
After graduation, I took a leap of faith and moved to Castle Rock without any job prospects! Just when I began to despair that I would be able to find a job suited to my educational skills, I was hired as the K-8 Vocal/Instrumental/General Music Educator at Challenge to Excellence Charter School in Parker, Colorado. I just finished teaching my sixth year there and it’s been a wonderful experience and a great place to launch my career as a music educator.
In 2009, I met the love of my life, Moises and we had the distinct honor of being the very first couple Pastor Ebassa married within the congregation on June 16, 2012! We enjoy spending our time together travelling to visit family, cooking, and wandering our beautiful Colorado state! Our home includes my elderly Himalayan cat, Penelope, who makes my couch look more expensive and also enjoys sitting inside my most prized possession, a 1926 Cable Nelson 5’2″ baby grand piano!
I’m very humbled to have been chosen to take the helm of the music program at Faith Lutheran Church. My mother always told me that God gave me a talent and passion for music and that I should use it “soli Deo gloria” (in the words of J.S. Bach, the most famous Lutheran musician of all!), which means, “only for the glory of God!”
Sheila Stone, Bookkeeper
Hi! My name is Sheila Stone and I am thrilled to be a part of the Faith Lutheran family! As the Administrative Assistant/ Business Manager, I am able to utilize my accounting background, yet have the opportunity to interact with all the wonderful children and families. I have 3 children of my own, and as a family we are busy with all the extra-curricular activities and sports my children are involved in. I love to garden and spend time outdoors. I am blessed to be a part of your child’s life as they embark on their life’s journey.
John Dunbar, Council President
John and his wife Carla moved to Castle Rock in July of 2016 after living in Joliet, Illinois for almost 40 years. In October of 2016 they transferred their membership from Messiah Lutheran Church in Joliet to Faith Lutheran Church.
They have a daughter, Jennifer, in Illinois, and a son, Chris, and his wife, Jessica, who live in Sedalia along with their two daughters. John and Carla also have four grandchildren in Illinois. John and Carla were members of Messiah Lutheran Church for 35 years. Their children and four of their grandchildren celebrated many milestones while at Messiah – baptisms, First Communions, Confirmations, and both Jen and Chris were married at Messiah.
While at Messiah, John served in many capacities and in many areas of church leadership. John was a part of the Parish Planning Council for over 25 years. John most recently served as the Director of the Board of Church Properties, overseeing all aspects of the facilities, and coordinating the many tasks involved in church care and use. Prior to this, John served on the Board of Lay Ministry for 12 years, which dealt with everything from staffing to the worship service. John also served on the Board of Stewardship, and was the Financial Secretary for a number of years. Additionally John was responsible for all of the external and internal technology utilized by Messiah, including the churches website, computer networks and Sanctuary audio and video systems.
John was also involved in two major church expansion projects at Messiah – one in the early 90s which added 20,000 sq. ft. of classroom space and a new fellowship hall, and a future expansion project which will add a gym, meeting areas, and a greatly enlarged kitchen area.
Professionally; John has worked in the electric utility industry for over 45 years, with the last 15 years as a consultant advising companies around the world. As a consultant John’s focus has been on business planning and operations as well as change management and information technology.
Becky Geiger, President-Elect
My husband, Brad, and son, Jesse, moved to Castle Rock in 1994 and joined Faith Lutheran Church soon after. Of the several churches that we visited, Faith had the friendliest and most welcoming environment.
Both Brad and I worked in the Information Technology field for the Department of Defense for over 35 years until we retired in 2013. Our 32nd wedding anniversary is this April 28th. Jesse and his wife, Rachel, are Engineering Missionaries in Gulu, Uganda. You can follow their exploits at TeamGeiger.com/blog/
I have a BS in Business Information Systems from Phoenix University and a dual-major MBA in E-Commerce Systems and Operations Management from Regis University. I have been involved in various areas of FLC from Sunday School teacher, youth chaperone, Confirmation, Altar Guild, and now Council Secretary. I enjoy skiing, hiking, Yoga, traveling the world with Brad, and enjoying fine wine.
Tom DeHeer, Treasurer
My wife Barbara and I lived in the Midwest for our entire lives until last fall and winter when we lived in an apartment in Castle Rock. During that time, we attended FLC and were excited to have found a church where we felt welcomed and that closely matched our beliefs. Our son Garrett moved to Denver seven years ago and our daughter Karen and husband Tim decided to move to Castle Rock two years ago. With them and our three grandchildren 1000+ miles away from us, the only logical move was to join them, which we did officially in September, 2016.
Having graduated with an MBA from Northern Illinois University, I have been a controller and branch manager for an employee relocation company, director of claims for a mortgage insurance company, and have owned and operated three smaller companies. Now retired, I am looking forward to serving as treasurer of FLC and contributing to the church council.
Joe Bush, Council Secretary
Wes Bean, Stewardship Council Member
Salutations! My name is Wes Bean and I was born and raised in Chicago Illinois, where my family and I attended the Lutheran church there. I earned a Bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois in Commercial Recreation, leading to over thirty years in the hospitality industry and management. I am currently the General Manager of the Marriott Courtyard in Littleton, where God continues to be a blessing there!
I my beautiful wife Marilyn in Austin Texas, while opening a new hotel and were married in there on September 9th 1989.
We have four children Justin, Sonya, Lucas and Scott. We have also been blessed with four Grandchildren, Owen, Jaden, Scarlett and Colin.
We have a strong faith in our Lord Jesus and have lived in Castle Rock Colorado for twenty years now. We have been active members at several of the local churches including Church of the Rock, Calvary Chapel, Grace chapel, and now Faith Lutheran where we have made our new home.
I am looking forward to working together with the faith family, getting to know all of you, serving as part of the committee and growing in God’s plan for the church.
Guy Fittje, Spiritual Growth Council Member
Deb Van Sicklin, Community Council Member
Stephanie Brueggemann, Worship Council Member
Amy Meissner, Outreach Council Member
Jean Whisman, Director
Hi, I am Jean Whisman and I am thrilled to be the Director at Faith Lutheran Preschool. I am originally from Virginia and moved to Colorado in 2003 with my husband David, and two sons, Thomas and Daniel. As a family we enjoy camping, hiking and baseball. I left a business career in order to pursue my dream of working with children. My passion is to really make a difference in children’s lives and provide them with the necessary skills to develop into successful adults. Together, we can build a foundation of curiosity, hope and love that will carry them throughout their lives.
Hi, I am Chris Barstad. I’m originally from northern Minnesota. My passion has always involved children. At 16, I started teaching Sunday school and knew education was in my future. I received an Elementary Education Degree from Moorhead State University. I moved to Colorado after marrying my husband in 1994. We are busy raising four boys, a Bernese Mountain and a Cocker Spaniel. All of my children were lucky to attend FLP! We loved the philosophy, care and education that FLP provided. I look forward to teaching your children!
Denise Cooper, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher
Hi, I am Denise Cooper. I am married and have two sons. My youngest son attended FLP for 2 years and we loved the love, joy and faith-based academics present in the preschool. I joined the FLP staff in 2005. I have an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education as well as Director Certification. I love working with children and am looking forward to a wonderful year.
Leslie Farmer, Junior Kindergarten Teacher
Hi, I am Leslie Farmer. I have been living in Castle Rock since 1998 and have lived in Colorado most of my life. I feel blessed to work with such a wonderful staff. Prior to working at FLP, I was a substitute teacher at my children’s school, and taught in many areas of children’s ministry when I’m not teaching kids, I enjoy reading, walking my dogs, baking, and spending time with my husband and two daughters. I really enjoy working with young children, and appreciate their enthusiasm and creativity. I’m looking forward to another great year!
Sandy Vega, Teacher Assistant & Lunch Bunch Teacher
Hi, I am Sandy Vega. I have been married 24 years. We have four grown children. My love is to see my family serve Jesus and love others with God. Newest hobbies are Nordic Walking across Front Range and vegan baking. My favorite verse to pray is Psalm 91. I have worked here since 2005 as an assistant teacher.
Deb Van Sicklin, Preschool Teacher
Hi, I am Deb Van Sicklin. I was born and raised in Westchester County, New York, where I received my Liberal Arts degree from Westchester Community College. My major is in Behavioral Science from Metro State. My husband and I have 3 happy children, a sloppy St. Bernard, a rambunctious Lab, and a huge cat. They keep us busy but in our spare time we like to camp, hike and ski! I love FLP, all my children attended and I feel very blessed to teach children about God’s love!
Sally Garrick, Assistant Teacher
Hi, I am Sally Garrick. I have lived in Castle Rock since 2004. I live with my husband and two kids. Both of my children attended FLP and I feel very blessed to be able to work with all the children here.
Hello, my name is Jody Croom. I am new to FLP, and so excited to be a part of such a wonderful, dedicated group. I grew up in Castle Rock, and even graduated from Douglas County High School many years ago. My husband is with Castle Rock Fire Department, and we have 3 teenage boys who keep us very busy. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Fort Lewis College, and received a teaching certificate from Metro State. I can’t wait to get to know all of the special children.
Hi, my name is Anne Beh. I am originally from Nebraska (Go Big Red!) and graduated from the University of Nebraska with a Bachelor of Science degree in Fashion Design. After college I moved to Dallas, Texas, where I lived for 14 years. In 1994 I moved to Colorado, where I met my husband. Castle Rock has been our home since 1995 where we love raising our two teenage children. I have many years of experience teaching Sunday School at our church and was also a Lead Teacher at two KinderCare Learning Centers. I have worked at Faith Lutheran since 2013 and absolutely love working iwth preschoolers and feel blessed to work with such an amazing staff.
Hi! My name is Courtney Arias and I am excited to be teaching 3-year-olds this year at Faith Lutheran Preschool. I love the hearts and minds of little people and it’s such a blessing to be able to spend time with them. While receiving my BA in Psychology, I discovered a love for working with children and decided to double major in Child Care and Development. Since then, I have worked in child care centers, an elementary school, a Head Start program and for 2 non-profit agencies that serve families with children with special needs. My husband and I moved to Castle Rock in 2001 and we can’t imagine raising our three children ages 9, 7 and 5 anywhere else.
Hello, my name is Suzanne Kenny and I am very excited to be at Faith Lutheran! I graduated from Florida State University and have a degree in Child Development. My husband and I moved to Colorado two years ago from Florida with our five children. We are a very active family that loves sports and being outside. My favorite sport is swimming and I also have a passion for teaching swimming to all ages. In the past I have worked in preschools, religious education, substitute taught and home-schooled my own children.
Hi, my name is Kelly Brown and this is my 3rd year at Faith Lutheran Preschool and I’m very excited to be a part of the FLP team! I have a degree in Early Childhood Education and 20 years experience teaching preschool. I’ve been married 20 years and have 3 children. We enjoy spending time outside, playing games, traveling and reading. I especially love to cook! I love teaching preschool and connecting with the children. Connecting and having fun while learning is what teaching is all about!
Hi! My name is Sheila Stone and I am thrilled to be a part of Faith Lutheran Preschool’s family! As the Administrative Assistant/ Business Manager, I am able to utilize my accounting background, yet have the opportunity to interact with all the wonderful children and families. I have 3 children of my own, and as a family we are busy with all the extra -curricular activities and sports my children are involved in. I love to garden and spend time outdoors. I am blessed to be a part of your child’s life as they embark on their life’s journey.