Holy Week Services Maundy Thursday @ 7 pm; Good Friday @ 7 pm; Easter w/pre-service breakfast 8 & 9:30 pm He Is Risen

Staff & Lay Leaders

Say hello to our leadership at Gloria Dei!

Meet our leadership

Say hello to our leadership at Gloria Dei. Got questions for them? Contact us.

Jacob Kempfert - Lead Pastor

Psalm 103:8, 11-12, "The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love...For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us."

Originally from Wisconsin (Watertown and Neenah), I spent many years in Mankato, Minnesota. While there, I attended Bethany Lutheran College, graduating in 2007 with a degree (BA) in English. I then obtained a master's degree (MA) in English Literature and fiction writing from the University of Maine (Orono) in 2012.

Following this, my wife Anna and I taught English in South Korea for three years. When asked if I know any Korean, I can only reply, "jogeum" -- a "little bit." However, this wonderful experience helped me discern the call into the public ministry of God's Word.

While still in Korea, I began studying the Biblical languages (Hebrew and Greek). I then returned to Minnesota to attend Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary. My thesis focused on pastoral theology and mental illness, in particular ministering to those experiencing bipolar disorder.

Following three years of classroom instruction, I was called to serve as vicar (pastoral apprenticeship) at Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Mankato, Minnesota. I received a master's degree (M.Div.) from Bethany Seminary in 2020 and was immensely blessed with a call to serve Gloria Dei here in beautiful Saginaw, Michigan.

I love to read books, and have even finished a few of them. I also enjoy writing, translation, having strong opinions about films, making music and listening to it (Bach and Warren Zevon in particular), baking, getting away to the woods, and hunting for Petoskey stones.

Rob Kain - Church President

Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope."

Hello, my name is Rob Kain, and I am a charter member of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church. I am married to my wife Sue of 29 years, and we have two girls, Marisa and Kayla. I have also recently retired and enjoy spending more time with my family, hobbies, and volunteering.

I welcome you to come and worship with us at Gloria Dei, a church home we founded because we believe the Bible is God's inspired, inerrant Word. Through the years, God has blessed our congregation immensely with a beautiful sanctuary, fellowship hall, family viewing room, talented vocal and bell choirs, and a young and energetic Pastor. 

I hope you will come and worship with us.

Lila Foor - Music Director & Sunday School Coordinator

Proverbs 3:5, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding."

Hello, I am a charter member of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, and I am also the organist and bell choir director. I have been a church organist for over 40 years and have directed handbell choirs for over 30 years. I received my Bachelor of Music Education and Masters of Music from the University of Nebraska. For many years, I also taught general music and band in elementary and junior high school. 

I enjoy spending time with my husband, daughter, son-in-law, and two grandchildren, and I like to sew, craft, and read in my spare time. 

Melissa Everett - Vocal Choir Director & Middle Grade's Teacher

Psalm 119:105, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path."

Hello, my name is Melissa Everett, and I am a charter member of Gloria Dei Lutheran. I am grateful to be part of the friendly and supportive Gloria Dei family. 

At Gloria Dei, I direct the vocal and children’s choir, am a Gloria Dei bell choir member, and teach Sunday school.

I hold a violin performance and music education degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Over the years, I have taught orchestra, grades 5-12, in the Grosse Pointe Public Schools and the Saginaw Township Community Schools. Currently, I perform in the Midland Symphony Orchestra and teach private music lessons.

I enjoy being with my family, playing cards or board games, and reading in my free time.

Amanda Doyle - Pre-K & Young Children's Teacher

My name is Amanda Doyle, and I have attended Gloria Dei Lutheran Church for 12 years. I became a member after marrying my husband. He has been a member of Gloria Dei his whole life.

At Gloria Dei, I am the Pre-K and Young Children's Sunday School Teacher. In addition, I am a member of both the vocal and bell choirs here at church.

I have an Early Childhood Master's from SVSU and an Elementary Special Education degree from Calvin College. I have taught for the past 18 years at Saginaw Public Schools. For the last 8 years, I have been an Early Childhood Special Education Infant and Toddler teacher. I believe that all children should be celebrated no matter their abilities.  

I love spending time with my family and friends, camping, riding bikes, and playing cards!

Tim Hansen - Sr. Youth Sunday School Teacher

John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."

Hello! My name is Tim, and I grew up on the west side of Michigan in Holton. I was baptized, confirmed, and married at Holton Evangelical Lutheran Church, a member church of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS). My family moved to Saginaw in 2002 and transferred membership to Gloria Dei Lutheran Church because it is also an ELS church. We found the congregation to be very friendly and inviting.

I graduated from Ferris State University from the HVAC program in 1985 and have worked for John E. Green Company in Saginaw since June 2002. My hobbies include sports (loyal fan of University of Michigan!) and helping run Camp Lor-Ray, an ELS/WELS affiliated camp in Twin Lake, Michigan.

My wife, Lori, and I were youth group leaders for 5 years. In addition, I've been the Sr. Youth Sunday school teacher for 10 years and the Evangelism Committee Chairman for the past 6 years.

Welcome to our church!