Anchored in Christ since 1905

Our Team

Rev. Dr. Matthew Richard, Pastor 

Rev. Dr. Matthew Richard, started at St. Paul's in July of 2018. He was previously a Pastor in Gwinner, ND; a Senior Pastor in Sidney, MT; an Associate Pastor in Williston, ND; and an Associate Pastor in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. 

He received his undergraduate degree in Finance and Economics from Minot State University in North Dakota. After a short career working as an Investment Representative for a company of AIG, he moved to Minnesota to obtain his Master of Divinity from the Lutheran Brethren Seminary. In 2005, a year after graduating from seminary, he was ordained into the ministry by the CLBA. In 2013 he was certified for ministry in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. Furthermore, in 2013 he obtained a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis MO. His doctor of ministry thesis was on exploring the journey of American Evangelicals into Confessional Lutheran thought.

Pastor Richard is married to Serenity and they have three children. He enjoys fishing, pheasant hunting, watching movies, writing, golfing, spending time with his family, and a good book with a warm latte!


Rev. Carlyle Roth, Associate Pastor

Rev. Carlyle Roth started at St. Paul's in December of 2019 as the Associate Pastor of Visitation.  He was previously a long-standing Pastor at St. Mark's Lutheran Church of Minot, ND for 30 years.  Prior to St. Mark's Lutheran, he was a pastor in Carrington and Sykeston for 13 years.  

He is a graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary, Springfield, Illinois. 

Pastor Roth is married to Geneal.  He enjoys fishing and makes excellent BBQ!  He considers it a joy to serve God's saints.  


Joanna Kruzel, Administrative Secretary 

Joanna has been a member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church since 2021. She graduated from Alexandria Technical College with a degree in Communication Art and Design. She has been a Paraprofessional for four years to three different schools before coming to St. Paul's.

Joanna is Married to Nate with three children. She is creative by nature and loves to draw digitally and sketching. She loves hiking and paddle boarding and being outdoors.

Jennifer Larsen, Choir Director 

Hello! My name is Jennifer Larsen, and I’ve been directing the St. Paul Choir since 2001. I graduated from UND in 1999 with a degree in music education, with a vocal emphasis, and taught one year of elementary music at a local school before I began directing the choir at St. Paul's. I love my dedicated group of musicians! 

When I’m not directing the choir, I am chasing after my 3 kids and running to their various activities. I’m also a Sunday School teacher and volunteer with a local moms’ group. I enjoy singing (obviously!), gardening, crocheting, exercising, baking, and the outdoors in my spare time. If you’re interested in joining the choir, I’d love to visit with you! 


Peggy Hilson, Accompanist

Peggy has been an organist with St. Paul's since 2003. She has been playing organ since 1970 and has great joy in serving the church through the ministry of music.  She also is the organist for St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Sawyer, ND. 

Besides playing the organ, she loves to bake and has been known to make 'epic' Rice-Crispy Bars.  



Beth Sorensen, Organist

Beth played her first church service in 1989, after being taught by Gloria Schmidt (St. Paul's longtime former organist).  During college at Concordia Seward, she took classes on piano and organ.   In 2008, Beth started playing for St. Paul's Lutheran and later began to be the accompanist for the St. Paul's Choir.  The gift of music is in her family, as she follows in her mother's footsteps in serving the Lord's church in music.  

Emilie Phillips, Accompanist

Emilie has been playing piano and organ at St. Paul’s since September 2019. She previously played services at multiple churches in St. Charles County, Missouri.

Emilie graduated from Concordia University, River Forest in 2006 with a Bachelor’s degree in Church Music. After graduation, she played for services, directed choirs, and coordinated church music activities and resources before marrying her husband Joshua. The two have moved several times following his career in the Air Force from Japan to Korea, and now North Dakota.

Besides music, Emilie enjoys cooking, quilting, reading, and PC-gaming!

St. Paul's elected officers perform a variety of lay leader functions within the church. These positions are all on a volunteer basis with term limits.
Congregational Offices and Elected Officers

Chairman - Scott Pfennig

Dean of Elders - Darren Kabanuk


                            Elder Area #1 - Brian Lokken

                            Elder Area #2 - Scott Marschner

                            Elder Area #3 - Mark Schaefer

                            Elder Area #4 - Ellis Haake

                            Elder Area #5 - Darren Kabanuk

                            Elder Area #6 - Bo Thorson

                            Elder Area #7 - Chandler Braaten

                            Elder Area #8 - Joshua Phillips

                            Elder Area #9 - Ryley Plesuk


Finance Chairman - Amanda Shappell

Financial Treasurer - Nathan Livingston

Financial Secretary - Alex Larsen

Vice Chairman - Ray Schwarz

Chairman of Education - Danielle Plesuk

Chairman of Evangelism - Vicki Steinke

Chairman of Stewardship - Dana Larsen

Chairman of Social Concerns - Celeste Simmons

Chairman of Trustees - Wayne Smith


Craig Eraas

Les Pierson

Gail Schmidkunz

Lyle Shappell

Wayne Smith

Wade Behnken

Council Secretary - Rhonda Schmidkunz

Sunday School Teachers


Celeste Simmons

Helpers: Desi Pierson, Kiya Plesuk


Amanda Shappell,  Joe Shappell

1st & 2 Grade

Becky Richards


3rd & 4th Grade 

Christina Larsen

5th Grade

Jennifer Larsen


Scott Pfennig


10:30 Elder


Pre-school thru 5th Grade

Peggy Hilson  

Jennifer Larsen  


President Destinie Pierson 

Vice President - Anya Richard

Treasure - Jason Shappell

Secretary -  Joseph Shappell

Christian Growth Chairman - Dezzi Sutton

Youth Advisors - Diane Pierson, Amanda Shappell