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Mount Olive Lutheran Church

Joseph Crippen

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The Rev. Joseph G. Crippen is Mount Olive’s seventh pastor, having begun his service in October of 2010. Pr. Crippen grew up in Worthington, in southwestern Minnesota, and graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter. Prior to seminary, he served as youth director at St. Philip’s in Hastings and as intern at Luther Memorial in Syracuse, Neb. After receiving his Master of Divinity degree at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, Joseph served as pastor of Our Savior’s in Cleveland, Minn., and St. John’s in Northfield. He is active in the ministry of the greater church in both its synodical and church-wide expressions, and served a term on the ELCA’s Church Council from 2001 to 2007.

Joseph is married to Mary Crippen, a human resources specialist and trainer for Ziegler, Inc., in Bloomington. They have four adult children. Pr. Crippen loves reading fiction, watching movies of almost all genres, and enjoys an exceptional cup of tea. He is passionate about preaching the love of God for all and serving the Church as it seeks to be faithful to its mission. His blog, “In the Center of All Things,” is at




Not only is David Cherwien among the Twin Cities’ most celebrated organists and choral directors, his service to the greater church is spread across the country through his frequent leadership at hymn festivals and workshops, guest appearances and published work. David became Mount Olive’s third cantor in 2001 and Artistic Director of the National Lutheran Choir in 2002. His passion is for congregational singing, inspired by predecessor and mentor, Paul Manz. David's masterful improvisations and creative approach to hymns frequently elevate congregational singing to a transformational experience.


A Twin Cities native (although born in Iowa), David has held church music positions in Chicago, Seattle and Berlin, and faculty posts at Gustavus Adolphus and Elmhurst colleges and at Luther Seminary. He holds degrees in organ performance, music theory and composition, and choral music education and has studied in Germany and France. David is married to the noted hymnist Susan Palo Cherwien. They live in St. Louis Park.



  Coordinator of Neighborhood outreach and ministry: Anna SCOTT

Anna began work at Mount Olive in September, 2014, in a position that is both new and old.  Incorporating parts of the previous Neighborhood Ministries Coordinator position, Anna also is tasked with engaging the people of Mount Olive as we seek to fulfill our mission as servants of Christ in the world, partnering with our neighbors in God's work.  Anna is a life-long Lutheran, a native of Blaine, Minnesota, and did her undergraduate work at Wheaton College in Illinois.  She spent two years in the Peace Corps in Peru, and most recently served as a Spanish interpreter in south Minneapolis.  She lives in south Minneapolis.




Cha Posz has been a talented and cheerful servant of Lutheran congregations for more than 20 years, serving as an associate in ministry, church musician, youth director, synod worship committee member and parish administrator. She began her service at Mount Olive in 2001, drawn in part by her love for liturgy and music. Cha attended Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D. She and her husband, Kurt, and two children live in New Brighton.



William Pratley

  SEXTON: William Pratley

As Mount Olive’s sexton, William Pratley is responsible for the care and upkeep of church property. He has had plenty of experience as a maintenance technician at Minncor Greentree for four years and facilities manager at the Cathedral of St. Mark for 10 years before that. An artist at heart, William loves to play acoustic guitar (one favorite pastime is to convert old electric rock songs to the acoustic format—Jimi Hendrix comes to mind). He has an extensive collection of vinyl records. William grew up near Lake Minnetonka and now divides his time between Minneapolis and his cottage on the Mississippi River in Wabasha.



  VICAR Kelly Sandin

Kelly is the 48th vicar to serve Mount Olive. Originally from Detroit, she began seminary at Ecumenical Theological Seminary in that city, and has been a student at Luther Seminary since 2014. Kelly graduated from the University of Michigan-Dearborn with a BA in Education and holds an MA in Reading and Language Arts from Oakland University, Rochester, MI. Her husband, Ben, serves as pastor at House of Prayer Lutheran Church in Richfield, MN. They are thrilled their daughter, Jasmine, moved to Minnesota after graduating from college last May, and lives and works in downtown Minneapolis. Kelly loves dark roast coffee, frozen yogurt, and, when time allows, watching "Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives."

“Vicar” is an ecclesiastical term meaning an agent or a stand-in for clergy of higher rank. For Lutherans, a vicar is a candidate for the ordained ministry, typically a student who spends the third of four seminary years serving a pastoral internship in a parish.  (In the Anglican tradition, a vicar is a title for an ordained priest.) 

Mount Olive’s time of welcoming vicars to serve dates to 1955.  The vicar program is a partnership between Mount Olive and Luther Seminary, St. Paul.

Vicars Through the Years

Since 1955, Mount Olive has undertaken its call to raise up new leaders for the church. Each year in the fall, a new intern comes from seminary to engage the challenges of pastoral ministry under the mentorship of our pastor and staff, our lay support committee and our congregation. Mount Olive’s vicars have gone on to serve the church as pastors, bishops, lay leaders and seminary professors.


1955-56: Robert W. Gentzke
1956-57: Roger E. Klemz
1957-58: Martin J. Luecke
1963-64: Thomas T. Stephan
1964-65: Gary A. Muehler
1965-66: Wayne Rutz
1966-67: Dale Banke
1967-68: David C. Yagow
1968-69: Paul K. Schwartzkopf
1969-70: Werner K. Boos
1970-71: H. Martin Miller
1971-72: Leslie F. Weber, Jr.
1972-73: Ronald C. Neustadt
1973-74: Timothy T. Weber
1974-75: Robert A. Rimbo
1974-75: James A. McDaniels
1975-76: Patrick R. Keifert
1976-77: Stephen G. Haschig
1977-78: Brian J. Claasen
1978-79: Glenn A. Seefeldt

1979-80: David P. Schreiber

1983-84: Ann M. Pederson

1991-92: Arden D. Haug

1992-93: Stephan Schmid


1993-94: Peter J. Soli
1994-95: Gary L. Anholt
1995-96: Christine A. Wenzel
1996-97: Kirsten Mebust
1997-98: Gloria J. Anderson
1998-99: Micah Stumme
1999-2000: Heather Vietz
2000-01: Carrie Scheller
2001-02: Laurie Underkoffler
2002-03: Mark Youngdahl
2003-04: Edward Daniel Ruen
2004-05: Jean Hay
2005-06: Adam Roberts

2006: Susan Masters
2007: Jennifer R. P. McCurry
2007-08: Mark Niethammer
2008-09: Philip Misner
2009-10: Leslie Mahraun

2011-12: Erik Doughty

2012-13: Neal Cannon

2013-14: Emily Beckering

2014-15: Meagan McLaughlin

2015-16: Anna Helgen

2016-17: Kelly Sandin



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