Dean Simpson


I grew up in small towns in Wisconsin (Richland Center, River Falls, and Rice Lake) so I feel I am “at home” and “among my own people” here in our state. I lived for a time in Berkeley, CA and then studied at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, CA and later at Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, IA. I tie flies and love those moments when I can fool a wily old trout into thinking they’re the real McCoy. I’ve been married to Linda for 35 years and we have three grown children, a son and two daughters.

Email Pastor Dean at

Dr. Phillip Ruge-Jones


After I served for eighteen years as a professor of theology at Texas Lutheran University, my family decided to return to the Midwest where my wife and I grew up, attended college and seminary. When I am not ministering with the good people of Grace Lutheran, I travel the country to tell biblical stories and speak about God’s love. My wife of twenty-six years is the Campus Pastor at University Lutheran, and our two adult children are pursuing their education at Luther College and the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

Email Pastor Phil at

Kim Munsch

Office Manager

I live here in Eau Claire and am blessed with 5 awesome kiddos (4 girls and a boy). I love planning events, crafting and designing and am building my own business as an Event Planner and Designer. I hope to inspire women and moms to embrace and celebrate the chaos of life.

Email Kim at

Elaine Mann

Organist, Music Coordinator

I hold a Master of Music from Boston University, and Bachelor of Music degree from Greensboro College. I am an active member and Fellow of the American Guild of Organists. I am also an Associate in Ministry in the ELCA. When not playing music or attending concerts, I tend my gardens, enjoy traveling, reading, and visiting with friends and family.

Email Elaine at

Karen Lionberger

Handbell Choir Director

Julie DeBoer

Choir Director

I hold a BM in voice performance and a BA in religious studies from Lawrence University as well as an MM in voice performance from Northwestern University. Recently, I moved from Chicago to Eau Claire to teach voice at the university and to direct the Grace choir. While living in Chicago, I performed with many professional choirs, including Music of the Baroque, Grant Park Chorus, Bella Voce, and the Schola at Holy Name Cathedral. Outside of music, my interests include running with my coonhound Desmond and competing in marathons – completing three in Chicago!

Email Julie at

Taylor Sharratt

Sunday School Teacher

Taylor is a student at UWEC and is from Farmington, Minnesota. She has experience as a nanny and as a supervisor at her hometown Papa Murphy’s before starting college. Like her co-Sunday school teacher, she is involved in the Lutheran Student Association on campus.

Kelsey Redman

Sunday School Teacher

Kelsey is also a student at UWEC and is from La Crescent, Minnesota. She is on the UWEC Cheer and Stunt Team and involved with PRIDE, Physical Activity and Recreation for Individuals with Disability. Like her co-Sunday school teacher, she is involved in the Lutheran Student Association on campus.

Bill Olson


I was born and raised in Eau Claire and grew up seeing Grace Lutheran’s beautiful stained glass windows every Sunday. I’m the owner of Iconostar Productions LLC and work full-time as a video producer, photographer and filmmaker. I hold B.A.s in Broadcast Journalism and Psychology and have won two national Telly’s for directing documentary films.

Your giving helps us support all of our ministries, programs and community outreach!