Pastor Doug Knutson-Keller | Senior Pastor
Pastor Doug Knutson-Keller was born in Othello, WA and baptized into Pilgrim Lutheran Church in 1962. He grew up in Olympia and was confirmed as a member of the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd. Doug earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Pacific Lutheran University and worked for several years in the Pierce County Juvenile Court System. Attending Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, CA, Doug met and married his wife Molly. They both graduated with Master of Divinity Degree’s in 1996 and served calls in San Diego, CA. Pastor Doug accepted the call to Gloria Dei Lutheran Church and moved with his family to Olympia in May of 2009. Pastor Doug feels welcomed and at home at Gloria Dei and knows you will feel the same.
Youth Pastor Justin Snider | Youth & Young Adult Minister
Justin Snider is a native of Western Washington, grew up in Puyallup, and graduated in 2003 from Trinity Lutheran College with his Bachelor’s of Arts in Youth and Family Ministry. He is also called as an Associate in Ministry through the ELCA to Gloria Dei. His hobbies include playing with his two boys, listening to music, technology, Geocaching, backpacking, Ultimate Frisbee, and photography. He sees youth ministry as a career and is excited to be doing ministry at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church that is rich with God’s presence.
Paul Chell | Visitation Pastor
Pastor Chell was born and raised in Minnesota. He graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN and Augustana Seminary, Rock Island, ILL. He was ordained into the ministry of the former LCA in 1964. Paul married Sharon (Sheri) Swanson in Montevideo Minesota in 1962. Sheri died of cancer in January 2010. During his active years of ministry Paul served congregations in Mitchell, SD., Hood River, Or, Stevenson, Wa,, Spokane, WA, Federal Way, WA and Viking, MN. He retired in 2000 and moved to Lacey, WA, where he and Sheri joined Gloria Dei Lutheran Church. He has been serving as their Visaitation Pastor since 2008, a ministry he finds very fulfilling during his retirement years.
Beth Tobin | Children’s Ministry Coordinator
Beth has been working with children and music at churches since 1979, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from Pacific Lutheran University. She is a member of the Lutheran Association of Christian Educators, the American Choral Directors Association, and Choristers Guild for which she serves as a board member for the Washington State Chapter. She was the founding Board President for Gloria Dei Lutheran Preschool, and began as Sunday School Superintendent at Gloria Dei in 2001 helping Gloria Dei to begin using the Workshop Rotation Model of Sunday School, which is now in it’s tenth year. Beth introduced Sunday school classes for Infants, has helped to develop our curriculum for two year-olds, and is now responsible for supporting education and fellowship opportunities for children ages infants through sixth grade as Children’s Ministry Coordinator.
Kimberly Tovani | NewSong Band Director/Worship Leader
Kimberly Tovani was born in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and went to Baptist churches while growing up in Virginia, Oklahoma, Missouri and Arizona. She graduated from the University of Arizona in 1987 with a General Studies Major (minors in Business, Philosophy and Sociology). In December 1987, she graduated from the paralegal program at University of San Diego. After meeting her husband Todd at the U of A, they were married in June 1988. She worked full time as a paralegal until her first child was born in August 1998. Since then, she has continued to work part time as a paralegal. In the spring of 2001, she volunteered to form and lead a band to provide musical leadership for our new monthly contemporary worship service. By 2005 it had become a weekly Sunday morning worship service. In the fall of 2010, the church council created a staff position for NewSong Worship Band Director and Worship Leader. Kim feels blessed to work with such talented musicians and absolutely loves supporting our church and praising God through music.
Dan Colgan | Organist/Choir Director
Dan Colgan is a graduate of Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. He has been with Gloria Dei since November of 2010. Previously, he served as Director of Music at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Jamison, PA from 2005-2010. During his time at Westminster Choir College, he toured the United Kingdom, Italy, and the United States, where he accompanied the Westminster Chapel Choir on organ. As a former member of the world renowned Westminster Choir, he has sung and worked with many influential conductors and soloists. Before arriving at Westminster, he founded the Poultney Area Community Choir (Poultney, VT), and directed the Poultney United Methodist Church Choir and the Poultney Area Community Choir from 2000-2004. He hopes that as a church musician and music educator, he can continue to spread his love and appreciation of music to others.
Gretchen Dickson | Parish Nurse
Beth Heitz | Office Coordinator
Beth Heitz is the Office Coordinator for Gloria Dei Lutheran Church. She and her husband Rich have been members of Gloria Dei for approximately 38 years and she has been on staff here for about 16 years. Beth feels that most rewarding part of her job has been the ability to work with and for the wonderful people that make up the congregation of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church.
Barb Reinke | Secretary
An Olympia native, Barb was raised in a large family, the sixth of eight children, on Olympia’s westside. After graduating from Western Washington University with a degree in Psychology, Barb found a church home at Gloria Dei in 1983. She joined the office staff at Gloria Dei in 2000 where she loves knowing and caring for her church family. She and her husband David have two college age children.
Chris Potis | Receptionist
Chris began work originally as a bookkeeping assistant for the construction project here at the church in 2004. Since then she has enjoyed getting to know the congregation as part of the office staff. A Western Washington University graduate, Chris has resided in Olympia for 20 years and has 4 teenaged kids.
Lora Weed | Nursery Attendant
Lora Weed is a senior enrolled at The Evergreen State College. She is majoring in history with an emphasis on social class as well as pursuing an additional degree in education and development. Lora is planning on continuing her education until she has masters in both education and social work. Her love of history is only surpassed by her family and being a teacher. She is a lifelong Olympian and has attended Gloria Dei for two years. She has been married to her high school sweet heart, Mike, for three years. She is also a mother to a three year old son named Izaak. Lora works both as the nursery coordinator and as an assistant in the two year old preschool room.