Our Church Staff

Pastor Thomas_11-28-09

The Rev. Dr. Michael Thomas - Senior Pastor

Pastor Thomas has been at Zion since January 2010. His wife Tammy have two children, Maggie and Nathan. Pastor Thomas is originally from inner city Chicago, attending Carthage College and the Lutheran School of Theology. 

Pastoral Intern Julie Barger 2016-09-04 Julie Barger

I am currently in the Masters of Divinity program at Wartburg Seminary and I’m excited to be a part of Zion for my internship year! I am from rural northern Wisconsin where I worked as an Elementary School Counselor for 28 years.  I have two grown sons from a previous marriage and two grandchildren whom I love to see as much as possible in Wisconsin.  Although Rockford seems like a “big” city to me, I am really enjoying the variety of cultural experiences here. I feel blessed that Zion is my new church family and I look forward to learning and growing with you this year.  


Kathy Hand - Youth Ministry Coordinator

Hello - I have returned to the Youth Coordinator Position this month. Zion has been

my home church  throughout my life. I am excited to work with with Kathy Handthe youth in 6 to 12 grades, to bring them closer to our Savior Jesus Christ.   We have started our Confirmation classes, to teach them, the Bible, Scriptures, and many other pieces of the church. We have activities throughout the month - Watch the postings. I can be reached at youth@zionrockford.com.

Jolyn Hess - Office Manager

Jolyn Hess_9-5-12_ZLC

Jolyn joined the Zion staff in August 2012.  She brought many years of experience with her including previous church office experience.  Jolyn has two adult children (and a son-in-law in the Air Force), and three beautiful grandchildren.  Jolyn has a positive attitude and a warm smile to all who meet her. She can be reached at zionrockford@gmail.com.


Wayne Spitzer - Literacy ProgramWayne Spitzer

Graduated with a BS in Elementary Education from Valparaiso University and an MA in Education from Concordia University. Additional course work from Indiana University and University of Connecticut.  Retired Lutheran School teacher and principal (25 yrs). Taught two years in public schools as teacher of the gifted. Former educational consultant and adjunct instructor at National Louis University, Concordia University, and two other universities (31 yrs). Current Coordinator of Literacy Program at Zion.


IMG 5695Robert Leonhardt - OrganistRobert is the Zion organist and has been on the staff since 2005 and is a wonderful gift to the church.  He plays for both 8:00 & 10:30 worship services, schedules and works with soloists, instrumentalists, and small ensembles. Bob is currently a member of the Rockford Chapter of the American Guild of Organist, and is a past executive board member.

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Jodi Beach - Music Director

Jodi is the Minister of Music at Zion and has been here since 2005. Jodi directs the Choir and leads the band once a month at the 10:30am service for a contemporary worship style.


thumb Janice Carpenter 2013-08-27

Janice Forrest - Nursery and WOW Coordinator 

Janice Forrest runs the Sunday morning Nursery during the 10:30am worship service. She is also the WOW Coordinator for our Wednesday program. You can reach her at wow@zionrockford.com.


IMG 5693Ruth Fairchild - Outreach Coordinator

Ruth Fairchild is our Outreach Coordinator and helps people get connected to the faith community service opportunities. She hosts the Wednesday      In -The - Bag lunch program and the Blackhawk Buddy House Gardens connected to the Zion Outreach board. She can be reached at outreach@zionrockford.com.


kurt profile_75x113Kurt L Brown - Worship Media

Kurt Brown, works with the Worship Media. Sunday Worship recordings

are edited for quality and then placed in the past sermons page and also placed on Facebook and Youtube.  


VictorViktor Jelnov - Custodian

Victor is our faithful servant that keeps Zion clean and orderly. He is a friendly face and hard working servant that works to make our church building a blessing to all who come.



IMG 5684Arnold Swenson - Financial Secretary, Treasurer

Arnie we call him a faithful steward of the Zion's finances. He serves dilegently to keep track and guide the Church Council in the area of finances.




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