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Gift Planning Counselors

Our LCMS Foundation gift planning counselors are all fellow Lutherans who share your love for the Lord and understand your desire to help spread the Gospel. Each counselor is an experienced professional who can assist you with Christian estate gift planning and the transfer of blessings to family, heirs and the ministries you love.

Burgess-800x1200Julie Burgess
Michigan District

Julie Burgess works with our partners at the Church Extension Fund (CEF) in Michigan, assisting LCMS members in the creation of estate plans that provide for family members, but also for the church organizations they love. She received her Certified Gift Planning Associate (CGPA) Certificate in 2020.

Faulstich-800x1200Erich Faulstich
Missouri District - St. Louis Region Only

Erich Faulstich is a devoted Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod member and an active member of Lutheran Church of the Resurrection. For the last five years he has served as chairman of the Green Park Lutheran School board. He ran his own successful home inspection business for seven years prior to accepting the position with the Foundation.

Kurt FuhrKurt Fuhr
Northern Plaines Region

Kurt has served his fellow Lutherans for over twenty-four years in various roles within the LCMS. He looks forward to serving congregations and donors within the Northern Plains Region. He and his wife Liz live in Eden Prairie, MN and have two grown children, Sarah and Kristen.


Terry GerdtsTerry Gerdts
Kansas City Area

Terry Gerdts has been in Lutheran ministry for fifty-five years. First as principal and teacher, then short time with AAL, and the last 34 years as a Gift Planning Counselor for the LCMS Foundation. He served as SVP for Gift Planning for 8 years before going into semi-retirement for the last 11 years. He continues to serve congregations and members in Missouri. His wife and he have 3 children, 9 grandchildren, and 2 great children.. He resides in Concordia, MO.

Hunt-800x1200Tony Hunt

Tony has a heart for the Lord. A member of Faith Lutheran in Eustis, Florida, has served in various leadership positions including Director of Advancement. Tony has a passion in helping Lutheran ministries invest with faith. He looks forward to helping donors provide for their family and ministries they love.

Jones-800x1200Jason Jones
Rocky Mountain District

Jason Jones joined the LCMS Foundation in 2012. He serves the Rocky Mountain and Western Regions. He is certified as a Christian Gift Planner and Christian Development Executive. He and his young family live in Colorado.

Muehl-800x1200Mark Muehl
Indiana District

Mark recently joined the Foundation after 39 years of serving the Church in various educational vocations in Illinois and Indiana. Mark has also served the Church on boards, school accreditation visits and councils. Mark and wife, Dana, have been married for 39 years and live in Fort Wayne, IN. They are proud parents of three married children who have blessed them with 8 grandchildren.

Nelson-800x1200Teresa Nelson
Missouri District - St. Louis Region Only

Teresa Nelson was born and raised in the Missouri Synod and has been active in congregations over the years. She is a graduate of Iowa State University and served as an associate gift planning counselor both in the English District (2008-11) and Lutheran Hour Ministries (2011-17).

Scott RaddenScott Radden
Southern Illinois District

Scott Radden has been serving the Foundation since 1998 and began as the gift planning counselor for the Southern Illinois District in March 2015. Scott is a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor. Scott’s passion is serving the Lord by building relationships with Christians to assist them in finding their plan for transferring their blessings.

Craig StirtzCraig Stirtz
Nebraska District & Concordia Nebraska

Craig Stirtz has helped Lutherans in Nebraska to plan gifts for loved ones and ministry for thirty years. He has provided gift planning services for thirteen years including the past 3 years through the LCMS Foundation’s partnership with the Nebraska District LCMS and Concordia University Nebraska. Craig has also assisted congregations with endowment creation, management and growth for the past 13 years.

Vought-800x1200Gary Vought
North Wisconsin District

Gary grew up in the North Wisconsin District and has served LCMS ministries for 34 years. As a leader in ministry, he was blessed to see the Holy Spirit work in the lives of thousands of children, families and young leaders. He now looks forward to assisting God’s people with their stewardship goals and hearing their stories of how the Lord is working in their lives.

John DenningerRev. Dr. John Denninger
Southeastern District

John joined the Foundation after serving as the president of the Southeastern District for almost ten years. Prior to that, he served for more than thirty years as a pastor in three congregations in Nebraska and Virginia. John and his wife Constance have been married for forty years and live in Alexandria, VA.

Finch-800x1200Rad Finch
Iowa District East

Rad Finch is a dedicated member of LCMS. He was formally trained in estate and business planning before joining the LCMS Foundation in 1995 in Iowa District East as a gift planning counselor. From there, he went to Concordia Theological and LHM before retiring in 2018 and then returning to the LCMS Foundation in the same year to serve our fellow Lutherans in IDE.

Gage-800x1200Linda Gage

Linda Gage has served in leadership and development positions with the LCMS for twenty nine years and is a certified Christian Development Executive. She brings joy, enthusiasm, technical skills and experience to assist you in creating or updating your plan. Linda resides in western New York with her husband, Don, on their 75 acre fruit farm of vineyards and orchards.

Grimm-800x1200Ron Grimm
English District

Ron Grimm holds a bachelors degree and an advanced degree, both in architectural studies.  He has been employed for the past twenty eight years at DRS Architects in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Ron is active in his church, bringing experience gained there over the years as congregational president, board member, stewardship advocate and ministry program leader to this gift planning position.

Hyde-800x1200Brian Hyde
Pacific Southwest District

Brian Hyde has been serving the gift planning needs of Lutherans in the Pacific Southwest District and Las Vegas for more than nine years. The Lifetime Plan for Giving process is the cornerstone to create blessings for family and ministry. Many donors state that they now have a great sense of peace knowing that family and ministry are taken care of in their plan.

Lovstad-Jones-800x1200Dionne Lovstad-Jones
Northern Illinois

As a life-long LCMS Lutheran, Dionne Lovstad-Jones joined the LCMS Foundation team in 2022 as the gift planning counselor for Northern Illinois. With a background in Christian development and the tourism & hospitality industry, she understands both the joy in giving and the value of a genuine welcome.

Mueller-800x1200Kirk Mueller
Missouri - Lutheran High School Association

Kirk Mueller has served the church for over forty years—33 years as a Lutheran high school educator and 10 as a Senior Gift Planning Counselor for the LCMS Foundation. His passion is to help church members bless their family and their favorite ministries through their Lifetime Plan for Giving.  He has 5 children and 8 grandchildren.

Ray PagelsRay Pagels
Northern Illinois District

Raymond Pagels has been serving the Chicago and Northern Illinois areas as a Christian Gift Planner for more than five years. He is also a Christian Development Executive. Ray's past career was serving thirty five years in the pharmaceutical industry.

James SchroederJames Schroeder
Iowa District West

Jim Schroeder is a graduate of Concordia, Nebraska. He was a Lutheran school teacher for four years and then an estate planning specialist with Aid Association for Lutherans (now Thrivent) for ten years. Jim and his wife Susie have four grown children.

Craig ToerpeCraig Toerpe
South Wisconsin District

Craig serves Southeast Wisconsin, where he has a passion for helping God’s children understand and live out what it means to be a steward of all the gifts God has richly blessed us with. Craig most recently served for ten years as Director of Stewardship & Gifting at St. John’s Lutheran Church in West Bend.

Carol von SoostenCarol von Soosten

Carol von Soosten’s desire to share Christ’s love by helping develop gift plans which provide for families and ministry makes her passionate about sharing the word about the free services available from the LCMS Foundation. She eagerly looks forward to hearing from Lutheran Women in Mission.

Gift Planning Leadership

KrupskiRev. Phil Krupski
Senior Vice President
Gift Planning Services

Rev. Phil Krupski has been a pastor for over 30 years, serving in three separate congregations for 26 of those years. Since 2015, Phil has served with the LCMS Foundation, first as a gift planning counselor in the Indiana District and then, since 2018, as the Senior Vice President of Gift Planning Services.

Phil’s passion for offering Jesus to a broken world through the Gospel drives his overall approach to service. He brings that servant heart into partnerships with ministries across the Synod and guides the Gift Planning team to provide humble service to ministries and donors alike, helping them achieve the plans God has placed in their hearts.

BehrmannAndy Behrmann
Director of Ministry Partnership

Andy Behrmann originally joined the LCMS Foundation in 2019, serving as the gift planning counselor for the Indiana District. Prior to joining the Foundation, Andy spent ten years in higher education, serving on the faculty and in development for Ivy Tech Community College. As Director of Ministry Partnership, Andy is responsible for providing gift planning training to the Church, growing our associate counselor program, and helping congregations maintain lasting relationships with their donors.

PaulRich Paul
Vice President
Counselor Performance and Training

Rich Paul began his employment with the Foundation in 1999 as the gift planning counselor in the Eastern District (NY/PA). For the past nine years, he has served as the Director of Counselor Performance and Training serving as a mentor to the LCMS Foundation national gift planning counselors. As a former financial and estate planning specialist, Rich has attained many investment and planning licenses and certifications.

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But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:57


A Simple, Straightforward Process

Our straightforward process begins with discussing what’s important to you. Then, with our knowledge and expertise, we'll help you establish goals, take full advantage of tax benefits, and thoughtfully provide for and your family and your faith, even after you've left this Earth.

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Everyone is Eligible

Many wonder if they have “enough” to create a gift plan. The answer is always yes. All people possess God’s gifts, and even the humblest gifts can make a positive impact. And regardless of the gifts you wish to share, our counselors will work with you, at no charge. Learn more in our FAQ section..

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Options to Structure Your Gift Plan

Just as everyone has different goals and needs, we offer a variety of different options to structure your gift plan. Each option has its respective strengths and variables, and each can be of benefit to someone if applied thoughtfully, and with guidance.

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Contact Us

How can we help you today? If you're a current donor, account holder or investor with a question, or if you're new to the LCMS Foundation and would like more information, we'd love to hear from you. Please use the "I have a question or comment about" drop-down field below to get your comment to the correct person or department faster.