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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.


BehrmannAndy Behrmann
317-374-2866
Indiana District

Andy Behrmann comes to the LCMS Foundation from the Ivy Tech Foundation and Ivy Tech Community College, where he worked in fundraising and served on the faculty. Andy is a lifelong Lutheran who enjoys helping fellow Christians discern the best ways to put to use the gifts God has given them.

 

Faulstich (3)Erich Faulstich
314-779-6494
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. And, after many years in various roles in the construction industry, he ran his own successful home inspection business for seven years prior to accepting the position with the Foundation.

FitzenreiterEileen Fitzenreiter
419-822-6461
Ohio District

Eileen Fitzenreiter has served the Ohio District as its gift planning counselor since 2007 after decades in the financial services industry. She is a Certified Gift Planning Associate (CGPA) and Certified Development Executive (CDE).  Along with the joy of being a wife and grandmother, she finds great pleasure in her work.

 

GrimmRon Grimm
412-584-7039
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.

jonesJason Jones
970-988-0305
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.

 

NelsonTeresa Nelson
319-351-6529
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 (20011-17).

 

PENNINGTONWEBJames Pennington
863-370-0305
Florida Region

Jim Pennington is a Gift Planning Counselor with the LCMS Foundation serving congregations and donors in Southern Florida and the Florida/Georgia District from his Blairsville, Georgia office.  He also serves congregations implementing the Transfer the Blessings ministry through team development, endowment establishment, and member gift plan development through the Lifetime Plan for Giving process.

SCHROEDERWEBJames Schroeder
515-490-7371
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.

 

stirtzCraig Stirtz
402-616-0312
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.

vonSoostenCarol von Soosten
505-730-2064
LWML

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.

 

Burgess-1Julie Burgess
713-822-5284
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.

 

finch_webRad Finch
319-551-9829
Iowa

 

 

 

 

GageLinda Gage
716-946-8111
LWML

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 and enthusiasm as well as 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.

hydeBrian Hyde
209-613-2125
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.

MUELLERWEBKirk Mueller
314-704-4389
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.

Rays Photo IMG_4432Ray Pagels
847-226-2262
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. 

 

RaddenScott Radden
618-977-4049
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.

steinerMatt Steiner
801-913-3959
Concordia St. Paul

Matt Steiner serves as gift planning counselor for Concordia University, St. Paul. A lifelong Missouri Synod Lutheran, his passion is supporting LCMS organizations and their members. Matt’s past experience includes teaching in a Lutheran grade school and as a financial advisor. He and his wife Bethany and their two daughters live in the Twin Cities.

 

ToerpeCraig Toerpe
262-707-3005
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.

 

Gift Planning Leadership


KrupskiRev. Phil Krupski
314-996-1684                                                            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.

MeinzenPhil Meinzen
262-707-4493
Director of Training and Associate Counselor Relations

Philip Meinzen has served in senior gift planning and development roles for various ministry organizations including the LCMS Foundation for thirty years. An educator with a masters degree in counseling, he is a graduate of the College for Financial Planning’s CFP Professional Education program. Phil serves as Director of Training and Associate Counselor Relations supporting resource development focused on ministry leaders and associate counselors who utilize the LCMS Foundation expertise and services.

PaulRich Paul
716-634-5111 ext. 17                                                  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

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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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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.