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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Carol 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rev. 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.
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.
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.
1 Corinthians 15:57
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.
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..
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.
We are thankful that we can leave a bequest to our children, and also through the Foundation’s work, make a gift to all the congregations we have served, our Concordias, and an agency we are passionate about.
Edward & Janet Krauss
We developed a plan that creates security for ourselves and our young son while furthering the work done by the church and others. Your process provided us the means to shape a plan that is useful now and easily flexible for the future.
Mark & Kristine
It was with great joy that we were able to work on our legacy for Lutheran ministries. The LCMS Foundation helped us to formulate a plan to ensure that a portion of the gifts God has given us would be used to bless others.
Charlotte & Roy
The process provided us with an easy to use form to compose a gift letter that models for our children continued ministry support after our passing as well as a personal faith statement that will be given to our children and their families upon our passing.
Cam & Janet Fuerniss
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.