Your LCMS Foundation Gift Planning Counselor is a fellow Lutheran who shares your love for the Lord and understands your desire to help spread the Gospel. Your counselors are experienced professionals who can assist you with Christian estate gift planning and the transfer of blessings to family, heirs and the ministries you love.
Our professional and prepared staff is ready to assist you. Please contact one of our gift planning counselors or contact the Foundation office at 800-325-7912.
Gift Planning Counselors
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.
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.
St. Louis Region
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.
Linda Gage has served in leadership and development positions with the LCMS for 29 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.
Ron Grimm holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree and an Advanced Degree, both in Architectural Studies. He has been employed for the past twenty-eight years at DRS Architects in Pittsburgh, PA. 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.
California/Nevada/Hawaii District and Las Vegas
Brian Hyde has been serving the gift planning needs of Lutherans in the CA/NV/HI District and Las Vegas for more than 9 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.
Jason Jones joined the LCMS Foundation in 2012. He serves the Rocky Mountain and Western Regions. He certified as a Christian Gift Planner and Christian Development Executive. He and his young family live in Colorado.
Eastern Missouri/St. Louis Area
Teresa Nelson was born and raised in the Missouri Synod and has been active in congregations over theyears. 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).
Raymond Pagels has been serving the Chicago and Northern Illinois areas as a Christian Gift Planner for more than 5 years. He is also a Christian Development Executive. Ray past career was serving 35 years in the pharmaceutical industry.
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.
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.
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.
Minnesota South District/Concordia St. Paul
Matt Steiner serves as gift planning counselor for the Minnesota South District and 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.
Nebraska District/Concordia Nebraska
Craig Stirtz has helped Lutherans in Nebraska to plan gifts for ministry for over 25 years. He served the donors of Lutheran Family services for 16 years as Vice President of Development. Most recently he served as President of Lutheran Planned Giving Services, where he provided gift planning services as well as assisted congregations with endowment creation, management and growth for 10 years.
Southern Wisconsin Region
Craig serves as the LCMS Foundation Gift Planning Counselor in 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.
Eastern District/Baltimore/Washington D.C.
Robert Wirth began serving the Eastern District two years ago after thirty years in the advertising business. He has a BA in Communication from the University of Buffalo which he received after service in the USN. A lifelong Lutheran, he has held various leadership positions at the two congregations where he has been a member.
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.
To request information or to learn more about how the LCMS Foundation can be of help, please contact one of our gift planning counselors or one of the leaders listed below.
Senior Vice President, Gift Planning Services
Rev. Philip Krupski served as an LCMS Foundation gift planning counselor in the Indiana District for 5 years. Prior to that he served the LCMS as pastor for more than 25 years, most recently serving as Senior Pastor at St. John Lutheran Church in Indianapolis. He has provided leadership and vision for St. John’s, including several capital campaigns and a successful $3.5 million facility expansion.
Vice President, Gift Planning Services
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.
Vice President, Gift Planning Services
716-634-5111 ext. 17
Rich Paul began his employment with the Foundation in 1999 as the Gift Planning Counselor in the Eastern District (NY/PA). For the past 9 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.
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 30 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.