Connecting and encouraging through faith
In 1995, Lutheran Partners in Global Ministry was created out of a pressing need to connect people with opportunities around the world and build relationships through Christ’s Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). God has blessed us with the vision and resources to make a difference in the lives of others as we ourselves are changed by the power of God’s Spirit.
To engage individuals and communities in transformational partnerships across the globe. Centered in faith and dedicated to service, LPGM is called to action by sharing resources and hope.
To raise up generations who inspire hope by walking with and serving in the worldwide church.
MEET THE TEAM
Dedicated to Service
Julie joined LPGM in 2015. She has a deep passion for global ministry and is an ordained pastor in the ELCA. She has worked with Samaritan’s Purse Children’s Heart Project and traveled to Mongolia. She was also an associate coordinator in the Saint Paul Area Synod “Bega Kwa Bega” (Shoulder to Shoulder) program in the Iringa Diocese of Tanzania. Julie and her husband, Dan, have hosted exchange students and traveled extensively. They adopted two children, Nate (Haiti) and Jenna (Georgia) and have three grandchildren.
Valerie joined LPGM in 2016. Her passion in global mission work began in 1993 while serving in the Peace Corps in Cameroon, Africa. Her nonprofit sector commitment is reflected in 25 years of diverse work and volunteer experiences serving a variety of missions. She has served in a lead development role in several nonprofits for the past 12 years. She lives in South Minneapolis with her husband, Aaron, and daughter, Lucy, and looks forward to future LPGM mission trips.
After traveling to C.A.R. with the Olson’s for the dedication of St. Timothy Lutheran Church in 1993, Naomi was called to global mission work at home. A charter board member, Naomi was instrumental in its beginnings. She brings a unique perspective via her education degree, global travel, 22 year financial services career, and management consulting experience. She and her husband, Steve, are active at Bethlehem Lutheran Church and the Church of Christ the King, both in Minneapolis. Naomi joined the staff in 2009.
Mary joined LPGM in 2012 with passion for global ministry that began after a 2002 Jamaica mission trip. With a sales and marketing background, Mary has worked with companies in China and India. Mary is active at Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, serving the Church Council, Global Missions Committee, Hope for Parents, and the Nimble Thimble Quilters. She is also a Kinship of Greater Minneapolis mentor. Mary and her husband, Ralph, live in Edina and have 3 adult children.
Anne joined the staff in 2008. She has been a strong supporter of LPGM and has traveled on five LPGM trips, including Argentina and India. In her free time, Anne volunteers at the Animal Humane Society and enjoys bicycling and camping with her husband, Doug. She and Doug are members of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in south Minneapolis, and have two adult daughters.
Betty & Gordon Olson
Betty and Gordon Olson founded LPGM in 1995. They actively led the organization through its first 20 years. Today, having taken a step back from day-to-day operations, Betty supports the needs of the student sponsorship program. Gordon continues to support fundraising activities, assist in strengthening partnerships, and oversee program efforts in C.A.R. They also continue to give presentations to partners and prospective partners.
Verne Winter, Board Chair
Retired: Mechanical Engineer
Mark Holman, Past Chair
ELCA Pastor: Interim Assignments
Marilyn Christensen, Secretary
Randy Tofteland, Treasurer
Corinne Engstrand, Member at Large
Board of Directors
Seminary Student/Pastoral Intern
Retired: Human Resources
Retired: Active Volunteer
ELCA Pastor: Interim Assignments
Retired: Art Teacher
ELCA Pastor: Parish Ministry
ELCA Pastor: Retired/Visitation
Founder of Growing Together
Betsy Starz Thayer
ELCA Pastor: Parish Ministry
REVIEWED & CERTIFIED
LPGM is a gold-level participant of the GuideStar Exchange. GuideStar’s mission is to revolutionize philanthropy by providing information that advances transparency and encourages charitable giving. GuideStar helps users make the best possible decisions about their giving. LPGM provides information and regular updates to GuideStar as part of our profile, which you can see here: LPGM Profile on GuideStar.
A Timeline of LPGM
Tim Olson commits to one year of service for the ELCA as the supervisor of a church building project in Bangui, Central African Republic.
Tim was killed in an ambush in November.
The finished structure is dedicated as St. Timothy’s Lutheran Church; Gordy & Betty Olson attend.
June 27th, 1995:
Lutheran Partners in Global Ministry is incorporated as an independent, 501(c)3 non-profit organization; volunteers perform all organizational work.
Chapel at the seminary in Baboua, C.A.R. is built according to a design in Tim Olson’s journal with funds revealed through the first of many miracles.
LPGM partners with India’s Arcot Lutheran Church (ALC) to begin Project Education India; sponsors 217 students in ALC schools.
Bethlehem Lutheran Church provides space for an unassuming office; Gordon & Betty Olson lead a trip to Argentina on an exploration of collaboration.
Group of nineteen youth and adults travels to India on LPGM’s first global mission and service trip.
Project Education India surpasses 1200 sponsored students in boarding homes throughout southern India.
LPGM launches linen sales with inventory from Lebanon Home for Destitute Women (India).
LPGM and St. Philip the Deacon Lutheran Church complete the Mananjary Lutheran Church building in Madagascar.
Project Education India expands to India Evangelical Lutheran Church (IELC) and Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) boarding homes.
LPGM, together with several partners, completes the Orkesumet Clinic building project in Tanzania.
LPGM moves its office to the Minnesota Church Center, Minneapolis, MN.
LPGM, the EEL-RCA, Global Health Ministries, MSAADA, and the ELCA envision a clinic to serve the Gallo region (C.A.R.).
LPGM celebrates its 10th Anniversary at Bethlehem Lutheran Church (Minneapolis); 10 international guests from the C.A.R., Argentina, and India attend.
In partnership with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Central African Republic (EEL-RCA), LPGM helps build a Women’s Center in Bouar, C.A.R.
Succession planning begins; Thrivent awards LPGM a grant to encourage current giving and a capital campaign.
LPGM renovates a print shop in Jerusalem, in partnership with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL).
LPGM launches the “Now Is The Time” capital campaign. LPGM also initiates a Library Program, to equip 100 ALC school libraries.
LPGM hires the Rev. Mark Warpmaeker as its first Executive Director.
LPGM, the EEL-RCA, and other partners dedicate the Emmanuel Health Center (C.A.R.)
LPGM begins support for the Village Savings and Loan program, together with the EEL-RCA (C.A.R.), empowering over 4000 families.
The successful Library Program with the ALC School Project (India) transitions to wider English education program called English+.
The Evangelical Church in America (ELCA) global mission team awards LPGM a $1.2 million grant to dramatically expand the ALC Community College (India).
LPGM staff members travel to northern India and Guatemala to explore new partnership opportunities.
LPGM moves to a new, modern office space at 5200 Willson Road, Minneapolis.
The Arcot Lutheran Church dedicates the completed ALC Community College campus (India).
Julie Rogness is hired as Executive Director.
LPGM continues to meet needs around the world… face-to-face and hand-in-hand!