Pastor Joan Oleson
Pastor’s Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pastor Joan Oleson has served as pastor of Saron since October of 2007. One of six siblings, Pastor Joan grew up in Fowlerville and Clawson, MI where her father served as a Lutheran pastor. After graduating from Clawson High School, Pastor Joan attended and graduated from Capital University in Columbus, OH. She then moved to Williston, North Dakota where she served as the Christian Education Director of First Lutheran Church for three years. It is there that she met her spouse, Jim, a certified public accountant, and North Dakota native. She is a graduate of Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, OH.
Prior to serving with the good people of Saron, she was the mission developer and pastor of Bread of Life Lutheran Church in Hudsonville, MI for 17 years. Pastor Joan has a deep desire to make people feel welcome and included.
Pastor Joan enjoys spending time with her family, which includes their four grown daughters and spouses, three grandchildren, all of whom live out-of-state. Pastor Joan and Jim also eagerly await the arrival of a new grandchild, expected in September. Pastor Joan also appreciates a nice walk and tinkering in her rose garden.
Pastor Joan’s favorite Bible verse is “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1b
Amanda’s Email: email@example.com
Amanda is a long-time volunteer at Saron who was excited to officially join the staff in 2021. She grew up in the area and is a graduate of Lakeshore High School (98) and Central Michigan University (02). She has a bachelors in Business Administration with a major in Accounting. Pastor Gary Cowall married her and Matt, her highschool sweetheart, at Saron in 2002. They moved to Ohio, then Georgia, then back to Ohio before finally settling down back home in St. Joseph, Michigan near her parents and in-laws. They have two teenage daughters, Mia and Alaina, who were baptized and confirmed at Saron and are active in the church through acolyting and various youth programs. Her favorite things to do are plan vacations, write, scrapbook, and spend time with her family.
After more than a decade of being a stay-at-home (but not literally) mom and frequent volunteer, working at the church was the right opportunity to use her organizational, communication and graphic design skills in a way that fulfilled her professionally and spiritually.
Megan’s Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Megan grew up in South Haven Michigan, and was active in the band and music programs throughout school. After graduation, she attended Western Michigan University, where she graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. She currently works at Huntington bank, as a Wealth Service Specialist.
Megan is a member of Peace Lutheran Church in South Haven, where she also serves as the Financial Secretary. In her free time, she enjoys reading, watching movies, catching a Cleveland Indians baseball game, shopping and spending time with family and friends.
Irma Gorman is a lifelong member of Saron Lutheran Church and is proud to serve as the organist for her church family. She grew up in Benton Harbor, Michigan where she sang in the Saron choir, was confirmed by Pastor Victorson, and graduated from Benton Harbor High School. Irma attended Elmhurst College, a private college outside of Chicago, for her bachelor’s degree, and holds a Master’s Degree in Music from Michigan State University.
In her free time she enjoys gardening, supporting the local arts through Southwest Michigan Symphony and Monday Musical involvement, and serving as the lodge secretary for the local Vasa Order of America, a Swedish heritage organization.
Irma has four grown children: Todd, Tedd, Brad, and Lorelei, who were all confirmed at Saron.
Marcus’s Email: email@example.com
Marcus has been music director at Saron since fall of 2011. He directs the senior church choir, the bell choir and helps with children’s music. Marcus attended Central Michigan University where he earned a Bachelors degree in Voice, and Masters Degree in Choral Conducting. Marcus is no stranger to the music and theatre scene in Southwest Michigan. Since moving here in 2011 from the mid michigan area, he has been a part of many local choral ensembles, and has served as director for many theatre companies.
Professionally, Marcus taught at Southwestern Michigan College for 10 years serving as music faculty, as a voice instructor, a lecturer of music history, and academic advisor for music students. His role changed in 2017 when he took over the theatre department at Southwestern, directing shows, designing technical theatre, and continuing his passion of private voice instruction. In Fall of 2021 Marcus took a new job as the auditorium and facilities director for St. Joseph Public Schools. Marcus has been involved in church music his whole life, starting in high school singing in the church choir. Marcus has served as music director of many congregations over the years, but has found a home here at Saron. Marcus lives in Stevensville with his wife Beth, daughter Piper, and sons Finnegan, Emmett and Thatcher.
Sara’s Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sara grew up in Hastings, Michigan where she was very active in all the theater productions and choirs. She graduated in 2016 and then went to Southwestern Michigan College to sing there on scholarship. Sara is currently the Youth Services Assistant at the Coloma Public Library where she does Storytime with toddlers and preschoolers. She enjoys relaxing at the beach, trips to Target, and having dinners with friends.