Church Staff

Rev. Dr. Mark Larson – Senior Pastor

Rev. Dr. Mark Larson was installed as the 8th Pastor in St. Lucas’ 110-year history in January 2017.  He is passionate about how the Bible purely and powerfully expresses God’s grace and love in Christ – and he loves to share that message with everyone.

Before coming to St. Lucas, he served as the Director of United States Ministries for Lutheran Hour Ministries, and as District Executive-Missions for the Rocky Mountain District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.  In that role, he guided the mission and evangelism programs for the district to a diverse population. Under his leadership, the district received the 2008 Executive Director’s Ablaze! Award from LCMS World Mission for a series of evangelism conferences called “Conversations of Grace.”  He began his ministry as Pastor of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church and School in Beecher, Illinois.

Raised near Grand Island, Nebraska, he received a bachelor’s degree in Speech Communications from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. He graduated with a Master of Divinity degree from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis and earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from Trinity International University in Deerfield, Illinois in 2004. He and his wife, Lisa, have two mostly-grown children.

Kathy Christopher – Parish Administrative and Extended Care Program Assistant

Kathy Christopher serves as the Parish Administrator.  She loves her job, because it provides an opportunity to serve our Lord through the Church.  She has served in this position about eight years. Kathy has attended St. Lucas since 1963, fifty-four years and counting.  She was baptized, confirmed and married here at St. Lucas.  She and her husband John have two grown children who live in the area.

Kathy also works as the Extended Care Program Assistant.  As she assists the Program Director, God brings many young children into her life.


Steve Kulifay – Building Operations

Steve is a life-long member of St. Lucas Lutheran Church.  Since his earliest memories are of St. Lucas, it’s safe to say that he knows the place like the back of his hand.  He serves by assuring that the facility is ready to meet the needs of ministry through rain and snow, heat and cold — and whatever other challenge may arise — to keep the campus a welcoming and functional place for guests, the community and  members.  Steve makes all of our jobs much easier with his care-giving to our campus.

Early Childhood Center (ECC) Staff

Allie O’Toole – 3 and 4 Year Old Preschool Teacher

Allie has been teaching for two years as a preschool teacher at St. Lucas, which is affiliated with Word of Life School.  Before that she worked at St. Lucas in the Kids Day Out Program here for 5 years!  She received a  Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education from Webster University in 2015.

“I want to create a safe and positive classroom environment where students are given the opportunity to grow in their love of learning and love of Jesus,” is how she expresses her philosophy of education.”  My classroom goals are to help students grow spiritually, socially and emotionally while creating strong and positive relationships.”

She enjoys volleyball, reading, shopping and spending time with family and friends.

Favorite Bible Verse: “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”  2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Carol Holmes – Director of Kids Day Out/Summer Camp

Carol Holmes serves as the director of the St. Lucas Early Childhood Center for the Kids Day Out/Summer Camp program. She has a love and compassion for the children and it shows in her everyday life.  After being a stay at home mom while her children were young, she was blessed to start working as a teacher’s aide when her children attended St. Lucas preschool in the fall of 1996.  Since then she has taken the position as director of the KDO program.  Carol and her husband Mike have been married for 34 years and have two grown children, Michael and Megan.  Carol feels that God has placed it in her heart to work with children and we feel she is a great asset to our staff at St. Lucas, and are truly blessed to have her be a part of our educational program.  “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”   Proverbs 22:6

Ronda O’Toole – Assistant Director Kids Day Out, PreSchool Aide, Extended Care Director

Ronda has been working with children for the past 18 years. Her experience includes aiding at the preschool and kindergarten at Word of Life Lutheran School, teaching preschool at Word of Life and teaching in the Kids Day Out Program.

Ronda’s goal is to provide a safe, comforting and loving environment where the children can learn, play, and grow socially and spiritually.  As this is most children’s first experience in a classroom, she believes it is important to develop a trusting and nurturing relationship with each individual child.

Ronda is married with three grown children all of which attended Word of Life Lutheran School from kindergarten through eighth grade.  In her spare time she likes to cook for her family, sew, make crafts and spend time with her family and friends.

“I can do things through Christ who strengthens me.”  Philippians 4:13

Claire McGaughey – Kids Day Out Assistant

Claire has been married to Terry for 38 years.  They have three grown children, two married. The newest additions to her family are identical twin girls born in April, 2016.  They are her heart.

Claire assists with the Kids Day Out program, working with children in many capacities through the years.  Seeing children grow and learn spiritually, emotionally and intellectually is her goal.