Rev. David Easterday - Senior Pastor
Pastor David Easterday is a life-long Hoosier. Born in Fort Wayne, he has lived most of his life in the Fort Wayne area,. He graduated from Indiana University (Fort Wayne) in 1975, with a degree in Elementary Education. He worked for a number of years at United Technologies in automotive engineering. He set aside his engineering career and studied at Concordia Theological Seminary, graduating in 1994. His first call as Assistant Pastor at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church (south side of Fort Wayne) and then as Sr. Pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church (northwest side of Fort Wayne). He began the call as Sr. Pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church, Crown Point, on July 23, 2007.
Pastor Easterday has a love for the children of the congregation and loves giving children's messages. He also loves to share God's Word in a very practical and relevant way, proclaiming God's Word from his "preaching Bible." He spends his spare time reading, making home repairs, camping, and working with Lionel model trains.
Pastor Easterday married his high school sweetheart, Joyce, in 1972. They are blessed with three daughters who live in various locations in Indiana.
He would love to get to know you by name, and welcomes you to join with Trinity at our worship services and Bible study opportunities!
Rev. Dave Kipp - Associate Pastor
Dave Kipp was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and is the youngest of three boys. His father, Fred, was a LC-MS pastor in Minnesota, Ohio and Michigan. Dave married his wife, Susan, in 1973. They have two boys, John and Michael.
Dave has an undergraduate degree in Theology at Concordia College in Milwaukee in 1978 and Concordia University in Mequon, Wisconsin in 1987. Completed Pastoral Colloquy program at the Concordia Seminary in Ft. Wayne in 1992.
Dave served the Lord Jesus Christ both as a Lay Minister and Pastor at congregations in Wisconsin, California, Illinois, Texas, Kentucky and Indiana.
Dave enjoys spending time with family; playing golf; cooking and baking; riding the tandem bike; being a part of the ministry team of a local congregation; witnessing the Christian faith; worshiping together with other Christians.
One of Dave's favorite Bible verses:
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Gal. 2:20)
Rev. H. Lothar Thoelke - Pastor Emeritus
Hermann Lothar Thölke [that was the original spelling] was born in 1939 in a parsonage in Potsdam, Germany. Refugees at the end of the War, the family settled on the farm where his father was raised near Celle, north of Hannover. After the father's early death in 1948, his mother returned with her two sons to London, England,.
After receiving his B.A. in English, History and German at London University in 1960, Pastor Thoelke studied Latin, Greek and Hebrew at the Theologische Hochschule in Oberursel, Germany. In early 1962 he crossed the Atlantic on the Queen Mary to continue his theological studies at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, in preparation for ministry in England. With the completion of the M. Div. in 1965 he received his first call was as assistant pastor at St. John's (Mayfair) Chicago. That summer he and Gertraud Gutbrod (better known as Traude) were married in Wilhelmsdorf, Germany.
From 1968 to his call to become senior pastor at Trinity he was pastor at Zion Lutheran Church in Summit, IL. There, as later at Trinity, he rebuilt the school, encouraged and trained laymen and women to teach the Word, and fostered strong support of missions and charities, believing firmly that congregations and individuals have been blessed to be a blessing.
From 1973 to 2002 Pastor Thoelke was senior pastor at Trinity, taking the congregation through two building programs, adding the new school and 25 years later the administrative building.
Pastor and Traude have 3 children:
- Mary, a nurse at St. Anthony's and organist at Grace Lutheran in Dyer;
- Mark, Music Director at Zion Lutheran in Harvester, MO;
- John, an accountant and member of the church council at Zion, Harvester, MO.
There are seven grandchildren, the oldest eagerly preparing to enter Concordia University Chicago to be a Lutheran teacher.
A Personal Word about Retirement. Retirement does not mean that I have been led out to pasture. The Lord still has plenty of work for Traude and me to do. On Sundays I preach in the area more frequently than it was possible at Trinity. During the week there are visits to shut-ins and hospital calls. I teach a small group on a bi-weekly basis and help out when needed, even refereeing the annual school versus parents soccer game. In recent years I was trained to be a leader in the Consecrated Stewards program and now, after courses with the LCMS Foundation, am ready to serve as a Gift Planning Counselor. Traude is one of the new Stephen Ministers, helps organize the Sunday worship readers and the nursery on Tuesday mornings, and always has her eyes open for caring ministry of one kind or another.