Mount Olive’s staff and its 13-member parish council, the Vestry, work together toward the congregation’s mission: In the presence of God, being the presence of God.
Pastor: The Rev. Joseph G. Crippen
Mount Olive’s pastor since 2010, Joseph is a gifted presider, counselor, and preacher who’s passionate about proclaiming God’s love for all people and serving the church as it seeks to faithfully pursue to its mission.
- Hometown: Worthington, Minn.
- Education: Gustavus Adolphus College; Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
- Previous parishes: Our Savior’s, Cleveland, Minn.; St. John’s, Northfield, Minn. (Vicar at Luther Memorial, Syracuse, Nebr.)
- Family: Married to Mary, four adult children, lives in Bloomington.
- Hobbies: Movies, novels, music, and enjoying an exceptional cup of tea
- Blog: “In the Center of All Things”
Cantor: David Cherwien
Mount Olive’s cantor since 2001 and artistic director of the National Lutheran Choir since 2002, David is one of the Twin Cities’ most celebrated organists and choral directors. His frequent leadership for hymn festivals and workshops, along with his guest appearances and published work, have influenced church music nationwide.
- Hometown: Minneapolis
- Education: Augsburg College; University of Minnesota
- Parish musician: Chicago; Seattle; Berlin, Germany
- Faculty: Gustavus Adolphus, Elmhurst College, Luther Seminary
- Family: Married to the noted hymnist Susan Palo Cherwien, two adult children, lives in St. Louis Park
- Hobby: Cars, classic and not (He has owned more than 60, usually one at a time.)
Coordinator of Neighborhood Ministry: Jim Bargmann
Mount Olive’s coordinator of neighborhood ministries as of 2019, Jim has training and experience in leading educational ministries and extensive experience coordinating community service oriented programs and initiatives. Jim has a passion for caring for those in our South Minneapolis community, making connections with other social service organizations, and helping the people of the Mount Olive community use their gifts for service to others.
- Hometown: Aurora, CO.
- Education: Concordia University, St. Paul
- Experience: Director of Christian Education
- Family: A son and a daughter, lives in Woodbury
- Hobbies: Hiking, photography, and reading
Administrative Assistant: Cha Posz
Drawn to Mount Olive in 2001 by her love for liturgy and music, Cha has been a talented and cheerful servant of Lutheran congregations for many years. Her tasks include overseeing the office, publications, and care-taking many behind-the-scenes aspects of parish life.
- Hometown: New Brighton, Minn.
- Education: Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD
- Experience: Former Associate in Ministry, church musician, youth director, synod worship committee member, and parish administrator
- Family: Married to Kurt, two adult sons, lives in New Brighton
- Hobbies: Photography, gardening
Sexton: James Wilkes
Arriving at Mount Olive in 2017, James brought decades of janitorial experience to the congregation, including 22 years at Fern’s restaurant on Cathedral Hill in St. Paul. James enjoys the peace, solitude, and satisfaction of custodial work.
- Hometown: Brownsville, Tenn.
- Education: St. Louis, Mo., public schools
- Experience: 22 years at Fabulous Fern’s Bar & Grill, St. Paul
- Family: Two sons, one daughter, nine grandchildren, lives in St. Paul
- Hobbies: Fishing (sunfish and bass) and classic movies and TV
Vicar: Bristol Reading
Bristol is the 51st vicar to serve at Mount Olive. Vicars are seminary interns who are assigned to the parish for a full year of pastoral experience and learning. Some vicars serve this year as their final year of seminary, others do it in their third year and return for a final year of classes. A successful internship is one of the requirements of the ELCA for approval for ordination into the ministry of Word and Sacrament.
- Home: Bristol grew up in the midwest, but also lived on both the east and west coasts.
- Education: Loyola University, Chicago (BA); Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley (MA); completing M.Div. work at Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
- Family: Married to Michael, lives in St. Louis Park.
- Hobbies: Running, bicycling.
Click here for a list of vicars who have served at Mount Olive.
The Vestry meets on the second Monday of each month at 7 p.m. in the East Assembly Room. Occasional highlights from each meeting can be found in the Olive Branch. Contact the church office for information about serving on a Vestry committee.
President: Gretchen Campbell-Johnson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice President: Mark Ruff, email@example.com
Secretary: Gene Janssen, firstname.lastname@example.org
Treasurer: Doug Parish, email@example.com
Congregational Life: Larry Duncan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Education: Chad King, email@example.com
Evangelism: Lora Dundek, firstname.lastname@example.org
Missions: Judy Hinck, email@example.com
Neighborhood Ministries: Cynthia Prosek, firstname.lastname@example.org
Property: Art Halbardier, email@example.com
Stewardship: Consuelo Gutierrez-Crosby, firstname.lastname@example.org
Worship: Rob Ruff, email@example.com
Youth and Family: Chandler Molbert, firstname.lastname@example.org
Advisory Committee for Care of the Earth/Climate Justice
A task force of the Vestry, the committee encourages Mount Olive members and friends to live faithfully by caring for the earth. Click here to learn more.