David-J.-Baldukas
Pastor David J. Baldukas became Olivet’s Pastor in June, 1995. His primary responsibility: “To discern and follow the will of God for the mission and ministry of Olivet Beacon of Light Lutheran Church.” Pastor Dave has his Masters of Divinity from Wartburg Theological Seminary and has taken some coursework for a Doctorate in Ministry. His undergraduate degree is in Religious Studies from Carthage College and he holds an associate degree from Gateway Technical College. He enjoys cooking and anything outdoors. His favorite books include The Bible, Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala among many others. Favorite movies include: Citizen Kane, Casablanca, Star Wars, It’s A Wonderful Life, The Matrix, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and many others.  Using three words to describe himself, Pastor Dave says “child of God.” He has many favorite Bible verses. One in particular is 2 Corinthians 5:17-20. “It reminds me that God has done a new thing for me and in me—that I am a new person in Christ. It also reminds me that it is not my own doing but the work of God—”Grace” for me in Jesus Christ. Then the verse reminds me of the work and the ministry that God’s church needs to be about—the ministry of reconciliation!” 2 Corinthians 5:17-20 NLT: This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to Himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to Him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And He gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making His appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”  Pastor Dave and his wife Lisa have three daughters: Amy, Sarah and Christa. The couple lives on French Island.

Pastor Andrew Fortuine joined the Olivet Lutheran staff in August 2015.  Prior to Olivet, Andrew served churches in British Columbia (Canada), Rochester (MN), and Onalaska (WI), and also as a missionary in Japan.  His theological education includes North Park Seminary (M.Div) and Fuller Theological Seminary (MATS).  Andrew is currently pursuing his D.Min in Spiritual Formation at Gordon-Conwell. 

Andrew’s passions for ministry include discipleship and spiritual formation for all ages, worship, missions, Bible study, and prayer. Two of Andrew’s favorite Scripture passages are John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” and Romans 5:8, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  The hope of the Gospel continues to shine as brightly as ever to our lost and needy world!

Andrew’s wife Heather is a Clinical Instructor for the UW-L Physical Therapy Department.  Andrew and Heather and their two children, Elliot and Anna, and dog Chester reside in La Crescent, MN.  Andrew’s hobbies include hiking, outdoor sports, music, reading, and spending time with family and friends.  He is excited to be a part of all the wonderful ways God is working through Olivet Lutheran to build the Kingdom!

PAYNE-SCOTT-185
CHURCH ADMINISTRATOR
Dorothy Payne
Dorothy and her husband, Scott, have been members of Olivet for over 10 years. She was on the Stewardship Committee for several years and was the Church bookkeeper for two years before taking the job as Church Administrator at Olivet. Dorothy and her husband have also led several Financial Peace University classes here at Olivet. Prior to coming on board full-time at Olivet, Dorothy was employed for 32 years at a local law firm, starting there as a legal secretary, and then moving into a position as technology manager, providing computer and software support, as well as assisting the bookkeeper. Some of her interests are traveling, eating out, camping, geocaching, scrapbooking and reading. Dorothy and her husband have two children, Greg and his wife Sarah and Alex and his wife Kimberlin. They are also blessed with three grandchildren, Madelyn, Benton and Ava.
kelly-remusKids’ Church Assistant
Kelly Remus
Kelly Remus is a French Island native who has lived down the street from Olivet since Kindergarten and joined Olivet as a member in 2009. She graduated from Winona State in 2009 with her degree in Elementary/Middle School Education.  Since then, she has held different teaching positions within the local area and Southeast Minnesota. She joined the Olivet team in July 2016 as the Kids’ Church Assistant, as it was a good fit and kept her in the education realm, having decided to stay home with her children and also provide in-home daycare.  Kelly and her husband, Brian, live in Holmen. They have two children, Lillianne (4), Adelina (1), and a third on the way that will be arriving in March. In her free time, Kelly enjoys running, hunting, camping, and spending time with her family. She also enjoys coffee, hiking, being in the woods, reading, listening to music, cooking, and spending time with her nieces and nephews.
melanie-head-shot
Kids’ Church Assistant
Melanie Wuensch
“I was born and raised in Devils Lake, North Dakota on a farm. I have a B.S. degree in Recreation Resource Management from the University of Montana, Missoula. I have lived in Montana, Oregon, North Dakota, and now Wisconsin- all beautiful areas. I work at Gillette Pepsi in the pricing department. While I was a truck dispatcher at a freight brokerage company, I prayed that God would bring a nice man into my life. Lunar Transportation called me for a freight load and the rest is God’s blessing! Brad and I enjoy fishing, gardening, wine making, and Kids’ Church together. We have 2 cats and live in Onalaska. I love antiquing, reading, cooking new recipes, and Jelly Belly’s. Brad and I would love to have a hobby farm. My favorite Bible story is the love of Jacob and Rachel. I can’t wait to meet Mary Magdalene in heaven. My life verse is Psalm 90:12  “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

Connections Coordinator
Cyndi Karlovich
I describe myself as someone who has done a little bit of everything. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Law Enforcement and an Associate’s degree is Early Childhood, I also became a Commissioned Lay Minister in Iowa and a Stephen Leader in Wisconsin.  Prior to joining the staff at Olivet, I was the librarian at Coulee Christian School for 1 year.  I have also led many adult Bible studies and was the Assimilation Coordinator at First United Methodist Church in Peoria, Illinois.  My husband, Mike, and I and children, Sam and Sophia, have lived in Illinois, Iowa, Texas and now Holmen, Wisconsin. My favorite Bible verses include Esther 4:14, reminding us that God will place us where he needs us and we must be ready to answer the call, Romans 10:13-15 reminding me that all need to hear the truth of the gospel, and Revelation 3:20 which reminds me that Jesus will not force himself in, but stands patiently at the door waiting for us to welcome him in.  My hobbies include reading, gardening, enjoying the outdoors, and eating dark chocolate. 

BLANK-ROD-64Music Team Leader, 5:30 PM Service

Emma Blank

As the Music Team Leader for Saturday night services, Emma selects the music, sings and plays guitar for this “Blended Worship” service. She describes her role as “sharing the word of God through song.”

Emma is a life-long member of Olivet. Music has always been a very important part of her life and she said she is humbled to be able to share her musical gifts with the Olivet congregation. Asked to describe herself in three words, she says, “child of God.” Her favorite bible verse is John 11:35 “Jesus Wept.” because “it makes me understand the ‘humanness’ of Jesus Christ.” Favorite books include Eric by Doris Lund and anything from Dr. Seuss. Favorite movies include Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “Elf.”

Emma and Rod have been married for over 20 years and live in Hokah, MN. They have three adult children: Ryan, Kyle and Carmen. Emma enjoys camping, reading and gardening.

SCHWINGLE-JOHN-23Music Team Leader, 8:00 AM Service
Doris Schwingle
Doris is the Music Team Leader for the Sunday morning “Classic” worship at 8 am. She selects the music, plays the organ and keyboard and leads her music team, which usually consists of a cantor, flute and euphonium. Her favorite Bible verse: John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

Doris has been at Olivet since 2007 when she and her husband, John, moved to the area after she retired from teaching in Maine. She has double majors in Education and Psychology/Sociology and taught for nine years at the elementary level and then language arts for 25 years at the middle school level.

Among her favorite books are: Of Mice and Men by Steinbech and The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. Favorite movies include Gone with the Wind, Sound of Music and Camelot. She enjoys reading, walking, cooking, singing, shopping and education. She and her husband John live on French Island. They have three adult children: Stacey, Susan and John and two granddaughters: Emma and Madison.

GROSHEK-DALE-77Music Team Leader, 10:00 AM Service & Office Assistant
Toni has a Master’s degree in Vocal Performance and has been a freelance musician for over 20 years. She joined the Olivet team in October 2011 and prior to that she was a part of the CityPrayz worship band.  From 2009-2012, Toni toured around the Coulee Region with her solo worship program, The Life Of Christ.  In 2014, she released her debut solo album, RED LIGHT – GREEN LIGHT.  Her favorite Bible verse is Acts 17:28, “In Him we live and move and have our being”.  She enjoys drinking good coffee and when asked for three words to describe herself, she says, “Must have chocolate.” Toni and her husband, Dale, have two children and they live in Holmen.