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!

Director of Operations
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 four grandchildren, Madelyn, Benton, Ava and Liam.
Administrative Assistant
and Front Office Receptionist
Linda Cowing is the Administrative Assistant and front office Receptionist. She has over 17 years experience in various office settings, the latest being Warranty Coordinator at Wettstein’s until they closed in August of 2018.  Linda has a B.S. Degree in Social Work from UW-La Crosse, with an emphasis in geriatrics. She also works in an Assisted Living
facility helping the elderly. Linda has experience as Volunteer Coordinator,
Database Manager and Real Estate Sales, among other things. 
Her life motto is “Variety is the Spice of Life.”  After her husband passed away,
Linda moved back to the area from Virginia in 2010 to help her aging parents.
                                                                                               Her dad is 96 and is still living in his own home. When not working or helping her dad,
                                                                                               Linda enjoys projects on her house, swimming, cross-country skiing & hiking.
                                                                                              She lives in Houston, Minnesota, and attends La Crosse Christian Church.
Director of Family Ministry
Trish Kapelke and her family are excited to be joining the Olivet family as we continue to reach the Coulee Region with the love of Christ. Trish and her husband, Jim, have been doing ministry together for over 20 years. She has spent most of her career years as a middle school teacher and a Children and Family Minister. Her hobbies include singing, sewing, reading, spending time with her family and playing volleyball. A verse that challenges and inspires Trish is Psalm 139:14, which talks about how each of us are “fearfully and wonderfully made” and how God’s works are “wonderful.” This means that each student, child, adult and stranger have been made by God’s hands and deserve to know the amazing love that He has for them. Another verse that she strives to live out everyday is Genesis 50:20.  This verse talks about how the sinful world may desire to harm us or speak poorly about us, but God uses our circumstances to bring Him honor and glory. Jim and Trish have been married for 24 years and have seven children.
Nursery Coordinator/MOPS-MOMSNext Coordinator
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.
Children’s Church Assistant
“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.”

Music 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.

Worship & Arts Technology Team Leader / Youth Ministry Support
While Patrick’s professional life has been spent in the theatre – designing, directing and writing – he has a long history of working with the church – Youth ministry, Lenten dramas, worship music and technology and striving to be a good amateur theologian (priesthood of believers!)  
Patrick and his wife, Amy, and two daughters have been worshipping at Olivet since 2015 and during that time Patrick has served in many roles including Confirmation mentor & leader, chaperone for youth retreats and mission trips, worship team member, and A/V technician.   Patrick joined the Olivet team in the summer of 2017 and strives to live out the call of 1 Corinthians 11:1 – “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”