Board of Directors

President – Rev. Dr. Steve Turner

Rev. Turner served as senior pastor of Trinity, Algona. He previously served the dual parish at Marcus/Quimby. He graduated from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, in 1985 and has been in Iowa District West since 1985. He has served as second vice president since 2000 and as a member of Iowa District West Board of Directors since 1994. Other service includes chairman of Iowa District West Committee on Lay Ministry; chairman of Rural Ministry Task Force; chairman of the district Stewardship Committee; Floor Committee chairman for 1991 district convention; pastoral delegate to 1989, 1998, and 2004 Synod conventions; and past president/member of Lutheran Family Service of Iowa Board of Directors.

First Vice President – Pastor Roger Carlisle

Rev. Carlisle serves as pastor of  Peace, Wall Lake where he began his ordained ministry. He graduated from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, in 1983 and has been in Iowa District West since 1983. He has served as a member of Iowa District West Board of Directors from 1994-2000 as Chairman of the Board of Youth Services. Other service includes staff at District Confirmand Retreat and Junior High Retreat; District Reconciler; District Nomination Committee; chairman of District Student Recruitment Committee; Sac City Circuit Counselor; pastoral delegate to 1989 and 2007 Synod conventions, serving as a member of Synod Floor Committee on Program and Finance in 2007; and other various District ad hoc committees.

Second Vice President – Pastor Paul Egger

Secretary – Pastor Richard Merrill

Treasurer – Scott Ernst

Scott Ernst is a CPA and shareholder in Ernst Swedean & Associates, P.C., Sioux City, IA. He and his wife Brenda are members of Redeemer Lutheran Church, Sioux City, IA since 1981. He has held the position of President, Treasurer, and Elder Chairman numerous times at Redeemer and sings in the adult choir. He is also treasurer of the Downtown Kiwanis Club and Whispering Creek Golf Club in Sioux City.

Chairman – Stan Ullerich

Dr. Ullerich was baptized into Christ at St John-Charter Oak, confirmed his faith at St Paul-Ute and currently worships at Timothy-Council Bluffs. He served as lay member-at-large on the Board from 2003-2009 and IDW Stewardship Committee 2012-2015. Stan and his wife Nadine have three adult sons and were members at Memorial- Ames while newlyweds, since at Zion- San Luis Obispo CA, Peace- Arroyo Grande CA, Redeemer-West Lafayette IN, and Grace- Storm Lake. Stan is a professor emeritus of economics, having retired from the Siebens School of Business at Buena Vista University in December 2016.

Chairman, Missions Committee – Pastor Bruce Lesemann

Rev. Lesemann serves as pastor of St. John, Storm Lake. He previously served LCMS World Missions as Church Planter and Leadership Trainer, first in the Philippines, in Sarangani Province on the island of Mindanao from 1997-2001, and then in Kingston, Jamaica from 2002-2006.  He graduated from Concordia Seminary in 1997.  Before entering the pastoral ministry, he served as a Lutheran School teacher in Illinois from 1985-1991. He has served in Iowa District West since 2006, and served as the District LWML Junior and Senior Counselor from 2010-2014.

Chairman, Human Care Committee – Pastor Seth Kaiser

Rev. Kaiser serves as pastor at Trinity, Glenwood and has been there since 2009.  Previously, Seth attended Concordia University, Seward, NE and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in theology with a youth ministry specialization in 2001. He also received DCE certification and was called to serve by Our Savior Lutheran Church in Norfolk, NE as youth director. After four years of service as a DCE, Seth was given the opportunity to serve as a missionary from the Nebraska District to victims of Hurricane Katrina in the New Orleans area. He worked as a camp manager for seven months at a volunteer base camp at Atonement Lutheran Church in Metairie, LA. Seth then began his schooling at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, in June 2006. He was ordained at Trinity, Glenwood in August of 2010.  Seth has served in a variety of capacities with the IDW Senior High Youth Gathering since 2011; as a pastoral delegate to the 2013 Synodical Convention; on the Board of Directors at Mission Central since 2015; and as Pastoral Counselor the Council Bluffs Zone of the LWML since 2018.  Seth is a native son of IDW, being born and raised in Denison.

Chairman, Stewardship Committee – Pastor Jonathan Conner

Brain numbing. That’s how Pastor Jonathan Conner feels about biographic paragraphs. But he loves words – words like propitiation (see 1 John 4:10), splagchnizomai (see “compassion” in Luke 15:10), and chesed (see “abounding in steadfast love” in Exodus 34:6). Those words will put fire in your veins – and those words are found in The Word. Reading about Pastor Conner’s ministry at St. John Lutheran Church in Sanborn from 2004 – 2010 and his current service at Zion Lutheran in Manning from 2010 along with the various boards and committees on which he has served will turn your blood to sludge and your brain to mush (just like the TV you bow before every evening). So stop reading about Pastor Conner (and leave your TV off tonight) and go look up Matthew 6:19-21. Go look up Mark 4:19. Go look up 2 Corinthians 8:7 and Proverbs 30:7-9. Study those words. Chew on them in context. Crunch them in your teeth. Drink them as Castrol for your veins. Slam them as Jolt for your mind. Ingest words that matter. And then serve them in your church. Watch what happens.

Chairman, Christian Education Committee – Pastor Scott Kozisek

Chairman, Youth Services Committee – Pastor Jonathan Riggert

Rev. Riggert has served as pastor of Trinity, Cherokee, since December of 2010.  He previously served as associate pastor at Holy Cross in Saint Cloud, MN, for over five years.  He graduated from Concordia- St. Paul in 2001 and from Concordia Seminary in Saint Louis in 2005.  He has served as dean of the IDW Senior High Youth Gathering since 2012; chaplain at Camp Okoboji since 2011; pastoral delegate to the 2013 Synodical Convention; is president of the Cherokee County Ministerial Association; and also serves as a volunteer chaplain for the Iowa State Patrol.

Ordained Minister-At-Large – Pastor Dan Vogel

Daniel Vogel is the retired pastor of Amigos en Cristo Lutheran Church in Denison, Iowa. He graduated from Concordia Theological Seminary in 1982. Previously he served as a Hispanic Church Planter at Monte de Los Olivos Lutheran and Bilingual Pastor at St. Matthew Lutheran both in the Miami, Florida area. He has been the District since 1997 serving as pastor at Zion, Manning and IDW Hispanic Missionary in Denison, Storm Lake, and Des Moines. He has served as Carroll Circuit Counselor. Daniel is married to Paula Schmidt. They live in rural Manning and have six children and nine grandchildren.

Commissioned Minister-At-Large – Merrilee Sump

Merrilee Sump is Principal/Teacher at Zion Lutheran School in Denison, Iowa. She has served schools in Indiana, Missouri and in Iowa District West for the past 24 years. Miss Sump has served as the National Lutheran School Accreditation Commissioner in IDW since the late 90's. School improvement and financial development are two areas of interest for Miss Sump.

Lay Member-At-Large – Tim Buelow

Tim is a charter member of Messiah Lutheran in Johnston and has been a member of IDW since 1976. He served as Vice President (2009-2010) and President (2011-2012) of the church council at Messiah and was the Lay Delegate to the 2012 IDW Convention. He and his wife Heidi have two young sons and live in West Des Moines. Tim attended Iowa State University and earned degrees in Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering. He currently works as an environmental engineer at Barker Lemar Engineering Consultants in West Des Moines.

Lay Member-At-Large – Mark Kramer

Lay Member-at-Large – Jane Morris

Jane is a member of Immanuel in Clarinda. Born and raised in Sac City, she has been a part of IDW for 41 years. Her family includes husband Chuck, stepson Mitchell, and daughter Emily.  Jane became involved in the LWML through its district Young Woman Representative program. She went on to serve on the Leader Development committee, then as Vice President of Gospel Outreach and Special Focus Ministries, and is currently the LWML Iowa West District President. Jane also served on the Iowa District West Missions Committee and is currently one of the IOWAY Coordinators.