MEET OUR STAFF

Please dont hesitate to contact one of us for more information about Hiawatha Church!

CHRIS WACHTER / LEAD PASTOR

Chris was born and raised right here in the gopher state! He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in graphic design and worked as a production artist for two years before going to Bethel Seminary to earn his Master of Divinity. His hobbies include hanging out with friends, watching movies, taking walks with his wife, riding roller coasters (though he gets sick after a couple rides), golfing, cooking out, lawn games, living in the Twin Cities, fixing up his house, and reading the Bible. He is married to Aletha and they have three kids: Jane, Emmett, and Helen. One thing he loves about his job is just hanging out with people, so let him know if you want to get coffee or lunch with him sometime—his treat! chris@hiawathachurch.com

 

SPENCER PETERSON / COMMUNITY LIFE PASTOR

Spencer grew up in a small town in northern Minnesota but once he went to Bethel University and got a taste of city life, he was hooked. There he met his best friend and ministry partner and they were married a few months after graduation. Spencer and Amy have two kids: Charlie and Esther. They love the city and all it has to offer, working on their vegetable and flower gardens, reading, consuming media (blogs, film, tv, magazines), grilling out and having campfires with friends, sports, and traveling. After 6 years teaching second grade at a Latino charter school in St. Paul while also earning his Masters in Education from Concordia University, God called him to vocational ministry at Hiawatha Church.  As Pastor of Community Life, he’d love to take you out for coffee or lunch sometime and answer any questions you might have about faith, Jesus, or Hiawatha Church and get a chance to hear your story. spencer@hiawathachurch.com

 

PETER CARLSON / WORSHIP LEADER

Peter loves Minnesota and has lived here his whole life. He grew up in Rochester before venturing to the Twin Cities to attend Northwestern College where he earned degrees in Biology and Biblical Studies. He spent 4 summers working at Inspiration Point Christian Camp and met his wife Becky there. Now Peter works as a microbiologist at Aveda and enjoys watching tv and movies, reading, writing, listening to and playing music and roughhousing with his two sons Elliott and Zachary. His staunch support of the long-suffering Minnesota sports teams is well documented. Peter desires that Hiawatha Church be a community that worships and glorifies God - not just on Sunday mornings, but every day. peter@hiawathachurch.com

 

EMILY KLEIBER / WOMEN’S MINISTRY LEADER & COUNSELING DIRECTOR

Emily is a Minnesota farm girl who headed for the city and never looked back. She attended the University of Wisconsin La Crosse and graduated with both a psychology degree and an amazing husband, Pete. They moved to St. Paul where Emily earned her master’s degree in counseling psychology from Bethel University. She is the mother to Gabriel, Liv, and Leo who keep her days busy and full of (usually good) surprises. She enjoys cooking, impromptu dance parties, and exploring new spots around the cities with friends. Emily works part-time as a therapist at Tapestry Pregnancy & Family Resource Center in addition to offering free individual counseling here at church. She’s always up for meeting up to talk about life’s ups and downs and what God is doing in our hearts. emily@hiawathachurch.com

 

BECKY CARLSON / OFFICE MANAGER

Becky has lived in Minnesota her whole life from Duluth to Aurora to Northfield to South Minneapolis. She graduated from St. Olaf College with degrees in Mathematics and Family Studies. Besides keeping track of Hiawatha’s finances, Becky spends much of her time raising her adorable sons Elliott and Zachary. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband Peter, hanging out with friends, playing soccer, watching movies, learning more about Jesus, reading and volunteering. becky@hiawathachurch.com

 

CHRIS THOMPSON / KIDS MINISTRY LEADER

Chris was born and raised just a few blocks away from Hiawatha church. During college at UW Madison he met and married his wife Sara and they have three kids (Luke, Eloise, and Kate) that have spent most (or all) of their lives at Hiawatha church. Chris and his family helped plant Hiawatha back ten years ago and have been involved in various ministries throughout the years. His other job is a science teacher at Hope Academy. He is a sports nut and enjoys spending time with his family playing games, traveling and just having fun together. Chris is excited to be a part of the staff at Hiawatha and serve to help our kids grow in their knowledge and love of the gospel. cthompson@hiawathachurch.com

 

TYLER HOWARD / YOUTH MINISTRY LEADER

Tyler was born in California but grew up in Grand Rapids, Minnesota; and he can’t imagine living in any other state! Tyler spent the summers of 2008 - 2012 working as a camp counselor at Camp JIM in Pillager, MN. It was at camp that Tyler met and worked with Vawny Kaye, the amazing woman that would become his wife in 2015. Tyler attended a Bible college in Oregon, and then went to Lake Superior College and received a degree in Building and Construction. Tyler is a huge extrovert and loves competitions! Whether it’s board games, yard games, sports, or anything else you could make into a competition! He also enjoys camping, eating, building projects, volunteering, and anything that involves hanging out with friends. Tyler and his wife love the community at Hiawatha Church and have a big desire for the youth to grow in their love for the Lord and in their excitement to be actively seeking His work in and through their lives. tyler@hiawathachurch.com

 

DAVID FERNANDEZ / JANITORIAL AND BUILDING MAINTENANCE

David was born in Cuernavaca City located in Morelos state Mexico. He owned and worked in a clothing store for six years and in 1999 met his wife Donelle. She was in Mexico volunteering and helping small communities of indigenous Mexicans. In 2001 they moved to Minnesota to start a new family together and now are blessed to have three beautiful girls. David then went to school for two years to learn English as a second language. He enjoys the outdoors all year: camping, rock climbing, hiking, and riding his bike almost everyday (even in the winter!!). He also likes to cook Mexican food for friends and family. In his free time he likes to go for a walk or bike ride with his girls and wife. He is blessed to be part of Hiawatha Church and to have new friends! david@hiawathachurch.com  

 
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MELANIE HARPER / WEDDING COORDINATOR

To receive a wedding information packet or if you would like to talk with someone about the wedding services at Hiawatha, contact Melanie at weddings@hiawathachurch.com.