Braun Campbell - Senior Pastor
Pastor Campbell grew up in the Midwest, but following college spent the majority of the next 25 years in the national capital area. A second-career pastor, his journey in ministry took him to the seminary after working in the professional services industry. As a 2006 seminary graduate, he was called to serve at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Alexandria, VA. Fourteen years later, he accepted the Call to serve the people of Immanuel and the Belvidere community in the joy of the gospel. He and his wife, Leslie, stay active raising their two imaginative children here in northern Illinois, sharing God’s grace in Christ Jesus. When he gets the chance to do so, Pastor Campbell enjoys snowboarding, videogaming, and staying current on pop culture.
Keith Richard - Assistant Pastor
Pastor Richard was ordained in 2015 but has been serving full time in ministry for nearly 25 years. As a DCE, a classroom teacher, and now as a pastor he enjoys teaching, preaching, and sharing the Gospel with people in need. He served at St. John Lutheran in Wheaton, IL for 9 years before arriving at Immanuel in 2007. Being a husband to his amazing wife and a dad to his three wonderful children brings him joy beyond words. He relaxes by spending time outside, being active, and watching New England sports teams win championships.
Rick Wagner - Pastor Emeritus for Immanuel North
Richard Wagner served as Assistant Pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Kansas City, Missouri, (July 1973 – January 1978) where he worked in the areas of Youth and Evangelism. He accepted a call to being a mission church in Warsaw, Missouri. He served as the first pastor of Faith Lutheran Church, Warsaw, Missouri (February 1978-February 1994). Pastor Wagner was called to St. Andrew Lutheran Church, Rockton, IL in February 1994. He served St. Andrew until his retirement in 2011. Several years following “retirement,” Pastor Wagner began assisting at Immanuel North, Poplar Grove, Il. He is currently part-time on the staff of Immanuel Lutheran as the “point pastor” for Immanuel North. In 1971, he married Karen Schmidt of St. Louis, MO. Karen went to be with her Lord following a battle with cancer in 2000. By the grace and love of God, Richard Wagner met Deborah Backman of Rockton, IL. They were married July 6, 2002. They now make their home in Roscoe, IL. Rick and Debbie together have 4 children and 6 grandchildren.
Clayton Engel - Vicar
Clayton Engel grew up in Southern Indiana where he started his career in the business field and married his wife, Trisha. They moved to Belvidere in the summer of 2021, and this year he entered the Specific Ministry Program through Concordia St. Louis to become a pastor. He is serving Immanuel as a vicar and teacher of 6-8th grade English/Language Arts while taking his seminary classes. He is thankful to be a part of the growing ministry within our school, and also looks forward to his future role as a pastor. In his free time, Clayton enjoys golf, big band and motown music, grilling, and going on weekend outings with Trisha.
Angie Nitz - Director of Youth Discipleship
Angie joined the team in 2023. Originally from the east coast, she earned a degree in Education and certification as a DCE from Concordia University Chicago and served the first part of her ministry in Texas before coming to Immanuel. Throughout her ministry she has served in a variety of contexts including ministry to children, youth, adults, and community outreach and development and has passion for all people of all ages to know the love of Jesus. Angie and her husband, Todd, are the parents of three, ranging from middle school to college, so most of their free time is enjoyed cheering from the bleachers, sidelines, or audience. Angie also enjoys game nights with family, gathering with friends and neighbors, and learning new things.
Becky Chewning - Director of Operations
Becky Chewning is originally from the far southern suburbs of Chicago. After completing college at Northern Illinois University, she moved to Rockford in 1991. She married her husband Todd (also an NIU alum) in 1995. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to be part of a vibrant ministry here at Immanuel. When she is not in her office, you can find her walking the family dog Biscuit, at NIU Huskie football games, or connecting with her nieces and nephews.
Sarah Kortze - Director of Children's Ministry
Sarah started directing Immanuel's Children's Ministry after 5 years teaching high school English at Rockford Lutheran. While her current position involves more silly songs and fewer research papers, at the heart of both is her love of finding new and engaging ways to connect kids to Christ. Outside of work, Sarah enjoys reading (and re-reading) "Dog's Colorful Day" with her daughters, Emily and Michaela, and convincing her husband, Aaron, to watch and discuss reality TV together.
Aaron Kortze - Director of Worship Arts
Aaron started at Immanuel in 2014 after completing his Masters of Sacred Theology in Organ at Notre Dame. A lifelong Lutheran, versatile musician, and appreciator of both "high-church" liturgies and contemporary praise music, Aaron enjoys guiding God's people in worship in a variety of settings. When he's not at church, Aaron runs, follows Cubs baseball, and pretends he likes Paw Patrol with his daughters Emily and Michaela.
Dan Albrecht - Church Music
Mr. Dan Albrecht began his career here at Immanuel in 1983, being called to serve as 4th grade teacher and Parish Music Director. Today, in a part-time role of assisting church musician, his duties are varied, working together with other musicians here in the congregation.
Mr. Albrecht holds two degrees, one a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and the other a Masters in Church Music.
Dan and his wife Mary are proud parents of three grown children, all blessed with wonderful spouses. They enjoy spending time with their three grandchildren.
Anne Wetzel - Church Office Administrator
Anne has worked at Immanuel for 12 years as the Administrative Assistant. She has been a lifelong member and really enjoys interacting with people on a daily basis. She has been married to her husband Al for 9 years and between the two of them they have 4 adult boys. She enjoys flea marketing and traveling.
Dave Grashorn - Sexton (Facilities Director)
A "sexton" is traditionally defined as a church caretaker, bell-ringer, and gravedigger. In his semi-retirement, Dave only does one of those things at Immanuel - working to care for and maintain all church and school facilities.
He's been an Immanuel member for 30 years and his background is in retail management and telecommunications. Dave and his wife, Renea, have been married for nearly 25 years and have 4 children.
Dave enjoys working with his hands, yard work, and family trips.
Brenda McElroy - Director of Helping Hands
Brenda has been a member for 22 years. She has been at Helping Hands for 14 years.
She has been married to her husband Steven for 17 years. They have 4 grown children between them and 15 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.
She enjoys spending time with family and nature.
Maria Hennig - Bookkeeper Maria started at Immanuel in May of 2022 and brings an extensive accounting background - she worked as a Staff Accountant for the last 10+ years, various Accounting positions for 40 years & has owned her own business, providing Income Tax & Accounting Services. Maria is widowed & lives with her Pug Cosmo. She is the mom of two grown kids Andre (45) and Angela (42), and grandma of eight. Her hobbies include gardening and movies.
OUR SCHOOL LEADERSHIP TEAM
Immanuel Lutheran School is one of the largest ministries at Immanuel. here students from Pre-K 3 - 8th Grade come and learn at the highest level academically and also learn about how they are baptized children of God saved through Jesus.
Immanuel's leadership team also includes our lay leaders that volunteer their time and energy to continue to share the Gospel with people.
Head Elder – Dave Grashorn
Belize Mission Team Leader - Andrea Davis
Vestry (Elected Servant Leaders)
Johnathon Haig – Chair
Michael Yates – Vice Chair
Connie Campbell – Secretary