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STAFF

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Darrell Nelson

LEAD PASTOR

Pastor Darrell and his wife, Cindy, have been married since 1982. They have three daughters and one son.

Pastor Nelson is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse with a Bachelor of Science in Education. His graduate studies were done at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School where he earned a Master of Divinity degree. Before coming to Mission Covenant Church he served a six-month internship at Faith Evangelical Free Church in Sparta, Wisconsin. Prior to his seminary studies, Pastor Nelson taught and coached in the LaCrosse public school system, as well as having worked one year as an Assistant Administrator in Tomah, Wisconsin. Pastor Darrell was ordained by the Evangelical Covenant Church in June of 2003.

In his free time, Pastor Nelson loves being with his family and enjoying the outdoors. His favorite hobbies are bow hunting, archery, and fishing. He was an assistant track coach for 20 years and is a volunteer wrestling coach and a weight-training instructor.

Darrell Nelson
James Walsh

ASSOCIATE PASTOR

Pastor James lives in Wentworth with his wife, Heather, and they have two sons, Josh and Joel living in the area.

James earned his B.S. degree from PBBC in Owatonna, MN and interned at Faribault Baptist Church in Faribault, MN and at the Christian Missionary Alliance Church in Cable, WI.

James enjoys spending time with his family- flying, hiking, or climbing pretty much anywhere.

NATHAN NELSON

Youth Pastor

As the son of Pastor Darrell & Cindy Nelson, Nathan spent his childhood raised in Mission Covenant Church.  In January of 2016 he was called to be the youth pastor at Mission Covenant.  Prior to that he had received his degree in youth ministry from Liberty University and spent 2.5 years as youth pastor for a Covenant Church in International Falls, MN.

Nathan and his Wife Nicole were married in 2015 and are blessed with a beautiful daughter Madelyn and Elijah.  In his free time, Nathan enjoys the outdoors and videography as well as coaching and track for Northwestern Middle School.

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Sarah Risley

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Associate Pastor

Pastor Sarah is a licensed minister through the Evangelical Covenant Church and is happy to serve in the faith community where she grew up. She holds a Masters in Ministry Leadership through the University of Northwestern, St Paul, and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.  She has a heart for the unwanted and lost, being passionate about sharing a message that all are invited to God’s table. Her favorite parable is the story of the lost sheep.  For fun, she enjoys shepherding her mixed flock of Finnish Landrace sheep at home, farming, gardening, reading, four-wheeling, writing worship music, and drinking lots of coffee.

Pastor Sarah is blessed to be a part of God’s Mission. She believes in having a heart of obedience, being Spirit-led, and biblically based. Her favorite Scripture comes from Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Larry Williams

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Executive Pastor

Larry grew up in Poplar attending Mission Covenant Church along with his family graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Superior with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology.  Larry married his beloved wife, Gail, in 1974. The have two adult children and a wonderful group of grandchildren.

After graduation form college, Larry directed a Salvation Army drop-in center in Duluth for teens for two years Before beginning a life-long career serving with Youth for Christ. His YFC ministry began with seven years serving in the local ministry followed by international roles as Regional Director for West Africa, Director of Short-term Missions, Americas Area , and eventually as Vice President of YFC International.

 

In 2015 Larry moved to a part-time role with YFCI and began serving as the Missions Pastor and Executive Director of Hillcrest Covenant Church in Kansas City.  He “retired” from full-time ministry at the end of 2020 and now serves as part-time Executive Pastor at Mission Covenant Church and part-time North America Regional Director for YFCI.  Larry and Gail reside in Brule, WI and enjoy being close to family.

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Sam Moyer

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Associate Worship Pastor Intern

Sam was born in Kansas and grew up in Indiana. Sam moved to Minnesota when he was 16. He started to learn guitar at that time and over the next couple years, he realized he wanted to be a worship pastor. He attended Oak Hills Christian College and received and Bachelor’s Degree in Worship Arts and Biblical Studies. 5 months after graduating, Sam got married to his now wife Breanna. A week after getting married, Sam started his internship at Mission Covenant Church. Sam leads the worship team and the young adult group (Crossroads). In His free time, Sam enjoys playing frisbee, watching movies/tv shows with his wife, and playing games with friends.

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MICHELLE THOMPSON

Administrative Assistant

Michelle lives in Maple with her husband, Chad, and 4 children.

Michelle earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Management with a focus in Human Resources at the University of Minnesota, Duluth Campus.  She has served on the Women Ministries leadership team for over 9 years and has been co-teaching Women’s Bible study for the past 5 years. 

In her free time Michelle enjoys spending her free time reading, scrapbooking, fishing and traveling.

MICHELLE KEPHART

Administrative Assistant

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MISSION KIDZ!

Michelle and her husband Dan grew up near Prairie du Chien, WI. They have been married since 1998 and currently live in Highland with their two sons and one daughter. 

 

Michelle graduated from Northwestern College in St. Paul, MN in 1999 with degrees in Mathematics Education and Bible. 

In 2014, Michelle joined the staff as a Mission Kidz! Co-Coordinator and started helping part-time as an Administrative Assistant in 2018. Michelle enjoys writing curriculum and planning events that help children and their families grow in their faith in Christ.  

The Kepharts enjoy camping, hiking, music, boating, cross-country skiing, and spending time together as a family. 

BRYAN GILL

BUILDING MAINTENANCE

Bryan grew up in central Mississippi. In 2001, he got married and moved to Lake Nebagamon and started attending Mission Covenant.

Bryan started working for the church in 2006 and has faithfully served since that time.

 

In his spare time, Bryan enjoys dog agility, horses, and electronics.

LOUISE ALHOLM

BUSINESS MANAGER

Louise was a volunteer on the finance board before being given the role of Business Manager.  She retired in 2020 after working 34 years at ALLETE, ending her career as Director of Accounting and Administrative Systems for ALLETE Clean Energy.  She is a CPA with a degree in accounting from University of Wisconsin-Superior.

 

Louise has a son and daughter, both married, and raising families in the area, providing many opportunities for family time.  She particularly loves having her four grandboys sleepover.  She also enjoys reading, scrapbooking and has aspirations to improve her gardening skills.

JUSTIN ORME

AV/TECH SPECIALIST

Justin was born in Hawaii and moved to Poplar, WI at age 4 to be closer to his family. In fact, Justin comes from a family that has been involved at Mission Covenant for over 100 years. Justin started playing drum set at age 8 and would learn more instruments as he grew up. He got involved with the Mission Covenant worship team at a young age and played for about 7 years with them. He also got involved with running the sound and slides for Sunday services. In June of 2020, Justin was brought on staff to help with the audio/visual technology. He is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in information technology through Liberty University Online. 

 

Justin enjoys playing music, listening to podcasts, playing frisbee and pickleball, and the occasional video game. He is an old soul who loves hymns, sitting in his rocking chair, listening to records, and drinking hot tea.

STEPHEN GANT

AV/TECH SPECIALIST

KRIS WESTERLUND

MISSION KIDZ

Kris lives in Maple with her husband Steve and their three children.  She has attended Mission Covenant since the age of 12, and has been a volunteer with Children's Ministry for much of that time.  She graduated from UWS in 2007 with a degree in Social Work.  She came on staf in June of 2021 as Mission Kidz Assistant Coordinator.  Kris enjoys reading, listening to worship music, and spending time with her family.

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