Church Staff

Rev. Justin Kumfer, Senior Pastor

Pastor Justin came to St. John’s in July 2019 after serving in Ashburn, VA. Tired of the muggy summers he accepted the call to the frozen white north to serve as our associate pastor for youth and young families from 2019-2022. His love of snow and cold cemented his place in Minnesota when he was called to serve as the senior pastor in the summer of 2022. He has served in that role ever since. As Bears fans, Pastor Justin and his wife Katrina raise their four boys: Isaac, Kai, Ezekiel, and Oscar to be endure, no matter how difficult things may be. Katrina homeschools the boys and teaches them to grow in faith toward God and love for one another.

You may email him at:

Rev. Nick Wagenknecht, Associate Pastor

Pastor Nick came to St. John’s in July 2023, serving in his first call out of Concordia Seminary St. Louis. He is originally from Farmington, Mn where he grew up on his family’s farm. He enjoys farming, hunting, fishing, country music, sports (watching, playing, and coaching), and card games. He is a 2019 graduate of Concordia University St. Paul where he majored in Theology and minored in Coaching. There he met his wife, Hannah, who majored in Biology and minored in Dance. She enjoys reading, dance, and board games. She is a 2023 graduate of Indiana University School of Optometry and works as an optometrist in Rochester. They were married in 2021 and moved to Seymour, Indiana where Nick served his vicarage.

Pastor Nick and Hannah welcomed their daughter in November 2023!

You may email him at:

Dave Erickson, Director of Christian Education (DCE)

Dave is a graduate of Concordia College, St. Paul (now Concordia University) with a degree in Education.  He taught grades 5 through 8 in various LCMS schools in Michigan and Minnesota.  He also was a professional illustrator with 13 books published as well as many dozens of trade illustrations for Cook, Houghton-Mifflin, Little, Brown & Company and other publishers.  He is married to Monica and has two sons, Daniel and Benjamin.

You may email him at:

Lesley Gommels, Administrative Assistant

Lesley enjoys cooking, baking, crafting (mostly cross stitching), playing in the Rochester Community Band (clarinet and alto clarinet), playing handbells at church and with the Rochester Area Handbell Choir, and spending time with family and friends.

She joined the Church Staff in June 2022 and has been a member of St. John’s since 2002.

You may email her at:

Wee Care Staff

Tricia Knutson, Wee Care Director

Tricia joined the Wee Care staff in 2023. Wee Care has always been a special place for Tricia as she was a student at Wee Care in the early 1990s and a Wee Care parent from 2016-2023! She completed a Bachelor of Science in Communicative Disorders from University of Wisconsin-River Falls in 2009. Tricia completed her special education teaching licensure through Augsburg University in 2012. She completed a Master’s Degree in Teacher Leadership from Augsburg University in 2013. She was a special education teacher and worked for Austin Public School district for 6 years until 2018. At that time, she stayed home with her three children and began homeschooling them.


Kathy Dux, Butterfly Teacher

Wee Care has been blessed to have Kathy on staff since 1985. Living in rural Stewartville, she and her husband also have a dairy farm. They have three grown daughters, one son and are enjoying being grandparents as well. Kathy has a Minnesota teaching license and a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. She previously taught at Kindercare Learning Center and The Learning Tree.

Caterpillar Teacher Opening

St. John’s Wee Care Learning Center of Stewartville, a Christian preschool, is looking for a creative, nurturing part-time classroom teacher for the Caterpillar classroom (children ages 3-4 years). Wee Care is a Minnesota licensed childcare agency. Therefore, teachers must meet the requirements of a teacher in a childcare setting. Those qualifications are a combination of education and experience. To apply or receive more information please call 507-533-4420 or

Sandy Steinhoff, Assistant Teacher

Since 2001, Sandy has worked with the families and children of Wee Care.  It is her love of educating children that led her to us. She lives in Stewartville and has one daughter.