Our Staff

Steve Griffith

Transitional Pastor

pastorsteve@flclincoln.org

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Steve Griffith

Transitional Pastor

Pastor Steve is currently serving as our Transitional Pastor as we discern a call for a new Lead Pastor. He  joins us as an Ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church with 35 years of full-time ministry experience, having served parishes across Nebraska and for 13 years at Saint Paul United Methodist Church in Lincoln. He and his wife, Rev. Dr. Mary Kay Totty, live in Lincoln. Steve has one son, Jon, who serves in the U.S. Navy. He and his wife, Tara, live in Bahrain, where Jon is stationed. “I have admired First Lutheran for many years and appreciate your commitment to service in the community and working for justice and peace. I’m excited to be part of the First Lutheran team and walk with you in this time of transition.”

Justin Eller

Associate Pastor

pastorjustin@flclincoln.org

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Justin Eller

Associate Pastor

Pastor Justin calls First Lutheran Church and Lincoln home after having served for seven years in South America as an ELCA missionary. “I could not have imagined that I would love serving alongside the faithful people of First Lutheran as much as I do! There is always a relationship to be built, an opportunity to serve in the community on the horizon, an adventure in discipleship around the corner and a neighbor to accompany.” Pastor Justin works in various ministry areas including Lifelong Learning, New Member Relations and AMMPARO. He is fluent in Spanish, loves to travel, and enjoys spending time with his wife and son, cooking, canoeing, hiking and weaving.

Marsha Anderson

Visitation Pastor

pstrmarsha@aol.com

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Marsha Anderson

Visitation Pastor

Marsha Anderson began her ministry as Visitation Pastor at First Lutheran in May, 2012. Previously, she served congregations in Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma and Nebraska City, Nebraska, until she retired in December, 2010. She attended Californial Lutheran University, University of California in Santa Barbara, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley and was ordained on July 15, 1983. She loves getting together with friends and family, reading (mysteries, romances, and spirituality), playing Scrabble and Dominoes and doing counted cross-stitch. She is a certified Spiritual Director with background in the Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory and the Enneagram. She loves making connections with people and helping people connect with what is important to them, especially their journey with God.

Sharon Hardel

Director of Youth and Family Ministry

sharon@flclincoln.org

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Sharon Hardel

Director of Youth and Family Ministry

I come to First Lutheran from Chambersburg, PA, where I served as Director of Christian Education and Youth Ministry for 16+ years. I felt welcomed and part of the First family from the first day. I am excited about the opportunities to work with youth and families of all ages. I am married to Kent Hardel who previously worked at Camp Carol Joy Holling (my only previous introduction to Nebraska). I am a graduate of Penn State University with a B.S. in Dairy and Animal Science and am also a Gettysburg Seminary Youth Ministry Certification School graduate. In my spare time I enjoy music, movies, gardening, crafts, board games, camping and sports. I like to play softball and volleyball and I cheer on the Penn State Nittany Lions, Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Phillies. 

Masako Bacon

Director of Music and Worship

music@flclincoln.org

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Masako Bacon

Director of Music and Worship

Masako is married to Boyd. Together looking forward to serve this vital worship community. She loves solid yet lively liturgical worship services at First Lutheran Church. She is the organist and directs handbell choir, small ensembles and coordinates the music program.

Boyd Bacon

Director of Music and Worship

music@flclincoln.org

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Boyd Bacon

Director of Music and Worship

Boyd is excited to be at First Lutheran and to lead the choral program. He enjoys people developing their hidden talents – singing to the glory of God. He also works at Nebraska Wesleyan University where he teaches voice, arranging and directs two choirs. He likes to compose choral music and has many pieces published. He enjoys family time

Lindsey Boyle

Elementary Christian Education Coordinator

lindsey@flclincoln.org

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Lindsey Boyle

Elementary Christian Education Coordinator

I am a former elementary school teacher with degrees from York College and Doane University. My husband, Adam, and I have called Lincoln home for ten years and are thankful to worship at First Lutheran. We have three children who keep us on our toes! I love spending time with family, reading and baking.

Kathleen Simley

Communications Coordinator

kathleen@flclincoln.org

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Kathleen Simley

Communications Coordinator

A member of First Lutheran Church since 1988, Kathleen became the part-time Communications Coordinator in November of 2015. “First Lutheran Church is so rich in ministry with many faith-filled stories to be told and shared with the First Lutheran and larger community. I am blessed to have the opportunity to share the good works of First Lutheran Church!” Kathleen has been an active volunteer at First Lutheran in many capacities over the years. Her two adult children, Christopher and Rebecca, were baptized, raised and are also active members of First Lutheran. Outside of church, Kathleen has her own consulting, training and coaching business. She has traveled to all 50 states and 4 other countries for her work. In her spare time, she enjoys videography, cooking, outdoor yardwork and watching the Kansas City Royals.

Cyndi Crouse

Parish Coordinator

cyndi@flclincoln.org

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Cyndi Crouse

Parish Coordinator

Cyndi Crouse and her husband Gary, have been members at First Lutheran since 2009. Cyndi joined the First Lutheran Church staff in December 2016. Her responsibilities include maintaining church records, coordinating the church calendar, collaborating on various church publications and is the friendly voice you will likely hear when you call.  Cyndi and her husband, Gary, have two grown children and four grandchildren. In her spare time, she enjoys her family and friends, the great outdoors, cinema, and fabulous food often combining these activities. She also likes to ride her bike on the city trails, practice Yoga, take nature hikes, tour museums, art galleries and zoos.

Bryan Hanson

Church Accountant

bryan@flclincoln.org

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Bryan Hanson

Church Accountant

Bryan is a long-time member of First Lutheran. Bryan and his wife, Sandy, are both retired. They have two children who live in Lincoln and Omaha and five grandchildren. Bryan enjoys exercising, golf and working in the yard in his spare time.

Greg Fisher

Building Superintendent

greg@flclincoln.org

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Greg Fisher

Building Superintendent

I became a member of First Lutheran in 1989. I am married to Kristi, who grew up at First Lutheran, and we have two boys, Dakota and Stephen. I have my own part-time appliance repair business so I am no stranger to electrical and plumbing jobs. I served as the weekend custodian at First Lutheran starting in 2015 until becoming the Building Superintendent in November of 2017. I consider First Lutheran Church as my family and my second home and feel privileged to help and serve the church.

since 1870

Our History

The congregation of First Lutheran Church has been meeting since 1870. Its founders were convinced that the community of Lincoln was in need of a church that focuses on practical, Biblical teaching as well as engaging the surrounding community. Over the years, our congregation has evolved to meet the needs of our people and serve each other well. We’re committed to being a welcoming place for people of all backgrounds and to continue our legacy of supporting our city with a heritage of faith.

A Storied Tradition

What we believe

We share a faith in Jesus Christ with billions of others, and we find that our faith is most understandable to us when we view it through a Lutheran theological lens.

Formally, that means we believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, revealed to us in the Bible, expressed in the Church’s historic Creeds and witnessed to by the Lutheran Confessions.

God

  • The Trinitarian God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  • The crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the means of our salvation from sin and death.
  • The Old and New Testaments as God’s Word, witnessing to God’s actions through time and God’s promises to believers.

Salvation

  • By grace alone – God’s free and undeserved gift;
  • Through faith alone – apart from any work or worth on our part;
  • In the Word of God alone – Jesus Christ, whom we know through Scripture.

Practice

  • Baptism as a sacrament, the means of grace whereby God claims us in a relationship of lifelong growth in faith and discipleship; and as the sign of each person’s vocation or “calling,” his or her role in the world for the sake of God.
  • Holy Communion as a sacrament, the means of grace whereby the believer encounters the very presence of Jesus Christ through bread and wine, receiving forgiveness and the assurance of everlasting life as surely as he or she sees, smells, feels and tastes the food and drink.
  • The Priesthood of All Believers; the understanding that all Christians are called to ministry within the Church and throughout their daily lives.