First Lutheran Church of Brainerd, MN

Program Ministry Staff




Youth & Family Director





Kathy Stevens
The Leraning Tree Director
Kathy Stevens, the director of The Learning Tree Preschool, is the newest member of the First Lutheran Church staff. Kathy is a married mother of four children and grandmother to 10 grandchildren. Before joining our staff, Kathy ran a day care and preschool for 20 years! She is committed to the health and care of children, serving on state and community boards, making presentations, and educating others. In her free time she enjoys hunting, fishing, going to garage sales and auctions, and spending time with her grandchildren. Kathy looks forward to finding out what she likes best about FLC! So far she is, “impressed and pleased with the warm welcome” she has “received from the staff and congregation”.


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The Learning Tree

 Staff Bio coming soon!


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Marcus Aulie
Choir Director

Staff bios coming soon!






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Karen Selenis
Wedding Coordinator

Staff bios coming soon!






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Carla Christopherson
Carla Christopherson was born and raised in Brainerd Minnesota, baptized and confirmed at First Lutheran Church, and has been one of the organists at First Lutheran since 2005. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in keyboard performance and a Bachelor’s degree in nursing, and she resides in Brainerd with her husband, Tom Strong, and their three cats. Carla enjoys participating in music activities and has been a performer in the Lakes Area Summer Organ Recital Series in the past; she also serves as organist at Truth Lutheran Church in Brainerd. She and Tom enjoy traveling to the Caribbean during their yearly winter vacations. Carla also works as a psychiatric nurse in Brainerd.  


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Bev Kittelson
Bev Kittelson has been organist and accompanist with First Lutheran Church for the past 30 years! After graduating from St. Olaf College, with a music education degree, she taught in public schools for 33 years; now retired she teaches piano to her 17 students. Bev and he husband Kelvin, have two children. In her free time she likes to travel, read, golf, and play the piano. What she likes best about FLC is: “the warm and friendly people”.



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Michelle Ruen
Sunday School Coordinator


 My name is Michelle Ruen. I am excited to be the Children's Director for the upcoming Sunday School year. It combines two of my greatest passions-loving and serving our God and teaching children! I want all First Lutheran children to know how  much Jesus loves them and that God has a plan for their lives. Personally, I have taught elementary school for 31 years-27 years in Brainerd and 4 years in Kansas. I have three grown children, Rick, Erica and Michael, who all went through Sunday School at First Lutheran and I have one sweet granddaughter named Faith.  I love to go on long bike rides, bake cookies, and play all kinds of cards and games! 

 Thank you for this opportunity to serve First Lutheran and our Lord. I look froward to a great year of Sunday School with our wonderful First Lutheran children!


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Melissa Richards
Sunday School/Wednesday Night Coordinator

My name is Melissa Richards. I am the wife to Paul Richards; Mom to Jacob, Nathan, Evan; Daughter to Brian and Tammie Bade; Granddaughter to Len and Evelyn Bade. I joined First Lutheran in 2006 and have been a volunteer within the church; Sunday School teacher, Sunday School rotation leader, Wednesday evening Confirmation mentor and guide, Sunday morning coffee server, and various other volunteer opportunities with our youth. I also work full time at Ascensus in Education and Training. I am excited to be on the Youth and Family staff and look forward to growing in my faith with you. 


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