Pastor Michael Albrecht
Pastor Michael J. Albrecht was born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1955. His father, his grandfather and his great-grandfather were Lutheran ministers.
After graduating from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in 1982, Pastor Albrecht taught German and American history on the high school level for one year. Then he was assigned to start a new mission congregation in Houston, Texas. That is where he met his wife, Donna. All five of their children were born in Texas.
Pastor Albrecht came to Saint James in 1990. He currently works with the Education Committee and the Missions Committee. He recently visited the Bible Faith Lutheran Church of India for the tenth time. He has also made three trips to Prague in the Czech Republic, where our missionary friends, Pastor David Jurech, Pastor Tomas Zivny and Pastor Tony Booker are working.
Pastor Albrecht has a special interest in church history, especially Martin Luther and the great Reformation of the 16th century. He has also done research in the writings of Prof. J. P. Koehler and the Wauwatosa Theology, which flourished in the 1920s.
Pastor Thomas Volker
Pastor Tom Volker was born and raised in Western Minnesota in the small town of Herman. After graduating from Herman-Norcross High School, Tom attended Concordia University in Saint Paul, MN. After college, he enrolled for seminary training at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis and graduated in 1997 with an M.Div. degree. Tom then enrolled in the Clinical Pastoral Education program to serve as one of several chaplains at the LaClead Groves Nursing Home in St. Louis.
In 1998, Tom received his first call to serve as an Associate Pastor at Signal Hill Lutheran Church in Belleville, IL. It was during his four years there that Tom married his wife, Verna, on February 26, 2000. Getting married in that year made it easier for him to remember how many years they have been married.
In 2002, Pastor Volker accepted the call to be the Assistant Pastor at Peace Lutheran Church in Columbus, NE. During the six years of service there, God blessed Tom and Verna with three sons, Avery, Jonah and Simon. The last son was born two weeks before the Volkers left Nebraska to serve a dual parish in South Minneapolis—Mt. Zion and St. James.
He served these congregations as their sole pastor for almost 10 years. During that time, he also served as a Circuit Visitor to the local Lutheran congregations for six years and enjoyed the opportunities that this form of leadership afforded. God also gave Verna and Tom their daughter, Sage, during those years.
Tom has loved being a pastor and serving Jesus Christ in this capacity. He loves the people he gets to work with while relishing in the opportunity to remind them of the presence of God in their lives. He has grown to love serving the community God puts him in, meeting new people and, if the Holy Spirit permits, being a positive witness of Christ's love in and for the people of this world.
Pastor Dale Critchley
Pastor for Youth & Family Ministry & Evangelism
Thankful to be husband of Teresa since 1994 and father of six daughters, Pastor Dale has served at churches in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Ohio after receiving his Masters of Divinity degree from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis in 1998.
Pastor Dale served as Lead Director of the Iowa East team of the Ongoing Ambassadors for Christ and the LCMS Iowa District East’s Board of Congregational Services and Board of Missions as an Evangelism Specialist. As one of the first Lutheran pastors to make his sermons available to listeners worldwide via podcast, listeners from around the globe have downloaded his sermons, including thousands in China in spite of the Chinese government blocking access at times. Committed to personal spiritual growth through multigenerational mentoring and relationship-based outreach, he developed DiscipleQuest to allow congregations anywhere to begin spiritual training in their context. He continues to seek innovative ways to bring the Gospel into the lives of others that the love of Christ may fill them to overflowing into the lives of still others.
One of my favorite verses in the Bible is John 3:17 "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him." This verse humbles me as to what God has done, not just for me, but for the whole world. His great love for His broken creation was made complete in the sacrifice of His Perfect Son, a free gift to all people. Christ conquered death and the grave so that we may be made whole daily and adopted as sons and daughters by God.
God has blessed me with my husband Dana and three amazing kids. My prayer is for youth and people of all ages to experience God's blessings of hope, forgiveness, peace, strength, joy and love each and every day of their lives.