Pastor Grant Vanderford
Grant is called as Pastor and Mission Developer in partnership with Bethesda and a newly-forming ministry with our neighbors experiencing homelessness. Before going to seminary, he served the church for 12 years in youth ministry. He is a 2009 Concordia graduate (Roll Cobbs!), and is a community-loving Moorhead resident. He and his partner Petra (Pee-truh) have two daughters, Selah (Say-luh) and Ingrid, and one dog, Boston. Pr. Grant cherishes good conversations, strong coffee, and hearty laughter. He also finds great joy in cooking for family and friends, being outdoors, singing, and reading nerdy theology books.
Roxanne West- Office Manager/Administrator
Roxanne is one of six children, born in Fargo and raised on a 2000 acre farm west of West Fargo ND. She had a great childhood, with hard-working parents. Their commitment to core values brought them into town every Sunday for worship. Roxanne was active hosting international students during the summer and school-year, which gave her insight into many different cultures and lifestyles.
Roxanne and her husband, Terry, moved into their home in south Moorhead a month after marrying. They have enjoyed their friendly neighborhood for 36 years. They have two children, Tony and Sharell, a son-in-law Jeffrey and four grandchildren: Mason, Jasiah, Jordan and Journey. They have been members of Bethesda since 1982. Over the years, Roxanne brought her children through the Christian Education program, taught classes, joined circle and bible studies, participated in many group events, and currently sings in both traditional choir and the informal ensemble. She began her employment at Bethesda in July 2001 as a part-time Volunteer Coordinator, working alongside Marlys Ellefson. As Marlys neared retirement, Roxanne's position changed to Office Assistant and eventually Office Manager, in 2006. Roxanne finds her staff position to be very rewarding. It is a privilege and honor to work by, with and for the family of Bethesda Lutheran Church. She looks forward to many more years of sharing her gifts, prayers, and enthusiasm for her church
Thomas Hanson- Director of Music
My name is Tom Hanson. I've been serving as Director of Music at Bethesda Lutheran since 2010. I am responsible for coordinating music for worship in the life of our church. I direct the Youth and Adult Handbells, the Bethesda (contemporary) Ensemble and the Adult Choir. I also play and accompany musical groups with both organ and piano.
I grew up in the Fergus Falls area where I was immersed in music from an early age in church, school, and private piano lessons. I graduated from Hillcrest Lutheran Academy, attended the Fergus Falls Community College, Association Free Lutheran Bible School and Concordia College, St Paul, Minnesota. I was very active in the music offerings at each of these schools. I studied organ privately with several gifted teachers through the years including Christopher Anderson, Peter Nygaard, Marilyn Schneider-Peeters, and Rebecca Worley.
I am very thankful to work with so many gifted people in such a wonderful setting that has such beautiful instruments.
Jessica Berndt - Youth Coordinator
Jessica grew up in Dysart, Iowa. She attended Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa where she graduated with a degree in Religious Studies and a minor in Child, Adult, Family Services. She worked at a Bible camp, Upper Missouri Ministries (Williston ND), the four summers of her college career as a camp counselor, VBS assistant program director, and Assistant Program Director. Upon graduation from ISU, Jessica moved to the Fargo/Moorhead area. God used camp to change all the direction and plans she thought she had for her life, including her major. Working at camp opened her eyes to the passion she has for youth and the joy it brings to share the Gospel and walk alongside them in Christ. It was fun to see the ways God works in and through us as a group as we run towards Him. It was beautiful to see Him move in so many ways and help youth experience and understand that. Jessica works with the middle school and high school youth, and the confirmation group. It has been a joy to continue to grow in the life of Bethesda. Jessica says her heart fills with joy as she witness 'a-ha' moments in the faith lives of our youth and is thankful for how God is moving in this place and community.
Katie Ohren - Director of Christian Education
I am a Senior at Concordia College, majoring in Communication Studies. I have attended Bethesda for 3 threes. This is my second year as our Director of Christian Education. When I am not working or at school, I like to make crafts and spend time with my dog!
Tammy Costin - Parish Nurse
I have been volunteering as Parish Nurse since 2011 after completing the curriculum through the Parish Nurse Center at Concordia College in Moorhead. This has been a new and interesting journey – understanding that Parish Nursing is the integration of faith and health. Nursing has always been an important part of my life with experience in Emergency Care, Post-Anesthesia Recovery and more recently Scheduling/Pre-Procedural Care at Essentia Health in Fargo where I am currently working.
My husband, Kent, and I have been members at Bethesda Lutheran in Moorhead since 1983. Our 3 daughters, Kaley, Krista and Karin were baptized and confirmed at Bethesda. Our family also includes 2 sons-in-law, Matt and Ben and 3 grandchildren, Lillian, Abraham and Samuel who are all currently residing in the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.
It is a privilege to serve Bethesda Lutheran Church by emphasizing health, caring and healing through faith. I am so thankful for the people of Bethesda and the love and support so freely shared among each other.