Salem Lutheran Church

Staff

Dave Whetter
Senior Pastor

Pastor Dave has been serving at Salem Lutheran Church since October 2009. He graduated in 1981 from the University of the Pacific with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. He then spent the following 20 years in a successful business career in which he literally traveled all over the world. In the fall of 2001, he “retired” from his business career and entered seminary at St. Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, until he could move to Chicago to attend Luther School of Theology. Dave’s first call was as the Associate Pastor at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Overland Park, Kansas. Dave and his wife, Jill, have three grown children and two grandchildren. They love spending time with their family; however, they also love being empty nesters. In their free time, Dave and Jill love to spoil their grandchildren, travel, and cook gourmet meals at home together.

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Heather Lewis
Director of Worship and Music

Heather Lewis has been the Director of Music and Worship at Salem since 2010, and was the song leader and pianist at a Saturday evening worship service 2004-2009. Heather has a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State in choral music education and a master’s degree from University of Maryland in piano performance, and teaches piano lessons in her home. She lives in Olathe with her husband Brad and three children, Casey, Brandon, and Faith. Heather directs the adult choir, and coordinates and leads music in all services. She also directs children's musicals and Christmas programs every year. Salem’s music is enthusiastically offered in worship by all ages, and welcomes all levels of experience.

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Kathy Kostroske
Office Administrator

My family and I have been members at Salem since August 1999 and I have served as Salem’s Office Administrator since October 2007. I first got involved at Salem as a Sunday school teacher; now I participate in the Sisters Book Club and Craft Circle and help out where I can. A graduate from Kearney State College with a computer science & business degree, I spent 18 years as a computer programmer at AT&T. It is there I met and later married Mike in 1987. We have 3 boys scattered across Kansas colleges at K-State, KU, and Pittsburgh State. In my spare time I enjoy reading, crocheting, and decorative painting; it’s exciting to see projects evolve from an idea. My vision of growth for Salem is to offer a variety of support groups to both members and the community. Borrowing a piece from "Christ in Our Home": In this way we water and feed the community, helping it prosper.

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Shari Van Baale
Communications Coordinator

Shari started as Communications Coordinator at Salem in early 2017. Her job duties include the weekly bulletin and e-newsletter, creating slides for worship, maintaining the Salem website, and the annual directory, as well as other publications throughout the year. She has also worked at a Methodist church since 2010 doing a similar position. She has a bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Iowa. Originally from the Chicago area, she has lived in the Kansas City area since 2007. Her hobbies include reading, hiking, walking, and enjoying nature with her family. She lives in Olathe with her husband and two children.

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Emily Nelson Dixon
Director of Teen Ministries and Outreach

Emily Nelson Dixon is excited to serve Salem Lutheran Church! She has worked in youth ministry for 19 years and has served youth groups of all shapes and sizes. She feels passionately about helping young people and families experience profound encounters with God. She's a coach and teacher with Youth Ministry Institute because she loves sharing her experiences to help other youth ministers find great success in their jobs. She is married and has two hilarious, sassy girls who make her laugh daily. She's grateful for this new adventure at Salem and looks forward to getting to know the community.

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