Staff

Dr. Jerry Watts

Senior Pastor

My wife Joy, our four children, and I all thank God we are part of the body of Christ called Faith Lutheran. With over 20 years experience serving congregations in California, Texas, and now New Mexico, we are blessed to call Albuquerque our home since 2010. I oversee all the ministries for children at Faith and desire to partner with families for a vibrant faith in Christ. I love teaching the Bible, talking about following Jesus in real life, discussing the culture around us, and where they all cross paths. When any of that involves my family, watching football, or drinking coffee it’s even better.

Pr. Mark Behenna

Associate Pastor

God blessed me with a call to serve the people of Faith beginning in late October, 2020. I am an associate pastor for adult education and discipleship. I graduated from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg in 2005, and then served two congregations in Michigan and one in Alaska prior to my present call. I hold a degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in business administration, each attained prior to my ordination as a pastor. My wife, Jessica, and I have been blessed with four children and many grandchildren. My passion is to teach others what God’s word, the Bible, means for us as we live our lives today. I am certain that the person of Jesus Christ is revealed throughout the biblical record, including the Old Testament. His love, grace, and mercy is shown through the lives of others so that His light may be shined on ours.

Dr. Reinhart Schelert

Counseling Pastor

I was born in a Displaced person’s camp in Austria after World War II, and five years later, my family immigrated to Nebraska through the sponsorship of the Lutheran World Relief. My father died suddenly a few months later. I attended the University of Nebraska for two years, was drafted, and then served in the U. S. Air Force for four years. I finished my bachelor’s degree and the Master of Divinity at Abilene Christian University. I was the Minister of two congregations, one in Missouri and one in Connecticut and then served as an active duty Navy Chaplain for eight years. I subsequently served in the Navy Reserve until retirement as a senior chaplain in 2007. Meanwhile, I obtained a Master’s in Counseling Psychology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and a Dr of Ministry from Fuller Seminary in Family Systems. I have been a Licensed Professional Counselor since 1991, and have served on staff as a counseling Pastor in a church in Michigan for 18 years, and then in Albuquerque for 7 years before coming to Faith Lutheran in March, 2016 as an LCMC Pastor. Operating on a suggested donation basis, I provide Professional Counseling Therapy and Pastoral Care in the context of thoroughly integrated Biblical principles, informed by Counseling Psychology, and tempered by extensive experience. My goal is to provide healing, grace-filled counseling that seeks to reconcile individuals and families to God, themselves, and each other. My high school sweetheart, Wanda Lee and I have been married for 48 great years. We have three children and eight grandchildren. We enjoy bicycling, hiking, disc golf and travelling.

Scott Strachan

Assistant Pastor

I have had the honor of being a member of Faith Lutheran Church along with my wife Christy Strachan and 3 kids for almost 4 years now. I was blessed to grow up here at Faith, since the age of 4. Faith has always felt like home for me and I couldn’t be happier that Christy feels the same way. Our children Laila 8, Jaimes 6 and Abbey 4, who were baptized at Faith, love this church just as much as we do. We are grateful for our Church family and couldn’t be more thankful for the people God and Faith, has put into our lives. I am currently attending Grand Canyon University with the goal of obtaining my bachelor’s degree in Christian Studies. We strive as a family to live Christ centered lives, in which we learn, serve and grow together.

Stephanie Dosher

K-5 Youth Minister

Stephanie has served at Faith Lutheran for 9 years and is in charge of all elementary school programs. She has a passion for working with children and watching them grow in their faith. A kid at heart, you can usually find her tinkering with craft ideas and experimenting with messy object lessons. Stephanie also enjoys hiking and exploring God’s creations, as well as a good cup of Starbucks coffee.

Jennifer Cicchini

Children of Faith Preschool Director

I am blessed to serve as the school director after having served in education with young children for over 20 years. I grew up in Santa Fe, NM and have lived in Albuquerque for 37 years. I became a member of Faith Lutheran 7 years ago and love to hear my daughter, Anna Gear and her husband Brady sing in our church band. I ask love spending time with my grandchildren Hunter and Harper. I strive to keep Children of Fatih a quality Christian preschool and living out our mission to lead to children to Christ.

Consuelo Piñeda

Multimedia Ministry Coordinator

I am a Santa Fe Native and love New Mexico. I have had a love for the arts and all mediums of art since I was a child. My undergrad is from the College of Santa Fe in Art. I found my calling to serve the Lord, while living in Los Angeles California. Currently I am enrolled at Fuller Theological Seminary earning my Masters in Theology. I am grateful to be part of the team at Faith, serving the local church. It is my passion to reach God's people through the art forms of visual, and sound.

Helen Bielejec

Choir Director

Helen moved to Albuquerque in 2002, and has been on staff at Faith Lutheran Church since 2003. She directs the chancel choir, the children's choir, and small groups. Outside of church, Helen keeps herself busy with the activities of her three children.

Tom Crow

Emmaus Band Leader

Tom and his family have been members at FLC since 1998. Tom joined the praise team in 1999, and became its leader in early 2009. He has been playing “at” the piano since he was 4 years old, and has been a singer, songwriter and church musician for as long as he can remember. He and his wife Vicki have three grown children. “I am humbled and honored to lead an amazingly talented and dedicated group of musicians who strive every week to bring glory to God through beautiful music.”

Ronda Schripsema

Organist

Ronda grew up in Minnesota and Iowa and graduated from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She moved to Albuquerque in 1983 and started playing organ and piano at Faith in 2000. She and her husband Tom have three adult children.

Ruth Ronan

Handbell Choir Director

Ruth joined Faith Lutheran Church in 1980. The church purchased two octaves of handbells in 1983 and Ruth became the director of Campanas de Fe (Bells of Faith) in 1984. Outside of church, Ruth keeps busy with the Del Norte Rotary Club, ushering at Popejoy Hall and weaving.

Amber Webb Otero

Director of Operations

My family and I began attending worship services at Faith Lutheran almost 27 years ago. After moving from Texas, Faith was the church where we felt we belonged and “at home” with our new Faith family. My baptism took place at Faith Lutheran as well as my wedding to my wonderful husband, Chris Otero. After graduating high school in Albuquerque and while working part-time, I attended Central New Mexico Community College (CNM), earning my Associate of Arts in Pre-Management degree. In pursuit of an undergraduate degree and working full-time, I attended the Anderson School of Management at the University of New Mexico (UNM) earning a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA). The achievement was particularly important to me being the first female in my family to receive a college degree. In 2020, I attended the Anderson School of Management UNM once again to earn a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. Past professional work experience includes employment at an Attorney’s Law Offices located in the downtown district, Re-Insurance company domiciled in the Turks and Caicos Islands located in the Uptown area, and briefly at a Real Estate company. During my down-time, I enjoy being in the great outdoors with my four-legged friends and cannot get enough of mother nature. It has been a blessing to serve Faith as a staff member for the past 16 years!

Diane Wilder

Receptionist/Secretary

My husband and I were raised in Maryland. A job offer to my husband from Sandia Labs brought us to Albuquerque in 1977. My family and I first visited Faith for a Christmas Eve service in 1994 and joined in July 1995. I joined the staff in August 2000. I feel blessed to be part of a wonderful church family, have a wonderful husband, two children, and two grandchildren.

Karen Kainer

Mission and Ministry Coordinator

My husband Lee and our son Alec and I moved to Albuquerque from San Antonio TX in Oct of 2001. Alec was 2 at the time and in need of a new preschool and we found that at Children of Faith. I enrolled him, and he and I quickly made new friends. We joined Faith in 2002 and have never felt more at home in a church than we do at Faith.I started homeschooling Alec from second grade on up to his graduation in 2017. Once we started home school, I found opportunities for volunteering at church with our youth. I have volunteered as a youth leader in SURF, and as chaperone with the Shine tours and did a little behind the scenes art for VBS. Lee has chaperoned on mission trips and built props for VBS and now serves on the endowment committee. The youth volunteer work for me soon transitioned into adult volunteer opportunities as well as serving on council for 4 years.We absolutely love our church family and our involvement in church has been an important part of settling in Albuquerque and making it truly home. It seemed a natural transition from volunteering at Faith to working at Faith. I am thrilled to be the Mission and Ministry Coordinator and look forward to working with our wonderful Pastors and staff as well as the members of Faith.

Milo Miller

Sound Control Technician

Beth Zauche

Kitchen Coordinator

Beth was a lifelong Iowan before moving to Albuquerque in May 2021 as her husband, Carl, accepted a position at Faith Comes By Hearing. In her career, Beth has worked a variety of customer service positions from banking to travel and food service to receptionist at a bio-tech firm. Having worked 16 years as a school lunch lady, feeding the hungry has been a significant theme. From the first time they visited Faith Lutheran, Beth and Carl have felt very welcomed and enjoy helping in a variety of ways. Beth looks forward to using her cooking talents and organizational skills to serve the congregation of Faith Lutheran Church.