Pastor Neil Wonnacott has served St. Paul’s Congregation since June 13th, 1993, and presently holds the position of Assistant Pastor. He grew up in the Detroit area and then attended Concordia University in Ann Arbor, Michigan, graduating in 1987. That same year he married Christie. They moved to Ft. Wayne so he could attend Concordia Theological Seminary, where he graduated in the spring of 1993.
Since in Bremen, Pastor and Christie were blessed to have three children- Paul, Luke and Katie, who are all now adults.
Pastor’s favorite Bible verse is 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18- “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Nathan and his wife, Beth, return to Bremen with their three children: Evelyn, Josephine, and Andrew.
One of his favorite Bible verses is the verse he received at his Confirmation- Romans 1:16-17: ” For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’ ”
MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHER
Mark Wildauer is a second career teacher with almost 10 years of previous business management experience. His first teaching placement was St. Peter Immanuel in Milwaukee, WI. After serving there for 5 years, he accepted the opportunity to come to St. Paul’s, Bremen, in 2015.
He and his family have been very active and have made many friends at St. Paul’s and in the Bremen Community. Mark is also the principal and Athletic Director at St. Paul’s, and has been a Sunday School Teacher, Junior Football and Baseball Coach, and served on the Bremen Little League Board.
He and his wife Heidi have five children. Jack, Abby, Josie, and Wyatt are all in our K-8th grade school here at St. Paul’s. Noah attends Bremen High School.
One of his favorite Bible verses is the 1st Bible verse that Tim Tebow (at the time a college QB) referenced on his eye black in 2008: Philippians 4:13- “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
LeeAnna Van Soest
KINDERGARTEN/1ST GRADE TEACHER
LeeAnna VanSoest is an Indiana licensed teacher, a called teacher at St. Paul’s since 2011, and a church member. LeeAnna has a degree from Concordia University Wisconsin in elementary education with a minor in English/language arts. She and her husband, Matthew, have two little boys and a baby girl. Their family has fully enjoyed living and being active in the Bremen community. LeeAnna is passionate about sharing the Word of the Lord with her students and their families. There is nothing more satisfying to her than to see her students growing in faith and accomplishing goals in their learning.
Her favorite Bible passage is Mathew 9:13-15. “Then children were brought to Him that He might lay His hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to Me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.’ And He laid His hands on them and went away.”
2ND/3RD GRADE TEACHER
Wendy Patterson came to teach at St. Paul’s in March 2022. Previously, she taught multiple grades from K-8 at Bashor Children’s Home, starting in 2011. She is a licensed elementary teacher, and received a Master’s Degree in Special Education, in 2018.
Wendy lives in Bremen with her husband, William, and four daughters, ranging in age from 6 years old to their newest, born December 2021. For a little more than a week in 2019, the Pattersons had three daughters under 3 years old! Wendy is passionate about her children growing in knowledge and a relationship with the Lord.
One of Wendy’s favorite Bible verses is Galatians 2:20: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
4TH/5TH GRADE TEACHER
Jamie Rogers moved here in 2019, from Wisconsin for her husband Bill’s job. They have 4 daughters Lillian, Rebecca, Jessica, and Rachel.
They love their new community and their church family here at St. Paul’s.
Jamie received her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Purdue University. Over the years she has taught multiple grade levels ranging from preschool – 6th grade. She received her Master of Science in Education with a Special Education focus from University of Wisconsin Superior in December of 2019. She taught 2nd grade at Bremen Public Schools in 2019-2020, and has felt honored and blessed to be serving this congregation and their children as a 4-5th Grade teacher since 2020.
Her favorite Bible passage is Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened and do not be dismayed for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Jennifer Harman was raised in the Lutheran school atmosphere. Both of her parents were Lutheran school teachers and she and her two sisters attended Lutheran schools from Kindergarten through 8th grade. She especially valued her Christian foundation when she attended public high school and Purdue University.
Jennifer is married to Tim Harman and they have four children- Abby, Matthew, Thomas, and Molly. Three children graduated from St. Paul’s School, having attended from either Preschool or Kindergarten. Thomas attends Bremen High School and Molly is still at St. Paul’s. The older two have graduated high school and work full-time.
From the time Abby started at St. Paul’s in 2005, Jennifer has been involved at the school and church. She has been a room parent, on the PTL, helped with VBS and Sunday School, and volunteered in many ways. She has been on the School Board since 2016. She obtained her Substitute Teacher license in 2020, and has been a full-time sub in 2nd/3rd Grades and a maternity sub for Kindergarten/1st Grade. She currently is PTL President, part-time sub, and the school secretary (since June 2021).
One of her favorite Bible verses is ” ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ ” Jeremiah 29:11.
LEAD PRESCHOOL TEACHER
Christie grew up in the Detroit area and was inspired by the many pastors and teachers in her family to become a Lutheran teacher. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Concordia University in Ann Arbor. While there, she met Neil and they were married in 1987.
Christie has served in the preschool since 2001, and has also taught Sunday School and VBS. She is blessed to be a mom to three wonderful grown children- Paul, Luke and Katie.
Kelly Thornton grew up in Bremen as the youngest of 5 girls. She attended Bremen Public Schools.
She and her husband, Eric, have three adult children- Caleb, Ericca and Curtis. They currently have two grandchildren, Brantley and Paisley. All of their children attended St. Paul’s School from Preschool through Eighth Grade. Their grandson, Brantley, has attended St. Paul’s School from Preschool to Fifth Grade currently.
Kelly has attended St. Paul’s Lutheran Church for over 30 years. She has been a preschool teacher here since 1996. She has been helping with Vacation Bible School, Sunday School, and in the classrooms since her children were little. She served on the youth board when her kids were in school. Her favorite Bible passage is “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
EXTENDED CARE COORDINATOR
Heather Middaugh was born on September 7, 1986, and has been a life-long member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. She started Preschool when she was three weeks old because her mom, Barb Middaugh, was the Preschool Director at the time. She attended Care and Share Preschool. After that, she attended St. Paul’s Lutheran School Kindergarten through Eighth Grade. She attended Bremen High School from 2001 – 2005. During her Junior and Senior years, she worked at Extended Care. After graduation, she worked for eight years part-time at Extended Care. In 2012 to the present, she took over as the Director of Extended Care. Her Church activities include playing in the Bell Choir, working on altar guild and teaching Sunday school / Vacation Bible School. In 2016, Heather was a Young Woman Alive Representative at Lutheran Woman Missionary League convention. Her hobbies include scrapbooking and reading Christian fiction. Her Favorite Bible Verse is her Confirmation verse: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9