Our Board of Directors

Rev. Dr. Richard Thompson

Rev. Dr. Richard L Thompson was born May 8, 1939 in Lansing, Michigan. He graduated from Burbank High School in 1957. Dick enlisted in the United States Navy and was discharged in 1961. On November 14, 1958 he married Dianne L. Tuttle. Together they have two sons, one daughter and six grand children. Dick worked in the aerospace industry for eight years before entering Concordia Theological Seminary in Springfield, Illinois in 1969. He graduated with a Masters of Divinity degree in 1973. He also was granted a Doctor of Divinity degree from Concordia University in Mequon, Wisconsin in 1991. In 2010, Dick earned a Doctor of Ministry from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Dick has served parishes in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Billings, Montana; and Watertown, Wisconsin. In 2001, he retired from parish ministry. 
At the national level, Dick served the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod on the Board of Managers for the Concordia Plans (1984-1986), the Board of Directors (1986-1998), the Commission on Theology and Church Relations (2000-2001), and on the Commission on Doctrinal Review (2001-2010). He also has been on various boards and committees at the district level. Currently, Dick serves as advisor to the Parish Nurse program of the LC-MS.

Rev. Dr. Rick Marrs

Rev. Dr. Rick Marrs is a native of Kansas and serves as an Associate Professor of Practical Theology at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri teaching pastoral counseling and education. He has been Director of Continuing Education and Parish Services at Concordia and serves as the varsity tennis coach. Since coming to Concordia in 2006, Rick has introduced biblical peacemaking into several courses and has been instrumental in developing a greater awareness of the need for pastoral training in reconciliation.
Rick received his M.S.Ed. in Counseling from the University of Kansas in 1985 while teaching at St. John's College, Winfield, Kansas where he served as an admissions counselor and taught psychology. He also taught psychology at Concordia University - Chicago from 1986-1998 and received his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Loyola University, Chicago in 1994. While teaching at Concordia, Rick served as a psychotherapist on-campus and for several off-campus organizations. After attending Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Rick served six years as pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Junction City, Kansas.
Rick and his wife Laura have two daughters and live on the Concordia Seminary campus in St. Louis.

Edith Block

Edith V. Block is a charter member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Watertown, WI. She serves on the board of day school education, is a member of the choir, ushers, and teaches in vacation Bible school. From 1997 to 2007, she served in several different roles on the board of directors for Friends of Concordia University Wisconsin, including president for four years. Edith’s 36-year career at GE included positions in administration, product performance tracking, global allocation of CT tubes, allocation of proprietary software, and sourcing. She retired from GE in November, 2000.

Rev. Russel Sommerfeld

Rev. Russ Sommerfeld is a native of Norfolk, Nebraska, where he was a member of Mount Olive Lutheran Church.  He is a graduate of Norfolk Senior High School, Concordia College (now University), Saint Paul, Minnesota, former Concordia Senior College, Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis, Missouri.  He has a Bachelor’s, Masters of Divinity and an honorary Doctor of Letters degrees. 

 

Russ is married to Donna “Nino” Cargnino of Collinsville, Illinois.  “Nino” is a retired registered nurse in psychiatry and dementia care.  They have two sons and a daughter who are each married and they have four granddaughters.

 

Russ has served Immanuel and Saint John’s Lutheran Churches, Canton and Moundridge, Kansas (1980 – 1986), Trinity Lutheran Church, Arapahoe, Nebraska (1986 – 1995) and Holy Cross Lutheran Church and University Lutheran, Kearney, Nebraska (1995 – 2003). He was a circuit counselor (visitor) in both the Kansas and Nebraska Districts. He served Nebraska District – LCMS as a Vice President (1994 – 2003) and as District President (2003-2015).  He currently is an assistant professor of theology at Concordia University Nebraska in Seward, Nebraska.

 

Russ was pastoral advisor for the Nebraska District Lutheran Laymen’s League.  He served on the Buffalo County Health Partners Board (1996-2003).  He is an active Rotarian and served as his local Club’s president (2017-2018).  He was on the Regents and the Foundation Boards for Concordia University Nebraska as well as the Lutheran Ministry Foundation and Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska (2003-2015). He was on the national Board of Directors of Wheat Ridge Ministries, of Itasca, Illinois (2007-2011). He also had minor roles in the emerging Lutheran church bodies in Jamaica and South Sudan. Russ has been a conference speaker on LCMS governance and varied mission and outreach topics.

 

Russ’ hobbies are bicycling and playing French Horn (not at the same time). 

Terry Walker

Terry Walker holds a B.S. degree in business administration from The Florida State University (Tallahassee) and a Ph.D. in business administration from The University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa).  His major at the B.S. level was marketing and minor was accounting. The major for his Ph.D. was business statistics and his minors were marketing and economics.  

Terry has served as a university professor for 30 years. He taught undergraduate and graduate courses in economics, computer science, econometrics, statistics, management science, and business administration.  Terry has chaired more than 50 Ph.D. dissertation committees.  He is the author of 11 university textbooks in computer science. In addition, he has chaired several international conferences on computer science.

Terry has also started several businesses in diverse fields, including publishing, medicine, philanthropy, and e-commerce. He has a keen interest in politics, having worked in Washington, D.C. as a lobbyist, managed political campaigns, and been a candidate for Governor of Colorado. He has two grown children and five grandsons. Terry’s wife, Carol, is a professor of education at a Christian university.

Terry was confirmed into the LCMS. He has completed the Peacemaker Ministries training course to be a certified Christian Conciliator. He is currently an active member of Grace Episcopal Church in Ocala, Florida. Terry has volunteered for a number of Christian organizations.

Rev. Bruce Zagel

Rev. Bruce Zagel served as Director of Reconciliation Ministry, for the Lutheran Church of Australia until retiring and returning to America in December 2014. He was a Lutheran pastor in America for 19 years before helping start Ambassadors of Reconciliation, where he was Director of Reconciliation Ministries for six years. In 2010 Bruce and his wife, Kathy, moved to Australia to serve as Reconciliation Pastor in Hamilton, Victoria before entering his role as Director of Reconciliation Ministry. Bruce was a counselor in juvenile court prior to seminary. Bruce has been a reconciliation trainer and service provider on five continents. He and Kathy have two sons and two grandchildren.

mail@aorhope.org

844-447-2671

©2018 by Ambassadors of Reconciliation.