Profile image of Steve  Talmage

Steve Talmage

Senior Pastor

Office: 480 681 0939

Our Senior Pastor, Steve Talmage began serving Love of Christ in August of 2017.  Prior to coming to Love of Christ, Pastor Steve Talmage served as the bishop of the Grand Canyon Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America having oversight responsibilities for 100 ministries and 150 rostered leaders in Arizona and Southern Nevada.  He was elected to that position in 2006 after serving as the pastor of Peace Lutheran Church, Peoria, AZ and American Evangelical Lutheran Church, Tucson, AZ.  He has served on the Boards of Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center, Carefree, AZ, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary of California University, Berkeley, CA, and California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, CA. He co-authored the book Bishops on the Border: Pastoral Response to Immigration. He has expertise in church leadership, stewardship, formation of disciples, and helping congregations look beyond maintenance and survival to trusting in the abundance and faithfulness of God.  He and his wife Barb are natives of Arizona, born in Tucson.  He graduated from the University of Arizona with a B.A. in Psychology and received his Master of Divinity from Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, IA. 

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Pastor Nanette Christofferson

Associate Pastor

Office: 480 681 0940

Hello Love of Christ Lutheran Church! 

My name is Nanette Christofferson and I am a Candidate in the ELCA pursuing God’s call to become an ELCA pastor.  I recently graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary with a Master’s of Divinity Degree at the Phoenix campus.  This past fall I worked on completing my Clinical Pastoral Experience (CPE) at Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa. 

I grew up in a small university town in Vermillion, South Dakota and I was baptized, confirmed, and married at the UCC/Congregational Church.  I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from the University of South Dakota.  I taught elementary school for two years in Mitchell SD.  From there I began an adventure of teaching with the Department of Defense Dependent Schools and taught school in Iceland, Japan, and Germany.  It was in Japan where I met my husband Mark.  The Air Force moved us to Germany and I earned my Master's Degree in Instruction and Curriculum from National Louis University while teaching there.  My husband and I, along with our children, Matthew (20) and Thea (17), have lived in the valley now for the past 19 years.  In 1999 we found Peace Lutheran Church in the yellow pages (back when we had yellow pages!) and have never looked back. I have served on staff at Peace as Director of Adult and Family Faith Formation, as Director of Neighborhood Ministries, as an Intern as required by Fuller Theological Seminary and served for six months as an Interim Pastor at Celebration Lutheran Church.  I have also had the opportunity to observe a mission start church and have been training Stephen Ministers at Peace.  This spring I will be attending Luther Seminary as a full time student fulfilling some of the final requirements before my internship can begin. 

Mark and I are very excited to be a part of the Love of Christ faith community and I am looking forward to working closely with those in Faith Formation.  I am eager to learn more about all of you and your faith journeys!

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Kevin Anderson

Youth and Family Faith Formation Director


Grace and peace! My name is Kevin Anderson and I am the new Director of Youth and Family Faith Formation here at Love of Christ. My wife, Erin, and our one-year old daughter, Reese, are all Arizona natives. Erin and I grew up in ELCA congregations in the West Valley. We met in college. She graduated from Northern Arizona University, and I from Arizona State University (go Sun Devils!). My wife has been a teacher and is now a full-time mom and babysitter. Previously, I spent eight years involved in Youth Ministry leadership. Throughout that time I served as a volunteer, intern, and a Youth Director. Most recently, I attended Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary where I started my track towards becoming an Ordained Pastor in the ELCA. Erin and I are excited to be a part of the community at Love of Christ and we are looking forward to being a part of God’s ministry here with you all!



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Darlene Fleischhauer

Office Manager, Wedding Assistant, Baptism and Memorial Service Coordinator

Office: 480-981-6198

Darlene is our all around go-to person. If you have any questions or concerns, she can point you in the right direction!  Email Darlene for information on having your child baptized and attending Pre-Baptismal Conferences;  having your Wedding here at Love of Christ;  making arrangements for a Memorial Service .

Darlene moved to Arizona in 1977 with  her husband, Randy. She has been the office manager since April 17, 1989.  Has two daughters, Brooke and Blaire and in her spare time she enjoys  the company of her two grandchildren Evan and Emerson. 

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Dick Beckman

Operations Manager

Office: 480-981-3550

My wife Mary and I joined Love of Christ in late 2000 after I had retired from an executive position with a large kitchen cabinet manufacturer that had facilities located throughout the United States. We have been married since 1972 and are both originally from Wisconsin and had lived in York, PA for 15 years before moving to Mesa. We had looked at several churches before joining but liked the open and friendly atmosphere at LOC. In early March of 2001, I joined the staff as its Financial & Operations Manager and have been here ever since. One of the great things about LOC is the multitude of ministries that are offered. You can really meet a lot of new people who have interests similar to your own. Please give any of us a call if you have questions or are interested in joining.

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Janice Herron

Preschool Director

Office: 480-681 0937

Since 1989, I have been blessed with the privilege of working with the young children and families of Love of Christ Preschool. Richard, my husband of 35 years, puts up with me storing all my craft files in every cabinet in "his" garage. Our son Robert is our pride and joy. He received his Master's in Modern Religious Studies in 2007. In short, I am truly blessed - a husband, son and job that I love!

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Dianne Oien

New Members, Seniors & Logistics Manager Dianne Oien

Office: 480-681 0941

My husband Terry and I have been members of Love of Christ for 28 years. We are blessed to have a daughter Tera, our son in law Kevin and two grandchildren – Chloe & Carter.  I have been on staff at LOC for 15 years and prior to that I retired from Qwest Communications. There are so many opportunities to serve and to get connected at LOC. The best way to get started is to join or lead a group that you have an interest in and then “just do it”. You never know where it will take you and how many great people you will meet along the way. If you are interested in becoming a member of LOC, feel free to contact me with any questions you might have. Please join us in worship – all are welcome!

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Anita Christensen

Children's Ministry Leader


Our family became members of Love of Christ in 2000.  My husband, James, is a community banker and we have 2 daughters, Anna, who works in Chicago and Tara, who is currently attending Azusa Pacific University in CA.   I served on the staff primarily as the children’s choir director but also was involved with other ministry programs focusing on children and families for 12 years.  I “retired” in May of 2016.  I’m excited to return to the staff and once again have an opportunity to work with the children and families of LOC.

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Jung Csuy

Director of Music Ministry

Office: 480-832-2449

I have been a member of Love of Christ since 2006 when I started serving here part time. Throughout elementary school I was in the band. As a sixth grader, I played piano for the Kwang Moon Presbyterian Church and helped my father as pastor. I was in band and choir in high school and music became my passion. I earned a bachelor of arts in vocal performance while still in Korea. I continued my education at ASU with another bachelor’s degree in piano performance and music education. After that, I received my master’s degree from ASU in choral conducting/music education. As of June 2008 I have served as the Music Director. I lead the Chancel Choir, Women’s Ensemble, Alleluia Ringers, Youth Bell Choir (Soul Ringers), and Summer Children’s Chime Choir. I also direct Christmas and Lenten Cantata. I have two wonderful sons and one beautiful daughter: Joshua, John, and Grace. My children are the best thing that has ever happened to me in my life!  I thank God for my family every day… My passion continues to be leading the congregation in worshiping our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ through awesome heart-felt music. I look forward to expanding the music program as the church continues to grow and serving the congregation.

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William Nunes

Traditional Worship Pianist


Originally from Hawaii, Bill graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance. He works full-time as the Director of Social Services for the Paradise Shadows Neighborhood Network Center, a HUD housing agency assisting international refugee families, many who were resettled to Arizona by Lutheran Social Services.


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William Hewes

Contemporary Worship Leader


My World 

The noted singer Bryan Duncan is quoted as saying, “I was raised in a Pentecostal Church, but I’m in recovery now!” My story is similar: I like to tell people I grew up on a church pew of the Pentecostal Christian Church of Mullica Hill, N.J.  Rev. James Demola, Sr., Pastor. I say this because every time the church doors were open, we were there! A stickler for theology and doctrine, Pastor Demola also bathed the congregation in hymns, hymns, hymns! I believe that the great hymns of the faith are an important part of our culture. They often contain deep doctrinal insight, and they inform us about who we are and what we’ve come through as a people. That is why I like to program them into our service  whenever I can.

I believe in corporate worship. The Psalmist declares, “But You are Holy, O You that inhabit the praises of Israel.” Ellicot’s Commentary explains that in this passage, "The ever-ascending praises of His people became a throne for the Divine King.” I believe this is what happens when we gather as a congregation to worship. We remind ourselves of the things Christ has done for us and of the truths that His Word reveals about all aspects of our journey as disciples of Christ. We celebrate those truths which remind us of the eternal solid foundation for our hope which can reset our perspective as we face the day-to-day challenges that can often discourage us. Our corporate worship experience is a refuge as we face the storms of life!

This is why I say, "I’m expecting great things to happen during our worship experience" during the greeting each Sunday morning; we are meeting God here! I believe our worship service is very much like recharging our batteries! I want people to come here and experience God! How’s that for ambition?

I believe music is a gift from God to mankind and is to be shared. I have been involved in music in one form or another throughout my entire life. Music seemed to provide the doors that opened for me in life. I had a thousand piano lessons as a child, played trumpet all through high school in the marching band.  I went to college for music and transferred to ASU where I received my degree in instrumental music as a String Bass player. Being a bassist provided me the opportunity to work with some great musicians along the way that I might not have had access to otherwise. I have also taught hundreds of private lessons as a bass teacher, and a few more on guitar, voice and piano. The funny thing about teaching is: the more you share, the more you yourself learn! While continuing my education culminating in my graduating from ASU in 1995, I spent the next 20 years playing bass and singing for weddings, parties, corporate functions and bar mitzvah’s and bat mitzvah’s. So many of these, in fact, that I think I am actually now a little Jewish strictly through osmosis! Mazel Tov, everyone!

Since 2007 I have performed in a duo that performs a music program for seniors at retirement communities all throughout the East Valley. This has been a great way to learn about our national popular culture, which I have made an assiduous study of in order to better communicate with seniors in a language that they uniquely understand. This is important because music has been shown to help these seniors better adapt to the situations they find themselves in today require less medication to calm them, and help them re-connect with who they used to be. I guess I believe in music therapy, too!

In addition to the secular music, I have also performed at a number of Churches all throughout the Valley since my graduation. I have worn many hats: Worship Director, bassist, keyboardist, vocalist, guitarist, music producer, arranger, substitute musician, sound man, vacuum cleaner, laundryman, chief cook and bottle washer, if you know what I mean!

There was a time when I had hoped for a career in church music. I had some success for awhile but I reached a point where I thought that I had exhausted all of my opportunities. The only “church gig” that I had left, in fact, was here at LOC, where for 12 years I happily played bass in what has come to be a terrific band! In fact, although our weekly Service starts at 9:00 am, I have always felt like worship actually starts when John Lewis takes his sticks out of the bag around 8:00! He and Mike Ozuna have been the nucleus of a terrific bunch of musicians that have come and gone throughout the years. To me they are pure Gold! Being able to perform with musicians of such a high caliber is, in itself, a kind of religious experience. Their high skill level also allows the church to have the ability to successfully utilize a wide variety of music. In other words, there’s not much we can’t do! Their efforts are buttressed by the guy who has taken my place, Mike King, who is, along with John and Mike, one of the most in-demand bassists in the Valley!

In addition to those in the band, the people for whom I work have also been gracious and helpful. Chief among all these is Jung Csuy, who has endured the 5000 questions and problems I have put before her at all hours of the day and night; all with a smile! I just keep finding myself saying, Thank you,  Jung!

Since I have begun leading worship here, I have been overwhelmed by the kindness of the congregation. I have received lots of great feedback, support, music ideas, and tips from everyone I have come in contact with and for that I am really grateful. We have also had a few folks from the congregation come up and sing from time to time, and I trust we will have more to come in the near future as I get up to speed on all of my duties here. As I talk to people here about the things that are going on, and I keep finding myself saying, “I think the best is yet to come!” And I do believe that!



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Heather Parker

WOW Coordinator

Office: 480 681 0925

Heather coordinates our WOW, The Word on Wednesday program.

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Karen Thompson

WOW Meal Prep Coordinator

Office: 480-981-6199

My husband, Brian, and I found Love of Christ in fall 2013 and two days after Christmas were married there.  We’ve been welcomed with open arms by everyone we encounter.  As brand new transplants to Arizona, LOC was an answer to prayer.  We’ve been blessed with many opportunities to contribute our time and talents.  Whether it is baking, cooking, landscaping, or security, everything we’ve done has been fulfilling and rewarding.  My main focus now is coordinating the kitchen responsibilities on Wednesday nights for WOW.  If you’re looking for a “behind-the-scenes” way to participate, please contact me!  I look forward to meeting you.
Contact Us

Brian Thompson

Set Up

Office: 480 681 0941

Clyde Anderson

Church Board


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Patti DeLaney

Church Board President

Office: 480-981-6199

Allen Gjersvig

Church Board


Karen Humbert

Church Board Secretary


Michael Obert

Church Board Treasurer


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Melissa Riner

Church Board

Office: 480-981-6199

Dan Wilke

Church Board Vice President


Dave Dohrmann

Church Board