Our Mission Statement
St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, a Christian congregation gathered around the Word of God and his Sacraments, resolves to:
Proclaim the clear Word of Life, the Gospel: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)
Teach that Jesus Christ alone is "the Way and the Truth and the Life." (John 14:6)
"Love one another" even as God "first loved us." (1 John 4)
Worship God who is "worthy to receive honor and glory and praise." (Revelation 5)
Reach out with the Gospel to "every tribe and language and people and nation." (Revelation 7)
Meet the Team
PASTOR JEFFREY BOVEE
Pastor Bovee was born in Saginaw, Michigan - number four of eight children. After high school he attended a community college in Michigan where he studied art for two years. He worked as a sign painter, t-shirt designer, and a silk screener, besides doing other freelance art projects, and also was a chauffeur for the Silver Lady Limousine Service in Saginaw before deciding to study for the ministry.
He entered the WELS seminary certification program at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minnesota (formerly known as the Bethany or Meq-Beth program). He attended Bethany for three years, and then went on to Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, Wisconsin. His vicar year was spent at Sola Fide Lutheran Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia (a suburb of Atlanta).
Upon graduation from WLS in 1990, he married Valerie Borcherding, who was the bookstore manager at Bethany Lutheran College. The two of them made their first home in Menomonie, Wisconsin where Pastor Bovee received his first call to St. Paul's Lutheran Church. They remained there from 1990-1994, until Pastor Bovee took the call to St. John's Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota, and became the first ever associate pastor at St. John's.
The Bovees have been in New Ulm since June, 1994. They have three children, all of whom were born to them in Minnesota during the time Pastor Bovee has served as pastor in New Ulm.
PASTOR ROB GUENTHER
Pastor Guenther was born August 24, 1978 in Renton, WA. He entered the Church through Holy Baptism on September 8, 1978. Pastor Guenther attended Calvary Lutheran School for grades 1-8. He attended Evergreen Lutheran High School from which he graduated in 1996. He then studied at Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2000. He then enrolled in Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, WI and received his Master of Divinity degree in 2004.
During his time at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Pastor Guenther served as a vicar at Holy Word Evangelical Lutheran Church in Austin, TX, under the supervision of his bishop, Pastor Don Patterson. Like all Wisconsin Synod pastors, Pastor Guenther received a thorough education in the individual books of the Bible, the languages of the Church (Hebrew, Greek, German, and Latin), homiletics (preaching), dogmatics (doctrine), education (teaching), pastoral counseling, etc.
Pastor Guenther was married to Becky Hennig on July 27, 2002. They have since been blessed with four sons, Josiah, Jacob, Judah, and Joel. Pastor Guenther spent the first six years of his ministry at Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he was ordained into the public ministry. He then spent the next eight years of his ministry serving at Grace Lutheran Church in Kenai, Alaska. Now he is eager to be back in New Ulm, MN and to serve you with God's Word and Sacraments! You can email Pastor at email@example.com, reach him by phone at the office: (507) 354-6744 or at his cell: (507) 240-2433 or meet with him in person at church, whether at worship or in his office. Click here to schedule a time to meet with Pastor Guenther.
Jim Dretske was born in Waukegan, Illinois. After graduation at DMLC (MLC) in 1989, he began his ministry at Trinity Lutheran in Hoskins, Nebraska, in 1990. He then taught at St. Paul's in Saginaw, MI from 1995-1998. He accepted a call in 1998 from St. John's Lutheran Church in New Ulm as the Administrative Teacher for St. John's Church at St. Paul's School and is now called as Staff Minister (2019) at St. John’s. The part-time call has now been made permanent.
In his spare time Jim enjoys computers, photography, and editing digital video. He and his wife Cindy have been blessed with two children.
Christine (Norder) Baganz was born in Lansing, Michigan. She attended Salem Lutheran School in Owosso, Michigan for her grade school education and then went on to Michigan Lutheran Seminary for high school. Following graduation from high school in 1990, she continued her education at Dr. Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minnesota where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in 1994. She has since taken additional courses in early childhood and obtained a teaching license from the state of Minnesota.
Christine’s teaching ministry began at Good Shepherd Lutheran School in Omaha, Nebraska where she taught grades K-2 (1994-1996) and then 1-2 (1996-2000). She went on to teach preschool and kindergarten at St. John’s Lutheran School, Dowagiac, Michigan (2000-2001) and was the preschool teacher and director at St. Peter’s Lutheran School, Plymouth, Michigan (2006-2015). During the years she was out of teaching, she attended a community college to pursue a career in the medical field as a radiological tech (x-ray tech), worked at a music store, was lead teacher in the infant room at Emanuel First Lutheran Daycare in Lansing, Michigan (2003-2006), and had the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom.
Christine was introduced to Peter Baganz by a mutual friend in 2007. They were married August 9, 2008, and have one son, Jacob. Peter accepted a call to teach history at Martin Luther College in 2015 which brought the Baganz family to New Ulm. Christine was called to teach kindergarten at St. Paul’s Lutheran School in 2020.
Christine enjoys travel, reading, gardening, hiking, and playing board games with family and friends in her spare time.
Teacher - 3rd & 4th Grades
Laura (Arnold) Balza was born in Bay City, MI. After attending St. John's Lutheran School in Bay City, she completed her high school education at Michigan Lutheran Seminary. She graduated from Dr. Martin Luther College in 1991 and was assigned to teach 2nd grade at St. Paul Appleton, WI. She also has taught grades 4-6 at Gloria Dei Bethesda in Milwaukee (1996-97); grade 5 at St. Lucas in Milwaukee (1997-98), grades 1-2 at Good Shepherd in West Allis (1998-2008); and grade 1 at St. John in Wauwatosa (2008-12).
On July 4 2012, Laura married Steve Balza and moved to New Ulm. Laura began her teaching ministry here at St. Paul Lutheran School, New Ulm, in 2014. Laura has been blessed with three children. In her spare time she enjoys early morning jogs, coffee, and spending time with family and friends.
Phillip Scriver was born in New Ulm, MN. He graduated from Shoreland Lutheran High School in 2003 and from Martin Luther College in 2007 with a degree in education.. He earned his master’s degree from Martin Luther College in educational administration in 2020.
Phil and his wife, Danielle served as teacher missionaries through Friends of China after graduating from MLC. Phil accepted a call to teach at St. Philip’s in Milwaukee in 2009. The Scrivers returned to Beijing in 2012 where their family served as Friends of China missionaries and Phil was principal and teacher at Rising Eagles School. Phil accepted a call to be principal and teacher at Christ Our Redeemer in Aurora, CO in 2016. He then became the Director of Mission Advancement at Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School in 2019. In 2020, he returned to classroom teaching in Truman, MN. Phil is now a 5/6 grade teacher at St. Paul’s Lutheran School in New Ulm, MN.
Phil and Danielle are blessed to have four children, Rogan, Weston, Everett, and Whitley. In his free time, Phil enjoys family time, traveling, sports, and outdoor activities.
M.S. Ed - Administration
Grades 5 & 6 Homeroom/History
Grades 5 & 6 Homeroom
St. John's Jr. Choir Director
Emily (Metzger) Stoering was born in Bay City, Michigan. She attended WELS grade schools at St. Peter’s, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin and Apostles, Billings, Montana. She graduated from Winnebago Lutheran Academy, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin in 2001 and from Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minnesota in 2005.
Emily met her husband, Josiah Stoering, while they both ran for the MLC cross country team; they married in 2004. Emily and Josiah received calls to teach in a two room school in Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan. Emily taught kindergarten, first and second grade from 2005-2008. She has been serving at St. Paul’s Lutheran School in New Ulm in some capacity since January 2019. In January 2021, Emily received and accepted a permanent call to continue to teach at St. Paul’s in the fifth and sixth grades.
Josiah and Emily are blessed with four children, all of whom attend St. Paul's Lutheran. In her spare time, Emily enjoys living on the family farm, running, and spending time with her friends and family.