Pastors

Joel Zank

Associate Pastor, Northern Wisconsin District President
E-mail Joel Zank

 

Pastor Joel Zank has been in the ministry since 1987. He has served Mount Olive since 1996.  His ministry began in the classroom. Pastor Zank served as a religion teacher at Shoreland Lutheran High School near Kenosha, Wisconsin. He entered parish ministry when he was called to serve a congregation in Rochester, Minnesota. In 2014 he was elected President of the WELS Northern Wisconsin District. In this role he spends time working with member churches and called workers throughout the area.

“Ministry means serving others with God’s Word. Mount Olive is a church that ministers to all. It seeks to minister to its members by using God’s Word to instruct and encourage them. At the same time, Mount Olive ministers to the people of Appleton, seeking to share the good news of God’s saving love with everyone. This is best accomplished when we at Mount Olive are growing in our knowledge of Christ and, then, living our faith in him every day.”

Pastor Zank and his wife Cindy have one daughter, Carrie. The Zanks love to camp as well as cheer for the Brewers and Packers.

Robert Raasch

Associate Pastor, Administrative, Member Ministry, and Stewardship
E-mail Robert Raasch

 


After serving an exploratory mission in Houghton, Michigan, for nine years, Pastor Robert Raasch was called to serve at Mount Olive in 1995.  His current congregational responsibilities include administration, member ministry and stewardship. He also serves the WELS as a circuit pastor and the chairman of the Asia-Pacific Rim Administrative Committee.

“I believe that Mount Olive offers a wide range of ministries designed to meet the spiritual needs of young and old alike; but most importantly, Mount Olive offers a message of God’s unconditional love for sinners. The thing I most enjoy about this ministry is the opportunity to help people grow closer to God through a study of His Word. There is nothing quite as rewarding as seeing a person’s eyes light up as he or she discovers the answers God offers in His Holy Word.”

Pastor Raasch’s wife, Sarah, is a registered nurse. Together, they have two grown daughters, Rachel and Allison. Pastor enjoys spending his free time fishing, hunting, and cheering on the Green Bay Packers.

Nathan Wordell

Associate Pastor, Family, Youth, and School
E-mail Nathan Wordell

.

“Jesus lived, he died, and he’s alive again – and he did it all for you! Jesus doesn’t just give hope for eternal life. Jesus and his promises give hope for everyday life. My mission at Mount Olive is to help families inject a little more hope from Jesus into their everyday lives, and I’m having a blast!” 

Pastor Nate Wordell grew up in Minnesota and studied theology, history, and biblical languages Martin Luther College and Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. He served short term internships in California, Louisiana, and South Dakota. From 2016-2018 he was serving the students of Martin Luther College as a pastor, instructor and coach. That’s where he met his wife Rachel. They enjoy cooking, camping, kayaking, and taking in a good football game.

Timothy Priewe

Associate Pastor, Worship and Outreach
E-mail Timothy Priewe

After graduating from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in May 2019, Pastor Priewe received his first assignment to serve at Mount Olive. He served as a vicar (intern) at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Verona and Monroe, WI.

“Recently, I was able to visit the Mount of Olives outside Jerusalem where Jesus ascended into heaven. There he commissioned his disciples, “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” My mission at Mount Olive in Appleton is to keep witnessing and training witnesses of the good news of Jesus Christ so that we may all gather together to worship our gracious and victorious Savior!”

Pastor’s wife Carissa serves as a part-time teacher at Mount Olive in various grades. Together they enjoy camping, outdoor activities, softball, golf, spending time with their family, and their cat, Charlie Pepper.

Ron Gorske

Visitation Pastor, Homebound Member Ministry
E-mail Ron Gorske

Pastor Ron Gorske has been in the ministry for over 40 years. His first congregation was Trinity Lutheran Church and School in Johnson, Minnesota.  He then served as a guidance counselor, religion and foreign language teacher, and tennis coach at Fox Valley Lutheran High School from 1974 until 2014.  While serving at FVL he also taught religion extension courses for MLC, and chaired several Evangelism Outreach campaigns for the Northern Wis. District.

“My 80 year-old father-in-law once told me, ‘Ron, we are all teenagers at heart.’ There’s a lot of truth there. We all still sin. We all still need the message of forgiveness. Hopefully, we are all still growing in our appreciation for what the Savior has done for us. What a joyful privilege to share the Word with His ‘teens,’ whether they are 15 or 85.”

Pastor Gorske and his wife, Judy, have 5 children and 7 grandchildren. Judy served as a Lutheran grade school teacher, church organist, and choir director since graduating from MLC in 1968.  She retired in 2014 to become a full time grandmother.  In their spare time, they enjoy gardening and travelling.