Pastor Dana Hendershot received her undergraduate at Wittenberg University. Then after serving 5 years as a youth minister she felt a call to attend the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago for a Master of Divinity and graduated with an emphasis in science and religion in 2008. She joined the staff of Immanuel as pastor in 2011, following her first call in North Naples, Florida. In Florida, she learned of her love for advocacy by working alongside the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and serving on the Interfaith Action of SW Florida board of directors. Since moving to Michigan she has spent a great deal of time advocating for the homeless and helped to form Mount Pleasant, Michigan’s first rotating homeless shelter. She also serves on the board for the Lutheran Alliance for Faith, Science, and Technology and Central Michigan University’s Institutional Review Board. She has been published in workingpreacher.org, The Lutheran Partners magazine, and The Lutheran. In her spare time, she is often around water. She has a cockatiel bird (Zipporah) and two Brittney Spaniels (Ocean & Brook). At night she loves to be outside with her telescope looking at the awe and wonder of God’s universe. Mostly, she looks forward to sitting down with you over coffee or beer to talk about your hopes, dreams, and about God’s work in your life.
Andrea RedmondOFFICE MANAGER
In September 2010, I joined the staff at Immanuel, serving as the office manager. From the very beginning, I have been blessed to feel so very welcomed by the congregation of Immanuel. I have lived in Mt. Pleasant for more than twenty years. Upon graduating from High School in the metro-Detroit area, I moved here to study at Central Michigan University, where I attained a degree in Child Development and Sociology. During my time of study, I met my future husband, and decided to stay in the area. Since that time, we married and now have a family. Our 3 children now keep us both busy and proud with school, sports and all of the other extracurriculars! In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with family and friends. Summer barbeques and football get-togethers are some of my favorites!
Mernie BidstrupORGANIST & CHOIR DIRECTOR
Mernie Bidstrup was the organist at Immanuel from 1986- 2006 and has been back at Immanuel since Aug. 2011. She has a BME and a MA in music from CMU. She has studied organ with Dr. Mary Lou Kney and Dr. Steven Egler. Since her retirement from teaching, she has become a Reiki Master. She is a passionate animal advocate and is happiest at home with her dogs, cats and donkeys.
Bill GallaherBAND DIRECTOR
I currently run my own architecture business after being a quotations manager and project architect here in central Michigan. I grew up in Madison Wisconsin and took up the guitar my senior year in high school, three years after I started dating my wife Kathy. We married while I was studying architecture at Iowa State University and moved to Mount Pleasant in 1987.
Immanuel is my home and I have been involved in Chancel Choir, VBS, Council and Midweek School. Immanuel was my first experience singing in a choir and where I learned to play bass guitar. In 2001 Immanuel helped send Kathy and I (along with eight others from Immanuel and around Michigan) to Papua New Guinea to help build Habitat for Humanity houses. That same year I joined the contemporary band that is now Take Joy.
The switch to virtual worship has led to new experiences in producing audio recordings, creating videos for worship and helping put together virtual choirs. Kathy and I have three wonderful children and one happy cat, and I enjoy winemaking, beermaking, rooting on the Badgers and the Packers as well as enjoying cheese and beer (like I said, I grew up in Wisconsin).
Thomas StrandskovYOUTH MINISTRY COORDINATOR & TECH GURU
I grew up here in Mt. Pleasant and in this church. I am a current CMU student studying Biology and will be graduating in May 2022 and hope to go to grad school for Genetic Counseling. In my free time I love to hang out with my friends and play video games. As a member of the youth group, I loved going on mission trips and to the National Gathering in Detroit and Houston, TX. In the summers, I especially love going to family camp at Camp Nawakwa in Arendtsville, PA. Family camp allowed me to make lifelong friends and learn more about God out in a new environment and with new people. I would love to share more about camp with anyone who is interested!
Maggie PolleyCHILDRENS MINISTRY COORDINATOR
Maggie is originally from a farming community in the Northwest corner of Ohio. She grew up with a large extended family that all lived within 5 miles of each other. Childhood was time spent at Grandma and Grandpa’s with the whole family together, cousins playing in the hay mow, catching the barn cats, walking and riding bikes all over the countryside.
Maggie has a Bachelor’s Degree in Church Music from Concordia University in Ann Arbor and a Master’s of Music in Vocal Performance from Bowling Green State University. After finishing her Master’s Degree she was very interested in 1. No more school and 2. A steady paycheck, so she began applying for positions in the Financial Aid world, in which she worked as a student assistant at Bowling Green. One particular application led to an interview at Central Michigan University, and the rest is history. Maggie continues her career in higher education in the Financial Aid Office at CMU.
In 2008 Maggie met Chris, and they married in 2010. They have two children together, Henry (10) and Charlotte (5), and also Corbyn (16), who is Chris’s biological child and Maggie’s child in her heart. Together is their favorite place to be, and to that end they enjoy camping together in the summers all over the state of Michigan, but most especially to places where there is water to enjoy and rocks to be found.