Pastor & Staff
Pastor Dana Hendershot
Hello, my name is Pastor Dana Hendershot. I am a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. I am honored to be serving as the Pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.
I was ordained on June 29, 2008 and my first call was to Christus Victor Lutheran Church in North Naples, Florida. I graduated from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago with a Master of Divinity and an emphasis in science and religion. In my spare time I am often found on, in or under the water. I have two cockatiel birds and at night love to be outside with my telescope looking at the awe and wonder of God’s universe.
Please contact me if you’re interested in the ministries we have to offer at Immanuel Lutheran Church – our vision statement clearly states, “We seek to build relationships across all boundaries.” That means no matter your age, ethnicity, ability, sexuality, nationality, faith, or social status you are welcome to worship with us. Even if you have hesitations about being involved in organized religion I welcome a conversation. Living in a faithful community changes lives – and your presence worshiping with us will also change ours. After all, the church is not simply the building or the service that happens in it, the church is the people!
Craig Torgerson, Director of Faith Formation
I grew up at Lake Isabella, Michigan and graduated from Chippewa Hills High School in 2003. Immanuel Lutheran was where I was baptized and confirmed. I am a Central Michigan University grad. My degrees are in Organizational Communication and Leadership. My wife, Claire, and I got married in 2010 in Memphis, TN. We have three children; Enoch, Elijah, and Elisabet (we call her Grace). We moved back to Lake Isabella in June of 2015. I began working at Immanuel Lutheran at the end of August, 2016.
Andrea Redmond, Office 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 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 Bidstrup, Organist & 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.
Katie is currently studying vocal music at Central Michigan University and hopes to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Music in December of 2017. She will be moving to Chicago in the Fall of 2018 to attend seminary at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. She was a member of the Chancel Choir for a year before being hired as the intern. Katie has also worked for Living Water Ministries for several years.
Rachel Gran, Children’s Ministry Intern
Some fun facts about me: I’m from Canton MI which is a city right between Ann Arbor and Detroit (we have Ikea!) and I’m a senior here at CMU. I’m studying Spanish with minors in Business Administration and Leadership. I’ll be graduating in May and going out into the real world to (hopefully!) find my grown up job. I absolutely love animals of all kinds and pretty much any sort of craft, and my favorite food is mac and cheese.