Meet Our Pastors
Rev. Susan Tjornehoj (pronounced “churn a hoy) Interim Senior Pastor
Pastor Susan Tjornehoj grew up in Colorado, a preacher’s kid, along the Front Range of the Rockies. After graduating from Luther College, beginning seminary at PLTS in Berkeley and finishing at Luther Seminary, she was married and ordained on the same day, to the coolest guy, David Wangaard. Together they headed up to Alaska to serve north of Nome. They left Alaska to serve in a 3-point parish in Baudette, MN. Pastor Sue has served on bishop’s staffs in the Northwestern Minnesota Synod, Saint Paul Area Synod and Minneapolis Area Synod as Assistant or Director of Evangelical Mission. She and Dave raised their daughter Ingrid Grace in the Como Park neighborhood of St. Paul. While there they both served, though at different times, as lead pastor of Christ Lutheran on Capitol. Since 2012, Sue has been the Senior Pastor of Christ Lutheran in the Inner Harbor of Baltimore, Maryland. After entering into an extended sabbatical (also called retirement), Pastor Sue has been delighted to be the bridge senior pastor at Bethlehem Lutheran in Fergus Falls and most recently took a 5-week missional plunge into the wonder of 6 congregations around the towns of Gary and Bejou, MacIntosh and Winger.
Rev. Jeremiah Holst Associate Pastor
Pastor Jeremiah grew up in Duluth, spending time along the shores of Lake Superior with his parents and younger brother. He attended Luther College in Decorah, IA, earning a degree in music education and spending his summers working for Voyageurs Lutheran Ministry in northern Minnesota. After college, he lived in Rochester, MN for three years while working as support staff for children with developmental disabilities and behavioral disorders. In 2007 he moved out to Berkeley, CA to attend Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, completing his internship at United Lutheran Church in Eugene, OR and graduating in 2012. After graduation, he accepted a call to serve as Pastor at Shepherd of the Pines parish in Solway and Shevlin where he served until 2019. He lives in Bemidji with his wife, Katherine and their son, Bjorn.
Jami Goetz Vicar
Jami grew up in a small town in North Central Iowa called Buffalo Center. He attended Wartburg College where he earned a degree in religion and further pursued his passion for music by singing in the men’s choir and playing percussion in Wartburg’s two ensemble bands. After college, Jami continued following his calling to ministry at Luther Seminary, where he has completed two years of his Master of Divinity degree. In his free time, Jami enjoys watching movies (especially Marvel movies!), playing video games, drinking coffee, running, and making music.
Meet Our Staff
Tony Kerr Preschool Director
Hello Calvary Family. My name is Tony Kerr. I have been a member of Calvary for 20 years or more and some of you may recognize me from my work on the Praise Team. I have been involved in education for 20 years from teaching to administration, in levels from preschool through college. I hold a Bachelors of Science in Music and K-12 Education, a Masters of Arts in Education Leadership, a Specialist Degree in School Administration and another Specialist Degree in Organizational Leadership. I started my education leadership position in Red Lake as the Principal at St. Mary’s Mission school. From there I moved around the area leading schools through certain challenges and tasks before realizing I was chasing around for bigger positions and all the time losing focus on what was really important, serving God. The position for the Calvary Preschool Director came to my attention, and with prayer, discussions with my family and a few calls to some friends, I decided to apply for this position, and by grace, was selected to serve. My draw to the position was that we are a Christ focused family, and that IS the priority, above all! I am excited to serve the Calvary community, to help and support our children, families and staff, and to serve God in a new way. My family and I live in Bemidji, have been students and families of Calvary’s Preschool programs, we have been married here, baptized here, and continue to serve in new and exciting capacities as our family grows here. This opportunity is a gift as I am now able to serve in a more intensive capacity. My office door will always be open, I will listen, serve, and lead as Calvary sees fit, all the while, keeping the focus of the programs on God.
Shar Paquette Worship and Music Minister
Shar has lived in Bemidji since 1990. She has a grown daughter who lives with her husband in Moorhead, MN. Shar married her best friend, Don Carlson, the summer of 2013. They enjoy working on their cabin, walking, listening to music and reading. Shar holds a BA in Business from UND in Grand Forks, ND. Shar worked for Schoolcraft Learning Community for 14 years, and concurrently worked part-time at Calvary planning and leading contemporary worship starting in January 2012. Shar began the full-time position as Worship and Music Minister in August of 2014. It is her prayer that she continues to learn and grow into this position, and that she can bless God and Calvary through her work here.
Garrett Fultz Church Administrator
Garrett moved from Little Falls to Bagley at the age of ten with his four siblings and parents, Curt and Kitty Fultz. He graduated from Bagley High School in 2012 and decided to pursue a college degree at Bemidji State University. After over a year attending psychology courses, Garrett switched his focus toward business. In 2016 he graduated from BSU with a degree in Business Administration with emphases in Marketing and Management. Prior to being employed at Calvary Lutheran Church, Garrett was a Manager at Arby’s while working as a Merchandiser for Nabisco in Bemidji.
Aaron Bieberdorf Administrative Assistant
Aaron grew up in Bemidji, MN and has lived here all his life. He was baptized at Calvary Lutheran Church in October 2003. Aaron went to Sunday School at Calvary and got his Spark Bible in 2011, went through confirmation, and was confirmed in 2016; He’s been on a total of five mission trips, the furthest being Arkansas. He graduated from Bemidji High School in 2021 and has enjoyed watching his brother and sister play basketball and football through their high school careers. Aaron is an avid NFL fan and loves to watch the Packers and Vikings. Before Calvary, Aaron volunteered at the Sanford Clinic and Orthopedics Center for the summers of 2018-2019. He’s excited and looking forward to serving Calvary through his gap year from school and giving Calvary all he has to offer. In the fall of 2022, Aaron will attend Central Lakes College in Brainerd and pursue a psychology major. After two years at Central Lakes, he plans to transfer his credits to Minnesota State, Moorehead, where he will complete his college education.
Kim Warren Administrative Assistant
Kim grew up in Rogers Minnesota, and moved to Bemidji six years ago with her husband, Rev. Pete Warren, who is the pastor at Aardahl Lutheran Church of Bemidji. In June of 2018 Kim and her husband welcomed a son Marcus to the family. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies, listening to music, and spending time with her husband and son. She has an extensive ministry background that started as a volunteer in her home congregation in Rogers, MN, and followed her through to serving on a year-long ministry team with Youth Encounter, and then working in the Youth Encounter office. In 2004, she completed the Youth and Family Ministry Certification course through Wartburg Seminary and was a youth director for a short time. Since then, she has had a variety of jobs in a variety of fields from retail customer service, to office management, to paraprofessional. Kim is ecstatic to join the staff at Calvary and looks forward to the journey ahead.
Len Ochowicz Day Custodian
Hello, my name is Len Ochowicz. My wife Kathie and I relocated to Bemidji in July 2020 to be near our youngest daughter, Erin, and her family. She came here to attend nursing classes at BSU years ago, met a young man, and has been in this area since! Erin has three siblings with families of their own Jason, Jaime, and Adam. Our four children have blessed us with 13 grandchildren. We are both retired, actively involved in church, and have been together for 48 years. Len began as day custodian on December 1, 2021. Len also serves as a council member at Calvary.
Gene Bright is the evening and weekend custodian at Calvary Lutheran Church. He was born in St. Cloud, MN and graduated from Stillwater High School in St. Cloud. Gene is a veteran of the United States Army and served in Vietnam. In his spare time, Gene enjoys reading, watching a little television and working in the garden.