David Brandt

Associate Pastor

Pastor David Brandt has been our pastor at St. John’s since the summer of 2017.  He is originally from St. Louis, MO.  When he was 9 he moved to Arizona and later his
family moved to Utah where he enjoyed exploring God’s beautiful creation in the scenery that those states offer.

After graduating from Arizona Lutheran Academy, he went to Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN.  In addition to receiving an education, it was there that he also met his wife, Heide. After marriage, they lived in Heide's home town of Saginaw, MI for a couple of years.

After college David attended Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, WI, which included a vicar year (internship) at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Aurora, IL.
After graduation from the seminary, David was privileged to serve for 9 years as a pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Tomah, WI.

David and Heide have been blessed with 6 children: Max, Hailey, Ella, Lillie, Abel and Pearl.  David and Heide enjoy traveling together, playing games together, and watching their children develop and grow, especially in the grace and knowledge of their Savior.

Pastor Brandt’s favorite Bible verse is Romans 8:1 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”  He would love the opportunity to tell you why or to give you any other direction or comfort from God’s Word that he can.

Joel Luetke

1/4 Time Pastor

Joel Luetke, son of Nathanael and Olga (nee Schroeder), was born in 1952 in Denver, CO, where his father was serving as a WELS home missionary. The family lived 15 minutes from Martin Luther Academy (1884-1979) in New Ulm, MN, when he began his high school years. He graduated MLA in 1970. After graduating Northwestern College (1863-1995) in Watertown (class of ’74), he attended Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon.  He served as a vicar at St. Paul Lutheran in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. His first fulltime call was to Resurrection Lutheran Church, then a WELS home mission, in Virginia Beach, VA. The congregation now is located in Chesapeake, VA. In 1998 he was installed at Zion Lutheran Church, Olivia, MN. He retired from full time pastoral ministry in June, 2018.  He and Julie (nee Albaugh) moved to Watertown that same month. They are members of St. Luke’s in Watertown. In September 2019 Pastor Luetke began to serve a parttime retirement call at St. John’s. He has enjoyed preaching, teaching and visiting homebound members of the congregation.

The Luetke’s met in Watertown in 1973 when Julie had moved from Michigan to work at Bethesda Lutheran Home.  They were married at Salem Lutheran Church, Owosso, MI, in 1976. They have 2 daughters and 3 sons and 16 grandchildren living in WI, VA, MO, Lusaka, Zambia, Africa and CO.

Julie’s ambition to be a nurturing mother (and now, grandmother) has been her great delight. Her other great passion (besides quilting, art, etc.), has been to care for those who have special needs. Julie has found various outlets including special needs Bible Classes, voluntarily encouraging and organizing Jesus Cares ministries in several MN congregations and thereafter working for The Lutheran Home Association, Belle Plaine, MN, to do the same throughout the upper Midwest area.

Besides caring for congregations, establishing new missions and serving the district & synod in various ways, Pastor Luetke’s other interests have included gardening every year since 1978 (except 2018 ☹) – 3 growing seasons a year for 20 years in VA and as many summers in as many as 3 places in Olivia. He has also enjoyed cross country biking ever since his later grade school years in MN. Son Mark and he completed a 154-mile ride in 14 hours on the 4th of July 2006 (followed by fireworks in Morton, MN).

Today Julie and Joel live in their “cottage” ½ mile south of Luther Preparatory School. It is a salmon-colored stone-brick house built into Richard’s Hill in 1956. The house was kept in time capsule fashion by its previous owner/builder who lived in it till she was nearly 99.   The 18’x24’ terraced kitchen garden is on the back yard hill and a 60’x30’ rented garden space is located half a mile away next to the Rock River off the old Watertown Plank Road (Oconomowoc Avenue) near a one-time stage house which is now home to a Supper Club.  They enjoy the squirrel-planted woods (mostly walnut trees…) west of their lot (where the interurban railway was located from 1908-1940) and have been learning to forage for wild grapes, black caps, elder berries, strawberries, walnuts, etc. Pastor Luetke’s bicycle sees a few miles a week in the summer and he recently scattered a few ginseng seeds along the old railway berm for a future someone to discover….

John Baumann

Vacancy Pastor

Pastor John Baumann joined the pastoral staff at St. John's in August 2022 to serve as a Vacancy Pastor while our congregation calls for a new full-time pastor.  Thank you Pastor Baumann for serving!

Karl Christie

Senior Assistant

Karl Christie was born in St. Joseph MI while his father was serving as a Vicar at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Benton Harbor MI.  From 1997-2010 he lived in Antioch IL where his father served as a pastor at Faith Lutheran Church.  During the summer of 2010 the family moved to Waukesha WI where his father served as a pastor until 2020.  During this time Karl attended Luther Preparatory School in Watertown WI (Class of 2015) and Martin Luther College in New Ulm MN (Class of 2019).  Karl is currently attending Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon WI.  He spent his Vicar year at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Beverly Hills FL.  Karl married his wife Rachel in 2020.  He enjoys Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, shooting, fishing, hiking, and playing music.

Ryan Kummerow

Staff Minister

Ryan Kummerow was installed as our staff minister in December, 2019.
Ryan is a native of Dodge County. He was baptized at St. Peter’s in Kekoskee and attended grade school at St. Matthew’s in nearby Iron Ridge. After graduating from WLA in Fond du Lac in 1994, he was undecided on a career path. A year and a half later, he enrolled at Moraine Park Technical College in Fond du Lac where he earned a degree in marketing.
His interest in pursuing ministry as a career came 7 years later while he was an active member at St. Mark in De Pere. A meeting with Joel Hansen led to more opportunities to serve at St. Mark. Ryan then enrolled at Martin Luther College in September, 2005. Part of his studies included a semester-long internship in Milwaukee with Redemption Lutheran Church and the Lighthouse Youth Center.
After graduating in December, 2008, he spent time in Phoenix, AZ and Madison, WI until receiving the call to serve at St. John’s. In addition to his called work at St. John’s, Ryan works as a community mentor in Beaver Dam.
Outside of work, his interests include spending time with family, fishing, golfing, acoustic guitar, reading, card and board games, and gardening.

Richard Cody

School Prinicpal

Mr. Cody has been our principal since 2006. Our school currently has 2K - 8th grade students.