Our Staff

Roger Dykstra has been at Gloria Dei since March 1, 2016. Prior to that, he served parishes in Dows and Lake Mills, Iowa and Grand Forks, North Dakota. A native Iowan, Pastor Roger was born and raised in Sioux Center, IA, attended college in Pella, IA, and taught school for two years in Belle Plaine, IA before enrolling at Luther Seminary in St. Paul in 1980. His seminary internshipwas in Jewell, IA, where he was ordained as a pastor in 1984. Pastor Roger and his wife, Kathi, met as music majors at Central College in Pella. They have one daughter, Melissa, who lives and works in Iowa City/Coralville. They live in North Liberty. Kathi’s mom, Jeanne (“Grandma Jeanne”) lives with them as well. When he’s not working, Roger enjoys yard work and landscaping, reading, and an occasional round of golf!

Pam Larabee-Zierath, a Deacon of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, has been Minister of Congregational Life since 2008. She received a Master’s degree of Theological Studies from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, and a certificate for contemplative prayer group leadership from Shalem Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. Former parishes she has served include:
  • Lutheran Campus Ministry (LCM) at the University of Iowa, 1999 to 2008 
  • Zion Lutheran Church in Davenport, Iowa, 1985 to 1999 
  • LCM at the University of Illinois, 1977 to 1982
Pam lives near West Liberty, Iowa, in an 1890's farmhouse with three cats, a beagle and husband, David, who tends to the family’s two-acre prairie grass planting.
Daughter Jenny recently moved to Iowa from Manhattan and has married Joey. 
Pam like to read, knit, watch birds, and walk and pray on prairie.

Sarah Goettsch has been serving as pastor of Lutheran Campus Ministry at the University of Iowa since the fall of 2014.  On January 15th of 2017, she agreed to additionally serve as part-time Pastor of Young Adult/Campus Ministries at Gloria Dei. Prior to Lutheran Campus Ministry, Sarah was called as Pastor at Faith LutheranChurch in Calmus, Iowa, for 14 years.

Pastor Sarah lives in North Liberty with her husband Doug and her three wonderful (and rambunctious) boys.

Michael Zemek, Director of Music Ministries hails from Minnesota where he attended Gustavus Adolphus College and taught secondary choral music before completing his doctorate in music education at the University of Illinois. His "day job" is that of coordinator of music education and co-chair of the Music Department at Augustana College, Rock Island, IL, where he conducts several choirs, teaches music methods and conducting courses, and supervises music education students. In addition to being a frequent guest conductor and clinician, Michael has published several articles and been recognized for his work involving youth as musical leaders in worship. During the summer months he has served as program director for Lutheran Summer Music Academy and Festival as well as Young Lutherans Sing sponsored by the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians. Michael's wife, Sangeetha Rayapati, is head of the voice faculty at Augustana, and together their lives are surrounded by the music of their three daughters, Annika, Karenna and Linnea.

Lynda Hakken, organist, is a freelance musician in the area and also has a private studio. 

She has a Doctor of Musical Arts in Organ performance and Pedagogy with a minor in Theory from the University of Iowa.
In addition, she is the accompanist   for the Chamber Singers of Iowa City. Lynda is also an active solo performer and accompanist whose doctoral research culminated with the writing of a textbook on a beginning method of keyboard harmony.
Lynda’s Doctor of Musical Arts in Organ Performance and Pedagogy and Master of Arts in Organ Performance are from The University of Iowa. Her Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance is from Hope College in Michigan. She studied with Anthony Kooiker (piano), Huw Lewis, Delores Bruch and Delbert Disselhorst (organ).
In addition:
Lynda has served in churches in Mount Vernon and in Michigan , and formerly the College Organist and studio organ instructor at Cornell. She’s married to Dan, has 4 children, and 10 grandchildren.

 Annie Larsen , Administrative Coordinator, grew up in Iowa City and at Gloria Dei where she sang in the youth choir with Gertrude Herling as organist, and taught summer bible school. Anne left Iowa City for college only to return 35 years later after living in Chicago, Minneapolis and Denver. Since returning to the area to be closer to family she transferred to Gloria Dei from her Denver church and immediately joined Altar Guild, volunteered for the church’s quarterly fund raising events and joined the Adult Education Committee. Anne is the daughter of long time members Karl (deceased) and Sonya Larsen.

Doug Brown, Communications & Technical Advisor, is a native of Iowa where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Wartburg College. Doug has accumulated over 35 years of experience in the technology and media markets. His broad career has ranged from leading Research and Development work for a 300+ million dollar company to an E-Government startup. Doug enjoys cycling, music, reading and spending time with his family. Doug and his wife Linda
were married at Gloria Dei and live in North Liberty with their two sons Will and Chris. Not to be forgotten is "Cheeto"  and "Chester" their dogs  who love to accompany Doug while he is working on site at the church.

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