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Jim Thelen, Senior Pastor

Pastor Jim was born in Milwaukee, WI. He graduated from Milwaukee Lutheran High School and received his degree from Concordia University Mequon for pre-seminary and psychology. He graduated from St. Louis Seminary with his Master of Divinity, 1989. He has served churches in Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin and was called to Ascension Lutheran Church, December 2010. Pastor Thelen and his wife, Kristin, have seven children, ranging in age from teens to adult, plus five grandchildren! He enjoys playing guitar, video games, comedy and action movies, rearranging furniture, and being silly with children. (EMAIL)

Terrie Ashbaugh, Business Manager and Director of Worship

Terrie grew up as a military brat and lived in several countries before the age of 9. She began her ministry in music at the age of 14 when she taught herself to play the organ for her neighbor's church. She accompanied choirs in church and schools from that time on, sang solos, and eventually became a choir director. Her heart is for worship, enabling people to feel the presence of the spirit move them through music and scripture. (EMAIL)

Derek Barolet, Coordinator of Contemporary Worship and Millennials in Worship

Derek has worked in the Worship Ministry for 18 years in a variety of roles, from drummer to guitarist to worship leader. A husband to Patricia and a father to Aedon and Aurora, he is originally from Orlando Fl. At 19 he joined the US Army and served for 8 years. He has lived near Savannah, Georgia and Manhattan, Kansas where he studied Worship Ministry and Worship History at Manhattan Christian College after his time in the Army. He moved to Tucson in 2016 and enjoys the "dry heat." (EMAIL)

Callie Baker, Director of Christian Education

Callie was born in Texas, but grew up here and Tucson as the daughter of a prison chaplain. She began working at Fountain of Life Lutheran Church in their child care center at the age of 16. She continued working here through high school and college. Callie attended college at Concordia University in Irvine, California and studied Christian Education Leadership with the end goal of becoming a rostered Director of Christian Education (DCE). Shortly after her graduation Callie’s career turned from the typical role of a DCE and led her back into early childhood education. Callie has served in many roles from teacher to Director in various schools and states. Prior to joining us at Ascension Callie worked in the foster care industry licensing foster homes for approximately a year and a half. Callie’s heart always pulled her back to working in the church with children and God led her here to us. Callie; her husband, Ron; and her children, Sammi, RJ, and Otto attend weekly services at Ascension and would love to meet you! (EMAIL)

Barry Tschanz, Administrative Support EMAIL

John Phillip, Outreach/Missions and Millennials in the Community EMAIL

Dee Ponzio, Fellowship

Joanna Myhr-Arrison, Adult Choir EMAIL

Eva Clonts, School Administrator EMAIL

Leah Weinrich, Sound and Technology EMAIL

Doris Sherwood, Administrative Assistant EMAIL

Veronica Wolff, Accountant EMAIL

Robert Ashbaugh, Director of Communications EMAIL



Church office: 520-297 3095 or


Ascension Lutheran Church and School

1220 West Magee Road

Tucson, AZ 85704



Office: 520.297.3095

School: 520.742.6229



Copyright © 2019 Ascension Lutheran Church and School.