Ministry Team

Rev. Burt Garwood

Senior Pastor

 The Lord brought Michele and I to Lord of Life in August 2008. I’m a missionary kid from the Philippines where my dad served from the late 70’s to the mid 90’s. This background drives my passion to build spiritual friendships where I can help people in their journey toward God and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

I graduated from Concordia University, Seward in 1995 and received a Master’s degree from Concordia Seminary St. Louis in 1999. I served as Associate Pastor at Holy Savior in Lincoln, Nebraska and then at King of Kings Lutheran Church in Omaha, Nebraska, as Associate Pastor, Director of Adult Ministries.

I met my wife, Michele, in January 1997 on a blind date. A few months into our friendship, she fell in love with Jesus and then with me! We were married in August 1998 after I returned from my internship in San Francisco.

Our son, Elias, is in preschool at Lord of Life. His little sister, Eliana, is a risk taker, which I think comes from trying to keep up with her big brother. Parenting has been the greatest joy of my life. Michele is such a wonderful mother! I'm so proud of her!

I enjoy riding my motorcycles, playing xbox360 and PS4 (mostly the Call of Duty series) online with my friends around the country, exercising (never going to get huge like Arnold, but I want to be fit for life), plinking around on the guitar, biking, billiards, and climbing 14,000 foot mountains in Colorado every summer. Oh yea, and to my friends in Nebraska: I’m still watching the Huskers play football. Go Big Red.

I have a particular interest in helping men build a biblical definition of manhood and then watching them lead their families and influence their co-workers and friends from a solid foundation where Christ is their moral compass. I had the pleasure of co-founding with my buddy David Reddel in 2004.

I’m excited about our future here at Lord of Life as we Love God, Love Others and Serve the World by being “missional” in every situation of life.

If you’re visiting Lord of Life and want to know more about us, I have a standing offer for coffee any time you want.  Just give me a call.


Lisa Hellyer, DCE

Director of Life Transformation and Missions

 I joined the Lord of Life staff in August 2000 and have loved every minute of it! As Director of Transformation Ministries I have the best seat in the house for watching life change in God’s people as we grow to know Him better, love Him more and follow Him passionately! If I had to narrow the list to the things I love most, it would look like this: I love the Lord, my family, friends, and God’s people; I love connecting with others over a cup of chai tea, and sharing with each other what the Lord is up to in our lives; I love coming alongside people as they seek to grow as Christ-like servant leaders in their home, workplace, community, church and world; and I love to laugh and have fun!

I am single and have no children of my own, but both of my sisters live close by and are members at Lord of Life. Being an Aunt to their children is my number one calling. There is nothing better than being an adult who can speak into their lives and walk with them through good and bad times.

I grew up in south Florida and have been a crazy fan of the Miami Dolphins for as long as I can remember. After many years of disappointment, I still have hope and a strong desire to see them win the Super Bowl! I know it is possible. I think we can! I think we can! I also enjoy playing golf, going to movies, and cheering for the Kansas City Royals!

Lisa received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Concordia University, Chicago in 1987 and completed her Master of Science in Family Life Ministry in 2005.


Tyler Tollefson, DCE

Director of Children and Student Ministries

I joined the Lord of Life family August of 2010 as the Children and Middle School Director. Currently I am the Director of Children & Students (Birth-18 yr). Before serving at Lord of Life, I was the Student Ministries Director at Our Savior’s Way in Ashburn, Virginia.


My wife Gentri and I met at Concordia University in Nebraska and have been married 9 years. We have two girls, Kyrie (4yr) and Selah (1yr). 

I am originally from Olathe, Kansas so serving in the community in which I grew up is a lot of fun! Gentri and I enjoy spending time at the lake with the family, skiing, hiking, and fishing. 


I am excited about leaning into the lives of the children, families, and leaders at Lord of Life to draw them closer to a relationship with Christ.




Meghan Willeford

Director of Early Education Center

I was blessed to join the Lord of Life family in 2016. It is an absolute gift to be a part of such an amazing school and team of teachers.

Prior to Lord of Life, I spent 9 years on staff at another church as the Director of the Early Education Center and Children's Ministry. I'm passionate about teaching children Christ's love, and helping parents bring Christ into all aspects of their child's learning. I love the ever-changing mind and growth of preschoolers. Each day is an adventure!
I was born and raised in the Lutheran Church in Minnesota, and I believe Minnesota lakes are one of God's finest creations.  I love to water-ski, fish, paddle-board, and boat with my family. I also enjoy running, reading, traveling, and I always have at least one home improvement project going.

I met my husband, Brent while at the University of Kansas and we were married in 1998. We have four children - Samuel, Charlie, and our twins Joe and Hanna Lee. We spend a lot of time racing between sports, FCA, church and school, but I wouldn't have it any other way.



Warene Stinemetz

Director of Finance & Administration

My employment at Lord of Life began in March of 1997. At that time I filled the role of the part-time bookkeeper. Today, I work full time in the areas of finance, administration and facility management. I also enjoy volunteering as a small group leader with the high school youth group.

My husband, Philip, and I met in college and married in 1982. We are both native to Kansas. In our early years of marriage we moved every five years and have called Iowa, New York, and Indiana home. In fact, we still own the first house we ever bought in Des Moines. We have two grown children and two granddaughters that I spend as much time as possible with.  

I have a passion for animals, especially cats, construction, sports, and the outdoors. I love to play volleyball, hike, boat, camp, spend time with my family, and vacation with friends.






John-Scott Young

Worship Leader