Calvary Church

Lay Leadership

Pastor Jeff Cowmeadow | Senior Pastor

Pastor Jeff was born and raised in a steel town outside Pittsburgh, approved Pennsylvania.  He came to Minnesota in 1977 to attend Bethel College and studied philosophy.  Upon graduation, check he worked in the restaurant business for a year and a half.  It was during those days that he met his wife, viagra 60mg Randi, who is now a Spanish teacher.  Pastor Jeff received his Master of Divinity degree from Bethel Seminary, and also graduated from the Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education (SCUPE) in Chicago, Illinois.  He came to Calvary in 1986, and has been senior pastor since the late autumn of 1988. The Cowmeadows are blessed with three daughters: Ali, Kendahl, and Madison.  Jeff loves sports, movies, landscaping, reading, travel, and spending time with folks around the table. He believes that hospitality, the welcome of the stranger, is the central ethic of scripture and says: Calvary is a fabulous community of people who love the Lord and truly seek to sojourn together as Christ’s disciples.  Pastor Jeff would love to invite you to explore this multi-cultural movement of people.

Read a recent issue of Open Book about Pastor Jeff and Calvary.

Lauren Smythe | Youth Pastor

Lauren Smythe grew up in South Minneapolis between the Longfellow and Seward neighborhoods. Since becoming a Christian in high school, she’s loved learning how God is moving in this city. Her greatest passion is to help youth feel and become empowered to live out their dreams, know they are loved by God, and have the tools to pursue God and the life God has for them. Her other passions include making music with her voice and guitar, photography and graphic design, and playing with animals (especially cats). She’s lived out these passions before now through things like interning at various youth programs, working for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, leading youth missions trips with Next Step Ministries, and as a traveling school photographer with Lifetouch. She is so excited to pursue what she’s most passionate about in her favorite place of South Minneapolis with the Calvary family!

Amy Runion | Children’s Pastor

A small town girl from Wisconsin, Amy and her husband Matt have called South Minneapolis home for the past decade.  She’s a mom, a cook, a traveler, and a school-junkie.  Her favorite place to discuss theology might just be with 4 years olds during Critter’s Club.  Pastor Amy has served Calvary Kids’ Village (CKV) since 2010.  Leading children’s ministry offers the opportunity to work alongside a huge, dedicated group of volunteers invested in the faith development of Calvary’s kids.  This village takes seriously the call to nurture a generation who love God and love others together.

Katherine Harris | Communications

Katie joined the Calvary team in early 2015. She has called the metro area home most of her life. Katie graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and worked in local media previously to coming to Calvary. Outside of her work here Katie runs two small businesses, a photography company, The Jadeite Shutter (with studio located within Calvary) and a handmade baby clothing shop, Chintz Petit. She enjoys being creative, studying God’s word, spending time with friends, and staying active through CrossFit. An avid blogger, Katie loves sharing her faith with others.

Brian Johnson | Finances

Brian Johnson and his wife Diana relocated to Minneapolis 2 years ago from Rockford, Illinois.  They are ecstatic about their adoptive city and church home at Calvary. Brian, a native Chicagoan, attended the University of Illinois at Chicago and cultivated his Finance and Accounting skills at several banks and real estate concerns.  He accepted Christ at the Apostolic Church of God and is forever seeking growth, evangelism, and fellowship in Christ.  He considers his ministry to be teaching value based, financial literacy to inner city youth and advocating for the homeless.  The Johnsons love to Christian fellowship, Yoga, exercise, and travel.

Laura Wennstrom | Artist in Residence

Laura Wennstrom is an artist-educator living in the Twin Cities. Laura holds an MFA in New Media from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She received her undergraduate degree in Studio Art from North Park University in Chicago in 2009. Laura has worked with children in underserved neighborhoods across the Midwest and in rural Ecuador teaching art, reading, and special education. She has developed and implemented art curriculum for after school programs for students in pre-kindergarten through high school seniors. In addition, Laura has created several public murals in collaboration with children and adults from local communities. Laura also runs Calvary’s art gallery, The WHIT.

Emily Lund | Farmer’s Market Manager

At Calvary, medicine we are deeply committed to the biblical principle of the priesthood of all believers.

We believe that everyone has been diversely gifted by God to meet the needs of the community and share His Grace with everyone. This plays out in our Elder Board’s leadership, capsule and in leadership of all aspects of ministry at Calvary Church by people who call Calvary home.


The Elder Board, a diversely gifted body of about a dozen women and men, is led by a moderator who works with the senior pastor. The Elders are all a part of commissions, or committees, that oversee various activities in the church body—including Body Life, Worship and Building Activities. The Elder Board guides change and growth, oversees the activity of Calvary’s paid staff, and assures the annual budget, approved by the membership, is followed.

2017 Elder Board

Julie Curtis—Chair/Facility & Hospitality/Personnel Committees
Julie has been a member Calvary since 2009. Julie lives in Burnsville with her husband and works in the health care IT industry.

Doug VanderVeen—Co-Chair/Associate Pastor Search Committee
Doug has been at Calvary for 3 years. Doug and his family live in the Whittier neighborhood and works as an engineer in the Twin Cities.

Dan Struck—Finance Officer/Finance Committee
Dan and his wife Kendra Rimmereid have been at Calvary since 2009. Dan and Kendra live in South Minneapolis and Dan works as a teacher.

Carolyn Bredeson—Personnel Committee
Carolyn has been a member of Calvary since 1990. Carolyn has raised her children within this community and works in the Human Service field in the South Minneapolis neighborhood.

Nathan Byars—Facility & Hospitality Committee
Nathan has been a member of Calvary for 18 years. Nathan has worked in the food service industry and his passion is outreach to children and youth. Nathan has just recently returned to living in South Minneapolis.

Angie Hanson-Huff—Facility & Hospitality/Mission & Outreach Committees
Angie has been at Calvary 5 1/2 years. Angie works as an ESL teacher in the immigrant and refugee communities of Minneapolis. Angie loves to read, travel and ride her bicycle.

Susan Fors—Congregation Communication Committee
Susan has been a member of Calvary for 18 years. Susan works in the medical field. Susan enjoys time with her family and friends and being outdoors.

Stephanie Morales—Mission & Outreach/Personnel Committees
Stephanie, her husband and two daughters have been at Calvary 8 years. Stephanie works in the legal field as an immigration attorney. Stephanie enjoys outdoor activities—running, biking, hiking—and spending time with friends and family.

Melody Odum—Mission & Outreach Committee
Melody has been a member of Calvary for 5 years. Melody works in the medical field. Melody is single and enjoys spending time with friends and family.

Mohan Perumal—Congregation Communication Committee
Mohan has been a member of Calvary for a few years and he loves being a part of the Calvary community. Mohan is a engineer and works in the hearing aid industry. He enjoys time with his family and friends, running and being outdoors.

Dokka Williamson—Finance/Associate Pastor Search Committees
Dokka has been a member of Calvary for almost 3 years. She enjoys reading, yoga and attending plays and musicals. Dokka and her husband Headley have 3 children—Alexa, Kiera and Isaiah. As a family they appreciate Calvary’s commitment to diversity, acceptance and community engagement.