Meet Our Staff
Lead Pastor
David Christensen

Pastor David Christensen currently lives north of Marshall on the farm where his great-grandparents homesteaded. His wife, Julie, and their daughters; Johanna, Signe, Kaia and Siri have a passion for ministry, music, and good food. They have a large garden that they tend alongside their organic farm and dairy operation. Life is good and delicious, because God is faithful! David attended St. Olaf College where he majored in English, and Luther Seminary where he received his M.Div. in 1998. His first call was to Faith Lutheran Church in Hutchinson, MN as co-lead pastor. He served there until 2008 when he moved to Marshall, MN as a campus pastor at Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU). In 2010 a church plant started in Marshall. Living Word Lutheran Church would call David to full-time ministry that year. David continues to do ministry and outreach on the campus of SMSU. His role at Living Word includes preacher, teacher, and counselor. God has richly blessed and grown the ministry of Living Word over the years. As David often says, “When the Holy Spirit moves, all you can do is buckle-up and go for the ride!” And what an incredible journey it has been for David and his family! They have witnessed God’s power and love as Jesus is proclaimed and praised. To God be the glory!!

Associate Pastor
Greg Pavek

Greg Pavek was hired at Living Word in August of 2015 as Living Word’s Youth Minister. He is now in the Associate Pastor role and loves shepherding families and people of all ages and faith stages.  He is accompanied in ministry by his wife Erika, who is an elementary teacher. Together, they have two sons – Sawyer and Lincoln.  Both Greg and Erika understand that the challenges of living out your faith are always evolving and acknowledging them with authenticity is important. Their heart is to show people that church is not a perfect place for perfect people but a place where broken people come to worship a perfect God.  Their goal is to help guide people into lasting relationships with Jesus Christ where they can live out their faith in all aspects of life. Greg has a passion for showing Christ to all ages of people in not only word and speech but in deed and truth.


Office Manager
Katlyn Benson

In September of 2020, Katlyn Benson became the Office Manager here at Living Word.  I take care of the administrative details so that the ministry staff can focus on spiritually supporting the congregation.  I am originally a Sandbulte from Hills, MN.  I moved to Marshall in 2012 to attend SMSU, where I accepted Christ, was baptized by Pastor Dave, graduated with a degree in Biology, and met my future husband. After graduating college, I worked 5 years primarily for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources at both Camden and Lake Shetek State Parks. My husband Jacob is originally from Fairplay, Colorado, and is both a Director at the Marshall Area YMCA and a part-time School Bus Driver.  Our daughter, Avaya, was born in October of 2019. We love to hike, travel, and explore as a family.  In fact, we have been to over 55 of Minnesota’s State Parks in the past 3 years!  Even though the Marshall area is not particularly great for hiking, we have remained because of the extraordinary community we have found here. 

Director of Youth Ministry
Joe Rock

I grew up in Stillwater, MN, and went to college at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, IA.  In November of 2020, I relocated to Marshall to serve as Living Word’s Director of Youth Ministry.  I was familiar with and have always loved the Marshall community.  My responsibility at Living Word is to encourage students into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and to walk alongside them as they grow into their faith.  I love Jesus!  And I want others to as well.  I believe that ministry can be done at any job anywhere, and I like ministry here at LWLC because it allows me to reach students and the community through a local church congregation.  My parents’ names are John and Shelly.  I am the oldest of two brothers: Lincoln and Caleb.  I love being active and playing sports – I really enjoy baseball, volleyball, and basketball.  I speak Spanish and enjoy traveling and trying new foods.  When I want to relax, you can find me watching sports, a good thriller, or the Office.  On a Friday night, you can find me hanging out with friends around a bonfire at a lake.


Director of Children’s Ministry Jaci Peterson

I was born and raised in Tyler, MN, and attended SMSU in Marshall, MN, where I majored in Elementary Education. After graduation I moved to Texas, married the love of my life (Kevin), raised 3 children, and taught at a private Christian school for 10 years. In 2005 we felt God’s calling to come back home to be closer to our family. What a blessing that has been!  In 2011 I was hired on staff at Living Word. I am the Director of Children’s Ministry where I coordinate, organize, and minister to the volunteers that serve in that area of the church, help lead the weekly worship time on Sunday mornings, and teach our 3-year-old Sunday School class each week. I’m so grateful the Lord allows me to use my passion for children’s ministry here at Living Word. It’s fun to be a part of the Lord’s plan and to witness firsthand as our children discover God’s unbreaking, always and forever love.  Our daughter Allie and her husband Brock have a beautiful son named Oliver.   I also have twin sons – Colton, who has a wife named SaLes, and Hunter.  They bring us much joy, laughter and challenges that remind us to depend upon Him always! His gracious refining work continues in my life daily, as He encourages me in everything to give thanks (I Thess. 5:18). When I’m not at Living Word, you’ll find me enjoying a ball game or two, catching a movie, or laughing with friends. Forever a small-town girl at heart, I love diet coke, BBQ, sporting events, and going camping with my family.

Financial Secretary
Kathy Dahl

Kathy Dahl was born and raised in Cottonwood, MN.  Kathy is a graduate of Cottonwood High School and attended Southwest State University. Kathy worked for the Lyon County Law Enforcement Center as a jailer/dispatcher, stayed home and was a licensed daycare provider, worked in personal lines at North Star Mutual Insurance Company, then worked for the City of Cottonwood for 23 years.  Kathy is now employed by her son Derek at the Insurance Service Agency as a Customer Service Representative.  In May of 1977, Kathy married Joel Dahl.  They have three sons:  Joey (Stephanie), Derek (Kelly) and Christopher (Catie).  Kathy and Joel have been blessed with eight grandchildren: Sophie, Brylee, Tyler, Franki, Brielle, Briggs, Evelyn and Emelia.   I am so blessed to be able to do the accounting and financials for Living Word Lutheran Church.  When I am not working, I enjoy baking, reading and playing with my grandchildren.

Maintenance Technician
Jeff Davenport

Bio and professional headshot to come!