May 6 2018 - 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Dec 15 2018 - 3:00pm - 6:00pm
Dec 21 2018 - 7:30pm
Dec 24 2018 - 5:00am - Jan 6 2019 - 10:30am

Staff Contact Information and Bios


Rev. Kathy Nolte
(708) 848-4741

Rev. Kathy Nolte has served as pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Oak Park since 2008. Prior to this she served as pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in North Aurora for seven years. She currently serves as the Chair of the Advisory Group - Companion Synod within the area of Global Mission. She works with Kidz Express, an after-school mentoring program in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago and is a member of the Leaders' Network, a collaboration of clergy and area leaders working to improve the quality of life of people on the west side of Chicago. She is a member of the OPRF Workgroup for Positive Youth Development which seeks to reduce underage drinking in Oak Park and River Forest. She serves on the Chicago chapter of Reconciling Works. To augment her work in these areas she advocates for anti-racism training, LGBT rights and mental health initiatives.

Previously Rev. Nolte served as president of the Oak Park Regional Housing Center and as Vice President of the Community of Congregations within the Oak Park Community.  She previously served as Dean of both the West Conference and the Near West Conference for the Metro Chicago Synod.

As a woman who began her spiritual journey as a Roman Catholic, her ministry has an ecumenical stance and openness to others.  She finds that each faith tradition has a different lens through which to catch a glimpse of the Divine One who remains veiled. Through her work she has partnered with playwright, Rohina Malik to bring stories from the Muslim tradition to her congregation and advocates for religious freedom for Muslims..

Director of Christian Education

Deaconess Debbie Rank Speer
(708) 848-4741

The first question I am usually asked is, “What is a deaconess anyway?” The quick answer is that a Lutheran deaconess is a woman who is called, trained and set apart for service. For me, this service is lived out in a congregation setting, currently here at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church as the Director of Christian Education. I did my education/formation at Valparaiso University, a year of internship in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and was consecrated as a deaconess in 1999.

My ministry at Good Shepherd focuses on faith education and spiritual growth for all ages. I lead our Sunday School, Confirmation ministry and youth program, coordinate our summer Vacation Bible School, and offer support and resources to our many member-led programs. I am passionate about encouraging others in what God has called them to do and to create opportunities for mentoring between age groups.

What makes my work so great is that I get to do crafts with kids, go bowling with middle schoolers, ride horses with high schoolers and camp with college students. At the same time, I am able to talk with parents about the challenges of parenting today, explore the gift of being a woman of faith with other women, and volunteer at a food bank side by side with people of every generation. I truly love what I do!

Director of Music

Temporary: Carl Heine
(708) 848-4741

We are currently in transition and seeking a new Director of Music. If you are interested in the position, or know someone who might be interested please send an inquiry to Pastor Kathy. 

Office Administrator

Catie Withers
(708) 848-4741

Catie is a retired healthcare professional with extensive administrative and organizational skills and abilities. She is strong communicator, a versatile problem-solver, an ace customer service professional, and an independent self-starter. She has experience in for-profit and non-profit organizations and customer service standards.

Catie spent most of her career managing large telecommunications call centers for Northwestern Memorial Hospital in downtown Chicago and for the Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee, WI. She also served as a United Way Loaned Executive and she chaired Today’s Girls/Tomorrow’s Women on behalf of the Junior League of Milwaukee, and served on the boards of the non-profits WAHAM (healthcare) and WHTA (healthcare technology). She has a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where her extended family resides, and where she was a Luther League member in her youth.

She currently works part-time at the Economy Shop on behalf of Thrive Counseling Center



Communications Lead

Jeanne Peppler
(708) 848-4741

Sunday Nursery Attendant

Elois Gardner

During the 10:30 Sunday worship service, small children may be taken to our nursery where they are watched over by one of our caring professional attendants. Elois Gardner and Ruth Collins alternate Sunday childcare so you may worship and nourish your spirit knowing your small children are playing games, napping, doing crossword puzzles, snacking, and being entertained in a kind, caring and responsible environment.

Sunday Nursery Attendant

Ruth Collins

During the 10:30 Sunday worship service, small children may be taken to our nursery where they are watched over by one of our caring professional attendants.  Ruth Collins and Elois Gardner alternate Sunday childcare so you may worship and nourish your spirit knowing your small children are playing games, napping, doing crossword puzzles, snacking, and being entertained in a kind, caring and responsible environment.

Come to Church on Time this Sunday!

Daylight savings time begins THIS SATURDAY, March 10th.  Turn your clocks ahead one hour before going to bed Saturday night.  If you forget, you'll be late to church!

Council Contact Information and Bios

Church Council Member

Rob Hann

I am originally from Kettering, Ohio, and spent my teenage years on Long Island.  I came to Chicago in 1995 and met my wife Talley while attending Broadway United Methodist Church in Chicago. I served at that church as Treasurer, chairperson of the Church and World Concerns Committee, and as Lay Leader.  We have three wonderful boys.  In my spare time, I am head coach of an r-ball team, co-president of the RIF league of OPYBS, and a member of Rotary International.  Professionally, I am an agent with Weichert Realtors in Oak Park.

Church Council Vice President & Personnel Chair

Beth Houle

I am originally from the Minneapolis area, where I grew up in a wonderfully progressive Roman Catholic church.  I have lived in Manhattan and New Delhi. My husband David and I have lived in Oak Park for 15 years.  We have been Good Shepherd members for eight years.  Our daughter Elise is in 4th grade and our daughter Vivienne is in Kindergarten.  I have worked in marketing and business development in international microfinance with a focus on Africa and Asia for most of my career, and most recently for a civic-engagement foundation.   We love the caring and engaged communities of Oak Park and Good Shepherd.

Church Council President

Kellie Campbell

Dr. Kellie Hunter Campbell has been a Geriatric Medicine Specialist in Chicago for over 16 years. She is a life-long Lutheran from Milwaukee, who graduated with honors from University Of Wisconsin Medical School. She and her husband William have three energetic, young sons. 

Church Treasurer

Dan Feiertag

I have been a member of Good Shepherd for about 10 years and I believe this community is a wonderful place to belong. I've served as treasurer previously, as well as chairing the finance and Memorial Endowment Fund committees for the past 5 years. You may also see me in other roles, such as 5th & 6th grade Sunday school teacher, usher, and percussion player. In addition to my duties at Good Shepherd, I am the Reconciling in Christ regional coordinator for the Chicago chapter of Reconciling Works and am a member of the Metro-Chicago synod council.

Church Council Member

Troy Koch

Welcome new Council member Troy Koch!

Look for a personal bio soon.

Church Council Secretary

Sue Priebe

Suzanne J. Priebe, PhD is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who works with individuals of all ages. She serves as the Clinical Director of the Samaritan Counseling Center and has several years experience working with adolescents, both in outpatient and residential treatment settings.

Church Council Member

Leah Suarez-Abraham

Leah L. Suarez-Abraham, MD is a Family Practitioner at PCC Community Wellness Center and is affiliated with West Suburban Medical Center. Her father is a Lutheran pastor in California, which makes her a life-long Lutheran. Her husband Anthony and three children join her in membership.

Title Post date File
Leader Application for Children & Youth Ministry Aug 29 2018
Parental Consent Form Aug 29 2018
Child Safety Policy Aug 29 2018
2018 Summer Congregation Retreat Brochure Apr 19 2018
Automatic Donation Form Oct 18 2016
Request Money from the Memorial Endowment Fund Jun 30 2015
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