Staff & Leaders

All the latest from announcements, bulletins, notes from our pastor, and more...

our team

Meet our Staff & Council

Pastor Marla Amborn

Pastor Marla Amborn


Marla has served as pastor at Immanuel since being ordained in January of 2013. She responded mid-life to a call to ministry and attended Luther Seminary, graduating in 2012, after having worked in higher ed. Pastor Marla and her husband Randy, have one grown daughter, Marissa. Randy contributes his musical talents as part of the Immanuel worship Band.

Pastor Marla says, “An important focus for us as Christians is to love God with all your being and love your neighbor as yourself. We are recipients of God's amazing grace, so it is our responsibility and our privilege to live lives of love and service. As part of the Body of Christ we are all equipped with different gifts for working together to accomplish God's mission. When we all use our gifts in God's service, God's mission gets done.

Worship is the heart of our life together. I invite you to come and worship with us and join us in living into God’s mission in Almelund. You will discover that Immanuel truly is a welcoming community with deep roots in Christ. There is a place for you to be part of this Christian community as we grow together in faith and serve with joy.”

Merrie Tolzmann

Administrative Assistant

Merrie has been a member of Immanuel since childhood and served as its administrative assistant since 2011, after having previously served as administrative assistant at Faith Lutheran in Forest Lake. True to her name, Merrie provides a warm and cheerful welcome, whether you stop by the office or call on the phone. She plays a key role in keeping everything going smoothly. She and her husband, Tracy, have two adult children, Elizabeth and Scott. Merrie enjoys singing in the Senior Choir, Immanuel Worship Band, and Sunshine Singers.

Rick Berthiaume


Rick has served as Immanuel’s custodian since 2013. He keeps the building looking good and in good repair. His many skills fixing things serve the congregation well. Rick lives in Sunrise Township where he and his wife, Debbie, raised two sons, prior to her death a few years ago. He enjoys visiting relatives and friends, camping, fishing and gardening.

Daryl Abrahamson

Cemetery Caretaker

Daryl mows the cemetery lawn and arranges for burials. He and his wife, Julie, also take loving care of the flowers that adorn the graves. They make a special effort to have the cemetery looking its best each Memorial Day. Daryl is a lifelong member of Immanuel, with many family members buried in the Almelund Cemetery, and his work is a way to honor their memory.

Momoh Freeman

Music Director

Momoh has been Immanuel’s choir director and musician since fall of 2014. He also leads the Immanuel Worship Band the first Sunday of each month and provides music leadership for Sunday school and youth. Momoh can play hymns in a classical style, but people love to hear him improvise with gospel/blues chords. He can take an old hymn like Just a Closer Walk with Thee or Amazing Grace and bring it to life with his heartfelt improvisation. Momoh’s day job has him working in a group home, caring for men with special needs. In his free time, Momoh also plays with several local blues, R & B, and funk bands.

Momoh is a native of Liberia, who moved to the US after having been a refugee during the Liberian Civil War. In January 2019, the church and community came together to help him get his US citizenship. Momoh’s amazing life story was featured in an article in Living Lutheran:

Jason and DeeDee Fredlund

Volunteer Youth Directors

Jason and DeeDee love working with youth. They get real joy in seeing kids learn and grow, especially as they grow in faith. They came to Immanuel in 2015 to volunteer as youth leaders, and since then have grown the youth program in powerful ways. Together they lead a fun and active program that helps build a foundation of faith that will go with those young people for the rest of their lives. In his spare time Jason also serves as Almelund’s Fire Chief. They are parents of two adult children, Becca and Devon, and also grandparents!

Pat Remer


Pat’s love for music is evident as she plays and sings in the Senior Choir, Immanuel Worship Band, and Sunshine singers. She is also active in planning Immanuel’s worship as part of the Worship and Music Committee and Worship Planning Team. Though retired from her role as Immanuel’s Church Secretary, she is known for her signature clipboard, as she recruits people to serve the church in various ways. Pat lives with her husband, Tom, just down Maple Lane from the church. She is active in the community in many ways and was recognized for her community service when she was chosen as WCCO’s Good Neighbor.

Stephanie Wendel

Financial Secretary

Stephanie keeps the books in order as she pays Immanuel’s bills and balances the check books. She and her husband Phillip, have two sons, Zack and Matt. When she’s not working at Immanuel Stephanie works for Pink Ribbon Riders, a nonprofit that provides assistance to people diagnosed with breast cancer.

Mark Weslander

Financial Recorder

Mark records people’s financial gifts to the church and provides reports and giving statements. He is a life-long member of Immanuel whose interest in history has prompted him to work on getting all the church membership records computerized, going back to the founding members. He loves to sing and play his trombone, and is active in the Senior Choir, Immanuel Worship Band, and Immanuel Brass. He and his wife, Cindy, live Center City.

Immanuel Church Council

Communities of faith work when dedicated leaders offer their skills and passion to God and each other in faithful service. Our church council supports this community, makes key decisions, and works closely with our staff.

They meet monthly (and often more) to discuss the business of our church and make decisions for the good of our community.

The church council provides lay leadership for the administrative, finance, and facility needs of the congregation. Together we seek to discern God’s ministry and support the congregation in living into God’s mission for Immanuel.