Meet the Staff
I am passionate about connecting people with God and each other so that we can live the abundant life that Jesus wants to give all people. For me, the center of scripture is John 3.16–17 and our response to that love is 1 John 3.16.
I’ve been around the block a few times now: I’ve lived in Minnesota, Arizona, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. I graduated from the University of Arizona, in Tucson (the only one ever to graduate with minors in Mathematics, Computers Science, and Religious Studies) and Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. I have served Big Drywood Lutheran Church in Cadott, WI, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Superior, WI, the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin as Assistant to the Bishop, and I am also a chaplain in the U.S. Navy Reserves, having deployed to Afghanistan in 2014.
I am married to Rebecca, who is also a pastor in the ELCA. You’ll see her fill in for me on my Navy weekends once in a while. She is a GREAT preacher. I also have three wonderful daughters: Sonja and Marta who live with me during breaks from school, and Amelia Jane who is growing like a weed!
I love serving God through Immanuel. Come and see the great things that God is doing here!
Larry B. Peterson was born in Galesburg, IL and grew up in the rural Illinois community of Woodhull, IL. He began playing the organ at the age of 6 and began playing for church services at Messiah Lutheran, Galva, IL in the 7th (or 8th) grade. (That was such a long time ago-the memory is a little hazy.) He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in organ performance cum laude at THE Augustana College, Rock Island, IL. He earned his Master’s Degree in organ performance at the highly acclaimed Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY. He served parishes in Texas, Minnesota and Iowa before serving at his alma mater, Augustana College, Rock Island for 15 years as Director of Music for Campus Ministries. Prior to coming to serve at Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, he was the Director of Music at Grace Lutheran Church, Rock Hill, SC.
He has 10 grown children: to lessen the shock factor-4 children from his first marriage, 2 step-sons from his current marriage and an adopted sibling group of 4 children. The youngest will turn 21 at the end of January 2018. His wife, April, enjoys reading, photography and just generally exploring the nearby surroundings. Outside of the musical realm, Larry enjoys woodworking, riding his motorcycle and any form of home improvement. He is quite the accomplished handyman. Musically, Larry’s real passion is hearing the congregation sing. Both Larry and April love just being able to spend some time at home together either watching a movie or a football or hockey game with their 4 dogs and 5 cats.
I have been a member of Immanuel since 1973 when Howard & I were married and I moved to Watertown. Howard was baptized and confirmed here. We have two children; Shannon and Scott. Shannon & husband Troy have blessed us with three beautiful grandchildren – Alex, Jack & Emerson. One of my favorite things to do is to spend time with each and every one of them! I also love reading, scrapbooking and making cards for different occasions.
My 10th anniversary of working at Immanuel was in June of 2015. It’s hard to believe that it’s been that long. I guess time flies when you enjoy what you are doing! When I first started, I knew a lot of names but not so much who someone really was. I’ve gotten much better at it. I’ve listened to a lot of stories about people, families, and histories. Sometimes it can be like putting a puzzle together to know where different people fit.
I see lots of different community members that come through our doors for the Food Pantry, Personal Essentials Pantry, Hometown Mission and Bread & Roses. I can honestly say that I am proud to work for a church that is so community minded. I love being able to put people in touch with all our programs including the new Community Laundry. The look on some people’s faces when you tell them what is all offered is the only token of appreciation needed. It is both gratifying and humbling to work here.
Immanuel is a wonderful place to work, co-workers are great to get along with; we work well together. I want to thank all of you for letting me be a part of your lives.
I have lived in Watertown my entire life. My father was in the Army, so I remember lots of wonderful summer vacations spent in what ever state or country he was stationed in. The best were Colorado and Germany. Bob and I were married in 2004. While we don’t have any children, we do have children of the furry four-footed variety known as cats, who behave just like children at times.
Bob and I are members of Ebenezer Moravian Church, where I teach the youngest Sunday school class. We are a small church, so I have students ranging from 2 to 7 years old.
I worked at City Hall in the Clerk/Treasurer’s office for over 20 years. I still help at election time doing absentee voting in nursing homes and residential care centers, as well as working at the polls as chairperson on Election Day.
I currently serve on the Board of Directors of the Watertown Food Pantry as Treasurer and Volunteer Coordinator. Through a fellow board member and Immanuel church member, Bob and I started cleaning at Immanuel in May 2010. On November 30, 2015, I began working as Financial Secretary. Nothing but good has come out of being at Immanuel. The people at Immanuel are so nice to work with; and I’m getting to know more of you every day. My co-workers are wonderful. I think we make a great team.