Meet the hope Team

We’d love to connect with you!

  • brian zahasky

    Lead pastor

    Brian started at Hope in the summer of 2019. Before that he served as pastor of family and community life in Racine, Wisconsin. Pastor Brian (Pastor Z as they like to call him) was ordained in the ECC in 2012 and has been a lifelong Covenanter. Originally from Rochester Minnesota (Rochester Covenant and New Day are home churches), Brian grew up going to Lake Beauty Bible Camp and many other northwest conference activities. Brian and Maria have been married for 16 years and they have four kids (Drew-12, Ben-10, Jonah-7, and Selah-5). Pastor Z enjoys sports, coffee, drones, backpacking and traveling!


  • RACHEL LASSEN

    Director of Worship /Director of Youth & Family Ministry

    Rachel started at Hope in the summer of 2016 after graduating from Bethel University with a degree in ministry. Rachel grew up in Slayton, MN and lives in St. Cloud now with her little dog named Minnesota... Mini for short! :) A few favorite things of hers include a warm cup of coffee, laughter, the piano, thunderstorms, and Goodwill. Rachel enjoys working with teenagers (they are THE best!) and loves creating spaces where people can meet God and experience His love!


  • KATHY ARMBRUST

    Director of Children & Family Ministry

    Kathy and her family began coming to Hope Covenant in 1995 and within a year, she was hired as the Christian Education Coordinator (January 1996). She was born in northern Indiana, but has lived the majority of her life in St. Cloud, MN. Kathy is married to her best friend Darrell, and they have 5 grown boys and 7 grandchildren. She prefers reading and can crochet just about anything. Kathy is known to the children of Hope Covenant as the "Jolly Rancher lady"!


  • Mitchell Barnhart

    Director of Technology ministries

    Mitchell grew up in Rochester, Minnesota, as a pastor's kid and former missionary kid. After spending time at the best high school in town, he attended St. Cloud State University in pursuit of a Mass Communications degree in Television Production. During his time in college, he was blessed with the opportunity to participate in the college TV station on campus. It was there that he found a love for video production and storytelling. In the spring of 2020, God created a wonderful situation where his eyes were opened to the ways that ministry and media can be used together for the Kingdom. He is blessed and honored to serve as a leader for Technology Ministry. 



  • JANELLE RUDNINGEN

    Office Administrator

    Janelle came to Hope Covenant in 2004 with 16 years of previous secretarial experience. She grew up attending a very small country church near Ruthton, MN. She is married to Lyle, and they live in rural Clearwater. They have two married children and three grandchildren. They are active members of Rejoice Lutheran in Clearwater where she participates in the Praise Band. Janelle enjoys spending time with family, flower gardening, singing, playing piano, swimming, and boating. Call her at the church office with questions or information to share with our church family. She would be happy to meet you. God's grace and peace be with you.


  • Kayleigh Leonrad

    summer pastoral intern

    Kayleigh is our summer intern, coming all the way from Chicago! She is a soon-to-be second year student at North Park Theological Seminary, where she’ll be graduating with a Masters of Christian Formation. Kayleigh previously served at a church in Racine, Wisconsin as the Associate Director of Kid Life. She is called to ministry with children and families and is excited to learn new things. Kayleigh enjoys crocheting, reading, and singing!



  • PAM SCHIRMERS

    Facilities Manager

    Pam and her family started attending Hope Covenant in 1987. She has been caring for the building since 1990, yes, you read that right, a long time. Pam is led by a passion for Christ and a servant's heart that compels her to interact with many ministries to serve God by serving His people. She likes to work on new ideas and projects around the property. She enjoys working with different community groups here at Hope. Pam and her husband, Steve, have 4 married children and are enjoying the crazy and exciting world that is entertained by 13 grandchildren. When time allows, you'll find her playing in the dirt around perennial gardens, attempting to learn a Chopin piano piece, creating new meals from Pinterest ideas, working on another quilt, or enjoying a book. Her favorite scripture verse is found in Philippians, chapter 4 and verse 13; "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."


  • Jess Kerwin

    Facilities

    Jess serves the family of Hope by cleaning the building part time. Not always an exciting job, but hey she loves to vacuum! She feels blessed to able to devote the majority of her time to her musical husband Eric and 5 kids ranging from preschool to senior high and 2 Gordon Setters who have lots of energy. She has been married for 18 years She enjoys Quilting, bible studies, book club, chatting with neighbors, and being a friend to all.