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

    Co-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"!

  • MAria Zahasky

    CO-DIRECTOR OF CHILDREN & FAMILY MINISTRY

    Maria started at hope in the fall of 2020. Before that she served as Associate Director of Children's Ministry at Faithbridge Church in Racine, WI. Maria graduated from Trinity International University in 2004 with a degree in Children's Ministry and Biblical studies. She thinks one of the best parts of working in children's ministry is getting to walk side by side with children and parents as they begin a lifelong journey of following Jesus. She enjoys spending time with her family (husband Brian and children Drew, Ben, Jonah, and Selah) as well as reading, baking, playing games and bargain shopping.

  • 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 four 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 to learn more about our church family. She would be happy to meet you. God's grace and peace be with you.