Meet Our Staff

Pastor Jeff Fricke

Senior Pastor

Pastor Jeff Fricke has been a pastor for almost 30 years. While he’s not just getting older, he is getting better! Pastor loves to teach and preach about the fascinating ways that God is active in our lives. His most fun is in congregational planning and encouraging people along their discipleship faith journey. Pastor Jeff and his wife, Joy, have three grown daughters and they enjoy watching their lives change and grow as they live in the world as young adults. In the meantime, Pastor Jeff can be found working on the landscaping at home or riding his bike out in the countryside of the Rockford area. He does all this while making sure he still has time to taste test any bite of chocolate that comes his way.

Pastor Woody Knutson

Interim Associate Pastor

Marti Bein

Director of Worship & Music, AIM

Currently Marti conducts the semi-professional Mendelssohn Performing Art Center Chorale in repertoire of Verdi, Wagner and Mussorgsky and within twelve hours finds herself singing Hello Everybody, How Do You Do? with the preschoolers at Playtown Preschool Center of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church. Active in worship design at OSL and in the Northern Illinois Synod, Marti is passionate about building relationships through music. She has been blessed with several once-in-a-lifetime experiences, such as a yearlong fellowship at Columbia University in NYC, singing in the choir at a worship service where Bishop Desmund Tutu presided, dinner with Bobby McFerrin and a solo drive across the southern tip of South Africa.

Cyndi Hlavin

Connections Ministry Director

Cyndi is always thinking and loves to tell a story. Basically she likes to talk. She loves working with our families and being at a child’s level in thought. She marvels at creation and the outdoors, and enjoys walking, star gazing, cycling, skiing and gardening. You could say she likes to keep active. Don’t get her started on Barley Max.

Elizabeth Brinkley

Business Coordinator

Elizabeth firmly believes in lifelong learning and development both personally and professionally. She earned a bachelor’s degree in 2008 with a dual major in business administration and business management. Elizabeth has over 20 years of professional experience in the areas of business, finance and information technology while working for a large global corporation. This far-reaching career has permitted global travel to: Manila, Philippines; London, England; Prague, Czech Republic. She married her soul mate, Jason, in 2010, and left the great state of Texas to pursue new adventures (which includes residing in Poplar Grove, IL). She is still captivated by the change of the seasons, especially autumn and all the beautiful colors on the trees! Elizabeth likes to travel to new places, visit family and friends and enjoys spending time with her two dogs, or as she calls them, her four-legged fur babies.

Katie Belinson

Communication Coordinator

At any given time, Katie might break out into song to keep the office humming. With a great husband and two sons who are the epitome of “brotherly love,” she has a lot to crow about. Her communications degree from Illinois and advertising experience help her manage the many hats she wears on the job. Like many others, she hoped to see the Cubs win the World Series in her lifetime (and they did!). She considers popcorn a main food group and has an addiction to McDonald’s unsweetened tea. Her affinity to the Golden Arches began years ago as a teenage employee and member of the championship drive-thru service team.

Jenni Ripplinger


Jenni spends a lot of time at Our Savior’s. Her daughter, Brenna, attends confirmation classes and enjoys singing with the Youth Choir. Jenni enjoys playing and singing with the Contemporary Worship Team. As for her “work,” she still loves her part-time gig after 14 years on the job where she utilizes her accounting degree from Augustana and love of Excel spreadsheets. To spread her love of accounting to the community, she is also the treasurer for the Belvidere North High School athletic boosters where her son, Matthew, attends school.

Joanna Heffner

Director, Playtown Preschool Center

Joanna has taught Early Childhood/ Pre-K through third grade for over 20 years. With a vision to provide a safe and inviting educational environment, Joanna places an emphasis on excellence through Christian foundations. She enjoys challenging children with fun-loving opportunities where each day is filled with achievement, love and adventure. Joanna enjoys her down time with family, and her favorite season is summer (and if ever given the chance, she’d live on a beach). She loves crafts and french fries!

Angela McNally

Print Room Coordinator

Angela is the new kid on the block, and we’re happy to have her on the OSLC team.