Phone: 701.636.5701
204 Caledonia Avenue East, Hillsboro, ND

Sr Pastor Joe Johnson 701.430.3787 
Ed Pastor Julie Johnson 701.799.5206



Senior Pastor Joe Johnson and Education Pastor Julie Johnson lead Worship at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church.

Senior Pastor Joe Johnson

Joe Johnson

Senior Pastor

Pastor Joe has been the Senior Pastor at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church since July 2011. He is a dynamic preacher who uses stories and real-life experiences, like being a college football player, living in Alaska for a year during internship, riding a horse from South Dakota to the West Coast and playing music along the way with his buddies, building a log cabin with his wife, and writing music in Nashville, to emphasize the points of the Gospel. Pastor Joe has a passion for rural and small-town ministry but knows that rural doesn’t mean boring – he values creativity and contemporary Christian music. The missional church energizes Pastor Joe with a focus on what God has done for the world through Jesus Christ calling for our participation in God’s mission.

A native of Gonvick, Minnesota, and an alumnus of Bethel College, Pastor Joe graduated with degrees in speech communications and physical education and minored in health. He worked for ten years in youth and family ministry and as a music minister. He earned his Master of Divinity with a concentration in children, youth, and family from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN.

Pastor Joe spent some time in Nashville pursuing a career in music. While there, he met his wife, Amanda, when she was buying a banjo. They have two children: Wyatt and Charlotte (Charlie). The Johnsons enjoy doing activities as a family, including kayaking, horseback riding, playing and singing music, and construction projects. They’ve built a log cabin together and also renovated an historic building in downtown Hillsboro.

Julie Johnson

Education Pastor

Pastor Julie Johnson has been the Education Pastor at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church since September of 2016. She has always served in rural, small town parishes. This is her first time serving just one church. Pastor Julie loves living in and serving rural, small town communities. It is fun…it is life-giving…it is exciting…to be in a faith community engaged in God’s mission bringing Christ’s light and love to all people in the world and to all of God’s good creation. Pastor Julie considers herself a relational pastor listening to life and faith stories and walking with people in their times of joy and sorrow. 

Growing up on a farm near Forman and Rutland, North Dakota with her mom, dad, two sisters, two brothers, dogs, cats, cattle, and occasionally a few chickens, sheep, and hogs, Pastor Julie developed a love of rural life. She also did lots of babysitting. 

She has degrees from the North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton – Associate of Science in legal secretary; North Dakota State University in Fargo – Bachelor of Science in child development and family systems; and Luther Seminary where she achieved her Master of Divinity. 

Pastor Julie has worked as a legal secretary and at Dakota Bank & Trust Company. She also made donuts and served food in the seminary cafeteria and did housekeeping during seminary. She had an in-home business – Home Sweet Home Eldercare – for five years while her children where in preschool and early elementary. As a pastor, she has served Zion Lutheran Church near Pelican Rapids, Minnesota; Prairie Rose Lutheran Parish, a five-point parish serving Ryder, Makoti, and Roseglen, ND; Milnor-DeLamere (ND) Parish; and 12 years at Clifford-Galesburg (ND) Parish, a three-point parish. Pastor Julie is a CranioSacral therapist in training, working on a 5-7-year plan to become a certified CranioSacral therapist. 

Pastor Julie loves spending time with her children, Shelby, Chadrin, and Garrett, and other family members and friends. She also enjoys reading, movies, book clubs, traveling, and Norway.

Cindy Doeden

Cindy Doeden

Office Administrator

Cindy Doeden's is the voice you usually hear when calling Our Savior’s Lutheran Church. As the office administrator, she assists the pastors, leadership, and members with a wide variety of tasks. She is also in charge of the monthly newsletter, Steeple Talk, and assembling the weekly bulletins.

Amanda Johnson

Education Director

Amanda Johnson coordinates all the activities involved with education at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church. As a trained pastry chef and founder of Our Town Bakery in Hillsboro, she fed people’s bodies with great food. Now, she feeds the souls of the members of OSLC by enhancing their spiritual lives.

Amanda and her husband, Pastor Joe Johnson, have two children Wyatt and Charlotte (Charlie). Amanda loves caring for her family by making wonderful food, playing music (she’s an accomplished banjo player), and having fun! She also sings and plays with The Fire and Joyful Noise. 

Joy McSparron

Joy McSparron

GIFTS Minister

Joy McSparron works primarily with confirmation and Jr. and Sr. high youth within Our Savior’s Lutheran Church but helps in a number of other areas, too. She has taken classes at Luther Seminary as part of the GIFTS (Growing In Faith Through Service) program, a lay leadership training program sponsored through the Eastern North Dakota Synod.

Joy is also a Trustee and serves the church in a number of ways, like visitation, Hillsboro Medical Center services, and communion.

Nadia Robb

Lay Minister

Brenda Stallman

Brenda Stallman

Parish Nurse

Parish nursing is the cornerstone of health ministry at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church. Brenda Stallman ministers to individuals and families to promote wellness of body, mind, and spirit. She is an RN and also works at Traill County District Health Unit.

Activities sponsored by the parish nurse committee include prayer shawls, home and hospital visitation, home communion, health promotion activities, and the prayer chain.

Members of Our Savior's Lutheran Church and our community who know of someone with unmet needs in relation to their physical, spiritual, or emotional health are encouraged to contact Brenda. She welcomes involvement in the parish nurse program from volunteers who are interested in health ministry.

Jason Lovas

Jason Lovas


Jason Lovas has been the treasurer for Our Savior’s Lutheran Church since 2006. He keeps the lights on, ensuring the bills get paid! Jason is always available to help with any financial questions that arise.

Jason is a farmer in the area and knows the meaning of hard work. A lifelong member of Our Savior’s, he helps with many projects, from donating the use of his land and equipment for OSLC’s Annual Harvest Party for Foods Resource Bank to putting up signage for the church. An all-around helpful guy, he also keeps the dishwasher running when special occasion breakfasts are served at the church!

He is a member of the Church Council and also serves on the Stewardship Committee.

Dustin Nagel

Financial Secretary

As the financial secretary for Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Justin Grinde keeps track of all the donations and offerings given to the congregation and issues quarterly statements. As the branch manager for Ag Country Farm Credit Services, his work as financial secretary for the church is a great fit!

Justin is an easygoing guy who is eager to help with various projects around the church and community, including hosting the OSLC Annual Harvest Party for Foods Resource Bank. 

Karen Alfson

Karen Alfson


Karen Alfson has been enriching the worship experience of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church since 1976! She learned to play the organ when she was just 13 years old in her home church in Grandin, ND. When she and her family moved back to Hillsboro from California, she was at a service and Pastor Savereid prayed that God would send an organist into their midst…the rest is history!

Karen has a love of music and knows that church is important. As church organist, it is fun to be able to combine the two and add to worship. She feels music is powerful. She loves playing for weddings and picking out music with the brides to personalize this special day for them. She also is honored to play for funerals. It is nice to work with families and try to comfort them during sad times.


Beth Christianson-Melby

Beth Christianson-Melby

"The Fire" Director

Beth Christianson-Melby has a passion for music and a love of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ. The Fire is the newest band to form at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church. The Fire provides modern Christian music for a contemporary worship experience.

The musicians and singers in The Fire are so enthusiastic about sharing their gifts to add to the worship experience of the congregation. Singing since she was in high school, Beth once considered making a career of music. She feels blessed to be part of the family of faith at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church!

Phyllis Leraas

Phyllis Leraas

"Our Savior’s Light" Director

Phyllis Leraas and Our Savior’s Light band lead contemporary worship two times each month. Phyllis’ energetic style keeps this band and the congregation moving! She is amazed at the talent of Our Savior’s Light! The band pick's up new music so quickly. It is fun to work with a group that is so awesome, willing, talented, and gifted.

For Phyllis, music is number one. She grew up in a musical family that entertained at nursing homes. She has a passion for sharing music! Her talent is a gift from god. It is the stewardship that is most important for her to give God and the congregation. Phyllis feels blessed to have been brought a community that has the same feeling about music as she does.