Meet the Staff

Senior Pastor

Jon Gruen

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Rev. Jonathan Gruen graduated from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, with a Master of Divinity (M. Div.) in May 2005. He was ordained and installed at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, Lee's Summit, Missouri, on July 10, 2005. He and his wife Nicole both graduated from Concordia University Wisconsin in May 2001, Jonathan with a B.A. and Nicole with a B.S.N. They were married in 2001 and have since been blessed with three sons.

Rev. Gruen (a.k.a. "Pastor Jon") is proud to be Lutheran, which means (most importantly) that he keeps Christ at the center of his ministry. Pastor Jon seeks to reach the lost and to feed, nurture, and educate the found through the Word and Sacrament ministry which Christ himself has instituted. In this way, he endeavors to communicate the deep love of a gracious God, who gave up his life on the cross and rose again for our forgiveness, life, and salvation.

Associate Pastor

Chris Schneider

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Pastor Chris was born in Rochester, MI. He attended Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, MI and received a degree in communications. In 2011 he felt that God was leading him to go into the ministry, and finally made the decision to attend Concordia Seminary in Saint Louis, where he graduated this past May. He and his wife, Jessica, met while he was leading a small group bible study. They got married in September 2012, and have one son, Noah James. He will be ordained and installed on June 28, 2015.

Pastor Chris was raised in the Lutheran Church, and so he enjoys celebrating Christ’s death and resurrection every single day, but especially on Sunday mornings as God’s people gather together to receive His gifts and to give Him praise. Pastor Chris looks for opportunities to regularly be shaped by God’s word, as well as through Christ’s Church, and he enjoys sharing the love of Christ with all people. 

Children's and Student Ministries

Interim Student Ministry Coordinator – Jennifer Larsen.  Currently teaching in our preschool, Jenn also serves already on both Fire and Blaze leadership teams, has good working relationships with the Church ministry team, and has won the trust of the youth.  She has experience going on trips, leading Bible studies and discussions, and has a heart for ministry.  Jenn will lead our Jr. High (Fire) and Sr. High (Blaze) ministries.  Feel welcome to use her new email address:

Interim Children’s Ministry Coordinator – Katherine Palmer.  Katherine has already responsibly carried out many duties here at BSLC, is a teacher in our preschool, and has shown she is great with kids and their parents.  Katherine will fill in the DCE’s role in overseeing Sunday School, Midweek, VBS, and other children’s events.  Feel welcome to use her new email address:

Preschool Director

Dr Chris Troester

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I am looking forward to the 2018-19 school year! I retired in 2016 as an elementary principal with the Lee’s Summit School District. When Tiffany Danley, Abounding Love Preschool Director, accepted her new position, I agreed to serve as the Interim Director while we search for a new Director.

My wife, Jan and I have been members of Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church since 1998. We have two children, both married and a precious granddaughter. Spending time with our family is our favorite pastime.

I was born in Nebraska, grew up on a farm and am one of six children. I received my Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees at the University of Nebraska-Kearney. I earned a Doctor of Education degree in Administration, Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

I look forward to getting to know each of the students as well as their parents. Please be patient with me as I learn your names.

Ministry Assistant

Pam Williams

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Pam Williams is the Ministry Assistant at Beatuiful Savior.  Pam relates well with every age and is dedicated and passionate about sharing the Gospel.  She is always willing to take time to listen and help out when needed.  As the Ministry Assistant, Pam does an amazing job assisting the DCE with administrative duties of Children's, Youth, and Young Adult Ministries. Pam also is in charge of the Upward Basketball program, which is a basketball ministry outreach progrm BSLC hosts annually.   

When Pam was a youth, she enjoyed playing Volleyball, Basketball, and also Cheerleading for wrestling. Today, Pam not only works at BSLC, but you may also see her working at Kohl's in Lee's Summit.  When Pam is not at church or Kohl's, she enjoys reading, and hanging out with her family and friends.

Pam and her husband Trent have two girls, Shelby and Danika, and also two dogs.

Pam enjoys mentoring and talking to youth about the challenges and difficulties which they face growing up today. Pam states, "If I can help just one youth then it makes all the hard work worth it.  I am always giving God the glory for the guidance which He gives."

You need to meet this lady if you haven't already!  Her energy, love for God and servant personality is contagious!

Administrative Assistant

Dawn Larson

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Dawn Larson has been the administrative assistant at Beautiful Savior since August of 1995.  She and her husband of 40 years, Mark, have been members of Beautiful Savior for 25 years and have watched our church grow from holding one weekly worship service with an average attendance of about 35 to holding four services per weekend with an average attendance of 350.

Dawn and Mark have one son Matt.  He and his wife Jami have two sons, Sid and Henry.  Dawn enjoys cooking, traveling, having a nice glass of wine with Mark, and spending time with their children and beautiful, energetic grandsons.  She is proud to have had the opportunity to serve at Beautiful Savior all these years and feels very blessed to be able to work with such a dedicated (and fun) staff.