About Christ Lutheran

CLC is a welcoming, multi-generational family of faith that provides contemporary spiritual support while balancing traditional ideals. Our three services offer something for everyone, whether you prefer a more traditional or contemporary style. We offer thriving education, social, and community programs in a warm and friendly setting for those of any age. We are glad you are here and hope these pages will answer any questions you have about Christ Lutheran Church.

"Unless a gainof wheat falls t the ground and dies, it reains only a kernel. But if it dies, it produces many seeds." John 12:24

Christ Lutheran is a story of dying and rising. In spring of 1995, its struggling predecessor, Living Christ Lutheran Church, closed its doors. A faithful remnant of Living Christ's members moved to a torefront, where -- un
der the ladership of Pastor Arthur Bergren -- it reopened its doors as Christ Lutheran.

Experiencing rapid growth, Christ Lutheran was organized as a congregation on October 6, 1995 and became a part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on June 21, 1997. Soon after, it puchased a parcel of land and built its beautiful new facility on Riverside Road. This facility was dedicated on December 10, 1998. Today, Christ Lutheran is a vital community of faith with 500+ baptized and associate members.

Read more information on what Lutherans believe at


Rev. Carol Baumgartner
Transition Minister

Pastor Carol comes to us from the South Central Wisconsin Synod, ELCA.  She lives in Janesville, WI, with her husband, the Rev. Michael Mueller.  Pastor Carol has a BA in vocal music education and is trained in Intentional Interim Ministry, Spiritual Guidance, Chaplaincy, Contemplative Leadership, and Emotional Intelligence.  She has served congregations in Illinois, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Deacon Laura Gorton
Associate Minister

Deacon Laura joined the ministry team at Christ Lutheran Church in September of 2020, coming to us from St. Paul, MN.  She brings with her experience with education, children & youth ministries, and service ministries.  She has a love of worship, liturgy, and reading.

Deacon Jennifer Fox
Minister for Worship and Music

Deacon Jennifer began directing the music ministries here in 1996. She is responsible for worship planning, music, and drama in worship and development of lay leaders
for worship.

Katie Belinson
Director of Outreach & Communications

The new kid on the block, Katie joined the CLC staff in August 2021 as a part-time employee and transitioned to full-time in February 2022. She has over ten years experience in church communications. Prior to this, Katie worked at two Rockford-based advertising agencies and was employed as a freelance copywriter.

Michelle Nelson
Office and Finance Administrator

Michelle joined the Christ Lutheran staff in 2010 as Finance Assistant.  She has worked
in similar capacities at Bright Stars of Bethlehem and Faith Lutheran Church in Rochelle.  Prior to that she worked as a Financial Analyst at AMCORE Bank.

Dagny Brandt
Spirit Singers Director

Dagny joined the Christ Lutheran staff in 2021.  She has served as the Celebration
Choir Director for 18 years at First Lutheran Church in Freeport where she also served
as Music Coordinator and Children’s Choir Director.  She is employed at Highland College as the Highland Youth Choir Director and a vocal music instructor. 

Chris Parkinson
Congregational Musician

Chris joined the Christ Lutheran staff in summer of 2021.  She served as organist at First Lutheran Church in Freeport for 10 years.  An elementary music educator in the Lena-Winslow Schools, Chris has also served as the LOMC Swing Choir director.


Congregational Leadership

Al Francik, President

Al currently serves as council president and as a liaison to the Mission Endowment Fund Committee.  A retired dermatologist at the Rockford Clinic and Associate Professor of Dermatology at the U of I Chicago and Rockford School of Medicine, he is married to Gail, has three children and seven grandchildren.

Lee Blackburn, Vice President

Lee currently serves as council vice-president, as liaison to the Spiritual Life Team and as a member of the Youth and Young Adults Team.   She is a paralegal who also loves baking, cooking, and spending time with good friends.

Sue Hunter, Secretary

Sue currently serves as council secretary and as a liaison to the Service & Outreach Team.   A recently retired VIP Corporate Travel Agent, she enjoys spending time with her granddaughter, friends, the Chicago Cubs and Blackhawks, and studying American history.

Jeff Bieck, Treasurer

(bio coming soon)


Jenny Campbell

Jenny serves as liaison to PATHWAYS.  A recent empty-nester after homeschooling for many years, she enjoys many things including reading, home organization projects, and traveling.  She also enjoys time with her husband and visiting their two daughters.

Tari Flack

Tari serves as liaison to the Education Committee. She is the Finance Manager at Midwest Aero Support.  She and her husband, Ned, have 3 sons.  She enjoys spending time with them on ski hills and golf courses.

John Herring

(bio coming soon)


Peter Hightower

(bio coming soon)


Lori Murphy

Lori serves as liaison to the Evangelism Team.  She works for United Healthcare and enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, and jigsaw puzzles.

Syd Nolan

Syd serves as liaison to the Financial Advisory Committee.  Recently retired, he enjoys automotive, historical scale modeling and campcraft hobbies. 

Denise Rindels

Denise serves as liaison to the Education Committee.   Responsible for accounts payable at a machine tool distributor, Denise enjoys spending time with her husband and looks forward to having her daughters home from college.

David Swanson

Dave Swanson serves as liaison to the Stewardship Team. Dave and his dog Sunny volunteer in the Therapy Dog program at Saint Anthony Hospital.