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Immanuel Lutheran Church - Altamont, Illinois

Our Staff

Pastor Wright

Pastor Jim Wright

Dr. James Wright was installed as Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church on July 18, 2009. He previously served Zion-St. John Lutheran Church, Wisner, Nebraska; Pacific Hills Lutheran in Omaha, Nebraska, and most recently served as Associate Pastor of St. John Lutheran Church, Champaign, Illinois.

Pastor Wright holds Associate and Bachelors degrees from Concordia University, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Masters of Divinity from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis; and Doctor of Ministry from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana. He is trained in reconciliation ministry through Ambassadors of Reconciliation. He has served as Circuit Counselor and Emergency Services Support Team member.

Pastor is married to Lisa and has one daughter, Lillian.


Pastor Bernard Ross

Pastor Bernard Ross

A 2014 graduate of Concordia Seminary - St. Louis, Pastor Bernard Ross was Called directly to Immanuel and was Installed as Associate Pastor on July 13, 2014.

An adult convert to the Lutheran Church, Pastor Ross claims St. Charles, Missouri as his hometown. There he met his wife, Katie, where both attended Lindenwood University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History. Bernard and Katie have a son, named Daniel and a daughter named Olivia.

As an Associate Pastor, Pastor Ross performs all the "normal" functions of a Pastor - preaching, teaching Sunday School and Confirmation classes, performing baptisms, weddings, and funerals, as well as visiting the hospitalized and home-bound. He is also the leader/direction of the Junior and Senior Lutheran Youth Fellowship, which he considers a blessing due to both the quality and quantity of Immanuel's youth.

Anita Alwardt

Anita Alwardt
Church Secretary

Anita was baptized and confirmed at Immanuel Lutheran, graduated from Altamont High School and Lake Land College.    She was employed by the former Continental Telephone Co., spent time at home raising a family, and then was employed by Prairie Farms until joining the staff at Immanuel.  
She resides with her husband Lloyd in rural Altamont.  They are parents of one son; two daughters and their spouses; and three grandchildren.

Her duties include welcoming those who come into the church office, answering the phone, scheduling Parish Hall activities, recording attendance and reports, and gathering information for the weekly bulletin and monthly newsletter.  

Helen Zeigler

Helen Zeigler
Financial Bookkeeper

Helen joined the Immanuel staff in Dec. 1979 as part-time secretary.  She later became full-time secretary;  and in 1991 took over the position of secretary and bookkeeper.  In April 2004, she semi-retired to serve as bookkeeper/treasurer only.
Helen is married to Don who is a retired State Trooper.  They are the parents of two sons:  Troy (wife, Sherrie) of Lawrenceville, IL; and Todd (wife, Julie) of Watson, IL.  They have five grandchildren:  Zeb, Zoe, Gabe, Kateleigh, and Camille. 

Helen's duties at Immanuel include:  bill paying, payroll, taxes, making and filing all financial records and reports.  She also records individual contributions, mails contribution statements, and makes and files all contribution reports.

She and her husband Don especially enjoy spending time with their grandchildren.