Rev. Joel and Clarion Fritsche serve the Lord as missionaries of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) in the Dominican Republic. In this role, Joel plants new churches. He also serves as the Director of Concordia Seminary and Mercy Center in Palmar Arriba (which is in the Santiago province of the Dominican Republic). As director, he teaches courses and helps prepare men to be pastors who proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
Joel was born in Houston, Texas. He earned a bachelor’s degree in music from Concordia University, Seward, Nebraska, and received his Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. Before becoming a missionary, he served as a pastor of congregations in Wyoming, Texas and Illinois. He also worked as an admissions counselor at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. Joel's wife, Clarion, was born in Balboa, Panama City, Panama. She received a bachelor’s degree in education from Concordia University, Mequon, Wisconsin. Before heading to the mission field, she taught at several Lutheran schools. Joel and Clarion have three beautiful children - Viktor, Sergei and Andrei - who join them on the mission field.
Please pray for the Fritsches as they serve the Lord in the Dominican Republic. Pray that God gives them strength and peace in their family life and as they work to communicate the Good News of Jesus Christ. Ask God to give Joel wisdom and faithfulness as he helps raise up pastors, deaconesses and other church leaders to serve the Dominican church. Pray that God continues to bless Joel’s service to the church and Clarion’s homeschooling of their three boys. Let us give thanks that Joel, Clarion and their family are serving God’s children in the Dominican Republic and for Joel and his presence with us this weekend.
Pastor Bryan E. Drebes
Pastor Drebes attended Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, beginning in 1997. He spent the summer of 1999 teaching English to Chinese middle school teachers in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China. He served a four-month vicarage at St. John Lutheran Church, Plymouth, Wisconsin, followed by eight months at Bethany Lutheran Church, Overland Park, Kansas. Pastor Drebes was ordained into the Office of the Holy Ministry at Zion Lutheran Church, Palmyra, Missouri on August 19, 2001, and installed as Associate Pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church, Overland Park, Kansas on September 9, 2001. He served Bethany for 14 years. Pastor Drebes accepted a Divine Call to be Senior Pastor at Pacific Hills Lutheran Church in November, 2015.