Rev. Thomas Heren
Rev. Thomas L. Heren was born in Pekin, IL on July 27, 1963, and grew up in the country south of Pekin. He attended Green Valley High School and graduated in 1981. Upon graduation from high school, he attended Illinois Central College and graduated in 1983 with an Associate Degree in Electronics Technology. After graduating, he joined the United States Air Force as an electronic/cryptographic technician and served at Andrews Air Force Base in Washington DC, Hellenikon Air Base in Athens, Greece and Columbus Air Force Base in Columbus, MS.
After serving four years in the U.S. Air Force, Rev. Heren worked at Caterpillar Inc. in the electronics lab at the Tech Center in Mossville, IL. After three years at Caterpillar, he went back to school full-time and finished his Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Concordia University in 1998. Upon completion of his bachelor’s degree, he served as Director of Christian Education and Youth at Zion Lutheran Church in Marengo, IL.
In 2001, Rev. Heren enrolled at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO and earned his Master of Divinity Degree in 2005. His first call into the ministry was to Trinity Lutheran Church in Lansing, IL. After serving at Trinity for two years, he accepted a call to serve as pastor at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Washington, IL. He was installed as Pastor at Our Savior Lutheran on July 15, 2007. While continuing to serve as pastor at Our Savior Lutheran, he began working on his Doctorate Degree at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO in January of 2013.
Rev. Heren and his wife, Trudy, recently celebrated their 27th anniversary. They have three children and one grandchild. Their oldest daughter, Kaitlyn, is married and living in St. Louis with her husband, Andrew Sell and their son Levi. Their youngest daughter, Kassandra, lives in St. Louis and works at St. Anthony’s Hospital. Their son, Daniel, is serving in the United States Army and is currently stationed at Ft. Bragg in North Carolina. Daniel is engaged to Jamie Retz and they will be married in May 2017.
Director of Christian Education
Carissa was born and raised in Nebraska. She attended Concordia University, NE and received a Bachelor's Degree and DCE Certificate. She was commissioned on September 1, 2002 at Our Savior Lutheran Church. Carissa and her husband Adam live in Metamora
and have 3 children, Hannah, Averi and Caleb.
One of Carissa's favorite Bible Verses is from Jeremiah 33:3: 'Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.'
Keri is a classically trained pianist, guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, and choral director. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Moody Bible Institute, and has a Master's Degree in Human Services with an emphasis in Non-Profit Leadership.
Personally, Keri , her husband, Casey, and daughter, Annelyse reside in Chillicothe.
Keri’s favorite music genre is worship. Her favorite artists are Misty Edwards, Jesus Culture, Kari Jobe and Hillsong. One of her favorite songs right now is "The Great I Am." A portion of the lyrics and music just resonates within her. The lyrics state: "The mountains shake before You! The Demons run and flee, at the name King of Majesty! There is no power in hell, or any who can stand, before the power and the presence of the great I AM." The imagery in this lyric is so powerful and reminds Keri of the authority she has in Christ Jesus over the powers of darkness and anything that comes against the Kingdom of God.
One of Keri’s favorite Scriptures is Isaiah 55:8-9: " 'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,' declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts." This verse serves as a constant reminder that God alone is sovereign.