First Lutheran Church
First Lutheran Church

Staff of First Lutheran Church

Our staff at First Lutheran Church are devoted to to the mission of the church. Below you can contact the staff via email by clicking on their name.

Senior Pastor:
Pastor Corey Fuhrman

Pastor Corey Fuhrman joined the staff of First Lutheran Church in 2012. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Jamestown College and Master of Divinity from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Bexley, OH. Pastor Corey was ordained in June of 1998. He and his late wife, Kelly, have three children: Carly, Jonah, and Jacob.

Associate Pastor:
Pastor Linnea Papke-Larson

Pastor Linnea Papke-Larson is serving as our Associate Pastor. She previously served as chaplain at WoodsEdge Senior Living Campus in Bemidji, as Visitation Pastor here at First Lutheran, and as co-pastor at Dallas and New Scandinavia Lutheran Churches in rural Wisconsin. She is married to Mark Papke-Larson and together they have three grown children.

Director of Worship and Music Ministries:
Sarah Carlson
Ms. Carlson obtained her undergraduate degree in music from St. Olaf College and her Master of Music in Organ Performance from The University of Iowa. She remains active as a recitalist and enjoys collaborating with musicians in the area. Her three children all enjoy singing in the Junior Choir at FLC. 

Director of Christian Education:
Terri Mans

Terri grew up in southwestern MN and attended Pacific Lutheran University for one year.  She transferred to Bemidji State University and graduated with a B.S. in Criminal Justice and a minor in Psychology.  She has been a member of First Lutheran for over 20 years.  She and her husband, Dave, have three amazing children:  Zachary, Alli and Eli.  Terri enjoys spending time with family and friends, swimming, photography, fishing, gardening, crafts, snowmobiling and traveling.

Office Manager:
Karen Peterson

Karen has come full circle.  Her father (Rev. Ted Peterson) was First Lutheran's Youth Pastor when she was a child.  Karen's undergraduate degrees are Sociology and Social Work from Concordia College.  She is a Librarian, with a Master's in Library Science from the University of Iowa.  Having lived in Oregon, Virginia and the United Arab Emirates (Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi), she has met people from many different cultures.  It is good to be back in Bemidji, at First Lutheran and with her parents.  Karen enjoys meeting people, crocheting, reading, needlework and spending time with friends.


Debbie Wolkoff

Debbie is married with four children and six grandchildren.  She's lived in Bemidji since 1985.  Debbie home-schools her children and in her spare time enjoys knitting, making yarn on her spinning wheel and reading.  She also volunteers at her church with VBS, Christmas Plays and as the Sunday School Secretary.  She has been an accountant for 26 years and loves the work.  Her accounting diploma is from the Northwest Technical College.  She also worked for First Lutheran from 2009-2010 and is glad to be back.

Preschool Director/Teacher:

Emily Erickson

Emily is thrilled to be heading up our Preschool. Born here in Bemidji, but was raised in Medford, MN, she earned her bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education from Bemidji State University in 2006.  She has enjoyed working in the education field, having run The Child's Garden Preschool from 2007 - 2012, and taught at Schoolcraft Learning Community. Emily feels incredibly blessed and honored to have the opportunity to be a part of such an exciting time at First Lutheran Church Bemidji.


Emily lives with her family here in Bemidji. Jack who is 7 years old and going into second grade, and little Hazel who is almost 2. "Thank you for being such a welcoming parish, and I can't wait to see what this upcoming school year has in store for us."

Preschool Teacher :

Melissa Brown

Melissa moved to Bemidji in 2014 with her family and two dogs.  Her older daughter was part of the first graduating preschool class in the spring of 2015, and she has been involved with the preschool program ever since.  Melissa graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Tampa in 2006.  She enjoys reading, cooking and playing card games with her family.

Terry Nelson
Terry was born and grew up in Blackduck and graduated from Blackduck High School in 1999.  He has lived in Bemidji for the past 10 years.  Terry enjoys being outdoors; hunting, fishing, snowmobiling and cross country skiing.  Terry has also had a life long interest in the field of automobiles.


Food Service Manager:
John Frankfurth

John is a Minnesotan and was born in Little Falls. John has been working with food for 32 years and is licensed, has USDA training, and is Serve Safe certified.  He has been a professional cook for 20 years. He has been the Vice President and Food Service Manager for the Soup Kitchen for the past 12 years.


Our Address

900 Bemidji Ave N.

Bemidji, MN 56601


Tel:   218-444-5302

Fax:  218-444-5306


Our Office Hours

Mon-Fri :

08:30 am - 04:30 pm

We're looking forward to hearing from you!

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