Saint Mark Lutheran Church
1934 52nd Street SE
Kentwood, MI 49508
We are located on 52nd Street between Kalamazoo and Breton on the South Side of the Street. To attend a church service, you should park in the upper parking lot on the West side of the building. The offices, preschool and gym are nearest to the lower parking lot on the East side of the building.
Meet our Staff
Pastor Wentzel has been the Senior Pastor at Saint Mark since fall 2014. Prior to coming to Saint Mark, he served as the Associate Pastor for St. Paul Lutheran Church and School in Ann Arbor, MI. He began his career as a bookkeeper and systems analyst for a trust bank prior to attending St. Louis Theological Seminary.
"The things that bring me joy include Baptism, Sunday mornings, seeing prayers answered, and especially caring for people. I’m passionate about listening to God’s Word, gathering the flock, and having joyous praise! I have a lot of energy to give to work in community outreach, and as such, I believe I am called to equip our congregation to care and share their faith with people they interact with on a daily basis. I believe the purpose of the church has three prongs: first, to train up disciples to tell others about God; second, to go tell others about God; and, third, to go care for others. Saint Mark's Mission Statement is in synchrony with my belief and gives us the vision AND direction of how to progress toward being a strong, welcoming, and unified church!"
Director of Family Life Ministry
I have been serving Saint Mark as Director of Family Life Ministry since June 2017. Previously, I served nearly eight years at Good Shepherd in Pittsburgh, PA, and one year as an intern at St. Paul in Royal Oak, MI. I graduated from Concordia University, Ann Arbor, in 2008 with a degree in Family Life Ministry. Right away I decided to further my education in the same area with a master's degree through Concordia Seward and graduated in 2013. I’m native to the greater Grand Rapids area, growing up in Ionia where my family still lives, and so I’m happy to be back in Michigan.
With my parents spending over twenty years as foster parents to teenagers, there has always been a passion in my heart for young people and their families. I see potential in the next generation to rise up and be a generation that changes the world. And I believe that the only way they are going to do that is if we support, encourage, and share what God has done in our lives with them. That means building relationships with people across the lifespan throughout our congregation to support one another as we raise up the next generation of faithful Christ followers. That is my prayer and hope for Saint Mark and for the community outside of our church walls.
I began my pastoral ministry in August 2018. My responsibilities focus in large part on shut-ins, hospital visits and hospice care. My overall responsibilities include doing periodic sermons, and organizing worship services and prayer programs. In summary, my role as SMP Pastor requires flexibility to serve wherever and whenever needed. I find joy in my ministry at Saint Mark working with my christian family of Senior Citizens, through home and hospital visits that gives me the opportunity to remind them that Jesus is still with them and will be there for them until He takes them to their heavenly home. The joy is seeing them smile as they are reminded of the hope that they have in the promise of eternal life. I also treasure the hugs I receive from them as a form of their expression of love for me in sharing God’s Word with them.
I served Saint Mark from April 2011 as a Licensed Deacon prior to being Ordained and Called as an SMP Pastor (Specific Ministry Pastor). I spent my career working in sales for the Postal Service, retiring in 2010.
I started playing for a contemporary service at Saint Mark in 1994. In 1996, I also became the accompanist for the choir and eventually took over the organ. In 2000, I officially became the Saint Mark Music Director and now play the organ for early services, praise team in the late services, and direct the choir and handbells.
I've been a music teacher for my entire career. I worked full-time as a music teacher with the Grand Rapids Public School until 2010. I am still teaching part-time at West Michigan Lutheran. I graduated from Western Michigan University with a Major in Music Education (BM). In my first semester of teaching, I was drafted during the Vietnam War. I spent two years in Washington, D.C., as a clerk typist and was fortunate to never have to go to the war zone. After the service, I came back to Grand Rapids to pick up where I left off. I received my master's in 1979. My main passion has always been teaching. I still count many of my former students as friends. It always warms my heart when I hear comments (on Facebook of course!) about how I touched their lives.