The Academy – April 2021

Our mission is to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a world that is in desperate need of the Good News. We propose to do this by networking congregations and individuals who have a passion for the proclamation of the Gospel and a commitment to the calling of the Great Commission.  In Matthew 28, we read: “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Mission is the driver – the force, the inspiration behind everything that we do.  Everything that we do, if we don’t have mission attached to it, is going to be meaningless.  The church exists in obedience and fulfillment of the Great Commission of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

During the month of April, Pastor Tony Ede hosts the Rev. Preston Foster, the Rev. Heidi Punt, and Mim Nellermoe.  Join us on April 6th at 11 am ET as we connect to this season’s theme “God the Father Creates” through the lens of creating a culture of relationships in mission. Join us on social media: Facebook Live or Youtube.

As we move throughout this season of The Academy, each month will focus on a different aspect of the person, nature, and being of God the Father in light of Genesis 1-3, knowing that we understand Him fully through the Lord Jesus Christ, the mirror of the Father’s heart, revealed by the Holy Spirit, because of the Father’s divine goodness and mercy!   We will also be asking and connecting with very practical questions – what is life, and how do we live well?  What does it mean to understand vocation, mission, and evangelism as a way of life?


Pastor Tony Ede graduated from Waldorf College, where he earned an associate of arts in electronic communications and a bachelor of arts in multimedia communications. Graduating from Luther Seminary in 2006, Tony worked as a graduate teaching assistant in the homiletics department, helping to teach classes on using media and technology in worship and preaching.  Pastor Ede has served at Bethany Lutheran Churches in the Danish Village of Kimballton, Iowa; as the teaching pastor at Trinity Lutheran in Webster City, Iowa; and currently serves as the senior pastor at First Evangelical Lutheran in Manchester, Iowa. As part of his commitment to lifelong learning, Tony earned an MBA in 2017 from Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa, with a concentration in organizational development. Following a long family tradition, Tony is a nationally certified firefighter and EMT and has used these skills to serve in the community, as well as in disaster response statewide. Tony was married to LeAnn at Trinity Lutheran Church, New Hampton, Iowa, on August 17th, 2002. They have three sons that keep them busy: Carver, Liam, and Burke.


The Rev. Heidi Punt was born and raised in South Africa. She completed all her formal studies in South Africa, majoring in missiology and New Testament studies at the University of South Africa and the Lutheran House of Studies. Pastor Punt accepted the call to serve in the USA about 20 years ago and began her ministry in Illinois. In 2013, God led her and her family to North Carolina, where she currently serves Union Lutheran Church. Pastor Heidi also serves as a Global Worker with SMI Haiti. As Pastor Heidi embraces her call, she shares: “Mission on the local, national and international level has always been central to my call as pastor. The Great Commission ‘to go into the all world, teach, baptize…’ (Matthew 28) is not just theoretical or theological to me. It is where the rubber hits the road! It is where discipleship and biblical authority becomes tangible and real!”

Pastor Preston Foster is the called Pastor of Christ the King Lutheran Church in De Soto, IL. Originally from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Pastor Preston received the B.S. in Radio-Television from Arkansas State University in 1969, and the M.Div. from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in 1981. He was ordained in The American Lutheran Church in 1981 and was certified as an Ordained Minister of the North American Lutheran Church in 2011. He is also a member of STS.

Pastor Preston is blessed with a wonderful wife of 25 years, Leesa, a church secretary and administrator in Metropolis, IL. They are blessed with one daughter, Kristin, an AMTA Board Certified Music Therapist practicing in Indianapolis, Indiana. They are blessed every day by two indoor rescued cats and a rescued terrier. He is an “aging graying folkie” — old hand banjo and guitar player and singer. His treasure and joy is to share the love of God in Jesus Christ in conversation and daily living!

Mim Nellermoe graduated with a B.A., summa cum laude, from Texas Lutheran College, and an M.A. in Education from Augustana Lutheran College (Sioux Falls, SD). She coached and taught at Another Way School in Park City, Utah. Mim loves all sports and animals. She grew up in Salt Lake City. But currently, she serves with her husband Jeff in Santa Rosa, California, with CSV.

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