Pastor Sonja Gerstenberger

515-292-2131 or 515-554-4348

Pastor Sonja Gerstenberger joined the St. Andrew’s ministry team in March 2021. She is passionate about making the love of God in Jesus known to the world through ministry, service, and relationship.  Pastor Sonja has her B.A. from Wartburg College in English education and is a 2020 graduate of Luther Seminary’s MDiv Distributed Learning program. Pastor Sonja’s ministry is informed by careers in education, human resources, communication, and finally lay ministry. She served for seven years as faith formation director in an ELCA congregation, where she heard and answered the call to ministry. Pastor Sonja and her husband, Scott, have three children (Lucas – 2006, Nikki – 2008, and Analise – 2010) and most anything that can be considered a hobby or pastime involves caring for or spending time with them.


Kaitlyn and Blythe Schultz

Service and Learning Coordinators

Kaitlyn and Blythe are “cradle Lutherans” originally from Texas, and have moved to Ames from Scotland for Blythe to pursue a PhD at ISU. They have spent their entire lives involved in the Lutheran church, from participating in youth groups and campus ministry, to a combined four summers spent as staff at a Lutheran ranch camp. They love exploring the cultures and beautiful places of the world, are self proclaimed “foodies”, and share a house with what might be the most adorable dog on the planet. “We are incredibly excited to have the opportunity to work in St. Andrew’s community. Both of us were deeply influenced by our time spent in service and learning opportunities, and look forward to many years of fun and growth with St. Andrew’s.”


Heather Eddy

Office and Communications Manager

My name is Heather Eddy, and I have been a resident of Ames for most of the last 25 years. I’ve worked for St. Andrew’s since 2015. I have two teenagers, Andrew & Katie and two cats – Cinder and Sandy. I enjoy reading, art, movies, baking and have been teaching myself Spanish and how to computer code. I have degrees in Advertising and Fine Arts, and a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do.


Steve Hoifeldt

Director of Choral Ministries

Steve Hoifeldt directs the adult choir at St. Andrew’s and is well-known in central Iowa for his excellent choral directing. He grew up in Iowa and has lived here most of his life. He received a BA in Vocal Performance from Bethany College in Lindsborg, KS and a MA in Vocal Performance from the University of Iowa in Iowa City. He has been teaching in Ames as a private voice instructor and choral conductor for over 30 years. He teaches Applied Voice, Music Appreciation and World Music and directs several choirs in the area.


Sarah Buck


Sarah is the organist at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church (2005-present, 1973-1980). Previously, Sarah was organist and choir director at Atonement Lutheran Church, Springfield, IL. She has also substituted as organist at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, West Salem, WI, United Church of Christ in Ames, IA, and Northminister Presbyterian Church, Ames IA. Sarah holds a B.S. in Industrial Administration, as well as an MBA, both from Iowa State University.


Connie Sweeney


Connie serves St. Andrew’s as choir accompanist and instrumental ensemble director. Her music background includes 25 years teaching vocal and general music at schools in Illinois and Iowa. Besides music, Connie enjoys gardening, travel, sewing and reading. Connie and her husband, Tom (DMACC instructior) have two grown children—Joe in Pennsylvania and Megan in Colorado.


Gary Deal


I have worked at St. Andrew's since April 2016. I've been married for 46 years and have 3 sons, 2 granddaughters, and 4 great-grandkids. I enjoy reading, movies, watching T.V., and traveling to Florida to visit family. I have a great dog who is very good company, and a cat that owns our house and allows us to stay there.