About Us

Who We Are

We understand that you’re here perhaps because you’re looking for a new church home, or maybe even your first church home. Or maybe you’ve driven past and wondered what we’re all about.

Well, let us tell you about ourselves.

We are a faith community participating in the life of God, both as sheer gift to us and also as a calling to the neighborhoods of Northeast Minneapolis. We are a multigenerational community that proudly celebrates our history while joining together with younger generations to follow where God is leading. We build our community through faith practices like prayer, dwelling in the Word, and hospitality.

We’re active in our community and our neighborhood, and we’re working to become more involved.

We’re an ELCA congregation that’s been in this spot for over 90 years. Join us on Sundays. All are welcome.

Our Mission

Our mission is to learn, live, and share God’s Word.

  • Learn who God is through Jesus Christ
  • Live as agents of the Holy Spirit in our lives
  • Share the life and love that God offers to the world

Our Vision

Our vision is to discover our identity for the 21st century. This discovery will grow out of our own story that God has blessed us with. On this journey, we hope to learn:

  • how to form a dynamic intergenerational community that nourishes faith,
  • how to empower our members for leadership and callings, and
  • how to deepen our outreach and connection in the neighborhood.

Our WorshipAll Are Welcome.

We worship together on Sunday mornings at 9:30 a.m. and enjoy a time of socializing and fellowship after the service.

Our worship is a public event, not a private club.

We believe Christ lived and died for all people, so regardless of religious background, sexual orientation, or political leanings, everyone who is on a spiritual journey is welcome. We worship each week because God has gathered us for a reclamation project. Born anew through baptism, we learn together to live in faith and servanthood. In God’s Word and the sacraments, God has promised to be with us to nurture, guide, and send us. Our worship is traditional in style and music but firmly focused on the contemporary world, sometimes with video clips!

From September to May, we offer an education hour after Sunday worship:

  • Sunday school for ages 2 through 5th grade
  • Youth group for grades 6-12
  • Adult forum for adults of all ages on a wide variety of topics

We invite you join us for worship and fellowship!

Our HistoryOver 90 years


hen Pastor Richard Gerberding founded Mt. Carmel in the early 1920s, Northeast Minneapolis was then at the far-flung fringes of Minneapolis. Pastor Gerberding held Mt. Carmel’s first service on December 6, 1925 in the glassed-in front porch of Eling Larsen. A year later on December 12, 1926, the growing congregation met for dedication services in their own new church building. The church continued to grow slowly, struggling through the Great Depression and later WWII.

The 1950s and early ’60s were an exciting time for Mt. Carmel. Membership boomed and building updates flourished, including a new sanctuary dedicated in 1954 and a new parish hall a few years later. Members stayed busy in the community.

The 1960s and ’70s were decades of social change. Women gained the right to sit on the church council and become ordained. The congregational demographics began to change as the Northeast neighborhood changed. Families moved farther out to the suburbs, leaving an increasingly older congregation. Although membership numbers declined after 1982, morale and community involvement remained high. Mt. Carmel opened the Mt. Carmel Child Care center in 1989.

The congregation continued to ride the ups and downs found in any church through the end of the 20th century. The early years of the 2000s saw renewal and the adoption of our mission statement: Learn, Live, and Share God’s Word. We continue to discern the part we play in God’s work in the world.

Want to read the full history of our 91 years? Check out this impressive account written by some of our members here.

Our Staff & Congregational Council

Our Staff

John Strommen


Pastor John is a lifelong resident of the Twin Cities, now living in Plymouth. He is married to Heidi and has two sons, Thomas and Connor. Pastor John has a background in youth and family ministry as well as renewing churches for mission and spiritual growth. He is currently enrolled in the Masters of Theology program at Luther Seminary. Pastor John is also an avid photographer and a fan of films, jazz, and classical music.

Abe Hunter

Director of Music

Abe is an active collaborative pianist, music director and instructor living in Northeast Minneapolis. He has performed throughout the United States and Canada, as well as in opera festivals in Austria and Italy respectively. In 2010, he founded the Loon Opera Company in Bemidji, Minn., with the mission of providing emerging artists the opportunity to perform leading roles as they begin their professional careers.
At home with many genres, Abe has played and conducted numerous musical theatre productions ranging from The Music Man to The Who’s Tommy. He has served as organist, choir and music director at churches in Minneapolis and Greater Minnesota. Abe is also on the roster of professional musicians who are regularly invited to perform at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport as part of the MSP Arts and Culture Program. Abe’s latest venture is The Lied Society (pronounced “leed”), a non-profit performing arts organization dedicated to presenting the preeminent voices of tomorrow, today.
At Mt. Carmel, Abe will be providing music leadership for our worship services, including directing the adult vocal and bell choirs and providing accompaniment for music. In addition, he will be expanding our music offerings with instrumental and vocal ensembles, guest musicians and other offerings.

Our 2018 Congregational Council

The Congregational Council is a group of elected congregation members responsible for leading the church in its mission. Interested in contacting members of the council? Contact the office for more information.

Lory Dubbels, Secretary

Barb Hollister

Stephenie Labandz

Dave Larson

Diane Langer, Treasurer

Paul Lathrop, President

Karen Matthes

Tim Quinlan, Vice President

Tiffany Ruser

Melissa Kohler