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 About Us

The Grand Canyon Synod is one of 65 synods in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The ELCA is a church of more than 4 million members who actively participate in God’s work in the world. We believe that we are freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor.

There are approximately 89 congregations in the Grand Canyon Synod, including new mission starts. The territory of this synod is the State of Arizona; the counties of Clark, Esmeralda, Lincoln, and Nye in the State of Nevada; and New Promise Lutheran Church, in St. George, Utah.

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Communities together in Christ serving the world.


Communicate the love of Christ.

Connect diverse people.

Create new ways of outreach.

Core values

Grounded in grace of Christ, we encourage, empower, and equip our communities to:

  • proclaim Jesus from a Lutheran perspective;

  • nurture passionate inclusivity;

  • live out radical hospitality;

  • work for justice and mercy, and 

  • cultivate faith-filled relationships with all ages.



Rostered Leaders - Synodical Calls

View the file of GCS Rostered Leaders serving in an institution or agency under a Synodical Call (February 2018).

Grand Canyon Synod Council Members, 2018/2019

The Grand Canyon Synod Council currently has 20 members, with two student representatives and one young adult representative, representing all conferences of the Synod. You can view this info as a Word document as well.

  • Rev. Deborah K. Hutterer, Bishop, Executive Committee, Fiesta Conference

  • Mr. Paul Gryniewicz, Vice-President, Executive Committee, Fiesta Conference

  • Mr. Gerald Zaddack, Treasurer, Executive Committee, Capital Conference

  • Rev. David Brandfass, Secretary, Executive Committee, High Country Conference

  • Ms. Barbara Carl, Conference Rep, Executive Committee, Fiesta Conference

  • Rev. Mateo Chavez, Conference Rep (1) 2019 Santa Cruz Conference

  • Ms. Nancy Davis, Conference Rep (2) 2021 High Country Conference

  • Mr. Wes Hewitt, Conference Rep, Sunrise Conference

  • Ms. Laura Musfeldt, Conference Rep, Northeast Valley Conference

  • Ms. Lisa Parrish, Conference Rep, Rio Salado Conference

  • Mr. Erik Rehms, Conference Rep, Capital Conference

  • Mr. Bill Thompson, Conference Rep, Cactus Conference

  • Rev. Jennifer Zahnow, Conference Rep, Colorado River Conference

  • Ms. Sue Jensen, At-Large Rep, Sunrise Conference

  • Rev. Jeff Kallevig, At-Large Rep, Executive Committee, Santa Cruz Conference

  • Ms. Marissa Metevelis, At-Large Rep, Colorado River Conference

  • Rev. Tina Mills, At-Large Rep, Rio Salado Conference

  • Mr. Mark Myers, At-Large Rep, Colorado River Conference

  • Ms. Janet Santiago, At-Large Rep, High Country Conference

  • Ms. Keri Ann Triunfo, Young Adult Rep, Colorado River Conference

Grand Canyon Synod 



Grand Canyon Synod Formed in 1987 

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) was constituted on April 30, 1987. The ELCA brought together the 2.85 million-member Lutheran Church in America (created by the 1962 merger of four church bodies), the 2.25 million-member American Lutheran Church (created by the 1960 merger of four churches), and the 100,000-member Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches (established in 1976 by about 100 congregations withdrawing from The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod).

In June 1987, the Grand Canyon Synod became one of ELCA’s 65 synods. The synod was established in Arizona, southern Nevada, and later included St. George in Utah. The synod’s territory had been part of the ALC’s South Pacific District, the LCA’s Pacific Southwest Synod, and the AELC’s Pacific Regional Synod.

Officers of the synod since 1987 include:



  • The Rev. Howard E. Wennes (June 20, 1987 – August 31, 2001)

  • The Rev. Michael Neils (September 1, 2001 – January 24, 2006)

  • The Rev. Alton Zenker (February 6, 2006 – July 31, 2006)

  • The Rev. Stephen S. Talmage (August 1, 2006 – July 31, 2017)

  • The Rev. Dr. Lowell G. Almen (August 1, 2017 – August 31, 2018)

  • The Rev. Deborah K. Hutterer (September 1, 2018 – present)

Vice Presidents

  • Don C. Stevens (1987-1994)

  • Twila Burdick (1994-2002)

  • Curt Hahn (2002– 2009)

  • Paula Sturgeon (2010-2012)

  • Mary Beth Baron (2012-2017)

  • Paul Gryniewicz (2017-present)


  • Willis Erickson (1987-1990)

  • Janet Line (1990-1996)

  • Karen Novachek (1996-1998)

  • Donna Eyring (1998-2002)

  • Drew Peterson (2002-2009)

  • Karl Johnson (2010-2013)

  • Rev. David Brandfass (2014-present)


  • Jim Cadwallader (1987-1995)

  • Edward Davis (1995-2003)

  • Sue Vogel (2003-2011)

  • Keith Hopkey (2011-2015)

  • Jerry Zaddack (2015-present)