zion staff

  • Pastor

    James Gronbeck

    I was born and raised in Henning, MN just twenty miles from Zion. I graduated from Henning High School , Fergus Falls Community College with an Associate of Arts degree, Moorhead State University with a Bachelors of Arts in Speech Communications/Mass Communications, and from Luther Seminary in St. Paul with a Master of Divinity Degree.

    I have been married to Julie (Baumgartner) Gronbeck and we have three children: Matt (Meghan) Gronbeck, Andrea (Dan) Krenz, and Kristen (Kyle) Akervik. We are the proud grandparents of three: Addyson and Mason Gronbeck, and Savannah Krenz.

    Growing up I spent many summers with my cousins on Otter Tail Lake so living in this beautiful part of Otter Tail County is familiar yet still a blessing I treasure. I enjoy every minute I can spend with my grandchildren and children. Previous to Zion I served churches in Cromwell and Wright, MN.




    Lynn grew up on the shores of Rush Lake during the weekends and summer as her family ran Mielke’s Cabins. She attended Mounds View Senior High, got her BA in Finance and German from the College of St. Thomas and MBA in strategic management from the University of MN. Lynn worked with Anderson Consulting, ran her own toy store and worked as a new business consultant for New Opportunities before moving to Ottertail with her two children, Ryan and Katie.

    Lynn joined Zion in 2008. She was council secretary at Zion for 2 years; council president for 3 years and has been active in stewardship at Zion. After working part time as a secretary at Zion, Lynn accepted a full time position as office manager at Zion in September of 2014. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading, her pets, quilting and walking in God’s Acres.

    One of her favorite Bible verses: Psalm 118:24. “This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”




    Sonja grew up in Moorhead. Her passions are music composition, performance, nature, flowers, and reading. She received a B.S. in Vocal Music Education at MSUM and worked with young children as a Paraprofessional in Moorhead. Sonja lives near her mother, Dolly and her Pekingese Nellie in Fergus Falls. Sonja’s son, Tom Holmgren, is a computer programmer in Moorhead. 

    Sonja's email: soholmgren@earthlink.net





    Troy Olson is our area Youth Director, who orchestrates the activities of the OTC-LYO, additionally the other half of his position has him working at Luther Crest Bible Camp in Alexandria, where he works with Development, Programming and Retreat Hosting. Troy is originally from Des Moines Iowa, followed by Cedar Falls, Iowa where he graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in Finance with an emphasis in Management. Following college, he worked for a fourth summer at Riverside Lutheran Bible Camp in Story City, Iowa, and then headed to Walt Disney World for a 5 month internship, working in the Magic Kingdom. Following a brief stint with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Troy felt a call back to youth and camping ministry, which led him here to Minnesota. Troy is married to Laura Olson, and they live in Alexandria, where she is a Paraprofessional in the school district, and worship leader at First Lutheran church in Alexandria. 

    Troy's email: troyo@luthercrest.org



    Born in Breckenridge, MN and graduated from its high school and Moorhead State University with a degree in Spanish. She taught for 34 years in Montevideo and took students to Spain every other year. Cindy also coached basketball and volleyball along with being involved in speech and theater.She was active in Fiesta Days as co chair of the parades and assisting with the royalty each year. Cindy now lives on Otter Tail Lake.  




    My wife and I recently became full time Minnesota residents. We moved to the Battle Lake area after over 30 years in Bismarck, ND. My wife, Denise

    is still employed by American Bank Center in Bismarck and works full time from our home. We have three grown children and four grandchildren. I have retired from the teaching profession.

    I was born in Moorhead, Minnesota where I was baptized and confirmed at Our Savior's Lutheran Church. I attended NDSU where I was active at the

    Lutheran Center. It was there that I met my wife. I very strongly considered attending seminary but after prayerful consideration decided that

    was not God's plan for me. While in college I worked as the youth director for Golden Ridge Lutheran Church and later spent a year working for Lutheran

    Campus Ministry in Bismarck, ND. After a move to Brocket, ND my wife and I served as youth directors for United Lutheran Church in Brocket. After three years we moved to Bismarck,ND where we joined and were active in Lutheran Church of the Cross. While there I served on the youth, education, and worship committees. I also delivered children's sermons and taught both Sunday school and confirmation. With Pastor Keith Odney I prepared and led a yearly Seder feast for 5th grade students as part of their first communion experience. I was a member of the Western North Dakota ELCA Synod GIFTS Program. In my life I have held a number of positions. I've worked as a manager, a salesman, a mover, an artistic director, an executive director, a coach, and a teacher. I've worked for myself and for others. I've had complete control over my schedule and no control over my time. Whatever my career, I have always focused on my faith journey. I currently am on the NW Minnesota ELCA Synod supply preaching list and find preaching extremely fulfilling. I look forward to this new adventure in Faith. I ask that you share your vision of Christian education with me. I ask also that you keep me in your prayers. If God is for us, who can be against us?

    El. J. Arntson