Jerry Zimpelmann and his wife, Lynn, reside in Eagle River, WI, where Jerry owned and operated a construction company. The company was sold in 2002 and that afforded Jerry, at age 52, the opportunity to get involved in work and projects to help further the Kingdom and build bridges to the Gospel. Since then he has been involved with the directing relief and rebuilding efforts in New Orleans after Katrina, building a school and church on the island of Grenada and recently was sent in to begin organizing the relief effort in Puerto Rico. Jerry also serves on the Governing Board of Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary.
In 2007, Jerry and Lynn purchased a piece of beachfront property in the newly discovered Costa Maya area of Mexico. In the course of things that the LORD miraculously directed, Costa Maya Ministries came to pass (you can read more about that on the history tab of this website).
Jerry is a nearly lifelong member of Christ Lutheran in Eagle River where he has served in many capacities over the years. He and Lynn have been blessed with 5 children and 13 grandchildren, all of whom are children of Jesus, all of whom are children of their Lord.
Dan has served on Cinco Amigos/Friends of Latin America Committee for the past four years. He addresses needs brought forth by our WELS Mexican missionary team and the IELC, while supporting volunteer management and strategic planning aspects of Costa Maya Ministries.
With his many years of experience in the business world (high-tech, commercial) and Kingdom Workers, Dan is a valuable member of the CMM Board. He lives in Eagle River, WI, and is a member of Christ Lutheran Church.
Ray and his wife Sheryl live in Grayslake, Illinois. They both have been members at St. John Lutheran Church for more than 30 years. They have three children who obtained their elementary education at St. John, and their high school education at Shoreland Lutheran High School in Somers, Wisconsin. Ray is a strong supporter of Christian Education and has served on St. John’s School Board in various capacities for more than 20 years. Ray also serves on the Lutherans for Life Board as the Treasurer.
Ray was recruited to the CMM Board by Fred Starck (a long-time family friend) to work with Fred in handling the financial responsibilities of the board.
Ray says, “I’m thrilled to be involved in any capacity in Mahahual. It is so important that we reach out to the most remote areas of the Earth to share the truth and hope of the Gospel. The people of Mahahual are warm and friendly and open to hearing the message. I love what we are doing here and I have been so impressed with everyone involved with the mission.”
Ray and Sheryl enjoy traveling, scuba diving, hiking, biking, and basically anything outdoors.
Fred was born in 1945 and has been married to his wife for 49 years. He has been a member of the Wisconsin Lutheran Synod since he met his wife and together they raised a Christian family. They now have 11 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.
Fred has been serving on the Costa Maya Ministries Board of Directors since 2014. His past experiences as a congregational president, school board chairman, and president of Lutherans for Life (Palatine, IL chapter), as well as his Navy career maintaining and servicing submarines, have prepared him well for his role in the ministry.
In his spare time you can find Fred outdoors, enjoying camping, fishing and hunting, or following his favorite sports teams – Go Cubbies and Bears!
Fred and his wife attend Heritage Lutheran Church in Illinois.
Pastor Kleist joined our staff of volunteers in 2019 after serving our synod (WELS) as a Christian Giving Counselor specializing in Christian Estate Planning. He is experienced in helping Christians with tax-wise giving and the use of charitable giving tools such as Qualified Charitable Distributions from IRAs, charitable annuities, beneficiary designations and more. He welcomes your gift-planning questions!
Dennis began his ministry in missions as a home missionary in SW Florida, and later served on the WELS Board for Home Missions. He then served Jerusalem Lutheran in the ethnically diverse Chicago suburb of Morton Grove for 20 years until accepting a call to the WELS Ministry of Christian Giving and relocating to Appleton, WI, to serve the Northern Wisconsin District as a counselor.
Pastor Kleist and his wife Kerri have 7 adult children and 10 grandsons. They attend Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Appleton. He says, “I’m privileged to serve with Costa Maya Ministries to help bring the saving Gospel to a remote area of Mexico. What personal joy and satisfaction God gives when we see how God can use us, our prayers, gifts and mutual encouragement to spread his Word and be used by Jesus to bring souls to heaven!”
Juan is a Mexican native, and his deep knowledge of the culture has been valuable to the mission when dealing with local authorities and private entities, purchasing properties, vehicles, and anything needed for the construction of the new temple and the development of the mission.
He was born in December of 1956 in Mexico City and currently resides in Portland, Oregon, where he serves as Chairman of Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church & School. He began his walk with the Lord at Abiding Word Lutheran Church in Houston, Texas, serving as an elder and congregation chairman. He has had the privilege to serve and be involved in spreading the Gospel through Cristo Palabra de Vida, Academia Cristo, WELS Board for World Mission, and Kingdom Workers. Amazingly, he was invited to be part of the Spanish lyric-writing team for the Hispanic hymnal.
Juan is married to Susan, and they have two sons (Victor & Alex) and a daughter, Sara.