Pastor Dave Asendorf is a 2007 graduate of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg. After serving his internship at Salem in 2005-2006, he began his ministry here on January 1, 2007. Prior to entering seminary, Dave worked 25 years for the Federal government. He and his wife Nancy have two children.
Pastor Asendorf has experienced the Salem congregation as a welcoming community grounded in the gospel of Jesus Christ. The people of Salem are generous and seek to share their abundant gifts with those in need. The Salem congregation is healthy and growing and open to newcomers.
Pastor Dave serves as the Vice-President of the Catonsville Emergency Assistance, serves on the DE-MD Synod’s Campaign Action Team and is Chairman of the Synod’s Candidacy Committee. Candidacy in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is the churchwide process of preparation and formation leading to approval for the public ministries of our church: commissioned associate in ministry, consecrated deaconess or diaconal minister, or ordained pastor. He just finished a three co-chairing the Synod’s Malaria Campaign which helped raise over $330,00 to eradicate malaria.
Pastor Emeritus Ed Whetstone served as Salem’s pastor from 1977 to 2010. In recognition of his service to Salem, the Church Council voted to name him Pastor Emeritus upon his retirement in June 2010. After early years in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Hagerstown, Maryland, he attended Gettysburg College and the Lutheran seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, and was ordained in 1971. He and his wife Vicky are parents of two grown children and proud grandparents of two grandsons in St. Paul. Since youth his most cherished bible passage is Micah 6:8, “What does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, and love kindness and walk humbly with your God?”
Vicar Jay Eckman is a current student at the United Lutheran Seminary at Gettysburg completing his final requirement for ordination in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). He began his ministry at Salem on June 18th, 2017 and will be serving the Catonsville community while he is completing his seminary education. Vicar Jay has certification in youth and family ministry from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Millersville University. In his free time, the Vicar enjoys being with his friends and family, going to the gym, reading books, and exploring Maryland.
“As a team member, I experience deep love for those who are serving and receiving benefit from the mission of Salem. God’s love, the richest example of love, creates, sustains, and unconditionally remains in this place.”
Mary Miller has been Salem’s Director of Music and Organist since 2001. Previously, she held the same positions at Mt. Hebron Presbyterian Church in Ellicott City. She comes from a musical family where the piano and organ were played constantly. Following in her mother’s and brother’s footsteps, she started piano lessons as a child. In 1989 she began studying piano at the Peabody Preparatory under the direction of Miss Beth Jovich and then at the Conservatory under the direction of Mr. James Warthen. Her organ studies have been under the direction of Michael Britt. She has earned a Certification in Church Music from Colby College in Maine. Mary plays for all Salem’s worship services, as well as directing our music program and three of our five choirs at Salem.
Liz Rickel (Ms. Liz), our Children’s Ministries Director, joined the Salem staff in August of 2015. She graduated from Concordia, St. Paul, Minnesota. Prior to her work here at Salem, she was a Kindergarten teacher and a Director of Christian Education. She and her husband Pr. Gerry Rickel have lived in the Baltimore area for 24 years. They have one son. Liz has felt welcomed by all the members of Salem. “Everyone has been helpful and supportive.” Her passion is spreading the bountiful love of Jesus with all she meets, especially children.
Anita Lane is our Director of Youth Ministry. Anita has been a member of Salem for 15 years and has been an integral part of the Youth Group and Summer Drama Camps for several years. She has also served as a substitute Confirmation Class teacher. Her enthusiasm for working with the Youth of Salem is evident in the in the fun and exciting events that she plans.
Anita has two children, Ashley and Greg, who are now both graduated from high school. They were both very involved in the Youth Group and attended several National Synod Gatherings together among many other events. Anita has taught for the last 25 years and has worked as a Music Teacher at Central Special School in Anne Arundel County for the last seven years. Anita is a member of Salem’s Adult Choir and has performed in many of Salem’s Supper Club events. She is also a member of Salem Players.
Robin Schaefer became Salem’s Office Manager in April 2016. She has been married to her husband Rusty almost 38 years; they have two sons and three grandchildren. Robin studied music at Towson University and has been the organist at Our Saviour Lutheran Church, Lansdowne for 20 years. Robin retired early from Kmart after almost 30 years of service, the last nine years as Office Manager. Her first “retirement job” was the Assistant to the Administrator and then Administrative Assistant at Peace Lutheran Church, Glen Burnie. Robin currently serves the Synod as the convener of the Synod Worship Action Team, which plans and executes Synod-Wide Worship services such as those at the Synod Assembly. She is a member of the Synod’s Mission through Leadership Team. Robin is also a Deacon in the Order of St Stephen serving as their treasurer.
Alex Tragert is Salem’s Saturday Evening Worship musician. Originally from Frederick, Alex is a graduate of UMBC in music composition. Eventually, he hopes to complete a master’s degree in music education as well. Alex currently lives in Pikesville, teaches piano, and has been an auxiliary musician at Living Grace Lutheran in Urbana for the last three years. He plays eight different instruments, although piano is his primary instrument.