Church Leadership

Our Church thrives because of the energy and style of the people who are a part of our leadership. Here are a few of the people that make our church community special:


Werling oval


Pastor Gary Werling

Senior Pastor

Pastor Gary  and his wife Pam are both graduates of Hill City High School in Kansas (the Ringnecks!) where they were high school sweethearts. Pastor Gary received his Bachelor's degree in English from Ft. Hays State University in Hays, KS (1975) and his Master of Divinity degree from Concordia Theological Seminary  in Ft. Wayne, IN (1979).  In 1994 he received Specialized Pastoral Care Endorsement in the LCMS  after completing Clinical Pastoral Education training through Immanuel Medical Center in Omaha. Prior to Good Shepherd, Pastor Gary served Zion, Imperial, NE (1979-1983) and Grace, Fairbury, NE (1983-1987).  He was called to be Good Shepherd's pastor in 1987 and has enjoyed the challenges of ministry here.  Pastor Gary and Pam have 3 grown daughters Emily, Heidi, and Shelli and 7 grandchildren all of whom live close to Gretna. In his free time, Pastor Gary enjoys hunting and time at the shooting range.  He is a fan of Big Red football, St. Louis Cardinals baseball, and KU Jayhawk basketball.


Tara Hess oval

Tara Hess

Director of Children & Family Ministries

Tara came to Good Sheperd in July 2002 to serve as a DCE Intern- the final step in becoming a full time DCE.  She graduated from Concordia Univeristy, Seward, NE and has a degree in theology with a concentration in youth ministry.  Tara married Charles in 2007 and was blessed with children Micah, Chloe and Eli.  Tara serves by teaching Sunday School and Midweek, recruiting volunteers for the nursery, Midweek, Sunday School and other events, and planning events for children and families.  She loves her time with the children at GSLC!  When not serving at church she and Charles love spending time with their family and friends. They especially love camping! 


Broekemeier Bob oval

Bob Broekemeier

Director of Youth 

Bob is proud to have been born and raised as a Nebraskan in West Point. Raised on Jesus, Husker football, skateboarding, prayer, drums, guitar, German Lutheran family genealogy, and woodworking, he brings an interesting blend of interests into his passion with youth ministry. Bob graduated from Concordia, Seward, in 1988 with a B.S. in theology/education and completed his DCE certification in 1989. Bob served as DCE in Cypress, Texas, from 1988-1991 before receiving his M.S. degree in Community Counseling from the University of Portland (Oregon) in 1996. Bob was called to Director of Youth at St. John in Seward, Nebraska, from 1994-1996, before serving as Associate Director of Student Edge at King of Kings in Omaha from 1996-2006. Bob received his state licensure as a mental health therapist in 2012 while working at Inroads to Recovery rehab center where he has been serving since 2009. Bob’s wife, Christina, is also a Concordia, Seward graduate and they have 3 children, Micah, Judah, and Hannah.

Stirtz oval

Lisa Stirtz

Wee Lambs Preschool Director

Lisa Stirtz became the director/teacher of Wee Lambs Preschool in 2002. She graduated from Concordia University in 1984 with a Bachelors degree in Special Education, and also married her husband Craig that same year. Lisa taught in Winner SD and Columbus NE before moving to Omaha  where she  taught preschool at King of Kings Lutheran Preschool.  Lisa has  three children, Tyler, Jordan and Kari, and two grandchildren, Liam and Meadow.  Being a preschool teacher and director is a true blessing in Lisa's life. She finds great joy in bringing Jesus into the lives of so many little children and seeing the excitement of Jesus in them.  Lisa is also involved in Lutheran Womens Missionary League where she helps people in the mission field.


Andy Hardies oval

Andy Hardies

Director of Praise Band

Andy Hardies is the Director of "Living Praise", which is the praise band that leads worship music at our 10:45 Contemporary Service.  He has been a member at Good Shepherd since 1995, while attending Creighton University, when the rest of his family moved from Ogallala to the Gretna Area.   Andy has 4 children, Anthony, Brayden, Coby, and Delaney and is very active in baseball in the Gretna area.  Andy has been very involved in music from an early age.  He was a member of the show choir for 4 years in Ogallala, and also was section leader for drummers in his high school band.  He was a cast member of the Crystal Palace Review for 5 years, performing live singing, dancing, and comedy sketches every night from Memorial Day to Labor Day.  Andy believes that Praise Band is great way for those blessed with the gift of music to serve the Lord, and is blessed to be associated with this talented group.



Cathy Kilawee

Administrative Assistant

Cathy has been a member of GSLC since 2015, along with her their three children; Ryan & Aggie Kilawee, Bridget and Marcus Goldenstein, and Dillon Kilawee plus 4 grandchildren; Evan, Eli, Lucy, and Micah  Cathy joined the staff in 2020 and really enjoys getting to know so many members and being able to assist.  Cathy is in charge of new member information, baptism information, scheduling, room rentals, website updating, newsletter, and many other various duties. 



Kathy & Larry Heidemann   


Larry and Kathy have been members of GSLC since 1992 and joined the staff in 2002. The two of them are part-time janitors for the church in the evenings and the weekends. They joined the staff to help fill their time when their 3 boys went off to college and the house was too quiet. They enjoy their jobs here and work at regular jobs too.  Larry works at GA Larson Heating and Cooling as an Account Manager and Kathy works at Henry Schein Dental as an Equipment Coordinator. They love spending time with their 3 grown sons, their wives, and their 3 grandchildren. They also enjoy trapshooting as their hobby.


© 2022 Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Connected Sound - Websites for the Barbershop Community