REV. MICHAEL GIRLINGHOUSE
Rev. Mike Girlinghouse has served as Bishop of the Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod since July of 2011. Prior to being called to serve as Bishop, he was Pastor of University Lutheran Church in Norman, OK and Campus Pastor for the University of Oklahoma. Ordained in 1987, Bishop Mike has served as a parish pastor, campus pastor and in congregations in transition or in need of a substitute pastor. Bishop Mike has also served as an instructor at two universities teaching courses in Death and Dying and World Religion.
Bishop Mike was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, attended college at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN and seminary at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.
He is married and has one adult daughter. He loves to cook, is a writer, and plays trombone and the djembe drum.
REV ELIZABETH ALBERTSON
DEM / ASSISTANT TO THE BISHOP FOR YOUTH & FAMILY
Pastor Liz joined the AR-OK Synod Staff October 2015. Her role is to help congregation and ministries thrive. Pr Liz grew up in Oelwein, Iowa, and was a graduate of Wartburg College and Wartburg Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa. From 2000 to 2002, she was a member of Lutheran Volunteer Corps in Milwaukee, serving at Hope House homeless shelter. Pr Liz served 9 years as pastor of North Beaver Creek Lutheran, rural Ettrick, WI. Pr Liz also served as Dean of her conference in Wisconsin.
REV CARL HOFFMAN
CALL PROCESS ADMINISTRATOR
Pastor Carl Hoffman joined the synod staff to help expedite the call process. He works with Bishop Mike to identify and contact candidates for congregations seeking new rostered ministers. Pastor Carl and wife Connie enjoy exploring the roads in their RV and restoring a 1968 convertible VW Beetle.
REGIONAL GIFT PLANNER
Stephen E. Phelps, MA, CFRE is the Regional Gift Planner for the Lutheran Planned Giving Partnership of the Central States and Arkansas-Oklahoma Synods. Stephen is a staff member of the ELCA Foundation and works to represent the Foundation and its partner organizations. Stephen is responsible for identifying, cultivating, soliciting and securing new, ongoing and planned/estate gifts from individuals in support of synods, congregations, churchwide ministries and ELCA related organizations and institutions. He is available to work with individuals, congregations and ELCA organizations to assist them with stewardship, endowments and planned giving needs. Stephen brings over 30 years of experience in the fund development field. He and his husband David live in St. Louis.
Ida has worked in the synod office since 1996. She has worked for 3 bishops as office manager: Bp. Floyd Schoenhals, Interim Bp. Charlie Maahs, and Bp. Mike Girlinghouose. She grew up in Slidell, Louisiana and has lived in Lafayette, LA., Katy, TX., Denver, CO., and finally in Tulsa, OK. She has worked previously at First United Methodist Church in Slidell, LA.; Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge., LA.; University of New Orleans, LA; Houston Community College, Katy, TX., and Bethany Lutheran Church in Denver, CO before moving to Tulsa. She is the mother of 3 sons all married; all graduated from college; and the grandmother of 7 (3 boys and 4 girls). She enjoys gardening, cooking, and babysitting grandkids.
Krista joined the Synod Staff in July 2019 to help share the mission of the Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod by providing creative leadership, imagination and oversight for the external and internal communications.
Throughout her youth as a member of Trinity Ev. Lutheran Church
(The Fish Church) on Long Island, Krista attended many Lutheran Retreats at Koinonia and was camper for many years at Pinecrest Lutheran Leadership Ministries. She continues to be involved and share her talents by creating and managing all of Pinecrest’s marketing materials and web design.
Krista lives in New York City and works full-time as the Head of Design for an indoor navigation (google maps for indoors) software company for hospitals and healthcare networks.