Meet the Staff
Rev. John Larson
Pastor John Larson has been Pastor of Ascension since the fall of 2005. Prior to his work at Ascension he served as Associate Pastor at Peace Lutheran Church in Arvada from 1992 until 2005. He served as Pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Amherst, Colorado and Venango, Nebraska from the time of his ordination in 1983 until going to Peace in Arvada.
Pastor married his dear wife Marilyn in 1979 and they have been blessed with their three children; Dan, Dave and Eden. Pastor and Marilyn have found that having their children led them to an even greater joy – becoming grandparents!! Their three children have blessed them with nine grandchildren!!
Pastor enjoys participating in or watching a variety of sports. He feels blessed to be a part of the great work that God has been doing at Ascension Lutheran Church!!
Director of Program Ministries
Mike Zehnder came to Ascension in May 2017, having previously served as a Minister of Music at congregations in Illinois, California and Arizona. He is also an ordained LCMS pastor, having served churches in California, Colorado and Arizona. For a number of years he was the Vice-President of Fellowship Ministries (Tempe, AZ) in charge of worship resources and national conferences and he was also National Worship Consultant at the Center for US Missions, located at Concordia University, Irvine, Colorado.
He is the proud father of five children, two girls and three boys and one also has her Master’s Degree in Music and was named a top oboist in the state of Arizona.
Mike enjoys working with people and the various musical groups at Ascension: choirs, praise teams, handbells, children’s music, instrumentalists. One of the things he especially enjoys at Ascension is the variety and challenge of providing both traditional and contemporary music each week.
One thing he misses: he has been on 17 foreign mission trips teaching, preaching and providing music. He says it keeps him grounded in realizing the tremendous blessings we have in America while also providing him unique opportunities to plant seeds of the Gospel across the globe.
Kathy Johnson has been Education Director at Ascension Lutheran Church since 2004, when her previous position as Sunday school superintendent led her to discover a passion for working with the children and youth at Ascension. In addition, she and Stephen Pruitt share responsibility for the Youth programs within the church.
Kathy’s family is a tremendous help and support in her work at Ascension. Her husband, Bob, and three kids are all active members of Ascension. Outside of work, Kathy enjoys spending time with family and traveling. It’s her honor to serve Ascension by working with the wonderful and talented kids, youth, and adults within the congregation.
Kathie Harvey provides administrative support to the staff and congregation of Ascension. She loves working at Ascension and being a wife, mother of three girls; Kristina, Megan, and Michelle, and grandmother of six - four girls and two boys, with another on the way!! She has worked at Ascension since March of 2005. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, and creating pen and ink drawings of wildlife.
Kathie is a member of Concordia Lutheran Church in Lakewood.
Extended Day Preschool Director
Chandra Cornell is the mother of 2 boys and has been married since 2000. She also has the joy of watching her 2 nephews on week days. She began working in the child care setting in 1996 with school age children. She truly enjoyed teaching in the 3-4 age classrooms, but her true passion was to be in the office. She enjoys being able to interact with both the parents as well as the children. She has been a member at Ascension Lutheran Church her whole life.
Chandra graduated from Front Range Community College with an Associates of Applied Science in 2000.
She enjoys playing softball and camping during the warmer weather. When it starts getting cooler outside she knows it's time to watch some football.
Jim began work at Ascension in February of 2012. Jim has 30 years experience in the plumbing wholesale business and has a computer programming degree.
He and his wife, Laurie, were married in 1983 and are from Iowa moving to Colorado in 1985. Jim has a son, Brad, who lives with his wife and son in Iowa City.
Jim’s hobbies include gardening, woodworking, camping and fishing.
Coordinator, Young Adult Ministries
Jenna Lawrenz is a new member of Ascension Lutheran Church and has accepted the part-time position of working with the college students and young adult members of the church starting in March, 2015! She is excited for this opportunity and all that God has in store for us!
Jenna grew up in the Denver area, attending Peace Lutheran Church throughout her childhood. Her father has served Peace as a DCE and now a pastor for about 25 years. Her mother has also worked for Peace for many years. Jenna attended Bethlehem Lutheran School and Denver Lutheran High School and attended Concordia University in Seward, NE to become a teacher. Jenna studied elementary education and had an English concentration.
Jenna's first call was to Trinity Lutheran Church and School in Pueblo, CO where she taught fourth grade for four years and was very active in the Church, as well.
While in Pueblo, Jenna was blessed to meet Michael and they have been married for almost 3 years. They recently moved back to the Denver area for Michael’s job and Jenna is thrilled to be a part of Ascension and the ministries offered here!