Meet the staff

Our staff team at St. Mark's is gifted in many  ways. Each person brings their own God-given talent to the ministries of St. Mark's. This church believes in the power of prayer and that God has called each person here for a reason , to Glorify God, in all we do!


St. Mark's Ministry Team

  • Bonnie Koeppen - Senior Pastor

    Pastor Bonnie is an Ordained Elder in the Iowa Conference of the United Methodist church. She began serving at St. Mark’s as the Senior Pastor in 2014. She has been in ministry for over 20 years and is passionate about sharing Jesus with others through prayer, worship, preaching, teaching, mission work and giving. She is one of 11 children from a blended family and grew up in a small town in Iowa. She has been married to her husband Steve for over 45 years and has 3 grown children all married and 6 grandchildren. She loves spending time with her husband, children, and grand-children and extended family as well as walking, reading, hiking, and biking, 

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  • Nick Ehlts - Worship Team Leader

    Nick started going to youth group at a church his freshman year of high school and found himself wondering if this God he was learning about could be real. After praying about it at youth group, asking if God would reveal Himself in a way that he could understand, Nick found himself learning about Jesus at school in his history textbook the very next day. He took this as an answered prayer and devoted the rest of his life to trying to get to know God better with each and every day.

    After giving his life to Christ, Nick decided to pick up a guitar and attempt to learn how to play, something he had tried before and failed miserably. However God had different plans as it came super easy to him this time and was playing on the worship team at church within a month. During his senior year of high school, Nick decided to go to Bible college to get a degree in worship ministry. He has been leading worship since his days in college where he graduated in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree from Central Christian College of the Bible.

    Nick and his wife, Nikita, met in high school at church camp and started dating in college. They got married in 2010 and have 2 girls, Josalyn and Kora. Nick enjoys music, sports, and video games. If you want him to get really excited, just mention anything about golf and he is hooked.

  • Jennifer Petersen - Youth Leader

    Jennifer is a native of Cedar Rapids, she attended Squaw Creek Elementary, McKinley Middle School, and graduated from Washington Senior High School. She then attended and graduated from William Woods College in Fulton Missouri, majoring in Legal Studies and Computer Information Systems. She is married and has three children. Jennifer has taught many years of Sunday school classes, many summers of VBS, and co-led Confirmation classes. She graduated from the UMC School of Lay Ministry and enjoys preaching and teaching. Questions about our Youth Programming? Check with Jennifer!

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  • Helen Armstong - Director of African Ministries

    Helen is a retired teacher who has found a new love of working with African immigrants and refugees. She does lots of government paperwork to help get citizenship and green cards for refugees. She founded African Women Empowered, a non-profit business employing African  refugees several years ago. Helen loves being a mom, grandma, and great grandma; and she spends as much time as possible with her family. She also has a passion for travel and has been to  all 7 continents and many countries. She is looking forward to adding more countries to that list! Looking to help out with African Ministries? Chat with Helen!

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  • Zach Brecht - Choir Director

    .Zachary Brecht is a conductor and music educator from Norway, Iowa. He is currently pursuing his bachelor's degree in music education and vocal performance at the University of Iowa and is excited to make music with everyone at St. Mark's!

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  • Klyde Ledamo - Pianist

    Concert-pianist Klyde Ledamo has appeared throughout Southeast Asia, Europe, and North America as a recitalist and orchestral soloist. His many top prizes from competitions include the Lynn Concerto Competition (1 st Prize), Tampa Bay Symphony Concerto Competition (1 st Prize), Music Teachers National Association-FL State Competition (1 st Prize), 1st Henrietta S. Tayengco-Limjoco Piano Competition (Best Performance of Contest piece and “Rene T. Limjoco” Special Prize), Philippines’ National Music Competitions for Young Artists (Top-Prize), and the National Society of Arts and Letters (Florida Chapter-1 st Prize, Missouri-Chapter-1 st Prize, and a prizewinner at the National Finals). Klyde graduated with honors from the Philippine High School for the arts receiving the Outstanding Student-Artist Award and the Makiling Academe and Research Institute for the Arts scholarship. He then earned his Bachelor of Music degree cum laude from the University of the Philippines and completed his Master of Music degree from Lynn Conservatory-Florida in 2019, winning the “The Dean’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Education”. In 2017, he attended the academy of the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. Currently, Klyde holds a teaching assistant position and is pursuing a Doctoral of Music degree at the University of Iowa under the mentorship of Uriel Tsachor. An avid chamber musician, Klyde has concertized in Austria, Italy, Germany, and around the US collaborating with numerous notable artists, orchestras, choral groups, dance and theater companies, and chamber ensembles. He served as pianist of the world-renowned U.P. Concert Chorus (winner of the Grand Prix at the 6th Int’l Krakow Choir Festival in Poland) from 2015-2018 and the Ballet Philippines from 2018-2019. Klyde has presented masterclasses and lectures in his home country and the US and has been invited to perform and serve as a staff at summer festivals including the Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival 2021 and 2022 at the University of South Florida. His former teachers include Carolyn Cheng and Roberta Rust. Some notable pedagogues he’s had masterclasses with are Boris Berman, Jerome Lowenthal, Arthur Greene, and Lilya Zilberstein, among others.

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