St. Mark's Ministry Team

  • Senior Pastor

    Bonnie Koeppen

    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 15 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 42 years and has 3 grown children all married and 5 grandchildren. She loves spending time with her husband, children, and grand-children and extended family as well as walking, reading, hiking, biking, and camping.

  • Director of Children's Ministries

    Oye Lawson

    Mandy’s first love is being a Mom, with ministry a close second.  Mandy has been on staff at St. Mark’s for 11 years ministering to children, youth, and adults.  You will also see her leading worship on Sunday mornings, or speaking at women’s events throughout the Midwest.  Mandy loves Gilmore Girls and has watched the series at least 4 times.  She is excited to see where God leads her next as she becomes a licensed local Pastor.

  • Director of Music and Assistant Youth Leader Aaron Warner

    Aaron holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Iowa Wesleyan University and has been serving at St. Mark’s since May of 2015. In his free time, he enjoys watching movies, listening to podcasts, writing/ recording music, and taking advantage of any chance to spend time with his wife Holland and dog Ella.

  • Administrative and Social Media Assistant

     Nicole Karns

    Angelica is a recent UNI graduate with a degree in Children's Theatre. She grew up in the church as her father was a pastor and his parents before him. She enjoys reading and learning random history facts. In addition to her amazing people skills and being a happy helper, she loves to sew and works as a seamstress on the side. Her biggest goal is to travel the world.

  •            Director of African Ministries  

        Helen Armstrong

    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 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!


  • yeeyee


    Michele Gibson

    Michele grew up in eastern Iowa and has been a church pianist/organist her whole adult life. Although her work career was in accounting, playing piano has been a huge part of her life and opened so many opportunities over the years. She has lived in IL, AL, TX and WI, and always was lucky enough to find a church to share her music. Now in retirement, she enjoys reading, jigsaw puzzles and needlework. Every day she thanks God for her mom's encouragement to keep taking those piano lessons!  

  • Pianist

    Jason Behrens has been a church musician in the Cedar Rapids area for twenty years. Prior to his position at St. Mark’s, he started as the Paraminister of Music at First Baptist Church-Church of the Brethren (now The Church on Northland) where he directed the Worship Choir, arranged special music, and served as the Pianist for the Traditional services. Since then he has been a member and Reserve Director for the Chancel Choir at First Presbyterian Church; served as the Pianist and interim Choir Director at Knox Presbyterian Church; and was the Pianist and Choir Accompanist for the Traditional service at Echo Hill Presbyterian Church. He is currently in his 18th year as a choral music educator and his 3rd year at Waterloo East High School. There he directs the Concert Choir and teaches the Piano Lab. Prior to East High School, he was the Director of Vocal Activities at Center Point-Urbana

    High School (2003 - 2017). There he directed two concert choirs, two show choirs, two vocal jazz groups, and many other activities pertaining to vocal music.

    Jason holds an Associate of Arts degree in Music from Kirkwood Community College

    and a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Music Education from Coe College. He also

    arranges a variety of choral music through his label, JLB Arrangements. In addition, he is

    also an adjudicator for the Iowa High School Music Association and has judged at various

    show choir invitationals for almost a decade and a half.