Pastors and Vicar

  • Steve P. Carlson
    Senior Pastor

    Pastor Steve Carlson has pastored Ruthfred Lutheran Church since 2009, first as Assistant Pastor and then beginning as Senior Pastor in 2013.  He began full time ministry in 1992 as a campus minister with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship on college and university campuses in WI and MN for eight years.  He also pastored three congregations in Minnesota for nine years prior to being called to pastor at Ruthfred Lutheran. 


    Pastor Carlson received a Graduate in Theology degree from the Association Free Lutheran Theological Seminary (Minneapolis, MN), a Bachelor of Science in Social Studies Education from the University of Wisconsin – Superior, as well as a diploma of Biblical Studies from the Association Free Lutheran Bible School.  He is currently in a doctoral program through Trinity School of Ministry (Ambridge, PA). 


    Pastor Carlson has a deep love for the Church, and a passion for preaching, teaching, and sharing the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 


    He has been married to Jennifer for 26 years and they have three children, Ben, Sadie, and Sam.  They have homeschooled their children.  As a special needs family, they have experienced God’s grace and strength in the midst of many ongoing challenges.  Together they enjoy the incredible history of Pennsylvania, the beauty of nature, Pittsburgh sports, reading, trips to the beach, and relationships with many dear friends in church and in the community.

  • Bryce C. McMinn
    Associate Pastor

    Ruthfred called Pastor Bryce McMinn as Associate Pastor in 2020. He and his wife, Erin, have been married for 16 years, and have 5 children: Noah (13), Elliot (11), Caleb (9), Lillian (7), and Joshua (5). Bryce grew up in Lancaster, PA, and Erin in Bethel Park.

    Bryce and Erin met at the University of Pittsburgh, both graduating in 2001 with bachelors degrees in business administration. Bryce received a masters degree in organizational leadership from Geneva College in 2008, and a masters in divinity from the Free Lutheran Seminary in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2020.

    Bryce and Erin joined Ruthfred in 2003 and were active in ministry. In 2012 they moved to Harrisburg, PA, where Bryce served as Executive Director of Morning Star, a pregnancy resource center. The McMinns discerned God’s call for Bryce to attend seminary, and moved to the AFLC’s seminary campus in 2016. Upon completing his seminary studies and one-year internship at Rose and Spruce Free Lutheran congregations in Roseau, Minnesota, Ruthfred called Bryce and his family back home. Bryce has a passion for men’s and family ministry, and for preaching, teaching, and sharing God’s Word.

    The McMinns are divided in loyalty to Pitt and Penn State, and to the Phillies and Pirates. They are, however, undivided in their loyalty to the Steelers and Penguins. They enjoy bike rides, going to South Park, and Sheetz and GetGo slushies.


Support Staff

  • Paula Mikulan
    Office Manager

    Paula began as Ruthfred’s Office Manager in 2002 serving many roles, including receptionist, bulletin coordinator, designer and printer, as well as many other administrative and managerial roles.  She and her husband Paul became members of Ruthfred Lutheran Church in 1990. She was born and raised in Pittsburgh. She has 2 grown daughters, and 2 adorable grandchildren. She travels frequently visiting their daughters and family.

  • Ron Thorhauer

    Ron has served as Ruthfred’s business manager since 2013.  Born and raised in Bethel Park, he has been part of the Ruthfred Lutheran circles for most of his life, officially joining in 1989.  He and his wife have 3 children, 4 grandchildren and one great grandchild.  In his free time, he enjoys woodworking. 

  • Patricia Lutz
    Administrative Assistant

    Patricia “Pat” joined the Ruthfred ministry team in 2017 to serve under the broad heading of Administrative Assistant.  In this role, she is responsible a number of clerical duties, but also assists in planning and executing ministry events and serves in the visitation ministry. 


    Prior to serving at Ruthfred, she served as a sole commissioned lay pastor in Taylorstown, PA for 23 years.  She and her husband, Bob, joined Ruthfred in 2015.  They have been married for over 50 years, and have two children, and three grandchildren.  In her free time, she enjoys all types of needlework, sewing and decorating.

  • Brandon Fouks
    Youth Director

    Brandon has served as Ruthfred’s Youth Minister since 2015.  He is responsible for creating and overseeing activities for the youth of the church, striving to encourage the youth to cultivate their personal relationship with Jesus.


    Born and raised on the family farm in Deer Park WI Brandon has been doing youth work since he was 16 years old. In 2011 he graduated from the Association Free Lutheran Bible School in Plymouth Mn, after which he entered a one year program with a focus on youth ministry training.


    Before accepting the call as the Youth Director of Ruthfred Lutheran Church Brandon worked as a maintenance personnel, diesel mechanic, and finally as a well driller. In his free time Brandon enjoys working on and riding motorcycles, cooking, gardening, camping and spending time with his wife and partner in ministry Bekah.

  • Andrew Vogel
    Multi-media Coordinator

    Andrew has served as Ruthfred Lutheran Church’s multi-media coordinator since 2018. Born and raised in Mt. Lebanon, he grew up in the church and has been involved in a variety of Ruthfred’s ministries. He received a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems from Grove City College. As Ruthfred’s multi-media coordinator, Andrew coordinates the church’s website, network, multi-media equipment, and various other technology needs. In his free time, he enjoys ballroom dancing and playing cello.

  • David Compel
    Digital Outreach Coordinator

    David Compel joined the Ruthfred ministry team in 2020. David is responsible for producing our live stream church services and other events, social media content, podcast hosting, and community outreach.

    David has been a member of Ruthfred since 2005. He and his wife Lauren have 3 children. In his free time he enjoys camping, sports, traveling, and playing with his kids.

  • Lauren Compel
    Kids Time Co-Coordinator
  • Denise Stutzman
    Kids Time Co-Coordinator | Preschool Director


Music Programs



  • Denise Stutzman
    Kids Time Co-Coordinator | Preschool Director