Meet our Pastors
Pastor Carol Breimeier came to New Spirit in August 2020 as part-time interim pastor. She serves three-quarters time, working with her husband, Pastor Fred Nelson, who serves New Spirit one-quarter time.
Prior to moving to Tucson in November 2019, Carol served as pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Park Ridge and Chicago, Illinois. She had been at Redeemer from her internship in 1998 through to the fall of 2019, with four years away to serve as an Assistant to the Bishop of the Metro Chicago Synod, focused on congregational renewal.
Carol’s particular passions in ministry are communicating the gospel—the Good News about Jesus Christ—creatively and clearly and grounding all of church life in that Good News.
In downtime, Carol enjoys hiking, golf, crossword puzzles, and exploring Tucson and environs.
Pastor Fred Nelson began as our part-time interim pastor at New Spirit in June 2020 and was joined by his wife, Pastor Carol Breimeier, in August. Pastor Fred is serving one-quarter time and Pastor Carol three-quarters time.
Until he relocated to Tucson at the end of 2019 and began to focus on prison and reentry ministry, Fred was the lead pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church, a multisite congregation located in Park Ridge and Chicago, Illinois. He is also the founder and Executive Director of the Lutheran Church Planters Network, created to help train and network church planters across the country.
A former missionary in Bangladesh and an expert in Christian-Muslim relations, Fred has been involved in prison ministry since 2005 as a volunteer chaplain at Stateville Prison in Joliet, Illinois, including founding the Under the Door Prison Ministry, writing the Spiritual Survival Guide for Prison and Beyond, and crafting RED Chicago, a reentry directory for the Chicago area. He is the founder and executive director of the Inside Out Network, dedicated to crafting innovative solutions to connect returning citizens with service providers, churches, and ministries, as well as to connect those serving on the inside in prison ministry with those outside who are working on reentry challenges.
Because of Christ’s call and claim on his life, Fred sees himself fundamentally as a change-agent – an agent of Christ’s life-changing hope and joy – to everyone he meets, but especially to those who are feeling hopeless or disconnected. He has a passion for networking, coaching, hiking in the desert, and Indian food. Fred and his wife Carol have four grown sons between them.
The two of them are excited about what God can do in and through the people of New Spirit!