President’s Leadership Team
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s leadership team takes on a vital role in assisting the president with his ministry to the church.
Sr. Assistant to the President
The Rev. Dr. Jon D. Vieker is senior assistant to Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, president of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.
Prior to joining the president’s staff in September 2010, Vieker served as assistant director for the LCMS Commission on Worship, a position he began in November 1998. In that position, he was involved with all aspects of research, development, editing and production of Lutheran Service Book and its core companion volumes.
A native of Livingston, Calif., Vieker received a B.A. in music from California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, Calif., and M.Div., S.T.M. and Ph.D. degrees from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo. Vieker’s area of academic interest is the history of American Lutheranism, specifically as viewed through its hymnals and hymnody and the wider American ecclesial context.
Vieker has served as editor for a number of publications, including Festschrift volumes in honor of Norman Nagel and Ronald Feuerhahn and Through the Church the Song Goes On, a collection of essays published by the LCMS Commission on Worship. He has also written a variety of articles on Lutheran hymnody and liturgy and is a composer with choral settings and organ preludes published by Concordia Publishing House and Liturgy Solutions.
Prior to serving with the LCMS Commission on Worship, Vieker was a parish pastor for nine years at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, West Bloomfield, Mich. He has also served as organist and choir director in a variety of settings.
Vieker and his wife, Kim, live in Manchester, Mo., and are members of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Des Peres, Mo., where they serve in the parish choral and instrumental ensembles. They have two grown children.
Assistant to the President
Barbara A. Below is serving as assistant to Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, president of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Below is the first woman to serve on the executive-level staff for an LCMS president.
Prior to joining the president’s staff in September 2010, Below, a licensed clinical social worker, served for six years as director of social ministry organizations for LCMS World Relief and Human Care, the disaster relief and mercy ministry of the Synod. In that position, Below worked directly with 125 social-ministry organizations recognized by the Synod and served as the Synod’s liaison to Lutheran Services in America, the inter-Lutheran alliance of nearly 300 agencies that is among the largest nonprofits in the country. She also served on the LCMS management team of the Dominican Republic Lutheran Mission.
A native of Bemidji, Minn., Below received a bachelor’s degree in sociology in 1982 from Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon, formerly known as Concordia College. She received her master’s degree in social work from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1998, graduating magna cum laude.
Before joining the Synod in 2004, Below held numerous case management and clinical services positions. She was a therapist at Kairos Counseling in Elm Grove, Wis., and also served as project manager for a program known as “Healthy Connections with Clergy Spouses.” During the same time, she served as an in-home therapist at Lad Lake Inc., an organization focused on helping at-risk youth and their families throughout Walworth County in southern Wisconsin. From 1998 to 2004, she held various positions in Salt Lake City. Among them, she served as a therapist at Samaritan Counseling Centers of Utah; inpatient admissions counselor at the University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Hospital; and as an in-home therapist for the Utah Division of Child and Family Services.
Below and her husband, Mark, reside in Fenton, Mo. They are members of Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Chesterfield, Mo., where Mark serves as senior pastor.
Dir. of Church Relations — Asst. to the President
Dr. Albert B. Collver III is serving as the director of church relations-assistant to Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, president of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.
Prior to joining the president’s staff in September 2010, Collver was the executive pastoral assistant for LCMS World Relief and Human Care, the disaster relief and mercy ministry of the Synod, for four years.
A native of Jackson, Mich., Collver received a bachelor’s degree from Concordia University, Ann Arbor, Mich., in 1993. He earned a Master of Divinity, Master of Sacred Theology and a doctorate from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo., in 1997, 1999 and 2001, respectively.
From 2001 to 2006, Collver served as pastor of Hope Lutheran Church in DeWitt, Mich. He has also taught as an adjunct professor at Concordia University, Ann Arbor, Mich.; Concordia Seminary; Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind.; and Siberian Lutheran Church's seminary, Novosibirsk, Russia.
Collver has published numerous articles in various Lutheran publications including Logia, Concordia Journal and The Lutheran Witness. He is the author of Bible studies for God’s Word for Today on Ezra, Nehemiah, Hosea, Joel and Amos, published by Concordia Publishing House.
Collver and his wife, Terra, live in Manchester, Mo., and are members of St Paul’s Lutheran Church in Des Peres, Mo. They have two children.