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Meet our Leaders

Christ Redeemer Church is currently served by six pastors/elders and one church planting resident. Four of our leaders are on staff and three are volunteers. 

Brett Louis - Lead Pastor/Elder 

Louis Family Cape Cod 2018Brett made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ at an early age. He believes he was genuinely saved by the grace of God even though he was not yet overwhelmed by the grace of God. Shortly after becoming a physical therapist, however, the Lord used a series of events in his life to create a spiritual “famine” of sorts, which drove him to read the Bible like never before. He then began to understand to a greater degree the depth of his sinfulness and the supreme value of the person and work of Jesus Christ. He was gripped by the gospel! Soon after, the Lord gave Brett the opportunity to minister in the Texas state prison system. After five years of full-time prison ministry, he went on to complete a Master of Divinity degree at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. He then served as a church planting resident at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis before being sent out to plant Christ Redeemer Church.

Brett has been married to Molly, “the woman of his dreams,” since 2003. Brett and Molly have been blessed with five children: Joshua, Olivia, Isabelle, Judson and Sophia

Thomas Rydland - Associate Pastor/Elder


Thomas grew up attending church, though he wouldn’t say that he truly understood his need for a Savior in Jesus until he was 15. Looking back, he would say that it was then when he was truly “born again” by God’s grace. He was saved from the punishment deserved because of his sin and began trusting in Jesus alone for forgiveness and joyful fellowship with God. He had what he’d call a “theological conversion” several years later when he came to embrace the good sovereignty of God over his salvation.

Before coming to Christ Redeemer Church, Thomas served for three years in the Family Discipleship department of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis. Prior to that, he served with a youth missions organization called YouthWorks, which gave him opportunities for ministry in several different states. And over the years, during different seasons, Thomas has been privileged to work in the concrete construction trade. Thomas holds degrees from Gustavus Adolphus College (Psychology and Criminal Justice) and Bethel Seminary (Theological and Historical Studies). He has received additional education from Luther Seminary (Christian History) and the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (Biblical Counseling).

He’s been married to Karena - his best friend and favorite person in the world - since 2004. Together they enjoy two daughters whom God joined with them through adoption. Kyrkja was born in August of 2011, and Anagret in August of 2013.

Levi Brennan - Associate Pastor/Elder 


Levi grew up in Brainerd, MN then spent ten years in Chicago where he went to college and grad school. He was blessed to grow up in a home where his parents loved Jesus and were active in the church. By God’s grace, he was given the gift of faith and repentance when he was thirteen. The Lord was faithful to bring wise and loving mentors into his life that helped him grow in his faith.

Levi holds a B.A. from Moody Bible Inst. and an M.A. from Wheaton College. He spent seven years serving as a youth pastor and worship pastor at a church in Chicago and spent a several years teaching online for Tennessee Temple University.

He has been married to his bride, Ashley, since 2007. Together they have four energetic boys - Liam, Lincoln, Mason and Rowen.

Terry Plath - Elder


Terry was born and raised in a Christian home, but despite a profession of faith in Jesus as Savior at an early age, it wasn’t until his mid-20’s, after a period of straying from the Lord, that Terry was drawn to a deep, true, abiding faith in Jesus as Lord. Terry spent two years living in a household with four other single Christian men who discipled him, demonstrating what life in fellowship with Christ and his church really looks like.

Terry has a passion for Biblical marriage and fatherhood, life groups and global missions. He has been on short-term mission trips to Poland, Honduras, El Salvador and Ukraine.By day he works in the technology industry.

Terry married the love of his life Maren in 2003. God has blessed them with four children: Grace (11), Joshua (8), Lily (6) and Micah (4). The Plaths were members of Bethlehem Baptist Church prior to moving to Woodbury as part of the CRC plant in July 2010.

Denny Schneider - Elder


Denny is so grateful to the Lord for granting him a heart of repentance and an understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ at an early age. Even at an early age, God opened the eyes of his heart to see Christ for the all-surpassing treasure that He is. He is also thankful that God has been faithful in his life to continue to draw him deeper into His grace and an understanding of who he is as an adopted child of God. Denny is grateful that the Holy Spirit is continually working in his life to sanctify him and, in that process, giving glory to His name.

Denny has been involved in church leadership in different ministries for the past 20 plus years, and the Lord has guided Denny and Kathy and his family to the Christ Redeemer Church body from the very beginning.

Denny has a B.A. degree in business from Bethel University and currently works in the financial services industry. Denny grew up in the Twin Cities and now lives in Woodbury with his wife, Kathy, and their six children: Alison, Emily, Jacob, Joseph, Caleb and Steven.

Doug Swenson - Elder

By God's grace, Doug grew up in a home where Christ was lifted up and honored and where at an early age he came to faith in the saving work of Christ. During his army service time in Panama, God opened his eyes to the magnificence of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. He began to understand in a deeper way than ever before what it means that "I have died and my life is hid in Christ", and the reality of His call on our lives.

After the service Doug met his wonderful bride Evie, while both were students at Bethel College, St. Paul. They lived for 20 years outside New Richland, MN where Doug was a general building contractor constructing everything from homes, small commercial buildings, farm buildings, to church facilities. In 2000 they moved with their children, Carrie (then 16) and Carl (then 12), to Santa Maria, CA primarily to care for Evie's dad in his later years. 2010 brought them back to Minnesota mainly to be near their grandchildren! They attended the first informational meeting of CRC and have been here ever since.

Throughout the years there have been periods of being foster parents, several short-term mission trips to Peru, Ecuador, Haiti, and most recently attendance at Faith Biblical Counseling Seminars. They currently have 6 grandchildren with more on the way! 

Josh Williams - Church Planting Resident


Josh grew up in a family that didn’t know Jesus. He felt like an orphan without a clear sense of identity, purpose, and family. Josh was met with a strong sense of brokenness in sin by age 17, and it was then that he was introduced to the gospel. Jesus made Josh’s heart new, filling him with a growing passion for Jesus, passion for the Gospel, and passion to share with everyone the story of God’s redemption and restoration.

Josh is our church planting resident. He desires to plant a local church that plants other churches. He wants to lead God’s people on mission to share and demonstrates the story God’s redemption and restoration through Jesus.

Before coming to Christ Redeemer Church, he served as a youth pastor with various pastoral roles in two different churches over the span of 7 years. He holds an Undergraduate degree in Social Work, and a Master’s in Ministry.

He has been married to Lindsay —his best friend and who he believes is the best woman in the world — since 2011. Together, they have three fun children. Soren Zechariah was born in August of 2014, Florence Abigail (known as Flo) in June 2016, and Barrett Micah in February 2019.

To follow Josh in his church planting process or to support him click here.