Pastor Paul Birner
Pastor Paul David Birner is the second of four boys born to Rev. Edward and Nancy Birner. He was brought into the family of God by means of Holy Baptism 55 years ago. He is husband to Kirsten and father to Amy.
Paul did his pre-seminary training at St. John’s College in Winfield, KS and Concordia College in Portland, OR. He graduated from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO in the spring of 1985. His first call was to Anchorage Lutheran Church, Anchorage, AK. Paul served there as Associate Pastor from 1985 to 1997. From 1997 until August 2014 he served St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Conover, NC, as Sr. Pastor.
Pastor Birner completed Group Magazine’s Youth Ministry Consultant program in 1995, the Pastoral Leadership Institute in 2003 and Sustaining Pastoral Excellence in 2008. He is a founding board member of University Christian High School, in Hickory NC.
Pastor Birner attempts to bring the richness of Lutheran theology to his preaching, teaching and pastoral care ministries. He anticipates a fruitful and effective ministry among the people of King of King’s Lutheran Church in Renton, WA.
Pastor Matthew Both
My name is Matthew Wich loul Both. Wich loul means I was born beside the river.
I was born in 1967, and I became a Christian in 1983, during our civil war. It was a very difficult time in South Sudan, so on September 28, 1993, I packed up my wife Rebecca and my daughter Leah, and we came to the United States.
It has been a long road since then. I didn't speak any English when we got here, so I needed to go to school to learn and I needed to work and support my young family. Then the Lord called to me and told me that I was to be his servant to the many people coming from war torn South Sudan. By his Grace and help, I am doing what He called me to do. My family is growing and thriving in this great country. We are now 10 altogether. 2 boys and 6 girls. Thank God for that!
I was ordained into ministry in 2009. July 12, 2013 marked my 4th year in the pastoral ministry. I serve the Lord here at King of Kings Lutheran Church. I am the only Sudanese Nuer Speaking Pastor in this area, and I spend much of my time reaching out into this community to teach them about the love and salvation of Christ. I also teach the children to speak Nuer, so that in future generations we won't lose our culture. Now that the war is over in South Sudan I also arrange mission trips, so that we may help them build churches and rebuild their homes. So many people lost everything in the war.
Rev. Matthew Both, Associate Pastor of Missions and Outreach (206)669-3195 PastorMatthew@King-of-Kings.org
Suzy Hennig, Youth Director
Rebekka Sollars, Pre-School and Kindergarten Director
Hello, my name is Rebekka Sollars. I am delighted to be able to serve the church and preschool as the director. A little bit of my background is as follows:
I went to California Lutheran University where I received my Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology and my Master’s of Science in Counseling Psychology.
I worked at a preschool and family resource center during my time in school as the assistant director and parent counselor. I had multiple positions after achieving my Master’s Degree in which I did therapy with children, teens, adults, couples and families in various settings.
I moved to Washington after meeting my now husband and have lived in this area for about 2.5 years. I have 2 stepchildren ages 10 and 20 who I adore. I also have two dogs, a Corgi, Keiko, and a Brittany mix, Yuna. They have been in my life for almost 9 years.
I love spending time with my dogs, my husband, my stepson, reading, playing board games and card games, being near water whether it is a river, lake or ocean, and I haven’t in a while but plan to get back to doing ceramics when I have the time.
I love Jesus with all my heart and feel beyond blessed that I get to share His love and word with the children and families that I work with now!
Gretchen Johnsrud, Secretary
Hi! I'm Gretchen. I started here in Feb. 2021 and am happy to be here!
I am married to Corey - 30 years now. He is a Pastor, currently at Kent Covenant Church, which is what brought us here. We were in Santa Rosa, CA for 8 years and our 3 young adult children are still there. Micah, 24, is about to become a Chiropractor and is in San Diego. Kajsa, 23, graduated last year (w/ no graduation ceremony) and married Jacob last Sept. in a very tiny "Covid wedding". We will celebrate with everyone this fall. They live in LA. Jonas, 22, is in his last year of college at San Jose State. We enjoy every chance we get to see them.
I enjoy hiking, biking, being in nature - especially oceans, waterfalls and mountains, singing, reading, organizing, building/repurposing furniture, cooking and enjoying food around the table with people, watching movies, listening to music, being active, traveling and spending time with family. Corey & I (& the kids for most of these:) have lived in MN, IL, MA, OH, WI, IN & CA and now WA.
Please don't hesitate to let me know if there is anyway I can help you. You can e-mail me at Office@King-of-Kings.org or call the Church Office at 425-226-1480. We have a Facebook page if you want to keep up with things at KOK. http://www.facebook.com/KingofKingsRenton