Our Leaders

The work of Pilgrim Lutheran Church relies on the many people that make up this community – staff, lay leaders, volunteers, and the greater community.

Our Staff

Steve Schumacher

Family + Youth
Shannon Fleischfresser

Shannon, originally from the small town of Peshtigo, WI, went to high school at Lincoln High School in Tacoma, WA before going to Trinity Lutheran College where she received her BA in Children, Youth & Family Studies in 2012.

Shannon has been in full-time, church-based youth and family ministry since graduating college. She has served congregations in Beaver Dam, WI, Chippewa Falls, WI and now feels blessed to be at Pilgrim Lutheran in Puyallup, WA. Her passion in ministry is in uplifting young leaders and serving the community around her through networking and accompaniment.

Shannon also serves the greater church as the co-adult advisor to the synodical high school youth leadership board – the Southwest Washington Synod’s Associated Lutheran Youth in Various Endeavors (ALYVE).

When she is not at church, you can find her visiting with family and friends, taking road trips and traveling, reading, watching Netflix, or going to the gym.

Office, Care & Outreach
Rachelle Lessard

Rachelle and her husband Steve have lived in Puyallup for 19 years, where they raised their daughter Ally, now attending Pacific Lutheran University.

They have been attending Pilgrim for twelve years and Rachelle has been a member of the Pilgrim staff for the last eight, working in the areas of outreach, congregational care and, most recently, in the office as well. One of her favorite things about her job is getting to interact with not only the wonderful people of Pilgrim, but with those in the surrounding community. She treasurers her Pilgrim family and is grateful to be part of such a loving and supportive community.

In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, reading, volunteering, and spending time with her family and friends.

Youth Education
Kim Waterstraat

Kim grew up in Kent, WA and migrated all the way down south to Pacific Lutheran University, where she graduated with a BA in Education.  She taught in the Puyallup School District for many years before deciding to become a full-time mom to her three children, Nick, Nathan and Maiya.  Much to her children’s dismay, she continues to remain very involved with their school communities and enjoys keeping herself busy with volunteer work. 

Kim has served as the Christian Education Director for Youth at Pilgrim for seven years.  She delights in the unique young people God has created that come each week, and feels her life is greatly enriched building relationships with them and their families.  She considers herself pretty darn lucky that her job is to embrace these little ones who share their light in this world every week!

In her spare time, you can find her running, baking (apparently to offset the running), reading (thanks book club!), tutoring young ones, or getting into her kids’ business.   It has been a HUGE blessing for her and her husband John to have been married at Pilgrim, and now “grow up” with their family and many other families over the years, who will ultimately become lifelong friends.

Little Pilgrims Preschool Director
Ruth Rhodes

Ruth Rhodes has been at Little Pilgrims Preschool for over 25 years.   She graduated from Central Washington University, with a BS in Business and a BA in Psychology.  She feels privileged to be a congregation member as well as a staff member at Pilgrim Lutheran Church for so many years.

She and her husband Duane have three adult children that still live in Western Washington.  Ruth loves working with her Little Pilgrims and feels blessed that she gets to come to work to play, learn and explore with her students.    

Also on staff:
Financial Secretary: Sarah Lieu

Our Church Council

Board President:
Randy Wilson
Mike Nelson
Steve Saxe
Ruth Cudney
Board Member:
Matt DeBoer
Board Member:
Naomi Diseth
Board Member:
Susie Melzo
Board Member:
Billy Price
Board Member:
Grant Whitley