Zion Lutheran Staff

Our leadership team recognizes the authority of God and realizes that we are shepherds who serve under the Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ. We desire to devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word. Our passion and goal is to equip the believers for the work of the ministry until we all attain maturity in the fullness of Christ.

Rev. Clyde Kieschnick, Pastor


Pastor K was born and raised in Lee County, near Lincoln, TX.  He is a graduate of St. John’s Academy, Winfield, KS, and a graduate of St. John’s Jr. College, also of Winfield, in 1972.

 It was there he met his wife Ellen and they were married in 1973. 

 Pastor K graduated from the University of Houston with a bachelor’s degree in sociology in 1976 and attended Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, in 1978-80 and 1988-89.  

After completing a vicarage at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Garner, IA, he was ordained and installed as the first assistant pastor in 1990.  In October of 1996 he accepted the call to serve as the senior pastor in Garner and served that call until March of 2002 when he accepted the call to serve at Zion Lutheran Church in Abilene, Texas.

Pastor K is a “second career” pastor whose other occupations included working as a dairy farmer, being employed with the US Postal Office, and as a representative for Aid Association for Lutherans.

 In his free time, PK enjoys gardening, golfing, fishing, hunting and brewing wine and beer. He and Ellen have three grown children and six grandchildren.

Rev. Craig Sanders, Pastor

Email: craig@zion-abilene.org

Craig is currently enrolled in Concordia Seminary – St Louis completing the Vicar Internship program.

He recently was ordained on February 18, 2024 where he officially became our second pastor on staff. 

Craig’s main job is to intern under Pastor K and teach Sunday School and Confirmation classes. 

He and his wife, Kathy have been members of Zion since 1999. They have four children. Nicole, Amy, and twins Matthew and Kelsey.

Mary Jo Whitt, Office Manager

Email: office@zion-abilene.org

Mary Jo joined our staff in 2022 and serves as Zion’s office manager. She will be the one to greet you at the door Monday-Friday, answer your phone calls or reply to your e-mail. Mary Jo’s list of duties is long but essential to our church. 

She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Angelo State University. She also is a licensed real estate agent and has a Landman Certification. 

Mary Jo and her husband Tim have two adopted dogs. Brutus and Bailey. Brutus is a chiwini mix and Bailey is a terrier mix. She loves dark chocolate and loves to brighten people’s day. 

Robin Davis, Youth Director & Family And New Member Ministries

Email: robin.davis.lutheran@gmail.com

Robin is passionate for the Lord and her work to serve him. She has many roles here at Zion Lutheran Church. She works with the youth group (confirmed youth) planning bible studies and activities on Sunday mornings  and Wednesday nights. Robin also teaches our younger children during Sunday morning children’s church. When not working with Zion youth, Robin is busy planning family events and helping new members feel welcome. 

Robin and her husband Josh have been members of Zion Lutheran Church since 2013. 

She has a Bachelor’s of Music (Music Education) from McMurry University. Robin previously served as the Choir Director for Wylie High School. Her Husband is a Sergeant Detective for the Abilene Police Department. They have 4 children. Jackson, Lilly, Andrew and Rosie. 


Josh Rucker, Worship Ministry and YACHT Club

Email: josh@zion-abilene.org

Josh has been involved with music and ministry his entire life. He learned to play the piano at the age of 10 and has been adding instruments to his repertoire ever since. 

His background in the Church of Christ and several choirs also gave him a passion for singing. 

In 2006, he joined Zion Lutheran Church and became a confirmed Lutheran so he could better use both his instrumental and vocal talents to serve.

Josh is married to his wife Megan. They have four children: Jacob, Eliana, Simon and Benjamin.

He enjoys performing live, recording music, gaming and learning/reading more about science and the world.

Richard Burke, Music Ministry


Richard leads Zion’s Traditional Music Ministry. He conducts the Chancel Choir and Zion Handbell group for the Sunday 8:30am service and on Wednesday evenings, he leads music for the Blended style “Refresh” worship service. During liturgical seasons, Richard combines our Chancel Choir, Zion Ringers, and Zion Orchestra for special worship services. He has taught classes on church music history and hymnody at Zion.

Richard is a former operatic tenor. He sang principle operatic roles and concerts extensively in Europe and in the US. He earned a BA in Religion and Arts from Scarritt College for Christian Workers, and an MA in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from the University of North Texas. Richard taught on the voice faculties of UNT, and Abilene Christian University.

In addition to teaching voice, Richard plays and teaches guitar, and composes music. He has arranged many hymns, songs and anthems for Zion. He composed three major works for choir, handbells, and orchestra, which are used in rotation at Zion for Good Friday Tenebrae worship services. He loves the science and practicum of vocal pedagogy, loves church history, world history, gardening, cooking and grandparenting.