Our Team

Pastor james



James has been a pastor at the Little Church on the Prairie since February 2010. Prior to that he was a pastor in the suburbs of Dallas, TX for 15 years.

James is married to Helen and they have four children Karis, Kaitlin, Kailey, and Kaleb. Besides being a pastor, James loves to get out on his motorcycle to enjoy the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. James enjoys a good cup of coffee, good conversations, a good book, and a good round of golf … the bad rounds, well … not so much.




Brad Epperson grew up in Lakewood and would like to formally apologize to any teacher in the Clover Park School District who is reading this bio. He’s sorry, especially if you were a sub.

Brad graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary in 2008 and was ordained in 2011. Prior to his ministry at Little Church on the Prairie and Lakewoodgrace Brad was a chaplain resident at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Tacoma, a ministry he is still passionate about to this day.

Brad is happily married to Heather and is daddy to two really fun and exhausting kids; Ava, and Luke. He has no hobbies because he has kids, but if he had more time he would like to play in a metal band, collect even more tiki mugs, and take up welding.

Bill Ward

Bill Ward


Bill serves our congregation as Pastor to Boomers and Builders. He served for 20 years as Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Reardan, WA, a small farming community 25 miles west of Spokane.  This was his first and only pastoral call as a “second career” pastor and a very different style and pace of life for a lifetime suburban dweller and former electrical engineer.

He and his wife Lori (who teaches Sunday School at Lakewoodgrace) have four children and 3 grandchildren. They live in Lakewood and enjoy camping, hiking, scenic road trips, cooking, gardening and Bill especially enjoys cycling.

Bill has always been passionate about missions, especially the unique mission of the smaller church and “frontier missions” (taking the Gospel where it has not been before).  Bill has served the Presbyteries of Seattle, North Puget Sound (now Northwest Coast) and Inland Northwest in a wide range of capacities, including as commissioner to the Synod of Alaska Northwest and to the 221st General Assembly (2014).

Nichole Zuger-Cheney reduced

Nichole Zuger-Cheney


Nichole serves the church as our Executive Administrator. She has worked in marketing and communications for more than a decade. Prior to that, she spent four years teaching high school English. These two career paths have strengthened her passion for helping people succeed.

She is an eastern Washington native, and a graduate of Washington State University. In her spare time, Nichole enjoys spending time with her family, reading, gardening, baking, and attempting to be crafty. She and her husband David have two children and live in Steilacoom.


Patsy Zofkie


I live in Lakewood with my husband, Dave.  I joined Little Church in 1984, and began working in the church office in 2004.  I have three children, Brad, Katelyn, and Evan, and five energetic grandchildren.  When I have time, I really enjoy a good workout, a good book and a good glass of wine.

I am excited to be a part of Little Church, as we reach out to our community and share our awesome God!




Kathryn is the Director of Music at The Little Church, and the Director of our Chancel Choir. A native of the northwest, Kathryn began her music-directing career after graduating in Choral Music Education from Pacific Lutheran University.

She then began teaching choral music in the Clover Park School District and served a few years as both the youth choir director and the Chancel Choir director at LCOP. She received her Master of Music in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, and she then taught at Westminster on the voice faculty. Kathryn was the Director of Choral and Vocal Activities at Oregon State University for eleven years, and then pursued doctoral studies in Choral Conducting at the University of Colorado where she also served as the Director of Music at Atonement Lutheran Church in Boulder, Colorado. She has also taught on the choral music faculty at the University of Oregon, before returning to Washington to be the Director of Choral Activities at Pacific Lutheran University, where she directed the Choir of the West.

Currently she teaches part-time on the voice faculty at the University of Puget Sound where her husband, Steven Zopfi is the Director of Choral Activities.




Sue has enjoyed directing the Prairie Bells at Little Church since 1997. She grew up in Farmington, Michigan and earned her degrees in Music and Education at Western Michigan University. She moved west in 1966 where she also attended Pacific Lutheran University.

Dave and Sue have been married since 1977. They have a daughter Jennifer (married to Tony), a son Matt (married to Suzanne), and three granddaughters, Sarah, Mackenzie, and Ashley.

She is pleased to be part of the music ministry at LCOP and looks forward to more high notes.




Jinshil Yi is an avid pianist in high demand throughout the Tacoma-Seattle area. She plays numerous solo and collaborative concerts and recitals in the area with musicians from the greater Puget Sound and beyond. On faculty for collaborative piano at the University of Puget Sound, Jinshil works extensively with their choral program and has performed both regionally and internationally with the Adelphian Concert Choir. In addition to playing for Tacoma Youth Chorus, Jinshil regularly partners with numerous schools, choirs, and private music studios for music festivals, concerts, competitions, and solo recitals as a collaborative pianist and vocal/instrumental coach. She is also active in the broader arts community of Tacoma and Pierce County, from singing in the Symphony Tacoma Voices to serving as the Managing Director for Second City Chamber Series. Jinshil holds three degrees cum laude from the University of Puget Sound in Music, Biochemistry, and Politics and Government.

Delighting in worshiping God through music, Jinshil loves expressing her faith through her work as long-time (since 2009!) pianist and organist for Little Church on the Prairie.


Cathy Norberg


Over 15 years ago Cathy felt the call to lead Children's Worship, and has been loving it ever since.  Now that she is a grandmother she is leading the Grandparents-Grandkids Ministry.  She wants all children to know the Good News of Jesus Christ, that God is good, that God loves them, and that they can trust God.

She is married to Rick, and between the 2 of them they have 4 kids and 4 grandchildren.  In her spare time she loves to bake, run, teach skiing, travel, and tour around the USA and Canada on her motorcycle.  And, ask any of the kids in her children's ministry what her favorite food is, and they'll tell you it's ice cream (yep, I have ice cream everyday).


Mary Mannering


Mary Mannering’s favorite kinds of people are kids, a good thing since she’s been teaching Pre-K at Little Church on the Prairie for nine years. Her husband, Scott, and teenage daughters, Halla, and Luci, have always been supportive of her passion for preschool, and they are excited to be part of the children’s team at Lakewoodgrace. Mary prays that Lakewoodgrace will be a place where kids and their families feel valued, have fun, learn together, and fall in love with Jesus.


Kathi Loverin


My name is Kathi Loverin, and I have the privilege of serving on staff with LCOP Preschool in 2 roles as the Program Coordinator and as Lead Teacher of the AM Pre-K Class. I was born and raised here in Lakewood and attended the local schools (Idlewild, Hudtloff and Clover Park). My husband, Don and I chose to raise our 3 children (Tim, Aly and Austin) here, as well. I attended Western Washington University where I received a B.A. in Child Development & Family Relationships. It is my joy to use what I have learned and experienced to interact with preschoolers and their families–both in the preschool environment and at MOPS (Mothers-Of -Preschoolers), which meets at Lake City Community Church, where I am a member. My staff and I view our preschool program as a ministry to our students and their families. We are keenly aware that we have been entrusted with a special calling in serving them. I am happy to answer questions that you may have about our preschool program.

The Little Church on the Prairie
6310 Motor Ave SW
Lakewood WA 98499
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