Ministry staff

  • Pastor Travis Norton

    Pastor Travis Norton was called to serve as Senior Pastor at First Lutheran in August, 2018. He is married to Victoria and they have four children.

    Pastor Travis is originally from Salt Lake City, Utah and was baptized at Good Shepherd Lutheran church in Sandy, Utah on All Saints day when he was 10 years old. He graduated from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in 2003. Pastor Travis served his first call at Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church in Helena, Montana as the Associate Pastor. He then was called in 2007 to serve as Associate Pastor at Community in Christ Lutheran Church in Cornelius, North Carolina. In 2011 he was called to serve as Senior Pastor at Community in Christ and served in that role until coming to First.

    The Senior Pastor serves as head of staff and president of the congregation. Pastor Travis aims to continue the great ministry at First Lutheran and help her fulfill the mission to equip people to be fully devoted followers of Jesus and share the joy and salvation of the Christian faith.

  • Pastor Carrie A. Baylis

    Pastor Carrie has been serving at First Lutheran Church since she was ordained in August of 2010. She is married to Philip (Monk) and they have two daughters, Emmy and Callie.

    Pastor Carrie grew up in Superior, Wisconsin (Go Packers!) and graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh with degrees in International Studies and Geography. The summers during college were spent as a camp counselor at Luther Point Bible Camp in Grantsburg, Wisconsin, where a love of outdoor ministries was fostered and the firm belief that camp is transformation was developed. Upon graduation from college she moved to Alexandria, Virginia and worked in the civil helicopter industry and then in the Office of the Bishop for the Metro DC Synod of the ELCA. In 2004 Pastor Carrie began her studies at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg graduating in 2008 with a Masters of Divinity.

    In her time at First Lutheran Pastor Carrie has had the opportunity to teach confirmation and adult education classes, provide pastoral care and visitation, participate in synod activities including currently serving as dean of the Southeast Colorado Conference, walk with our faith formation team to lead first third of life ministries, and participate in worship which is the center of our life together.

    Pastor Carrie is passionate about serving others, creating caring community, providing hospitality as a means for growing together and celebrating the gifts we share in and through Christ. It is one of her greatest joys to gather people together in community fostering caring relationships that encourage people to live into their gifts from Christ and using them to reach others bringing God’s love and mercy to all for the sake of the gospel.

    In her down time you might find PC at the soccer field or a gymnastics meet, running on the trails, baking some treats for the staff, or shopping for her next great pair of shoes.

  • Pastor Hank Maertens

    Pastor Hank Maertens leads the Grief Recovery Ministry at First Lutheran Church and has been a member of First Lutheran since 2002.

    He is a graduate of the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia and spent 45 years in active ministry serving churches in Huntington, Rhinebeck and Brewster, New York. He received his Master of Science Degree in Counseling from Iona College in New Rochelle, New York and a Doctor of Ministry from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey.

    Pastor Maertens serves as the facilitator and counselor for the Grief Recovery Ministry at First Lutheran offering group and individual counseling to members. He further serves the congregation with visits to our home bound members and preaching each year at the Good Friday service.

    He enjoys helping people get the most out of life and as a therapist he is able to help people overcome their fears and live a fuller life. When asked why he chose to specialize in grief therapy, he answered, "I enjoy watching people bloom."

    Pastor Maertens lives in Woodland Park, Colorado with his wife Sally McCracken Maertens. During the summer months he spends his free time hiking, cycling and fly-fishing; in the winter months he enjoys downhill skiing. He is also an avid reader, declaring his favorite time of day to be when he can sit down with a book and a cup of coffee.

  • Deacon Joan Kuehn

    Deacon Joan Kuehn is our Director of Handbell Ministries and was called to First Lutheran in September of 1988.

    She has a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the University of Redlands, Redlands, California. Joan was commissioned to the Lay Roster of the American Lutheran Church in 1984 and in 2016 the Evangelical Lutheran Church voted to refer to those on the Lay Roster as Deacons.

    Joan oversees the Music Ministry program at First Lutheran. This includes Sunday morning worship and additional worship services, which include Christmas, Easter, Lent as well as the Gallery of Living Art, Lessons and Carols. She directs both the choir and handbell choirs.

    She is married and has 3 children, 2 step-children and 16 grandchildren.Her greatest joy is encouraging people to use their gifts and talents for ministry.

  • Michaela Eskew

    Michaela Eskew joined First Lutheran in March of 2020 as the Minister of Faith Formation. She is married to Will Eskew, they have a son Lincoln and a daughter Lilah.

    She has a bachelor's degree in Religion from St. Olaf College in Minnesota and a Masters of Divinity and Masters of Arts in Christian Education from Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey. She is currently finishing up her doctorate in Art and Religion at the Graduate Theological Union in California. Her thesis is on Vincent van Gogh's spirituality in his art.

    As Minister of Faith Formation, she oversees the Children's and Youth programming as well as teaches Confirmation and Adult Education classes. She is also involved in First Lutheran's strategic plan to create Campus and Young Adult Ministries. She has worked for a number of different congregations through the years, Lutheran, Presbyterian, and Episcopal, and has worked with all ages from birth to older adults.

    Her call to teaching ministry began with her own time in Confirmation in 8th grade. Since then she has never stopped asking God questions and inviting others to do the same. As a Christian, she found her faith in her creative impulses, writing, painting, and photography, and in the creative impulses of others. Her passion is teaching theology through the arts, specifically exploring new ways to approach the scriptures and spirituality that tap into our connection with God the creator.

    With the little free time she has with two little ones, Michaela can be found exploring museums, the zoo, and any place that reveals God's beautiful creation.

  • Eric Wicks

    Eric Wicks is Minister of Worship and Music, and joined the staff in January 2013.

    Eric received both his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in organ performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music where he studied with Todd Wilson. He also studied piano, harpsichord, Eurhythmics pedagogy, and early music performance practice.

    Eric plays organ and piano for our worship services, supporting congregational singing and accompanying our choir. He leads the Women's and Men's Ensembles, and works with instrumentalists. In addition, Eric works closely with our director of music, Deacon Joan Kuehn, helping her with musical arrangements, instrumental resources, and more. He provides music for weddings and memorial services, and provides technical support for our services through his work with our sound and video systems.

    Eric has served as a church musician for nearly 25 years in Episcopal, Presbyterian, Methodist, and Reform Judaism congregations. A long-time member of both the American Guild of Organists and the Organ Historical Society, Eric is currently serving his fourth term as dean of the Colorado Springs chapter of the AGO. In addition, Eric plays harpsichord with Parish House Baroque, Colorado Springs' early music ensemble.

    Eric and his wife Elisa moved to Elisa's hometown of Colorado Springs in 2012 after discerning a call from God to live closer to Elisa's parents. Along with their sons Paul, Daniel, and John, they enjoy discovering new hikes in the mountains around the Springs, swimming at the Y, and spending time together. They became members of First Lutheran in December 2012.

    Long ago, Martin Luther said, “The gift of language combined with gift of song was given to man that he should proclaim the Word of God through music.” Since God calls us to worship, glorify, and praise him through music, Eric strives to offer music that speaks to the heart, is rooted in grace, and is focused on the Lord Jesus Christ.

  • Marcia Foret

    Marcia Foret is our Director of Lay Ministries and Women's Ministries. She has been a member of First Lutheran since 1996 and joined the First Lutheran staff in 2009, working part time as Small Group and Women's Ministries Coordinator. In 2013 she began working full time as the Director of Lay Ministries and Women's Ministries.

    Marcia is a graduate of University of South Dakota where she received her B.A. in Business. She has worked the past 30 years for nonprofits, both in management and social work.

    Her combined position is multi-faceted. As Director of Lay Ministries, she coordinates the time and talent of our members with our many volunteer opportunities. She also oversees volunteer training and is the church liaison for our local outreach ministries. If you are exploring membership, Marcia will assist you through the process. She also develops, coordinates and supervises the various small group activities at First Lutheran and maintains the membership data base.

    As Director of Women's Ministries, she oversees and supports women's ministries and circle groups. She also leads a Bible study.

    Marcia enjoys spending her leisure time hiking, reading and working on various craft projects. Her intention is to lead with a compassionate heart and a positive attitude by showing her faith in God through her actions.

  • Shelly Schmidt

    Shelly Schmidt is our Director of Children’s and Youth Ministry and has been a member since 1987.

    In 2003 she began volunteering in the Sunday school and joined the staff in 2005. She was the Director of Christian Education for 12 years and has recently taken the position of Director of Children’s and Youth Ministry.

    Shelly is the mother of four boys. She enjoys gardening, yoga, hiking, and spending time with her family. She received her B.S. in Industrial Construction Management from Colorado State University.

    Shelly has a passion for teaching children and teens about the love, grace and mercy of Jesus and giving them the knowledge, at an early age, that they are loved and valued by God. She is passionate about the spiritual, social and mental health of teens as they navigate through this confusing culture. It’s important to her that the youth of First Lutheran feel welcome and valued as a part of our church family.