Ron Unger, Pastor
Ronald B. Unger was born in 1943 in Baltimore, Maryland and grew up in Evanston and Wilmette, Illinois. Ron graduated from Concordia College in Ft. Wayne, Indiana with a B.A. degree in 1965. He attended Concordia Theological Seminary in St Louis, Missouri receiving a Master of Divinity degree in 1969. His internship was in Brooklyn, New York.
Rev. Unger was first called to serve as pastor of Peace Lutheran Church & Student Center on the campus of DePaul University in Greencastle, Indiana (1969-1974). His next call was in North Canton, Ohio at Holy Cross Lutheran Church (1974-1983). From 1983-1987, he served St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Providence, Rhode Island. In 1987, Ron moved to the Greater New Orleans area serving St Paul Lutheran Church (1987-1991), Bethlehem Lutheran Church as a vacancy pastor (1994-1999), and Lutheran Church of the Galilean (1995-2005). Pastor Unger is currently serving as Pastor of Christ the King Lutheran Church in Kenner.Rev. Unger has served campus, suburban and inner city congregations. The churches have been white, multi-cultural or African American. They have been situated in the Midwest, Northeast, and the South. In the early and mid 1990's, he served as Catholic Charities Administrator of RAIN (Regional AIDS Inter-faith Network), a state-wide program of congregational based care teams serving people living with AIDS. This was followed by service as the Executive Director of the Northlake AIDS Network (the primary AIDS agency for Region 9 of Louisiana's Department of Health and Hospitals) before returning to full-time ministry.
He and Deborah have been married for sixteen years Deborah teaches Gifted English at Hahnville High School. They share four grown children: Natasha and Nina Unger, and Brad and Amanda Baudot.
Mission Partner for the ELCA Latino Congregation Under Development
Rachel Ringlaben, Pastora/Mission Developer
Rachel Ringlaben was raised and confirmed at Faith Lutheran Church in Little Rock, Arkansas. After a chance encounter of praying with a beggar outside of a cathedral while she was studying abroad in Spain, Rachel returned to the states and changed her college concentration to History and Sociology: she was ever inspired to see how God’s story intersected with the story of humanity.
It was on Palm Sunday, 2008 in Salasaca, Ecuador while Rachel was serving as a missionary with Youth Encounter, that she witnessed a Quichua tribe hear the Bible story for the very first time in their language. Amidst a community singing, clapping, jumping, and shouting “Alleluia,” Rachel felt God’s call to tell the Gospel Story. Hopping from Internet cafés in Ecuador and Colombia, she filled out her application to study theology and mission development at Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Upon graduating with her Master of Divinity degree in 2013, she was awarded the prestigious Graduate Preaching Fellowship. Rachel journeyed for sixteen months visiting indigenous communities throughout Central and South America learning how they engaged the biblical narrative through storytelling and preaching.
Nicknamed by the community in Santiago, Guatemala as the “Pastora de la Calle” [Pastor of the Streets], Rachel has studied, served, and preached in multiple bilingual and cross-cultural contexts as well as internationally throughout Central and South America, the Middle-East, and Europe.
As a theologian, Rachel draws inspiration from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Maya Angelou, Justo Gonzalez, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Hildegard of Bingen as well as art, music, and poetry that contemplate the beautiful complexity of the Sacred showing up when and where we least expect it.
She is overjoyed at Christ’s work in the world and is extremely thankful for Christ the King Church’s partnership in ministry with the new bilingual mission start here in Kenner, Louisiana.