Grace Place Wellness Ministries
Joins Lutheran Church Extension Fund

There is a great need to support, nurture and care for Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) church workers. Grace Place Wellness Ministries (GPWM) has been a leader in church worker wellness education for over two decades, and has served thousands of LCMS church workers, leaders, and their families throughout the United States and around the world. Our mission is to nurture vitality and joy in ministry by inspiring and equipping church workers to lead healthy lives.

As the needs of the church grow and change, Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) has adapted and developed solutions to walk alongside their ministry partners.

Grace Place and LCEF are pleased to announce the signing of a Letter of Intent for the acquisition of Grace Place Wellness Ministries by LCEF, effective January 1, 2022.

Once Grace Place is part of LCEF Ministry Solutions operations, Grace Place will continue to operate under the Grace Place Wellness name. Dr. Eckrich will continue in his advisory role. The current staff, Rev. Zimmerman and Beth McAnallen, Director of Operations, will retain their positions.

Together, LCEF and Grace Place Wellness will continue to work with donors to expand and cultivate retreats and wellness resources for church workers. As a result, strong, healthy church workers will continue to help grow the reach of the LCMS across the world.

Grace Place will continue to need your support through prayer and financially. In recognition of our new relationship, LCEF will match, dollar for dollar, the first $25,000 of 2021 year-end gifts to Grace Place! All funds donated, including the LCEF matching contributions, will go directly to John D. Eckrich Scholarship Fund. The Fund is used to offset the cost of retreats and resources for those in financial need.

LCEF has long been connected to every part of the church, from the Synod to the districts, and right down to the individual ministries and members that make up our church body. This unrivaled access and intimacy to the front lines of LCMS ministry have provided LCEF with a unique perspective to be a trusted partner in providing solutions that inspire ministry, innovation, and growth.

Out of this perspective, LCEF Ministry Solutions has developed into a first-in-class Lutheran consultation service with values and processes uniquely designed to engage our LCMS congregations, schools, and other ministries.

“After extensive conversation and consideration with GPWM,” said Rev. Bart Day, LCEF president and CEO, “LCEF is excited to offer these expanded resources, services and support to our church workers. Church workers are our greatest gift. Assuring they are well supported and cared for means congregations, schools, and RSOs are healthy and growing ministry opportunities in their communities.”

Because of Dr. Eckrich’s vision, thousands of God’s kingdom servants are flourishing in ministry, even in a time of tremendous anxiety. We’re thrilled that this integration into LCEF will give greater impact to our ministry, and the resources of LCEF will enable us to expand our reach to more and more church workers each year.

“The vision, mission and heart of Grace Place Wellness align perfectly with those of LCEF” says Grace Place founder, Dr. John Eckrich. “I strongly believe this innovative and collaborative expansion of capabilities and services will provide critical care to LCMS congregations and schools, districts, our church workers and their families.”

Without the faithful and generous support of our partners in ministry, we could not have reached this important milestone. Your continued gifts will help us support and encourage pastors, church workers, and their families for years to come, and enable us to expand our ministry offerings.

Give Now

“Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work.” (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13)

Rev. Dr. Darrell Zimmerman


Dr. John Eckrich


Dale Kreienkamp

Chairman, Board of Directors