Our Staff

  • Rich Theilen

    Lead Pastor

    Pastor Rich Theilen grew up in the Twin Cities, graduated from Minnehaha Academy, earned a degree in economics from St. Olaf College, and spent several years in the oil industry.  After sensing God’s call to ministry, he went on to graduate from Bethel Seminary and has served churches in Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota, and British Columbia, Canada.  He also holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Sioux Falls Seminary, has served in many professional and community leadership roles, and taught theology at Solid Rock School of Discipleship.

    His wife, Cheryl, is a native of Wooster, Ohio, a graduate of North Park University, and serves as director of administration for the Northwest Conference of the Covenant Church.  They have one daughter who is an elementary school teacher.

    In their “free time” they enjoy spending time at their farms in Southwest Minnesota, attending theater and other events, visiting family and friends, playing with their dog Katie, and traveling in North America and Europe.

  • Romel Dhar

    Interim Worship Director

    Romel grew up in Nagaland, India and moved to America in 2014.  He has been leading worship for the past 14 years in churches and in different Christian organizations. Romel was hired on staff as an interim Worship director in August 2022. He is so excited to be part of Maple Grove Covenant Church and serve alongside all of you. 

    One of Romel's favorite things to do is cook and he loves his coffee black. Naf Naf Grill, El Toro, Hibachi Grill are a few of his favorite places to eat and he enjoys biking and a long walk. 



    Kay had the joy of growing up in a pastor's family in the small town of Howard Lake, Minnesota.  This gave Kay wonderful opportunities to serve in many areas at a young age such as kids' choirs, youth groups, VBS, mission trips and more!  She went on and earned her Elementary Education degree at Wheaton College in Illinois. Over the years she has had the privilege of inspiring and teaching children music, art, and core subjects in the public schools, instructing piano and flute students in her home piano studio, volunteering in women's and children's ministries at church, speaking at Covenant Pines Bible Camp, and leading the Children's Ministries in recent years at Maple Grove Covenant Church.


    Kay’s desire is for all children to embrace that God loves them no matter what and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior in their lives. She loves providing the opportunities and tools for children and families to learn to share this Good News with others.


    In her free time, she loves spending time with her husband Scott and their three boys, Jared (college), Tyler (college), and Blake (freshmen in high school), along with their puppy dog Rocky and two kitties Leo and Ollie.  Other favorite hobbies include speed-walking around the beautiful lakes in Maple Grove, canoeing at their family's White Birch Cottage in Nisswa, shopping with her twin sister, cheering on their boys in sport activities, traveling with her family, and baking award-winning cookies and gingerbread creations.  

  • natalie karl


    Natalie grew up on a farm in the small town of Buffalo Lake. During her time at University of Northwestern – St. Paul, Natalie spent a summer working at Lake Beauty Bible Camp and graduated in 2021 with a degree in Nonprofit Leadership, Intercultural Studies, and Bible. In her free time, she enjoys weightlifting, watersports, and spending time with family and friends. Natalie recently moved to Maple Grove and is excited to serve the MGCC community!