Welcome! – Two new members to the Executive Board
WELS Women’s Ministry is blessed to add two new members to the Executive Board. Professor Joel Russow from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary will serve as our Seminary Pastoral Advisor. He is replacing Professor Paul Wendland who is retiring this year. Meredith Bitter will serve as Secretary and manage communication.
We look forward to the perspective, insight, and wisdom they bring to the work of nurturing, encouraging, and equipping woman to use their gifts for service in God’s kingdom. Find out more about them below and make sure to say, “Hi!” on social media!
Prof. Joel Russow
Joel Russow began his pastoral ministry in 2010 at Faith Lutheran Church in Tallahassee, Fla. In 2022, he began serving as a professor at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary where he teaches courses in counseling, doctrine, and pastoral theology. He holds two master’s degrees (M.Div., STM in Pastoral Care) and is pursuing a third in clinical mental health counseling.
He has been married to Jill since 2006. Together they are blessed with four children: Jude, Elijah, Rachel, and Isaiah. The Russows love Jesus, sports, traveling, camping, and delicious cheesecake.
Meredith Bitter, (nee Koltz) was born in Madison, Wis. and attended Eastside Lutheran for elementary school and St. Matthew’s, Oconomowoc for middle school. She graduated from Luther Preparatory School in Watertown, WI and then went on to earn her Bachelor’s Degree at Martin Lutheran College in New Ulm, Minn., with a double major in elementary education and secondary Spanish education.
Upon graduation, Meredith taught Spanish for 1 year at Shoreland Lutheran High School before moving with her husband, Pastor Lucas Bitter, to Georgia. Meredith and Lucas have served in Georgia for the past 10 years – four years at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church in Marietta and six years at Intown Lutheran Church in the center of Atlanta.
During her 10 years in Georgia, Meredith has worn many hats including substitute teacher, public school HS Spanish teacher, and stay-at-home mom to 6-year-old Elijah and 4-year-old Gabby. She currently serves in a part-time role as worship coordinator and tech admin at Intown Lutheran Church and feels so blessed to be part of WELS Home Missions and urban ministry.
Meredith is excited for the privilege of serving on the Women’s Ministry Executive Team. She has always been passionate about encouraging women in their many vocations, both in and outside of church. Raising a daughter has especially inspired Meredith to equip and encourage women from many generations to be filled up in the Word so they may go out and reflect his love in their homes and communities.