Mission Statement

Love God ° Love People ° Make A Difference

Our Mission Statement to “Love God, Love People, and Make a Difference” is derived from two foundational teachings in the bible.  The Great Commandment and The Great Commission.

In the Great Commandment Jesus responds to the question “what is the greatest commandment”, by stating “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind… the second is equally important: love your neighbor as yourself.  The entire law and teachings of the prophets rest on these two commandments”  Matt. 22:38-40

The Great Commission is what Jesus gives to his disciples just before he ascends into heaven, with these departing words he tells them “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teach them what I have commanded you and remember I am with you always to the end of time.”  Matt. 28:19-20

From these foundational texts and a deep understanding of God’s unconditional love for his people and creation we feel it is our privilege and responsibility to respond to God’s love by loving Him and sharing that love with the people and world around us.  This calls us to action, to be a church community that not only cares for people inside our walls, but one that also seeks to “go therefore” into our community with that love and make a difference in the world around us.

    We strive to live out that Mission by being a church known for is Giving, Caring, Loving, and Sharing personality.

    • We offer high-quality educational programs for children ages nursery through high school, including Good Samaritan Christian Academy (PK-5), Faith Lutheran Junior/Senior High School, educational ministries and a variety of summer faith-based camps.
    • Active small groups ministry encompassing educational, fellowship and service opportunities
    • Dedicated ministries for Gamblers Anonymous
    • Personal community outreach through our Sandwich Ministry, Family Promise participation, Layette Ministry and Lutheran Social Services of Nevada participation.
    • International outreach through our Global Mission program which includes fair trade sales, adopt a child, and clean water programs along with special activities like Operation Christmas Child, Dress a Girl Around the World and organized mission trips.
    • Special events such as Remembrance Sunday, military and patriotic celebrations.


    Good Samaritan Lutheran Church

    The prayers and praises of the first Good Samaritan pioneers rang out joyfully on December 12, 1976. Southwest Las Vegas was wide open space at that time. The congregation met in a hardware store during 1977, and was formally organized on October 23, 1977. The store was the Rainbow Mercantile Hardware Store, located at 3558 South Jones, which has since burned down. With 100+ charter members, enthusiasm for the Lord, and a faith that was growing, a congregation was planted that has flourished! Good Samaritan was the first Christian congregation in a building in Southwest Las Vegas. In this early location, the altar and pulpit were made up of the store’s wallpaper display tables. The church later relocated to its long-time location at Flamingo and Torrey Pines. After outgrowing that facility, the church was relocated in 2008 to a new campus. Since our transition to the new facility we have been continuing to grow both as a congregation as well as a school, Good Samaritan Christian Academy. We provide a legitimate alternative to the other congregations around us as we are the only mainline congregation within a radius of several miles.


    Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)


    Don Lorfing

    Senior Pastor

    Born and raised in Montana I graduated from the University of Texas in San Antonio and then from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in South Carolina. I have been blessed to be a Pastor at Good Samaritan since 2004 and love all the ways this church lives out it’s faith in service to our community and to one another. I have been married to a wonderful woman Amy for over 20 years and have two amazing children. Tristen is in college and Kyrie is in High School. I believe deeply in the mission of our church to “Love God, Love People, and Make a Difference” and see that mission lived out all the time in the lives and ministries of this incredible congregation. If you do not already attend our church I pray you will come and see all the ways God is changing lives and making his love known through this Christian community, and that you will consider making us your church home.

    Scott Hove

    Executive Pastor

    Pastor Scott serves as Executive Pastor. Prior to this position Scott has been our visitation pastor over the last few years. He grew up on a farm in North Dakota. He attended Concordia College in Moorhead, MN graduating with degrees in Business Administration and History/Political Science. Out of college Scott served as a staff member on both the House and Senate sides of Capitol Hill in Washington, DC and later ran for statewide office in his native state of North Dakota. Scott was a development (fund-raising) professional at his alma mater, Concordia College, Moorhead, MN. He has served as a pastor at two other churches – Community Lutheran in Las Vegas and Light of Christ Lutheran in Algonquin, IL. He and his wife, Debi, reside in Henderson, NV along with their son, Parker, and their Yellow Labrador Retriever, Penny.

    Darin Bradford

    Music Director

    Darin has been playing music since he was only four years old. His passion followed him throughout his life and he graduated with a Master’s Degree in Piano Performance/Pedagogy from Missouri State University. Previously as a Music Director, he directed chancel choir, bell choir and played piano, as well as organ. He has even performed on the Las Vegas Strip as a concert pianist! In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family; his wife, Danielle, a daughter and three sons.

    Miriam Dake

    Executive Director of Good Samaritan Christian Academy

    I have been living and loving the city of Las Vegas for the past 25 years. Born in New York City, I moved to the Dominican Republic in 1983. Living in a developing country for seven years makes you look at life differently. I taught Sunday school there and realized children and teaching is my passion. I was part of the founding committee that established the first American Baptist Elementary School in the D.R. where I taught first and second grade. The Lord has opened many doors to serve him here. I have had the opportunity to open three schools in Las Vegas. One of the greatest blessing I‘ve had is working with children every day. It has been an amazing journey here at Good Samaritan Lutheran Church / Academy since 2009. The staff is so dedicated and our school continues to grow. My desire is that our school family will have a personal relationship with the Lord and share His love with people they touch.

    Kim Niehaus

    Finance Administrator

    Being a Minnesota native, it is not surprising that I am a life-long Lutheran. I am married to Brian and we have three children, a son, Brice, and twin daughters, Lindsey & Sydney. I am so grateful that God led us to Good Samaritan when we moved to Las Vegas in 2010 as it is truly a wonderful, caring community of people, many whom have become good friends. I first began volunteering as an usher/greeter, helping in the office and singing with the choir and praise team and then I joined the staff in 2014. I feel blessed that I can share my talents in a very meaningful way. I am very involved with my children’s education and activities and also enjoy reading, traveling and working on my family genealogy. In my spare time, you might find me making a hot dish (a.k.a. casserole for you non-Minnesotans) or playing a game of Euchre or Cribbage! I look forward to seeing you at church!

    Holly Paet

    Office Administrator

    Having been born and raised in the small, rural Northern California community of Kneeland, at age 22 I decided it was time to head South to warmer weather. I lived in Sacramento for 5 years, before moving to Las Vegas in 2011. My husband, Terrance, and I have been married for 4 years. We have two boys, Nathan (2) and Aiden (4), who keep us very busy. I enjoy reading, baking, road trips and gardening. I am a huge Star Wars fan and lover of country music. I’ve worked in the auto industry for the past 15 years in various roles. I am so excited to be part of the staff at Good Samaritan and look forward to serving the wonderful community here.

    Jamie Rosas

    Sunday School Director

    Jamie was born in upstate New York where she studied elementary education and early childhood development. She moved to Las Vegas in 2006 to be closer to her parents who had retired here. She spent some time in restaurant management where she met her husband Carlos. They have a beautiful daughter Maddie, who inspired Jamie to return to her passion of working with children and helping them grow in their relationship with God. Jamie loves spending all her free time with her daughter and husband, playing outdoors, being active, doing arts and crafts and just having fun.

    Natalee Butler

    Youth Director / Connections Coordinator

    Natalee was born in the small town of Las Vegas, NV. Growing up in Vegas she learned the fine art of navigating the freeway system as well as the ever popular question, “what hotel do you live in!?” After studying Psychology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Natalee found her calling working with the students here at Good Samaritan. She felt her skills would be put to great use because as we all know, the students here are just a little bit crazy.

    Tommi Garza

    Communications Coordinator

    Born and raised in Las Vegas, I have been attending Good Samaritan for over 20 years. I graduated from UNLV with my Masters in Special Education in 2011. When my son was born I knew I wanted to spend more time home with him and I made the decision to leave the classroom and pursue part-time work. I love spending time outdoors such as hiking, camping, and snowboarding. I am so grateful to have Good Samaritan as my church home. My husband, Loren, and I regularly attend weekend worship along with our two children, Carter and Olivia.

    Doug Pippenger

    Facilities Manager

    Doug and his wife, LouAnn have been married for 34 years with four children and 11 grandchildren. Doug moved to Las Vegas in 1993 after being born and raised in Sturgis, MI. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, Doug was a purchasing manager for General Motors as well as another company. When he moved to Las Vegas he became a table games dealer for 23 years until retirement. In addition to his time spent as a purchasing manager and table games dealer, Doug has refereed high school and college basketball as well as baseball and softball for over 20 years. Doug joined our staff in 2016.

    Council Members – Adult

    Regina Vermeulen

    Council President

    My husband Marcel and I started attending Good Samaritan in 2013 after moving to Las Vegas to be close to my son, his wife and our three grandsons. I am originally from New York and worked in HR Management for 25 years prior to retiring. As a lifelong Lutheran, I feel blessed to have found Good Samaritan and knew from our very first visit that GSLC would be our new church home. Everyone was incredibly warm, friendly and welcoming to us. It’s been my pleasure ever since to work with others on church and community activities and events, be on the HR Committee and belong to a Small Group with wonderful people who are now our friends. I am grateful to serve GSLC, our Members and Staff as Secretary, and Council member.

    Carl Bates

    Council Vice President


    I was born and raised in Rochester, NY, where I graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology in 1993 and went to work for Continental Insurance. I was assigned to an office in Connecticut, where spent 4 years and got my MBA from the University of Hartford in 1997. I then decided to follow my family to Las Vegas in 1997 and landed a job with Nevada Power Company for the next 6 years before moving on to work for Clark County in the Elections department. I now work for the County Clerk as a manager overseeing the Marriage License Bureau for the “Wedding Capital of the World”. My wife, Gail, and our two kids, Lauren and Aaron, joined Good Sam in 2009 and have been involved in many ministries over the years. I served on council for 4 years, 2 as President during the first phase of the school academy expansion, and I’m looking forward to the second phase buildout and construction of the sanctuary.

    Jane Forbes

    Council Secretary

    I have lived in Las Vegas for 40 years. I am a nurse and a teacher. I teach Medical Assisting at a career and technical high school in North Las Vegas. I previously attended and served at Community Lutheran, but after moving to the west side of Las Vegas decided to join Good Samaritan Lutheran Church about one year ago. I mostly attend the 8 AM service and serve as an usher, communion assistant and make baby blankets for the layette ministry. I have found so many friendly and wonderful people at Good Sam. I could not be happier with a church home.

    Jessica Elliott

    Council Member

    My daughter, Avery, and I have been members of Good Samaritan since about 2014. I grew up in southwest Minnesota and then went to South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD where I earned by Bachelor’s degree in Sociology in 2003. My husband Shawn and I moved to Las Vegas in 2005. My daughter Avery has attended Good Samaritan Christian Academy since she was 4 years old. We feel so blessed to have found a church and school that really feel like a home. The church/school community is the embodiment of real Christian values and of the motto: Love God, Love People, Make a Difference. I love being able to help the church and school and contributing to the success of both.

    Joe Gilbert

    Council Member

    My wife Emily and I joined Good Samaritan about five years ago, and have found it to be a true church home. We have lived in Las Vegas for 25 years and have two grown children and one grandson. I retired in 2015 after 25 years as a professor of business strategy and business ethics at UNLV. We are members of a very active small group, and since Emily is Service Coordinator for the 8 o’clock service I am sometimes an usher, greeter, reader and communion assistant. I also sing in the Christmas and Easter choirs, attend and sometimes lead the Thursday morning faith talk group, and take part in other church activities.

    Erika Noltie

    Council Member

    I have attended Good Samaritan since 2014. My family discovered the church through the Boy Scouts. I have lived in Las Vegas for over 20 years and am proud to call Las Vegas our home, and Good Samaritan our church. Before finding Good Sam, I had been to many different types of non-denominational churches, but none felt like home until Good Sam. Through the church, I am involved in small group, working in the Sunday school and nursery, as well as volunteering at many church events. I am honored to be a church council member and blessed to have found this congregation.

    Dale Puhl

    Council Member

    Denise and I have been attending Good Samaritan for about 3 years. I moved to Las Vegas in 1973 to manage a title insurance company which was my primary business for almost 50 years am currently a real estate broker and expert witness. Our daughter Kristin is active with the music ministry and I love participating in holiday choirs and as a member of the quartet “The Samaritans”. I was very active at Community Lutheran as President of the Church Council (twice) and assisting with financing for 3 construction campaigns. The future looks so bright for Good Samaritan and I look forward to playing an active role as a member of the Church Council.

    Mary Swenson

    Council Member

    My husband, Sandy, and I joined Good Samaritan in 2013 after moving to Las Vegas from North Dakota to be close to our children and grandchildren. Prior to retiring, I worked in elementary schools as a reading specialist. I mostly attend the 9:35 service where I am a reader and communion assistant. I also serve on the altar committee and attend a women’s Bible study group.

    Lisa Taylor

    Council Member

    I was born and raised here in Las Vegas, NV. My husband Jesse and I have been members here at Good Samaritan Lutheran church for about 5 years. We have a daughter Madelyn who is 4 years old. I work as a physical therapist and I feel blessed to truly love my job. Good Samaritan is a fun, loving, welcoming church and it truly feels like home here. I enjoy helping to serve the church and school in any way I can help. If you are looking for a church home, please consider Good Samaritan Lutheran Church. There are many activities, groups, and service projects you can get involved in through the church. I typically attend the Saturday 5 PM service. I hope to see you there!