LCEF has served as the financial extension of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) since 1978, offering funding and resources in support of the Church. When you invest with LCEF, you’re providing for the creation and growth of congregations and ministries across the country.

Investing in a strong LCMS community

LCEF empowers LCMS ministries with every dollar invested. And with nearly 60,000 investors, we’ve been able to make a difference for thousands of ministries. We provide customized loans and support services to new and growing ministries as well as loans for Rostered Church Workers who dedicate their lives to sharing the Gospel.

Securing your financial future

Our generous investors and dedicated loan customers have made it possible for us to maintain a strong capital position. We offer competitive rates and ensure your invested funds remain accessible and in your control. With LCEF, you experience the benefits of working with an established financial institution while growing the LCMS.

Supporting you around the clock

LCEF offers secure, 24/7 online access to investments and loans through MyAccount. View balances and statements, complete transactions and even receive alerts when payments are due. Communicate directly with dedicated LCEF staff members who share your faith and values to ensure your stewardship efforts are always well-informed and free of stress.

The LCEF Senior Leadership Team

Bart Day | President and CEO

Rev. Bart Day is the president and CEO of LCEF. Prior to LCEF, Day served The Office of National Mission for six years. From 2014 to 2015, Day served as the interim LCMS Chief Mission Officer and the interim Executive Director of Pastoral Education from 2015 to 2016. He began his career as an associate pastor at Memorial Lutheran Church in Houston, Texas—a position to which he was called in 1997. From 2005 to 2011 he served concurrently as headmaster at Memorial Lutheran School.

A graduate of Concordia Teachers College (Concordia University), Seward, Nebraska, Day also holds a Master of Divinity degree from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. Day and his wife, Julie, have six children and reside in Sunset Hills, Missouri. They are members of Hope Lutheran Church, St. Louis.

Thomas Helfrich | CFO & Senior Vice President—Finance

Thomas Helfrich joined LCEF in 1980 and has served as CFO and Senior VP—Finance since 1999. Tom oversees financial planning and budgeting; treasury and investment management; accounting, auditing and reporting; and legal/compliance, the area responsible for the Offering Circular and correspondence with state regulators.

Prior to serving at LCEF, Tom worked as a Certified Public Accountant for three years. He received bachelor’s degrees in accounting and history from McKendree College in Lebanon, Illinois.

Max Biesenthal | Senior Vice President—Ministry Support

Bruce “Max” Biesenthal joined LCEF in 2011. Max leads the Ministry Support area of LCEF, which equips ministries to step into God’s roles for them using a mission-focused process, stewardship, fundraising, facility enhancement, coaching and more.

Previously, Max has served as a senior pastor, executive director of a Lutheran high school, motivational speaker, sales manager, editor and freelance writer. He also is the author of Becoming Your Self—10 Spiritual Principles for Personal and Business Success. Max is a graduate of Concordia Seminary in St. Louis.

Becca Jones | Senior Vice President—Marketing & Customer Support

Becca Jones was named Senior VP—Marketing & Customer Support in 2012. Becca manages a staff that includes investment processing, information representatives and the marketing team. She has served LCEF since 2002, first as Communications Manager and most recently as Director of Customer Relations.

Before joining LCEF, Becca was Ministry Support Coordinator at The LCMS Foundation and worked for the St. Louis-based brokerage firm Edward Jones. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and management from Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon.

Gerald Kirk | Chief Credit Officer

Gerald Kirk joined LCEF in 2015 as Chief Credit Officer. Gerald supervises all administrative functions for credit review, loan processing, loan operations, national lending and loan resolution. He works extensively with LCEF District Vice Presidents to provide support and mentoring for unique loan transactions.

Prior to joining LCEF, Gerald served as Vice President, Credit Officer – Credit Administration at PNC Bank in St. Louis. Previously, he owned a consulting firm that developed innovative business solutions for nonprofits and small businesses. He also served as Interim President of the St. Louis Lutheran High School Association. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri—St. Louis and his MBA from Washington University in St. Louis.

Rick Lauer | Senior Vice President—Information Technology & Facilities Management

Rick Lauer provides direction and planning for the wide variety of technology-related functions that support LCEF’s mission. Rick develops strategies and coordinates IT efforts. He oversees the operation of computer systems, management of data, security of data information and planning for contingencies.

Rick has 20 years of experience with major St. Louis-area corporations including MasterCard, CoreExpress, McDonnell Douglas and Monsanto. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri and an associate’s degree in computer science from St. Louis Community College.

Steve Bremer | Senior Vice President—District & National Operations

Steve Bremer supervises LCEF’s Regional Vice Presidents and is responsible for LCEF operations across the country. Primarily focused on developing and maintaining strong connections with the Districts and other ministries of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, his goal is to ensure responsiveness and excellence are the standards by which LCEF is known.

Steve joined LCEF in 2008 as District Vice President of the Kansas District and subsequently took on the role of District Vice President of the Oklahoma District. Prior to that, he spent 31 years with the R.J. Reynolds Company in leadership roles in marketing and sales.

Ryan McIvor | Senior Vice President—District & National Operations

Ryan McIvor supervises LCEF’s Regional Vice Presidents and is responsible for LCEF operations across the country. Primarily focused on developing and maintaining strong connections with the Districts and other ministries of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, his goal is to ensure responsiveness and excellence are the standards by which LCEF is known.

Joining LCEF in 2004 as the Assistant to the Northwest District Vice President, Ryan began his tenure as the District Vice President in the Northwest District in 2005, a post he held for eight years before beginning his work with District & National Operations in 2013. Prior to joining LCEF, Ryan worked as a Systems Engineer for ASML (formerly Silicon Valley Group) and taught electronics and robotics at ITT Technical Institute in Portland, Oregon. Ryan and his wife are members of Trinity Lutheran Church in Hillsboro, Ore.