LCEF, incorporated in 1978, is a continuation of the Synod's service to the entire LCMS. In fiscal year 2012*, LCEF welcomed more than 450 new loan customers. Congregations, ministries and schools gained funds for building, upgrading or remodeling facilities, and were empowered through our ministry support programs and services. Rostered church workers secured reasonable housing and consolidation loans. LCEF partners with more than 50,000 investors to make the funds available for loans and ministry support. Together, these partnerships have resulted in a total asset portfolio of $1.82 billion.
God has truly blessed the ministry of Church Extension and its supporters!
*Fiscal 2012 began July 1, 2011 and ended June 30, 2012. Figures as of June 30, 2012.
The mission of Lutheran Church Extension Fund is to support the Church in fulfilling its mission of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ by being a Christ-centered servant partner of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), ensuring that funds and services are available now and in the future.
There are many ways to become a part of the LCEF ministry, collectively doing the work God has planned for us. Join us in:
To find out how you can help reach more people with the message of Christ's salvation through LCEF, call 800-843-5233.
LCEF Executives and Senior Leadership
Richard C. Robertson
Richard C. Robertson began his tenure as Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) president and CEO in January 2010. Prior to joining LCEF, Rich was managing partner of H&R Land Development Corp., Peachtree City, Ga. He has served in numerous senior executive positions in the consumer packaged goods industry, including as president and CEO of Wise Foods, executive vice president of The Kellogg Company, and vice president and general manager of Keebler Foods. He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Rich was president, elder, Strategy and Planning Committee chairman, and mission trip team leader at different points in time for St. Paul Lutheran Church and School, Peachtree City. He provided counsel to the Florida-Georgia District on a number of business-related opportunities and was elected to the national LCEF Board of Directors in 2006.
CFO/Sr. Vice President—Finance
Thomas Helfrich has served as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Sr. Vice President—Finance since December 1999. He joined LCEF in 1980.
Tom attended McKendree College in Lebanon, Ill., where he received bachelor's degrees in accounting and history. Before serving LCEF, he was in public accounting for three years and has his Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certificate.
Vice President, Ministry Support
Bruce "Max" Biesenthal joined LCEF in October 2011. Max has served as a senior pastor, executive director of a Lutheran high school, motivational speaker, sales manager, editor of a web-based sports magazine and freelance writer. He also is the author of "Becoming Your Self - 10 Spiritual Principles for Personal and Business Success."
Max leads the Ministry Support area of LCEF, which seeks to equip and enable ministries to step into what God has called them to be, using a mission-focus process, stewardship, fund-raising, facility enhancement, coaching and more. Max is a graduate of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.
Sr. Vice President—Chief Credit Officer
Tom Buuck became Chief Credit Officer in January 2012. In this role, Tom guides LCEF's lending activities, ensuring guidelines, approvals and procedures meet policy standards, regulatory requirements and investor expectations.
Prior to joining LCEF, Tom was managing partner of Idaho Mutual Trust, a commercial real estate finance company. He also has served as senior vice president of commercial real estate with Idaho Independent Bank in Boise.
In addition, Tom serves as chairman of the Investment Committee of the Concordia Wisconsin Foundation. He was a member of the Credit Committee of the State of Idaho Mortgage Pension Fund and a member of the LCEF Board of Directors.
Tom received his bachelor's degree from Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon, and his MBA from Portland State University.
Sr. Vice President—Marketing and Customer Support
Becca Jones was named Sr. Vice President—Marketing and Customer Support in January 2012. She has served LCEF since July 2002, first as communications manager and most recently as director of customer relations. Before joining LCEF, Becca was the ministry support coordinator at The LCMS Foundation and worked for the St. Louis-based brokerage firm Edward Jones.
In her current position, Becca manages a department staff that includes investment processing, information representatives, ministry resources and marketing team. She holds a bachelor's degree in communications and management from Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon.
Sr. Vice President—Information Technology and Facilities Management
LCEF's Chief Information Officer, Rick Lauer, provides direction and planning for the wide variety of technology-related functions that support LCEF's mission.
Rick develops strategy and coordinates information technology efforts. He oversees the operation of computer systems, management of data, infrastructure for the website, 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, St. Charles, Mo., and an associate's degree in computer science from St. Louis Community College.