Our Staff

Meet the staff of Calvary!

  • John Grunditz    Senior Pastor

    I grew up in Minneapolis where I met and married LaVonne in 1970. We have been blessed with three married boys, eight granddaughters, and one grandson.


    The greatest decision of my life came in November 1973 when I gave my life to Christ. He has been faithful and true in every situation, all the time.


    God called me to be a pastor in 1978 in a church in Fargo, ND. After eight years there, I left to attend Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas and graduated in 1990. Since then I have served an evangelical-free church in Watertown, SD for almost twenty years and currently here at Calvary Memorial Church in the Minneapolis area.


    The purpose of my life and ministry is to grow in knowing, following, and loving Christ. I try to point every sermon and every ministry at Calvary towards this grand vision that we might all grow as wholehearted followers of Jesus.


    Philippians 2:9–11 is a favorite verse of mine that expresses this—to exalt Jesus Christ as Lord!


    In our free time we love spending time with our kids and grandkids. I enjoy my Minnesota sports teams, especially the mighty Vikings and the Timberwolves. On a quiet evening, there’s nothing better that a good book, especially a biography.


    LaVonne helps us keep to a healthier diet, but if left on my own, I could eat BBQ food every night!



    CONTACT  Pastor John at johngrunditz@gmail.com

  • Rusty Grunditz    Associate Pastor

    Praise the Lord that He saved me! I came to know Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior as a young boy in Fargo, ND while reading a comic book gospel tract with my mother. Shortly after that, my father entered into the pastoral ministry full-time, so we grew up around the local church for as long as I can remember.

     

    We moved to Dallas, TX when Dad was called to seminary and then to Watertown, SD when he graduated to become the pastor of New Life Evangelical Free Church. The move to Watertown was difficult for me as it was my senior year of High School. I struggled to fit in, but, looking back at it, I thank the Lord for using it to grow a love and care for people who may be prone to “slipping through the cracks” of society or the church. Praise God for how He works!

     

    I met and married my wife, Karale, in 1996 and began our journey together moving around to a few places as I continued my work in the retail industry until 2013. At the end of that time, the Lord took away the business we had worked so hard on for several years. In earthly terms it was, another difficult chapter of life but very beautiful, as the body of Christ surrounded us (now with three daughters!) with mercy and love to help get us through that time. How wonderful is His Church!

     

    In His Providence, I landed on my feet as a mailman with the United States Postal Service. In many ways this was a sweet time of training and communion with the Lord Jesus Christ as I would listen to many sermons and theological discussions as I delivered the mail. Through those years we were heavily involved in the life of the local church. God has used us in young-adult ministry, prayer ministry, children’s ministry, and youth ministry. It has been such a great joy!

     

    In June 2020, the Lord called us to move to Mound and become the associate pastor at Calvary Memorial Church. How grateful we are for His leading! What a huge blessing this church has been to our family!

     

    Philippians 3:8

    "Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord."


    CONTACT  Pastor Rusty at rgrund32@yahoo.com

  • Kristen von Edeskuty    Worship Leader

    I am so thankful to the Lord for loving Christian parents who raised me to know, follow, and love the Lord Jesus from a very young age. I prayed to receive Christ as a young child and understood my need for His love and forgiveness in my life. What a privilege to walk with Jesus through all of life.

     

    I grew up in Minneapolis. Our family went to Hope Presbyterian Church in Richfield, which was a place where I grew deeply in my walk with Christ.

     

    After graduating from Minnehaha Academy, I went to Wheaton College, where Robert and I started dating. After graduating, we married and  I worked as an elementary education teacher in Bloomington and Minneapolis Schools for five years, and also graduated with a master's degree from Mankato State University. Then our daughter, Kathryn, was born, and three months later we moved to Colorado.

     

    We helped start and lead a bible school at Timberline Lodge, a ministry of Torchbearers International. We discipled students and taught in the school for seven years in the mountains near Winter Park. During that time, Joseph, David, and Matthew were born (all at hospitals in Denver, which was a two-hour drive over the mountains!). Timberline was a wonderful place to raise our children, and we were so thankful for our church family at Winter Park Christian Church during those years.

     

    In 2007 we moved back to Minnesota, knowing Rob’s dad was terminally ill. We felt the Lord moving us back to be nearer to our families. Right away we found Calvary Memorial Church (in part because of the giant AWANA sign on the fence) and have been so thankful and blessed to serve and be a part of Calvary since then. Our son, Daniel, was born in 2010. We have been homeschooling our children since 2012, and in the fall of 2017, I began as the worship leader at Calvary.

     

    We praise the Lord that He is able to grow us up into Him. As I watch our children grow, I am in constant wonder that He is doing the growth! We also praise the Lord for the beautiful body of Christ at Calvary and the fellowship we share because of His redeeming work for us!

     

    I love to read and swim and bike, have long talks with our kids, date nights with Rob, and see the whole family get involved serving and worshipping the Lord together.

  • Alison McDonagh    Office Administrator

    My name is Alison and I have been working at Calvary since September 2016. I love my job and feel so blessed to work in a place surrounded by people who love the Lord.


    I was born in Minneapolis but my parents are from Los Angeles, so my childhood was split between the warmth of the Hollywood Hills and snowy Minnesota! I went to Chapel Hill Academy in Chanhassen and then Southwest Christian High School in Chaska. My parents as well as both of these schools really helped me to build a foundation in Christ as I grew up.


    In 2014, on a vacation with my family in Ireland, I met the man I would marry, an Irishman named Wesley. He was working at one of the locations we visited; we started chatting, and the rest is history. I am still in awe that even on a vacation, where you aren’t necessarily thinking about the direction your life may be headed, God is still there working. Wesley and I had a long-distance relationship for a year, staying in touch via Skype and visiting each other as often as we could. Then, in 2015, Wesley moved here to Minnesota, and we got married six months after that. We have a home in Eden Prairie and had our first child, a baby girl, in June 2019.


    Some of my favorite things include traveling, reading, seeing musicals with Wesley, water skiing, sewing, and being outdoors. I could eat watermelon all day long.


    My favorite Bible verse has not changed since I was twelve years old and has always reminded me that my comfort and safety is in Jesus.


    Psalms 18:2

    The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
        my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
        my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”


  • Megan Basinger    Office Administrator

    It has been a joy and a privilege to partner with the Calvary staff in equipping the saints for ministry. I received Christ as my personal savior at the age of three and was raised in a family active in church service. Although my siblings and I attended public schools, we were taught to share our faith and live as examples of Jesus's love.


    My family and I joined CMC in 2015 after moving to the Lake Minnetonka area from southeastern Minnesota, where my husband, Nate, and I grew up together and married. From the first Sunday, we felt the love of God's family welcoming us into the fold. We were eager to find ways to get involved with ministry; my husband helped with the youth group and I began teaching children's Sunday school. Our three boys have made strong friendships and discovered spiritual mentors within the church, all of whom have been tremendous blessings as we've sought to settle ourselves in a new community.


    The Lord has been working throughout my adult life on an attitude of dependence on Him, continually demonstrating that even the best-laid plans must bend to His sovereign will. As I've sought to rest in God's promises, two scripture passages continually come to mind: "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You" (Is. 26:3); and "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths" (Prov. 3:5–6).