• Rev. Joel Burkholder, SENIOR Pastor

    Joel graduated from Carthage College in Kenosha, WI after attending a Mennonite school for two years in his home state of Indiana. Joel played professional tennis for a short time before coming to his senses and answering his call to ministry.  Joel has a master’s degree from the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago and has served congregations in Illinois, California and Texas. He and his wife, Nicole, who is a para-legal for a large Dallas based law firm, are the proud parents of Caleb.                                              Contact Pastor Joel at

  • Hunter Birkhead, Music & Worship

    We are excited to welcome Hunter Birkhead in January 2020 as Director of Music & Worship. 

    Hunter is a professional choral conductor, music educator, and vocalist, holding a Bachelor's Degree in Vocal Performance and a Master's in Music Education; Choral Conducting, from the University of Oklahoma.


    As a conductor, Hunter has served as the Music Director of First Christian Church, (Midwest City, OK) as well as St. Stephen's Episcopal Church (Hurst, TX).  Additionally, while working on his Master's degree, Hunter gained experience conducting the Norman Community Chorus, and has conducted the OU Combined Choirs in concert.  


    As a professional vocalist, Hunter has performed leading roles in operas, operettas, and oratorios, while also maintaining engagements as a professional chorister, singing with the Richard Zielinski Singers, The Orchestra of New Spain, and The Dallas Bach Society.


    Hunter also has enjoyed teaching private music lessons, specializing in piano, voice, and drums.


    Hunter is thrilled to begin his work at Advent Lutheran Church, and is grateful for the opportunity to share his faith in Christ and love for music with this congregation. Contact Hunter at

  • Connie ORtega, Mission developer-Adviento

    Connie is our SAWL(Synodically Authorized Worship Leader) Connie joined Adviento in 2016. She has a Masters in Education and teaches at a local school. Originally from Nicaragua, she has lived in California, New Mexico, and Texas. She has a mother, Josefina; a daughter, Josephine, two sons:  Matthew and Jacob, and two grandchildren: Caleb and Christian. Contact Connie at

  • Greta Franklin, Children & Youth

    Greta joined Advent’s ministry team in June 2012 with nine years’ experience in ministry with children.  She has a heart for outreach and serving others.  She has two grown children; son Taylor and daughter Paige.  Originally from Maryland, Greta has also lived in Kentucky, but considers Texas her home.  For fun Greta enjoys hanging out with friends, dancing, and riding around in her convertible with the top down and the music up.  Contact Greta at

  • Lynn Courtney, Finance & Facilities

    Lynn has been a member of Advent since 1989 and on the staff since 1997. Originally from the mid-west she has lived in Arlington since 1978. Lynn is the proud parent of Chris, Jenn and Drew. Contact Lynn at

  • Carol Kocher, Organist

    Carol has been the Parish Organist since 1989.  She has been a Lutheran church organist since she was 16.  Originally from Pennsylvania, she has lived in many parts of the country. Carol has 3 sons and 8 grandchildren.

  • Joyce Rearick, Financial Secretary

    Joyce and her husband have been members or Advent since 1986.  Joyce has served Advent as Financial Secretary since 1990.  Originally from Chicago she has been in Texas since 1966.  Contact Joyce at