Bjorn Dixon, Pastor

Bjorn and Esther Dixon met at Biola University in Los Angeles where Esther was Bjorn’s German tutor. They met every week at a coffee shop where Bjorn paid for the tutoring with coffee. A wedding and three kids later, they can definitely say that those cups of coffee were a good investment! Bjorn and Esther love being part of the WHY Church community as well as the Elk River YMCA. They are blessed beyond measure by their twin daughters and adopted son. Bjorn enjoys reading, sports of all kinds, and the great outdoors. His passion is to encourage people in the life-long journey of learning about, loving, and following Jesus!

Click here to email Bjorn.


Tara Thieke, Administrator

Tara lives with her family near Big Lake, MN. She graduated from Augustana College and the UMN Veterinary School, where she met her husband, J.C. They spent time in Colorado and South Dakota before settling back in Minnesota. They have 4 kids and share their space with 3 horses, 2 cats, and a dog. Tara worked as a small animal veterinarian and in finance/human resources prior to joining the WHY Staff Team. Some of her favorite things are time with family and friends, traveling, and the outdoors when it’s warm. She has been active in Alpha, numerous small group studies, children’s and youth ministry, and a house church. Together with J.C. and their kids, they have found living together in community with other believers to be one of God’s greatest gifts.

Click here to email Tara.

Michele Kreager, Administrative Assistant

Michele lives with her husband Josh and their three children in Big Lake, MN. Michele and Josh met during her senior year at St. Cloud State University, where she graduated with a degree in Sociology. After several years in a full time early childhood teaching position Michele decided to take a break from full time work in order to spend more time focusing on her family. She loves to read, spend time with their families multiple pets and share Jesus’ love through serving people at home and at work.

Click here to email Michele.

Grace Thieke, Digital Communication

Grace is a college student attending Biola University in Southern California. She is majoring in Biological Science and is in the Torrey Honors College. On breaks and during the summer she enjoys spending time with her parents and three younger brothers at home in Big Lake. She loves surfing, flowers, traveling, reading, spending time with friends, and riding horses. Grace is excited to be part of the staff team and to connect the WHY Church community in seeking Jesus.

Click here to email Grace.

Leadership Team

  • Bjorn Dixon
  • Megan Henderson
  • Curt Hinkle
  • Laura Hoelscher
  • Scott Merkling
  • J.C. Thieke
  • Tara Thieke
  • Ryan Vick