Staff & Council
Meet the team at First Lutheran.
Rev. Christie Manisto
Rev. Christie Manisto, Pastor of First Lutheran Church, has served in the ELCA as pastor for the past fifteen years. Prior to arriving in International Falls, she served with ELCA Global mission accompanying the people of St. Andrew’s United Church of Cairo as pastor and St. Andrew’s Refugee Service as both chaplain and director on the co-leadership team. She and her wonderful husband Steve arrived in Cairo, Egypt August 2019 and finished their service there on 21 July 2023. Just prior to Pastor Christie’s service in Cairo she spent one year as an ACPE chaplain resident at Portland Providence Hospital in Portland, Oregon USA. Palliative care, coping mechanisms in trauma and bereavement through an interfaith lens was a special focus of her residency. She served two other wonderful congregations prior to that in Princeton, MN and Vancouver WA. Pastor Christie attended seminary at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago where she received her master’s in divinity. She also holds a master’s degree in education from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her thesis was on educational leadership and Second Language Learners. Prior to her service as a pastor, Christie spent ten years as an elementary school teacher in urban public schools in the USA. During that time, she and her colleagues created educational curriculum and interactive learning seminars for students and staff on special education inclusion, multicultural awareness, white privilege, and in partnership with local tribal leadership, Minnesota history from an Indigenous perspective. Christie’s husband Steve is a Special Education teacher newly employed at the Northland Learning Center where he will teach at the elementary level. They have two lovely daughters, Winter who lives in Minneapolis and Sunday who lives in New York. Both born and raised in Cloquet, Minnesota Christie and Steve are thrilled to be back “home.” In their free time they love drinking coffee, fishing, hiking, snowshoeing, canoeing, being near pine trees and playing cribbage.
Kathi was born and raised in International Falls. She was baptized and confirmed at First Lutheran. After living elsewhere for 20 years, Kathi returned to the Falls 16 years ago. Kathi continues to work as a Nurse Practitioner part time, is a woman owned business partner, and at the church office. She enjoys reading, traveling, and knitting.
Kris Jackson is a transplant to I Falls for the last 12 years. I Falls is Tony's hometown!
When Kris is not playing with her granddaughter Grace, you can find her in the church office, at the piano or teaching yoga.
She enjoys baking and serving coffee after worship. Kris skis in the winter, gardens in the summer and quilts all year long.