Meet our Staff...
Here to Guide You
Rev. Ernie Hinojosa, Senior Pastor
For Rev. Ernie Hinojosa, his love for the Lord and passion for spreading God’s word has led him all over North America, and fortunately for us, to Rejoice where he has served as our senior pastor since August, 2013.
Before arriving at Rejoice, Pastor Ernie served on the church-wide staff of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) as Director for Evangelical Mission deployed to the North Carolina synod. Before being sent to North Carolina, Ernie served as lead pastor/church planter for Camino Real Christian Fellowship (ELCA) as well as associate pastor of MacArthur Park Lutheran Church – both in San Antonio, Texas. Ernie is a frequent speaker and resource person in the areas of leadership development, discipleship, and evangelical outreach.
A father of three young adult children, our favorite senior pastor in the world is happily married to his wife Jana. He is a graduate of Texas State University where he earned his degree in marketing, and holds a Master of Divinity from the Lutheran Seminary in the Southwest.
Vicar Cheryl Herried, Pastoral Intern
Cheryl has enjoyed a career that has taken her from the corporate world of computer programming, to the business and human side of the industry where she focused on people development. After earning her masters degree, she served as a human resources leader and consultant where she focused on leadership and organizational development, team building, and executive coaching. The arrival of her daughter Emily slowed her career down to part time and increased her investment in the church and discipleship development.
Cheryl is now the Vicar at Rejoice Lutheran Church – a vicar is basically a pastoral intern – as she pursues her studies in theology from Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. Her work at Rejoice encompasses all the job requirements of a pastor and is a mandated part of the seminary curriculum.
She has no idea where the Lord’s plans will take her next, but she is excited to enjoy the ride. Cheryl and her husband, Bob, have two daughters, Lara and Emily; they live in Coppell, Texas with their dogs, Ellie and Pepper.
Aaron and Katrina Colwick,
Directors of Children, Youth, and Family Ministries
Aaron and Katrina have been serving the Northern Texas – Northern Louisiana Synod since 2006, either as Adult Advisors for the Lutheran Youth Organization, working at Lutheran churches across the metroplex, working at Briarwood, or as members of the Christian band “Scattered Seeds”. They are also the Directors of Youth Ministry at Grace Lutheran Church in Carrollton, TX! Aaron grew up here in the Metroplex, having lived in Rockwall, Dallas, Tarrant, & Denton county. He enjoys playing softball, smoking meat and cooking, watching movies, and dabbling in most things geeky and nerdy! He loves working and teaching in Youth Ministry, and can’t imagine doing anything else. Katrina was born in Fort Worth, grew up in New Mexico, and moved back here to Southlake, TX, for her high school years. Katrina has two degrees from TCU, and a Masters in Counseling from SMU, although she considers herself a Horned Frog first and foremost. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist; Gottman Level 1 Therapist; and a Play Therapist. She currently has her own practice in Grapevine, Colwick Counseling. She enjoys hiking and singing, as well as playing with their dog Ridley.
Josalyn Penner, Church Office Administrator
Josalyn grew up in White Deer, TX. A small farming town in the TX Panhandle near Amarillo. She graduated with 36 people in her class. She even worked on a farm in high school (drove a tractor and all kinds of things). She grew up in a small Methodist Church, and she’s glad she did. That means even more to her now that she’s older.
She has lived in Spain as a Summer Foreign Exchange student twice. Once in high school; once in college.
She has been married to her husband, Chris, for 13 years and has two sons, Vincent age 6 and Zion age 11. Both of her boys play soccer and that keeps her busy. They are also involved in Church Choir and Youth Group.
Josalyn has lived in Lewisville for 11 years and really likes this area. She doesn’t miss the Amarillo Winters!!
She really enjoys cooking and likes to do fruit carvings as well.
She has had the same best friend since she was three years old, Christa. Christa still lives in Josalyn’s hometown.
Aidan Wright, Digital Ministries Coordinator
Aidan is pleased to be helping Rejoice Lutheran Church spread God’s message through online media and digital content. He comes to us from Dallas Heritage Village (Old City Park) where he worked as the Membership and Marketing Manager. He also worked for the All-Saints Episcopal Camp on Lake Texoma for about six years. During that time, he graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington with a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies.
Aidan is also a local actor, playwright, and director. He has performed with Theater Arlington, Stolen Shakespeare Guild, and Pegasus Theater in shows ranging from Godspell to To Kill a Mocking Bird to Macbeth. “Shia LaBeouf” in a new script reading in 2019 was one of his favorite roles.
Aidan grew up in the Episcopal Church, acolyting and lectoring from a young age. He became involved at a diocesan and national level, serving as a delegate for his church at conventions in 2017 and 2020, and at the General Convention in 2018. At the General Convention he was an officer for the Committee on the Reintegration of the Cuban Diocese.
Rick Watts, Choir Director
Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Rick discovered a passion for church music at a young age. In pursuit of this, he earned a Bachelor of Music in Church Music from Samford University, in Birmingham, Alabama. He then moved to Texas, where he earned a Master of Music in Church Music from Baylor University in Waco, along with a Master of Divinity from Truett Theological Seminary, also in Waco. During his time at Baylor, he also served as a music minister in a rural Baptist church.
Rick is excited to continue to glorify God through music at Rejoice Lutheran.
When he’s not at Rejoice, Rick serves as a healthcare chaplain. Rick is married to his wife, Paige who is a music therapist. He also enjoys spending time with family, watching baseball and NASCAR, and playing board games.
Katya Chernaya-Oh, Accompanist
If you have ever attended service at Rejoice, chances are you were moved by the beautiful music that rings through the church. At the piano, where you can find Katya Chernaya-Oh, is where much of our heavenly sound comes from. Katya has been the accompanist at Rejoice since April of 2009.
To say her resume is impressive would be an understatement. Katya is a world-class pianist who has earned awards and recognition for her work both in Russia and in the United States, in addition to competitions in both California and Wyoming. She is also an accomplished educator who has taught students at the University of North Texas, University of Wyoming, and Saratov State Conservatory in Russia.
Katya earned her Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance degree from the University of North Texas and received her bachelor’s and master’s degree from Saratov State Conservatory.
Kim Thomas, Bookkeeper
Kim is a native Texan…born in Austin and raised in Houston. After receiving her BBA in Finance from the University of Texas, she moved to Dallas to work for a small CPA firm. After 10 years at the firm, she started staying home with her 2 young children, while starting her own accounting & bookkeeping business, and adding another child. That business has grown to include many small businesses and Rejoice!
Kim and her family joined Rejoice in 1997. Her children (Michael, Sarah & Will) grew up at Rejoice and are out on their own. Even though her nest is empty, Kim enjoys taking care of her clients but also loves to visit wineries, walk, read and ride her bike.