Katie was born and raised in Wisconsin, mostly in the city of Fond du Lac located on the foot of Lake Winnebago (the only inland lake in Wisconsin on a US map). There she spent her days slaving away at school and working at the local YMCA as a lifeguard and swim instructor.
In the fall following her high school graduation, she moved across the state to the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire where she studied comparative religions and history (with a bit of dabbling in Spanish, but nothing official). She was also a proud member of the Blugold Marching Band and toured with them in the falls of all four years of college (and also on a European tour in the winter of 2007). In her final semester of undergraduate studies, Katie moved to Scotland to immerse herself in an older culture to complete her history requirements. She lived in Stirling with 4 other flatmates and made some lifelong friends there.
In the summers between her college years, she worked in varying capacities at some camps in Wisconsin known as the Crossways Camping Ministries. It was here that her call to be a pastor in the Lutheran Church was truly cemented. The summers spent as a member of a camp staff were certainly the most formative and informative times of her life thus far.
Following her final summer at camp, Katie moved to Saint Paul, MN to begin her four year masters degree in divinity. The first two years were filled with much study and practical ministry in the classroom, at a hospital, and in a local congregation. During January 2010, Katie went to Haiti to complete her cross-cultural experience for her degree. While she was there, she had the privilege to be surrounded by the warmest and kindest people as they all came together following the earthquake. This event changed her life as well.
That following summer, Katie met a man would would end up being her husband, Will Johnson in a friendly game of ultimate frisbee. Upon their second meeting, Katie tore Will’s ACL and meniscus. He had surgery to repair it the day Katie left to drive to her internship year in Everett, WA. If there were any doubts of Katie’s call to ministry they were quelled in that year of being a pastor of a church.
In her final year of seminary, Katie dutifully wrote papers and filed paperwork so that she could receive a call to be an ordained pastor following her graduation in May 2012. Three days after her graduation, Katie and Will started dating, right before Will left for his internship year.
Unfortunately, the next two years did not bring an opportunity to be a pastor to Katie, but it did bring her a wonderful husband and a glorious opportunity to experience ministry in Africa with her husband for a year, as he received the Graduate Preaching Fellowship from Luther Seminary.
So, for now, she is playing the role of doting: housewife, supporting, cleaning, cooking, and learning alongside her other half in Africa.