Pastoral Staff

Jim Gates.jpg

Jim Gates - Pastor

Jim, his wife Krista, and his two children, Jonathan and Zoë, arrived at CCPC in March of 2015.  Jim is a native of Norfolk, VA, where he spent the last ten years serving as a Associate Pastor in his home church.  Krista is a midwest native, hailing from just north of Minneapolis.

After just a couple months after arriving in Wisconsin, Jim and Krista welcomed their third child, Asher, into the family.  Jonathan and Zoë were so excited to finally meet their baby brother!

Jim’s best days involve lightsaber battles with Jonathan, dancing to music from “Frozen” with Zoë, making faces at Asher, deep talks and lots of laughter with Krista, dinner with friends, and, if possible, a game of ultimate frisbee. Other loves include history, theology, classes of any kind, board games, Duke basketball, exercising with friends, mission trips, youth camps, plain hamburgers and talking about Jesus.

Jess Wakefield.jpg

Jess Wakefield - Parish Visitor

Jess and his wife, Deb, have been members at CCPC for the past 28 years. An ordained Elder and Deacon, he answered the call to ministry in 2005 by enrolling in the online lay pastor program through the University of Dubuque Theological Institute. Upon completion of the program, he was commissioned to Covenant by the Winnebago Presbytery.

After Sid Bouldin retired in 2012, Jess served as the transition pastor until an interim was called to CCPC. Since May of 2013, he has been pastor at First/Riverside Presbyterian Church in Merrill and Gleason.

Jess enjoys time with family (six adult children, 14 grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter), dinner and trips with Deb, walking/hiking with their Old English Sheep Dog named Toby, reading, studying, and watching ALL the NCIS shows. He has been called the “People’s Pastor,” as he has a gift and passion for visiting and care for the sick, hospitalized, and homebound.

Church engagement


Drew Bouché – Communications & Evangelism Coordinator

Drew, a Wausau native, has spent the past nine years as a Graphic Designer working in print media, advertising, and custom apparel. Though once a high school history teacher, Drew’s passion and training in the visual arts led to stints working at The Green Bay Press-Gazette, The Wausau Daily Herald, Eastbay, FastSigns, and Go Getter Graphics (where he created over 300 original designs for retail apparel sales).

As a former college football player, Drew loves following the sport as an adult. His greatest pleasure in life is time spent with his beautiful bride, Megan, and his 12-year-old son, Abram.

Drew is so blessed by God’s grace and redemption, and he is honored to share that gift through his God-given abilities.

youth, young adult & children’s ministries


Amanda Fuls - Director of Children's Ministries

Amanda grew up in the small town of Butternut, Wisconsin and went to college in downtown Minneapolis.  She found the best of both worlds here in central Wisconsin, where she met and married her husband, Jeff Fuls. 

Amanda has worked in retail and office management, but really understood her purpose in life when she became a mom.  Zachary and Micah are her "best accomplishments" and they keep her on her toes, always taking life on at full speed.  

She enjoys coffee, a good book, time on "the lake" trying to out fish Jeff and sitting around a "fire camp" with friends and family.  

Music Staff


Les Fraaza - Director of Music Ministries

Les Fraaza, our music director and accomplished organist/pianist, lives in rural Birnamwood in a home he designed and built himself.  Actually, Les has been building homes since the age of 20, starting out with his father and then owning the business himself 10 years later.

His dedication for, and love of, church music started at the age of 12 when he began playing for a small country church.  

When not making music or building homes, Les enjoys basketball and is a hard core Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers fan.  He spends most of his free time outdoors and loves to travel, but particularly loves worshipping with his family at CCPC.


Deb Perrin - Choir Director

Deb Perrin grew up in the Wausau area, and found her way back after living in Milwaukee and Menasha after marrying her husband, Kent. She has worked at the same great company for the past 33 years and loves being close to her family here in Central Wisconsin.

Deb has always loved music, made evident by performing in 4-H competitions, playing the guitar and ukulele, singing in swing choir in high school, and more recently with the CenterStage Band and Show Choir. Deb has also sung in various church choirs.

In 2008 she had the opportunity to co-direct the Children’s Choir at a local church. It was such a fantastic experience that she jumped at the chance to direct the Children’s Choir at CCPC in 2015. That successful stint has led to her adding the adult choir to her responsibilities. Deb is so blessed to have been given the honor to pass on her love of music to her CCPC family.


Ruth Wrysinski - Bell Choir Director

Ruth Wrysinski and her husband Tom joined the CCPC family in 2001.  They reside in Rib Mountain where they raised their two wonderful daughters. They love to visit their three beautiful, and very active granddaughters.

Music was always been a part of Ruth’s life growing up in Laona, a very small town in Northeastern Wisconsin.  As she grew up, she applied that passion to her professional endeavors. She is a retired music and math teacher, spending many years educating 7th grade to adult students in Wausau and Merrill (private and public institutions). Ruth enjoys everything about Wisconsin (even snow), but especially the Brewers and Friday fish. 

Ruth feels that Covenant has blessed their lives in so many ways, and she is happy to be a part of an active faith community.    

Linda Vogen - Bookkeeper

Linda came to us after retiring from the insurance industry where she worked for nearly 30 years, in various jobs in Internal Audit, Finance, and Sales.  She is a charter member of St Andrew Lutheran Church in Rib Mountain, but feels like a member at Covenant Community as well.

Linda enjoys time with her long-time friend, John, and her family.  She has one daughter, Lisa (School Counselor), who lives in Libertyville, IL with her husband, Marc (Research Chemist), and their three wonderful children, Oliver, Amelia, and James.  Linda enjoys bird watching, reading, crossword puzzles, and genealogy.

Support Staff


Carol Anklam - Housekeeper

Carol grew up on a farm in the Mosinee area, but went to school in the Everest district.  Her first job out of school was at Wausau Papers, where she met her husband, Tom.  They were married in 1967 and blessed with two children, Mark and Robin, who in turn gave them seven wonderful grandchildren.  

Some of Carol's favorite activities are spending time with family (especially grandchildren!) and friends, shopping, garage sales and campfires in the backyard.  She also enjoys cheering for the Packers and watching Nascar.

Carol feels so blessed to be a part of Covenant church; this church family has been such an important part of her life!