Pastor John Schonkaes


Pastor John Schonkaes was born near Detroit, Michigan and grew up there and in South Florida. He attended Concordia University – Ann Arbor, Michigan where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and then attended Concordia Seminary – St. Louis, where he received a Master of Divinity degree. Pastor John’s first call into the public ministry was at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Parma, Ohio where he served for four years. In 2001 he was called to serve here at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Altoona. Pastor John has a passion for helping others grow in their faith and living for Jesus each day of their lives. He has been blessed by being married to his wife Heather by having four wonderful children. In addition to serving as pastor at Christ the King, Pastor John is also president of Caring Hand Outreach Center which oversees the local food pantry and clothing distribution center. He is also the coordinator for the Iowa District West Junior Youth Gathering for (6-8th Graders) each Fall. Recently Pastor John became the new chaplain for the Altoona Police and Fire Departments where he will have the opportunity to serve and support those who serve our community.  Email Pastor John at



Rochelle Clifton, Office Assistant and Director of Children of Christ Preschool

I live in Altoona with my husband, Joel, and children, Sydney, 14, and Spencer, 9. My favorite thing to do is spend time with family watching movies, playing games and eating popcorn!!

My history with Christ the King Lutheran church began when we sent Sydney to Children of Christ Preschool. We loved the program and Mrs. Mueller! Once Sydney went off to kindergarten, Spencer and I visited the preschoolers at Children of Christ once per month leading a music and movement class. Through the years, I have substituted for Mrs Mueller. In June of 2012, I began working in the office at CTK.

My passion is spreading God’s love through music, especially through teaching songs to young children to write God’s word upon their heart.  Email Rochelle at



Karen Behrens, Teacher Aide, Children of Christ Preschool

Hi!  My name is Karen Behrens and I am the Teacher’s Aide at Children of Christ Preschool in Altoona, Iowa. God has blessed me with three wonderful children, Nikki, Scott and Amanda, and five amazing grandchildren. My grandchildren, Andrew and Kaylin, live in Altoona, while Evelyn, Annabelle and Abraham live in Kansas City.

Since I was a young girl I have loved being around and working with children. I wanted to be a pediatrician or preschool teacher as I was growing up, I ultimately choose preschool teacher because watching people give shots was difficult for me to watch.  🙂

I studied at the University of Northern Iowa and was dreaming about becoming a 2nd grade teacher. However, God put me on the path that led me to my future husband and I decided to get married while still attending college. My husband was then transferred to a small town and I chose to relocate with him, rather than finish college; still wanting to be around children and a part of their lives, I choose to do some babysitting.

Two years later, my husband and I decided to start our family! I stayed at home with all my children and ran an in-home daycare for 17 years. In 1995, I finally achieved my goal of working with preschoolers! Two years later, I was in a bad car accident that kept me away from my job with preschoolers for almost 10 years. I missed working with the children very much!

In 2007, I was finally able to return to work and was blessed that there was an opening at Children of Christ Preschool! I am so happy to have been able to return to working with young children and feel that God has truly blessed me!

I have a taken a few classes in Education at DMACC and take continuing education classes each year specifically for Early Childhood Education.

I truly believe that I have the best job in the world! I look forward to going to work each and every day and believe, in my heart, that working with children is my God given talent.