Pastors & Staff

Pastor Walter Baires

Pastor Walter Baires came to Ascension from El Salvador in 2001.  Through a partnership of the Salvadoran Lutheran Synod and the Greater Milwaukee Synod, he serves as a missionary to Ascension.

Certified as a deacon in 1986, Pastor Baires became an ordained minister in 1994.  He graduated from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago in 1993 and served in the Salvadoran Lutheran Church as the Coordinator of the Sister Parish and as Associate Pastor at Resurrection in San Salvador from 1994 to 1997.  In 1996 he served as Vice-President of the Salvadoran Lutheran Synod.

In the words of Pastor Baires:  “It is a great honor for me to serve in a congregation that is committed to building an inclusive and a multicultural ministry.  It takes more than a good will to erase the sin of racism and discrimination.  Building a congregation with more than three cultures is not an easy task, but we know that with God’s help everything is possible.”

E-mail Pastor Walter Baires at

Pastor Logan Vang

Pastor Logan Vang, longtime Ascension disciple, stepped forward to enter seminary training after the untimely death of Ascension’s Pastor Youa Kao Vang in 2010.  In conjunction with that training, he also serves as Vicar, providing leadership for Ascension’s Hmong ministry and serving the entire congregation in partnership with the Ascension pastors.  He and his wife Caitlin, parents of six children, have been active in the life of Ascension since joining the congregation.  Logan works with our webmaster to maintain this site.

E-mail Pastor Logan Vang at

Pastor Kipp Zimmermann

Pastor Kipp Zimmermann was born and raised in Milwaukee and attended John Marshall Jr. Sr. High School from 7th to 12th grade. He completed his BA at Concordia Senior College in Fort Wayne. He was baptized and confirmed at Capitol Drive Lutheran Church, then Missouri Synod and became part of the split when the Missouri Synod fractured attending the Seminary in Exile (Seminex) graduating in 1980. He added degrees in social work (MSW) in 1990 and worked in the field of foster care and adoption for 11 years in tandem with parish ministry. He also earned a doctorate (DMin) from the seminary in Philadelphia concentrating in the development of leadership among clergy and laity. Additionally, he had a small counseling practice in New York as a licensed social worker. In his last call, he served his congregation full-time and served two other small parishes as covering pastor while he was Dean of our South Shore Brooklyn conference. His entire 35 years of ministry were in New York, in either Brooklyn or Queens. He retired in June of 2015 and moved back to Milwaukee to live closer to his family. He has joined Ascension as our Bridge Pastor.

Email Pr. Kipp at

Vicar Char Guiliani

Vicar Char Guiliani, became the new Vicar at Ascension on August 28, 2017.  She attends Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, through their Distributed Learning Program.  This is her second career after retiring from law enforcement in 2008. She grew up on the north side of Milwaukee and currently lives in Franklin with her wife Shelley and their 12-year-old twin boys, Joe and Greg.  They became a “forever” family in 2005 when “the Boys” were only 3 months old. Char is looking forward to her experience here at Ascension and all this congregation has to offer!  “When we open our hearts to the gifts of others, we can all learn from one another; from the youngest disciple to the oldest.  I am looking forward to what I can learn from the disciples here at Ascension.”

E-mail Vicar Char Guiliani at


Leslie Machado
Administrative Assistant

Leslie is originally from Honduras and has lived in Wisconsin since 2005. She received two Bachelor’s degrees in Spanish and French literature from UW-Milwaukee. For the past three years, she worked as a middle school Spanish teacher. Apart from teaching, Leslie has worked as a free-lance translator, medical interpreter, and tutor. Leslie is an aunt to Mavya, Luna and Valery. She enjoys traveling with her husband.

Email Leslie at

Building & Maintenance Supervisor, Steven Proefrock

Steve has over 30 years experience with building and equipment maintenance.  He volunteers on the custodial staff and Building and Grounds Committee at his home church, Immanuel Lutheran in Cedarburg.  Steve is a Microsoft Certified Professional, Certified Desktop Technician and Certified Emergency Medical Technician.  He and wife Terry have eight children.

Organist, Mark Schroeter

Mark joined the Ascension staff in July 2011. He graduated from Concordia University Chicago with a BA in Elementary Education and a Masters Degree in Church Music. He has served as a Lutheran liturgical church musician in Wisconsin for 39 years playing the organ, piano, directing vocal groups and handbells. He is senior editor at Plank Road Publishing, Inc. He plays for the traditional English worship service and the multicultural English service.

Handbell Choir Director, Roxanne Carloni

Roxanne has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from UWM and has taught in Mukwonago for 32 years, hired by the district to start the string program which now numbers about 280 string students each year involved in the program from grades 4-12.  Roxanne also did cello section coaching for the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra between 1994 and 1998.  Rox is married to Tim Carloni and has one son, Christopher, and two daughters, Deanne and Brittany.

Outreach Worker, Bonny-Anne Xochitl Lopez

Bonny studied law at the University of Wisconsin Law School and practiced law for a half dozen years, first as a public defender, and later as a federal prosecutor.   She left the practice of law over 20 years ago due to a hereditary physical disability.  Her only close family lives in Mexico.

As Outreach Worker at Ascension, Bonny tracks social programs which may be of benefit to people seeking assistance from the church.  Regardless of their need when coming to Ascension, Bonny can recognize which program may be to their benefit, and connect them to it.

Who We Are:

Ascension Lutheran Church
1236 S. Layton Blvd.
Milwaukee, WI 53215
Phone: 414-645-2933
Fax: 414-386-4668
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Ascension is a Reconciling in Christ Church
welcoming and affirming of all people
including those in the LGBT community.
©2018 Ascension Lutheran Church, Milwaukee WI