Gretchen Ahrens

Lutheranch Program Director, Summer Camp and Equestrian

Gretchen has over 15 years of experience leading summer camp and equine programs. She holds certification as a PATH International Advanced Level Instructor and has been certified as an American Association for Horsemanship Safety Full Instructor. She has completed Master Equine Manager Programs with Iowa State University Extension and the University of Georgia Extension. She employs the “Secure Seat” riding method to help beginner and intermediate riders stay safe and develop a solid riding foundation. Gretchen is an active volunteer in the equestrian community, frequently volunteering as a ring steward or scribe at Chattahoochee Hills and other local shows. She has served as program staff at camps in Nebraska, South Dakota and Georgia and loves facilitating programs to help kids and adults learn and grow in God’s great creation. In her free time, she enjoys riding her own two thoroughbreds, Nate the Great and Tootsie, writing, cooking, camping, playing outdoors and finding new ways to be creative.

Shane Dathe

Lutheranch Facilities Manager

Shane has a degree in construction management from the University of Florida in Gainesville – Go Gators! After working for a professional builder in Florida for 9 years, he was spending too much time in the office and not enough time in the field, so he decided to go out on his own and spent the next several years doing freelance handyman and carpentry work before finding his way to Lutheranch. What began as volunteer work soon became a fulltime job and he found himself packing his bags and moving to Georgia to manage the Lutheranch property. A resourceful problem solver, Shane can fix or build just about anything needed around the 500+ acre site. In his free time, he enjoys being outdoors; fishing, mountain biking, and participating in outdoor motor sports such as motocross racing and snowmobiling.

Sarah Carroll

Equestrian Assistant and Ranch Rangers Program Coordinator

Sarah is a local resident and has lived in Haralson County for the past 7 years. She has been a PATH International certified Equine Specialist in Mental Health & Learning (ESMHL) for over 3 years and is working to also become a Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor. She loves to teach ground lessons on horsemanship and believes learning these skills can help develop important life skills for young people. Sarah studied Outdoor Education at Toccoa Falls College in Toccoa, GA and enjoys using her knowledge to help develop new programs here at Lutheranch. She is especially passionate about play and nature-based learning programs for young children, as she has little ones of her own…Tripp and Amelia. Her other “baby”, Ranger, lives at the Ranch and works in our riding programs! When she isn’t riding horses or playing outside at the Ranch, Sarah loves to paint, bake, read, garden, and tend to her other pets at home.

Debbie Lundell

Lutheranch Hospitality and Outreach Coordinator

Debbie is a retired schoolteacher, wife of Joe and mother of two sons, Jody and Jon Mark. She has been a life-long Lutheran (except when there was not a Lutheran church near where her career Army father was stationed) and active in Women of the ELCA for 25 years. She became involved with Lutheranch soon after the property was purchased, serving first as a volunteer and now as a staff member. Her professional aim is to optimize each person’s experience and provide Christ centered hospitality to guests. She especially enjoys working with children, crafts and camp, and always has creative new ideas to share. Debbie delights in sharing her love of Lutheranch with anyone who is willing to listen.

Clare-Marie Hannon

Lutheranch Executive Director

Clare-Marie comes to Novusway with more than 30 years in camp and conference center management experience.  She spent 4 years with the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta as the senior Director of Outdoor programs and 10 years as the Director of Professional Development for the C5 Youth Foundation, establishing programs for under resourced youth in St. Louis, Dallas, Boston, Los Angeles and Atlanta.  Early in her career she served as the Center Director and Youth Development Specialist for North Carolina State University’s 4-H program, providing programs in environmental education and problem-solving skills for schools and teambuilding trainings for corporations and organizations.

She is founder of TLC Training Resources and has provided youth development and organizational Development training on three continents including working regularly with Christian Camping International in Spain.  She started her career in Thailand developing nutrition education programs for USAID and fell in love with Christian mission work while there.  She is the co-author of Essential Staff Training Activities and developed the Let’s Lead teen leadership curriculum.

As you might guess, she enjoys the outdoors, especially hiking, skiing and paddling.  She adores being a mom to her 16 year-old daughter, Meghan and her two golden retrievers, Crystal and Copper.  She is excited about joining the Lutheranch team and finding ways to engage the surrounding communities in the ministry at Lutheranch and getting to know all the wonderful people who are part of that ministry.