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Kim and John Alsop

March 17, 2023 - 7 minute read

Kim and John Alsop have a rich history with Concordia and the Lutheran church, and have built one of the nation’s most successful Allstate insurance agencies as a family. They put Christ first in their marriage and are passionate about supporting Christian education

“We put a priority on education — Christian education,” says John. “It is applicable whatever path you choose to take in life.” 

Kim’s grandfather, Alwin Dierker, was integral to the formation of Christ College, now Concordia University Irvine. Dierker was one of five original organizers — with Ray Grimm, Molly Wampler, J. Beam, and Art Oswald — of the Lutheran College at Irvine Foundation which raised funds in the mid-1970s to support and help launch Christ College. 

Years before that, Kim’s great-great-grandfather, German-born-and-raised Jacob Kogler, became the first Lutheran pastor in Orange County and helped start St. John’s Lutheran Church in Orange in the 1880s. 

“One day I arrived at this unknown town of Orange,” Kogler wrote of his experience coming to Southern California. “My first service took place at the Schmetgen home at which time I baptized their first child. The few families in and around Orange formed into a congregation and called on me to be their Pastor.”

Kogler’s children and grand-children became orange farmers and land-owners in Orange County. Kim graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 1980 with a combined degree in math and economics and was immediately hired by Unocal, where her star rose in the oil industry. She also earned an MBA with an emphasis in finance from USC.

At Unocal, Kim did everything from international cash flow modeling, to working on budgets for the entire corporation, to strategic planning, to mergers and acquisitions. She served on a team that sold the company’s refineries and service stations; on another team that sold its agricultural products business; and on another that sold the remaining oil and gas operations.

While attending UCSB, Kim began attending social events and fundraisers with her grandfather, Alwin. Christ College soon asked her to serve on its foundation board and she agreed.

“As I was attending these events, my sister graduated from Concordia and married Chris Huscher ’84, son of Frederick Huscher, the first development director of the college,” Kim says. “My brother-in-law was a very good baseball player and ended up being one of the first coaches there, coaching my other brother-in- law in the early 1980s. So we were there a lot, whether for fundraising, sporting events, or foundation board activity.”

Kim and John married in 1985 and had three children, whom Kim brought with her to the fundraising meetings at Concordia. “The kids were all under seven or eight years old, so I took them with me to the meetings and had the college kids watch them,” she says.

John worked in the insurance industry as a market analyst and underwriting manager for San Diego and Imperial Counties. In 1989, he left the corporate side to become an agent.

“I was always entrepreneurial,” he says. “I grew up doing crazy things like selling soda pops to people in gas lines when there was a gas crunch. Becoming an insurance agent is running your own business, which was very interesting to me.”

His first office was located in a Sears store; then he opened one in Montclair, which is still operating. The agency did well through the years, grew and received numerous awards. 

Concordia grew, too, and funding was always a challenge because it was important to build the physical spaces to support the growing campus population, Kim says.

“Students having to live off campus and commute was a significant issue,” she says. “If we wanted this community, we had to have the infrastructure to handle them on campus.”

Kim helped launch the first charity auctions which turned into the Gala of Stars. The school tried many ideas for fundraising, some of which went by the wayside — annual 5k runs, for example, and on-campus carnivals with actual rides and booths manned by campus groups.

Longer-lasting were the annual Christmas concerts and the golf tournaments, both of which the Alsops continue to sponsor and participate in. One year, John’s team won the tournament. The couple also enthusiastically took part in the university’s Faith & Business Forums, bringing all their Allstate office managers to the events.

“We thought it was a dynamic opportunity for outreach for the business community and a great opportunity to talk about how to take faith to work,” John says. 

When Kim retired from the oil industry, she joined John’s agency as CFO and head of human resources. Today, the couple and two of their sons work for the agency, which has six locations and is one of Allstate’s top auto policy producers nationwide. In 2016, John was named to the Allstate Hall of Fame as an agent. In private life he served as president of the school board at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Covina. The Alsops now attend Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Rancho Cucamonga.

They see the hand of divine providence on Concordia as it has thrived and grown through the years. “Concordia’s leaders have never given up on the basic foundation of theology,” Kim says. “As they’ve expanded, they’ve gone into all these other areas of study but still have the theological underpinnings. It’s very important that graduates, especially in the education profession, take their faith with them and influence the children they teach, even though they may not necessarily be at a Lutheran or Christian school.”

Kim is now a lifetime member of the foundation board, now called the Board of Trustees. “Kim and I are happy and cheerful to give money to Concordia,” says John. “We think it is a good use of the gifts God has given us to further the kingdom. We think the university is a great success story and we would like to see it continue. At the fundamental level, we love God and think you can’t out-give God.”

Kim Alsop’s great-great-grandfather, Jacob Kogler, was the first Luteran pastor in Orange County. Read about his work in this autobiographical excerpt.


In His Own Words:

The First Lutheran Pastor in Orange County

The following autobiography excerpt was written by Jacob Kogler, great-great-grandfather of longtime Concordia trustee and supporter, Kim Alsop.

I, Jacob Kogler, was born January 6, 1847, in Weil in Schoenbuch, County Seat of Boeblinzen, Province of Wustenberg, Germany. Parents died while I was in childhood and I was reared by grandparents. My Godfather’s name was Jacob as family traditions are, his name had to be the same. I attended school from the age of 6 to 14 in my home town. 

After graduation I attended schools in Stuttgart and Ludwigsburg with intentions of being a missionary. Pastor Bruner recommended several of the boys attend a seminary to prepare students for the Lutheran Churches in America. Mr. Bruner got permission to train students for teaching and preaching in America. The demand was terrific in all of the States. 

Shortly before Christmas in 1872 Professor Bruner was in need of students to help out with sick Pastors. At once I reported and was sent to St. Paul, Minnesota to teach and preach under Pastor Relfs. Passed my examinations in 1874 and went to work at St. John’s in East Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

In 1877 I received a call to Belle Plaine. There were two schools and 60 students. On Sundays I preached two sermons. In the fall of 1881 I met Pastor Martin Wyneken. He advised me to go to Southern California. [My family and I] arrived in Los Angeles, Rev. Wyneken wanted me to start a congregation in San Gabriel. 100 acres of land was promised...[but] the deal fell through. Many families came to Pastor Wyneken, and not being well enough to take care of their wishes, he asked me to look after them. I accepted his offer and one day I arrived at this unknown town of Orange. My first service took place at the Schmetgen home at which time I baptized their first child. 

The few families in and around Orange formed into a congregation and called on me to be their Pastor. The congregation was organized, had a preacher but no church. They owned the corner of Almond and Olive Streets which was given to the congregation by Chapman and Glassell. We bought part of an old school, remodeled it and had church and school in a 24 by 24 foot room in 1883. Soon after we built a school, we hired a teacher and had 9 pupils. The congregation grew so fast other land had to be purchased as a new church was necessary.

St. John’s granted permission to do mission work in Southern California. Was very active in Anaheim and Oxnard. Pastor Runkel was also in San Diego, Escondido, Oliveheim, Riverside, and Banning. Pastor Lunky was very successful with mission work in the Los Angeles area.

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