God's mission is carried out through a priesthood of all believers. As Lutherans, we believe that church leadership is shared between our staff and lay leaders.
- St John’s dedicated and active staff includes ordained Senior and Associate pastors, Director of Music, Director of Youth, Church Administrator, Office Assistant, and Sexton.
- Equally important is the lay leadership, providing oversight over worship and music, evangelism, outreach, congregational care, learning, property, finance, stewardship, communications and mutual ministry.
Our staff provides the spiritual and the day-to-day leadership of St. John's. They are central to the mission of our congregation.
Rev. Dave Helfrich, Interim Pastor
I very much look forward to serving as your Interim Pastor during the transition period
that lies ahead. I believe God has special ministries in store for St John’s and I look forward to being a small part of it. I graduated from seminary in 1981 and have served congregations in Virginia, Maryland, and most recently, here in Georgia, where I recently retired as pastor of the
Lutheran Church of the Resurrection in Marietta after 16 years of ministry.
My wife Sharon and I live in Woodstock and are blessed by having our daughter Christen, herhusband Andy, and our two granddaughters Sophie and Savannah living close to us in Acworth. I enjoy traveling, sports, reading, and riding my bicycle. I have been a Lutheran all my life and have seen the grace of God manifested in my life in many different ways through many different people. I look forward to sharing some of those experiences with you in the time we have together.
I believe you will be as much a blessing to me as I hope to be to you, and trust that God will use our time together to give a clear indication of the future into which St John’s is being called to do ministry. May the God who is bringing us together use what we will be doing to help build a kingdom of love, grace, and hope in the world.
Julie Van Ooyen Strecker - Faith Formation Director
Apart from the part-time role of Director of Faith Formation at St. John’s, Julie works full-time in higher education administration. Her educational background is in Educational Leadership, Teaching English as a Second Language, and intercultural studies, and she has several years of experience as a classroom teacher. Julie is committed to engaging with the St. John’s community through spiritual practices, forming respectful relationships, and providing opportunities for guided learning and faith-filled service.
Glen Eckman, Church Administrator
Clyde Payton, Sexton
Clyde Payton has been the part-time Sexton at St. John's since 1998. His primary role is to keep the sanctuary and mansion clean and prepared for worship and the other activities that take place during the week. He also works as a cosmetologist and a musician. Clyde characterizes St. John's as someplace special because of the friendly and caring people who work and worship in this house of God. In his spare time, he enjoys playing in his band and having fun with family.
St. John's Church Council, comprising the pastors, the congregation President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Financial Secretary, ministry chairs and at-large members, serves as the governing body of the congregation. The Council meets on the fourth Thursday of the month; all are welcome to attend.
The secretary is responsible for taking the minutes at each council meeting and for taking notes at other official functions.
Community service is an integral piece of St. John's identity and mission. Our outreach team organizes and conducts numerous service activities throughout the year and helps support other nonprofit organizations.
Theological education is a key part of spiritual formation for all ages. Learning ministry is responsible for planning, coordinating, and conducting Learning Hour (Sunday school) activities and other educational events.
The treasurer reports to finance on income and spending, and is responsible for making sure payments and salaries are made.
Finance ministry is responsible for tracking income and expenditures for the ministry of the whole church. This important work involves the crafting of an annual budget and creating forecasts based on donations and spending.
With a 100-year old building, you can bet property is a fully-engaging ministry! The team helps maintain the grounds and keeps our building sustainable.
Stewardship refers to our collective support of the mission through our gifts of time, talents, and money. The Stewardship Team helps us to reflect on what is needed to support the mission, as well as to encourage and coordinate giving and service.
The "E-team" is charged with inviting our neighbors to share in God’s love, welcoming new guests, and initiating new members. They also work to increase our presence in the community.
This team focuses on providing support and care for members of the congregation. This support includes meal trains, visitation, prayer chains, and celebrating the lives and personal ministries of our members.
The Communications Ministry reaches the congregation and our communities through media in order to inform, inspire, and invite connection in the life and mission of the Church. Through printed newsletters, bulletins, weekly email blasts, our website, blog, and other media, we help to keep everyone up-to-date on events and encourage participation. We often partner with other ministry teams, providing fundamental support to their efforts by facilitating effective communication.
Worship + Music
The Worship & Music Ministry Team is responsible for planning and coordination, in consultation with the pastors, all congregational worship events including special services throughout the church year. The team also provides for the proper care, use and maintenance of the communion ware, the altar furnishings and vestments. The team is responsible for recruiting, supervising and providing training for the lay worship assistants.
At-Large Council Member
At-Large Council Member