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LEADERSHIP AT ST. LUKE LUTHERAN

The Rev. Matthew D. O'Rear

Pastor

Pastor Matt (He, Him, His) serves as the pastor of St. Luke Lutheran Church. Before being called to St. Luke, he served as the Dean of the Chapel and Assistant to the President at Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, one of the seven seminaries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

 

A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Matt's educational journey includes studying philosophy and religious studies at Georgia State University, with additional coursework at the University of Georgia in Athens. He completed his Master of Divinity at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, South Carolina, and further additional studies at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia.


Pastor Matt's contributions and ministry to the church and wider community extend beyond

his pastoral role. He has held a variety of positions across the church, including serving as the Associate Dean at Wartburg Theological Seminary, Director of Admissions at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, and faculty for Theological Education with Youth (TEY) at The Lutheran Seminary at Gettysburg. His dedication to the theological community and parish life led him to serve as the Theologian in Residence at Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church in New York City. His leadership, vision, and commitment are evident in his involvement in various programs, non-profits, and events within the church.

 

Currently, Pastor Matt serves as the Chair of the Board for Grace House Campus Ministry, Georgia Tech, and is a member of the Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Board. He also lends his expertise as an advisor to the Board of Seafarers International House in New York City. Through these roles, Pastor Matt continues to make a positive impact and foster connections within the broader church and ministry landscape.

 

Since entering public ministry in 2008, Matt has been committed to helping people discover their calling as "public theologians" to a world in need. His passion for theology, coupled with his love for the church and its mission, drives his dedication to serving God's people.

 

Pastor Matt brings a wealth of experience, a deep commitment to his faith, and a warm and welcoming presence to the St. Luke Lutheran community. He looks forward to guiding and supporting the congregation as together they seek to make a positive impact in the world through their shared Christian faith, love for God, and love for one another. He and his husband are thrilled to be part of St. Luke Lutheran Church. 

Jonathan DeLoach

Music Director and Organist

Jonathan has been at St. Luke since August 2015. After undergraduate studies in piano, organ and music history at Florida State University, he earned a Master of Sacred Music degree in organ performance from Emory University and the Candler School of Theology. He served as a church musician to several Lutheran and United Methodist congregations in the Atlanta area before coming to St. Luke. He also performs on recorder with local period-instrument chamber ensembles and orchestras.

Dr. Daniel Quiggin, President

Mr. Josh Pitre, Vice President

Ms. Helen Davis, Secretary

Ms. Kim Donina, Treasurer

Dr. David DeRuyter, At-large Member

Ms. Lora Schaeffer, At-large Member

Ms. Katelyn DeRuyter, Member-Elect (`24-`25)

Ms. Regina Reese, Member-Elect (`24-`25)

CONGREGATIONAL COUNCIL

ABOUT OUR CONGREGATION

For over 60 years, St. Luke Lutheran Church has been a vibrant and inclusive community, serving the diverse needs of Atlanta and its surrounding areas. Since our inception in 1961, we have been deeply rooted in the northwest Atlanta community and committed to making a lasting difference.

 

At St. Luke Lutheran, we believe in the power of openness and embrace all individuals who seek to deepen their faith and experience the unconditional love of God. Through meaningful worship, nurturing fellowship, and impactful service, we strive to cultivate disciples of Jesus Christ and actively contribute to the transformation of our world.

 

We recognize and honor the historical significance of the land on which our church stands, acknowledging its traditional Mvskoke and Tsalaguwetiyi heritage. With profound respect for this sacred ground, we are committed to fostering healing, reconciliation, and unity with Native communities as we journey together towards a future of understanding and collaboration.

 

As we look to the future, we place our trust in God's guidance, seeking to grow in love, compassion, and service. Together, we make a positive impact in our local community and extend our reach to touch lives beyond our walls. We are dedicated to sharing God's love and embodying the teachings of Jesus Christ in all that we do.

 

We invite you to join us at St. Luke Lutheran Church as we embark on this faith-filled journey together. Together, we strive to love God, love one another, and make a meaningful difference in the world around us.

A History of St Luke Lutheran Church

Nestled within the vibrant community of northwest Atlanta, St. Luke Lutheran Church has been a cherished spiritual home for over six decades. Our church's journey began in 1962 when the Division of American Missions of the American Lutheran Church (ALC) recognized the need for a mission in this flourishing region. It was during this time that the spirited Rev. Jerry L. Straszheim, freshly graduated from seminary, was called from Columbus, Ohio to become our very first pastor.

 

Rev. Straszheim's arrival marked a significant turning point in our church's history. With his infectious enthusiasm and unwavering dedication, he embarked on a mission to reach the unchurched and the inactive. Knocking on over 3500 doors, he extended a warm invitation to individuals from all walks of life, inviting them to experience the love and grace of God. His passion and commitment laid the foundation for our vibrant and inclusive community.

 

On September 8, 1963, a momentous occasion took place as our very first worship service was held at Birney Elementary School. This marked the beginning of a transformative journey as the congregation gathered to worship, share their faith, and grow together. As the community continued to thrive, the vision for a permanent place of worship became a reality.

 

Construction on our present site commenced in October 1963, and with the unwavering support of our devoted members and the wider community, the church building was completed. It was a joyous moment on May 31, 1964, when we first worshiped together in our newly constructed sanctuary. The building was officially dedicated on November 15, 1964, a testament to the faith, resilience, and collective effort of our congregation.

 

Throughout the years, St. Luke Lutheran Church has been blessed with a succession of dedicated pastors who have shepherded our community with love, wisdom, and grace. From Rev. Straszheim's spirited leadership (1962-1971) to the beloved and enduring ministry of Rev. Gordon Reinertsen (1972-2011), each pastor has played an integral role in shaping our church's identity and fostering a spirit of community.

 

Rev. Ruth Hamilton (2012-2017), Rev. Craig Storlie (2011-2012), Rev. Paul Summer (2017-2019), Rev. David Osborne (2019-2020), Rev. Noah Herren (2020-2022), and our current pastor, Rev. Matthew O'Rear, have all left their unique imprint on our congregation's history. Their passion for ministry, dedication to spiritual growth, and unwavering commitment to serving God's people have inspired us and propelled us forward on our faith journey.

 

Beyond the milestones and the pastors, it is the collective spirit and active involvement of our members that have truly shaped the essence of St. Luke Lutheran Church. Together, we have embraced the call to be agents of love, compassion, and justice in our community and the wider world. Our church has become a place where individuals from diverse backgrounds come together, united by a shared faith and a deep desire to make a positive difference.

 

Today, as we celebrate our rich history and look towards the future, we remain rooted in our commitment to be a place of welcome, inclusivity, and spiritual growth. We recognize that it is not the size of our congregation that defines us, but the strength of our community and the depth of our connections. As a small church with a big heart, we are driven by a collective sense of purpose and a shared commitment to live out our faith in tangible and transformative ways.

 

With open hearts and open minds, we embrace the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, knowing that together, as the St. Luke Lutheran Church community, we can make a lasting

Pastoral Leadership

The Rev. Matthew O'Rear - Current 

The Rev. Noah Herren - 2020 - 2022

The Rev. David Osborne - 2019 -2020

The Rev. Paul Summer - 2017 - 2019

The Rev. Ruth Hamilton - 2012 - 2017

The Rev.  Craig Storlie - 2011 - 2012

The Rev. Gordon Reinertsen - 1972 - 2011

The Rev. Jerry L. Straszheim  - 1962 - 1971

PHOTOS OF ST. LUKE LUTHERAN

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church exterior (spring)
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church exterior (summer)
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