"Don’t imagine us leaders to be something we aren’t.
We are servants of Christ, not his masters.
We are guides into God’s most sublime secrets,
not security guards posted to protect them."
– 1 Corinthians 4:1 (Eugene Peterson, The Message)
Before moving to Indiana, in 2001, Pastor Mark lived between Ohio and Michigan at various times in his life. He graduated from Midland High School, in Midland, Michigan, before moving to Columbus, Ohio, to attend Capital University. After graduating with degrees in Psychology and Criminology from Capital, in 1996, he attended Trinity Lutheran Seminary, also in Columbus, where he graduated in 2001 with a Masters of Divinity, before accepting the call to lead Cross of Grace Lutheran Church as a Pastor/Mission Developer.
Mark married Christa in October, 2000. Christa is a Registered Nurse and currently works at the Indiana Surgery Center at Community North Hospital, in Indianapolis. They have two sons, Jackson and Max, and a dog named Stella. Both boys enjoy baseball and basketball, and they’re all fans of The Ohio State Buckeyes, the Cincinnati Reds and, of course, the Colts and the Pacers, too.
You may see Pastor Mark running at the gym or around New Palestine, in his spare time. He also likes to read, watch television and movies, and listen to music. His iPod is loaded with the Indigo Girls, Bruce Springsteen, Mumford and Sons, and KISS, and he’ll catch all of these musicians in concert any chance he gets.
What Mark likes best about being a Pastor at Cross of Grace is the chance to work with people who try new things when it comes to worship, learning and service. He works to help this along through his preaching and the creation of worship experiences that are fun, meaningful and connected to what's happening in our daily lives. Most of all, Pastor Mark feels blessed to share grace in ways that too many people don't find when they come to church, that is, the unconditional love of God with no prerequisites, no questions asked and no strings attached.
Pastor Aaron was called to serve at Cross of Grace in January 2014 and moved here from Paducah, KY, where he served as pastor of a Lutheran congregation for four years. His return to Indiana is a bookend to a decade of adventures throughout the country, beginning with graduation from Valparaiso University in Indiana and continuing through employment at a Lutheran church camp in Ohio, enrollment at Fuller Seminary in California, a year of study at Luther Seminary in Minnesota, internship in Arizona, and parish ministry in Kentucky. Also during this period he married the love of his life, adopted a dog, had a kayak blow off the roof of his car, ran a couple half-marathons, played the role of Jesus in a community theater production of Godspell, and became a father to two rambunctious boys.
Pastor Aaron was brought on board to share in all ministry areas at Cross of Grace, with an emphasis on coordinating the youth and family ministries. He brings a background in visual and graphic arts, vocal music performance, outdoor ministry, and theological engagement of popular culture.
He is excited to be part of a congregation with such a devoted and talented group of ministry leaders, volunteers, and Partners in Mission. He also appreciates the ability to work alongside Pastor Mark to exchange ideas, fears, goals, and laughter.
Linda came to Cross of Grace in August of 2005. Previously she spent most of her days taking care of her family and substitute teaching for Southern Hancock County. Linda married Dave in the spring of 1975, and they have made their home in Hancock County. Dave is the Safety Director for Long Electric and together they own Ladco Engraving, manufacturing a variety of items from small plastic tags to large vehicle signs.
"Their oldest son, Cory and wife, Cassie enjoy life in a lake home in Brown County. They are parents to Isia, Billy and Esther. Dave & Linda's youngest son, Brad, his wife Heather, and daughters Natalie and Kelly reside in Jacksonville, Florida. Daughter Kara and husband, John live in New Palestine and along with Henry and Lindy are also members at Cross of Grace."
Dave’s many jobs have afforded them the ability to travel much over the years, which they continue to enjoy. When they are home, their house is usually filled with family and friends, playing cards and games in the winter, or outside in the pool or around a bonfire during the warmer months.
Linda's personal goal for Cross of Grace is to share the good news of the Cross and the blessings that can be found in grace with all who pass through the doors of our Mission Center.
Jean Ellenberger started playing the organ at church when she was 10 years old and has continued to do so most of her life. She graduated with a degree in Piano Performance from Florida Atlantic University and received her Indiana Teaching Certification from Ball State University. She has been the music teacher at St. Michael School for the past 25 years. Jeannie has been married to Steve for 37 years. They have 3 daughters and 3 grandchildren.
Kaitlyn became the Contemporary Worship Music Minister at Cross of Grace in 2016 after moving to Indiana to be closer to family. She has lived all over the country including California, Washington, Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio, Tennessee, and now back home again in Indiana. She hopes to be settled here for a good long time. In 2007 she graduated from Milligan College in Johnson City, TN with a Music Education degree and has taught in public schools, private music studios, and Kindermusik classes for babies and toddlers. She has been involved in the worship of her local church, either as a volunteer or a staff member since high school. Along with teaching and music ministry, Kaitlyn has performed in folk bands, participated in many recording projects, and writes original music. She has released her own album of songs based on the Psalms. She also enjoys sewing, game nights with friends, and traveling.
High school sweethearts, Josh and Kaitlyn married in 2004 just after their freshman year in college. Josh received his masters in Environmental Science from The Ohio State University and is an avid Buckeyes fan. They have three children, Olivia, Jack, and Lincoln, who all have fun, wonderful, and drastically different personalities. As a family they love to walk their dog Maggie, go to the park, visit the Children's Museum, and explore their city.
Kaitlyn has always felt called to music ministry and is blessed to do that at Cross of Grace. It is a joy to work with such a talented group of musicians, a devoted congregation, and a supportive pastoral and administrative staff.
2017-2018 CHURCH COUNCIL
Angi Johnson, President
Lance Oxley, Worship & Music / Vice-President
Katie Molinder, Mission/Outreach
George Searfoss, Treasurer
Kent Kuffner, Property
Phil Galligan, Stewardship
Matthew Pope, at-large
Carla Hopkins, at-large