Welcome to St. John Lutheran Church

Our Team

Say hello to the St. John Staff

Dan Hetherington - Lead Pastor

Dan believes the Church has spent too much time investing in making "Christians" instead of following the Great Commission and making disciples that can make disciples. Dan has served as lead pastor of St. John since January 2020, and is thankful that God has brought him to minister here.


He received his Masters in Theology and Ministry from Cranmer Hall, Durham, England, and has worked for a variety of churches in both contemporary and traditional liturgical settings within the Church of England, the Reformed Church and now the Lutheran Church.


He and his wife Jodie have two great kids, two lovely Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and a couple of cats.


His favorite bible verse comes from Matthew 9:37-39 "The harvest in plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into the harvest field."


Karen Heist - Discipleship Pastor

Pastor Karen has a passion for helping disciples hear the Holy Spirit for themselves, growing and following Him to their unique calling. She has walked the journey of a lay person growing into pastoral leadership, and believes all disciples are capable of the unimaginable transformation and empowerment through Christ.


Several years ago, Karen stepped into the Discipleship Pastor role, championing a community of disciples making disciples. In 2009, she received her Masters of Ministry Leadership from Rockbridge Seminary. Karen has been around St. John long enough to have dug into all the ministry corners.


She and her husband Jim have two mostly precious cats.  Karen is an avid equestrian, enjoying frequent time with her horse. 


One of her favorite scriptures is Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to him and he will direct your paths."


Paul Buker - Music Ministry Leader

Pablo has led our band and tech team since June 2009. He has a varied personal, musical and theological background, having served in both contemporary and traditional environments across a range of denominations including Catholic, Reformed Episcopal, Presbyterian, Baptist, Non Denominational and Lutheran. 


He and his wife Maria have two children. Paul enjoys many different activities and spending time with family and good and faithful friends.


His favorite verse in the bible is 1 Corinthians 10:31 “Whether you eat, or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” His daily prayer for St. John's is “Lord, work IN us, AMONG us and THROUGH us INSPITE of us…may we decrease and You increase.”


Fern Nerhood - Children & Youth Discipleship Director

Fern strives to have an open heart, love her neighbor, and speak and act with the love of Jesus. A critical part is treating children with love and respect. Fern hopes she’s done just that while working with St. John kids since fall 2002. From welcoming two-year-olds, to training youth volunteers, to making waffles for families, Fern sees each person as a valued member of God’s family.


Fern and her husband Ken are long-time members of St. John.  


Other things that make her happy are their extended family, cats, arts and crafts, exercise, nature, and banana bread.


Irene Mitchell - Business Manager

Irene began attending St. John women’s activities (Knit & Crochet and Women’s Retreat) several years before becoming a member. Through the friendliness and welcoming that Irene experienced during this time, Christ led her to become a member of St. John in 2015.


Irene is blessed by, and loves to spend time with, her three daughters and many grandchildren.


Kelly Koch - Administrative Assistant

Members of St. John since 2011, Kelly, her husband Jim, and their three children enjoy sharing their home with a plethora of pets.


One of the things she loves about St. John is that the leadership really focuses on the command to go and make disciples, and they are passionate about equipping those disciples with the tools they need to share God’s love with the world.