A Congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.

  

About Us
Our Staff

The cross behind the alter at St. Jacobs.

St. Jacob’s is staffed by eight talented and dedicated individuals.

The Rev. Dr. Leah Schafer
Pastor

Ordained in 1986, she has served parishes in New Jersey, Washington, DC, Springfield, VA, Annandale, VA and Reston, VA. Pastor Schafer grew up in Michigan and attended Kalamazoo College. She earned her Master’s of Divinity from Yale University Divinity School and her doctorate from the Catholic University of America. She brings a wealth of knowledge and a love for ministry to St. Jacob’s. She is available in the church office during regular business hours at 330-877-2676 or by email at PastorSJLC@neo.rr.com.

Michelle Sommers
Office Administrator

Michelle is our Office Administrator, and is often the first person you encounter when you telephone or stop by the church office. Michelle is a life-long Ohio resident and graduated from Marlington High School and has an A.S. degree in Corporate Accounting from Stark State. Michelle handles all requests concerning use of the facilities and grounds, she manages the calendar, and the congregation’s bookkeeping. Whether you wish to place flowers on the altar, make arrangements to use the Picnic Shelter for your family reunion or any other administrative matter, Michelle is sure to greet you with a smile and caring assistance.

Michelle can be reached in the church office at 330-877-2676 or by email using this link.

Angela Bertschi
Youth Coordinator

Angela serves as our youth coordinator. She handles all the activities of our Youth Group and teaches the Junior High/High School Sunday school class. Group activities, service projects and fellowship events keep her and the youth busy. To contact Angela, leave a message at the church office or email her using this link.

Krista Smith
Discipleship Coordinator

Krista is our Discipleship Coordinator. She recruits and organizes our volunteers, manages the web-site, coordinates Sunday school and Vacation Bible School, and helps encourage congregation members to share their time and talents with St. Jacob’s.

Krista can be reached any time by email using this link or by leaving a message at the church office at 330-877-2676.

Karen Gay
Organist

Karen Gay is a gifted organist and pianist who has served St. Jacob’s for 30 years. Karen is a graduate of Davis and Elkins College, WV and has a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She is also a graduate of the Carnegie School of Massage and is a Licensed Massage Therapist.

As the organist at St. Jacob’s, Karen brings a wealth of knowledge about hymnody and organ music. She is also the accompanist for the Joyful Noise Choir. Karen is very encouraging to young musicians, often accompanying them for instrumental or vocal solos during worship services. Karen is also involved in St. Jacob’s healing service, which is held on the first Sunday of each quarter. Karen teaches Anatomy and Physiology at Stark State College. Karen can be contacted atktgaylmt@gmail.com or a message may be left for her at the church office.

Dan Nauss
Music Director

Dan serves as our Music Director. He is an accomplished musician and joined our staff in July, 2014. Dan began his musical studies on the contrabass at the age of ten in his school orchestra. He attended Lake High School and then enrolled at Kent State University to further his studies under the guidance of Charles Reinman and Bryan Thomas. He earned his bachelors degree in music education student teaching in the Plain Local School District, and eventually earned a masters degree in Double Bass performance studying with Mark Atherton of the Cleveland Orchestra.

Dan has worked as an instructor of bass, guitar, and orchestral strings at Woodsy’s music in Kent, Ohio for several years, and is currently an adjunct professor of music at the Stark Campus of Kent State University, as well as the Director of String Ensembles within the Plain Local School District.

He maintains an active performance schedule, and has performed with many ensembles including the Kent State Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, and Jazz Ensembles, as well as with the Akron Youth Symphony, the Ohio Light Opera Company, the Canton Players guild, and many more. He can currently be seen in the greater Canton/Akron/Cleveland area performing in a wide variety of differing musical situations including: local symphonies, jazz big bands, jazz combos, pit orchestras, contemporary praise and worship ensembles, rock bands, and folk groups.

Grace Harrison
Choir Director

Grace Harrison is our Choir Director. She is a graduate of Kent State University with a degree in Choral Music Education. While attending KSU she was a member of the Choral Scholars program at Christ Episcopal Church in Kent, Ohio. A classically trained vocalist, with a background in education, Grace has acted as the Music Director for Mogadore United Methodist Church for the past six years and is currently employed by Akron Public Schools, East CLC teaching Hospitality and Tourism.

Bob and Charlene Theiss
Maintenance Staff

Bob and Charlene Theiss serve as our custodial and maintenance staff. They handle the cleaning of the building and also perform necessary maintenance to the building. They are responsible for the set up/tear down of Garnes’ Hall, and coordinate with members and non-member renters of the facility to make sure that events are flawless. The Theiss’ are dedicated congregation members and serve on committees and in leadership roles at St. Jacob’s. They are available by email at charlenetheiss@hotmail.com or obtheiss@hotmail.com or by cell phone at either 330-607-6795 or 330-705-0452 or by leaving a message at the church office.