Pastor Troy Countryman
Pastor Troy Countryman
Pastor Troy was born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Lutheran parochial education was an important part of his childhood, as he was blessed to attend Holy Cross Lutheran School and Concordia Lutheran High School. After graduating with a BS in Industrial Management from Purdue University in 2000, he worked four years at Eli Lilly pharmaceutical company in Indianapolis.
During his time at Eli Lilly, Pastor Troy met his wife, Andrea. Andrea is a native of Anderson Indiana, and a graduate of Indiana University. In addition to vocations as a wife and mother, Andrea is currently working toward a nursing degree.
Pastor Troy and Andrea were married at Carmel Lutheran Church in 2003. Thanks to the encouragement of Andrea as well as his pastors, Pastor Troy began seminary education at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, in 2004. Upon seminary graduation in 2008, he was called to St. John’s Lutheran Church and School in Mattoon, Illinois, where he served as Associate Pastor and then Senior Pastor until accepting the call to serve at St. John, Indianapolis.
Pastor Troy and Andrea have been blessed with three children (two daughters and a son).
Favorite family pastimes include hiking, living room dance parties, and travel.
Statement to the congregation: “For me, life in the Church is quite simple, it’s about relationships. The primary relationship is with our Triune God, and every other relationship is centered in Christ Jesus.”
Favorite verse of Scripture: 2 Corinthians 1:20 – “For all the promises of God find their Yes in [Jesus]. That is why it is through Him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.”
Pastor Jim Myers
Pastor Jim Myers
Jim Myers was born in Van Wert County, Ohio, October 6, 1949. He was raised on a farm outside Convoy, Ohio and his grade school education was conducted in one-room school houses maintained by the congregations of St. John Lutheran Church, Convoy, Ohio (now known as Redeemer Lutheran Church) and St. Thomas Lutheran Church, Ohio City, Ohio. After attending Concordia Lutheran Junior College in Ann Arbor, Michigan for one year, Jim served three years in the US Army, which included a tour of duty in Vietnam.
On December 20, 1969, Jim married Connie Peters of Beech Grove, IN at Emmaus Lutheran Church in Indianapolis, IN. They have two children: daughter Mrs. Wendy (Robert) Wilson of Indianapolis, IN; and son, Eric (Alexis) Myers, of Westfield, IN. They have also been blessed with three grandchildren: Riley Wilson, a sophomore at Lutheran High School of Indianapolis; Regan, a sixth-grader at Calvary Lutheran School; and Rhianon, in fourth grade at Calvary.
After his military duty, Jim and Connie settled in Indianapolis where, for a number of years, Jim worked in industrial sales positions. During this time Jim obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, and, in the thirteen years prior to entering the seminary, Jim worked in the field of computer programming, eventually holding management positions in that field with a national shopping center developer and an airline.
While Jim earned his living in the secular world, his heart was always drawn to the work of the church for its Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This was evident even in the military, where he served as a Chaplain’s Assistant. He and Connie helped to found Ascension Lutheran Church in Beech Grove, IN, where Jim served in a number of lay offices over the years. They later transferred their membership to Calvary Lutheran Church on the south side of Indianapolis where Jim was again actively involved in many lay leadership roles. Jim was also active in helping start Lutheran High School of Indianapolis, serving on its first Board of Directors and chairing its annual “Saints Are Calling” telephone campaign for over fifteen years.
Feeling the Lord’s urging toward the full-time ministry ever since high school, Jim and Connie were guided into Jim’s seminary enrollment in November 1995. In August of 1997, Jim began his vicarage assignment by serving as the first full-time worker at the newly formed congregation of Living Christ Lutheran Church serving the Plainfield, IN area. Jim continued to serve this congregation during his final year of seminary and then was called and installed as their first pastor in June of 1999.
In 2010, Jim moved to Calvary Lutheran Church, Indianapolis, IN as an Associate Pastor called to serve the church-at-large as an Intentional Interim Minster. In that role, he served churches in Memphis, TN; Odessa, TX; and Manassas, VA. Officially retiring in 2015, Jim has since served stints as Assistant to the Pastor at Calvary and as Vacancy Pastor at Trinity, Indianapolis.
Residing in Greenwood, IN, Jim enjoys playing golf, doing crossword puzzles and reading novels. Connie enjoys designing silk floral arrangements for her own decorating, reading and doing jigsaw puzzles. Together they enjoy spending time with their children and grandchildren, and some occasional leisure travel.
Director of Outreach and Assimilationx
Director of Outreach and Assimilation
Paul graduated with a B.A. in Secondary Music Education with a dual major in Vocal and Instrumental Music. He received a Master’s degree in Music Education from the University of Evansville. Paul has over 35 years of ministry experience in Lutheran Schools and congregations.
As a self-proclaimed “people Person” Paul is looking forward to engaging members of St. John in activities that will enrich their personal walk with Jesus, develop faith partnerships, encourage community involvement, and equip cross-generational ministry.
Paul’s wife Pamela is 4th grade teacher and Director of Music at St. John. They have four daughters; Paula (Dave) in Indianapolis, Heidi (Matt) in Iowa City, Emily (Sean) in Durham, N.C., and Andrea in Macomb, MI.
Director of Musicx
Director of Music
Mrs.Johnson was born and raised in Montague, Michigan, where she was baptized, confirmed, and married at St. James Lutheran Church. She attended Concordia Lutheran Junior College (now Concordia Ann Arbor) where she received her Associate of Arts degree, Concordia Nebraska, and Concordia Chicago, where in 1976 she received her B.A. in Education, D.P.M., and in 1998 her M.A. Mrs. Johnson is in her 31st year of teaching and has been at St. John since 1992.
She has also served congregations and schools in Montague, Chicago, and Evansville. Besides enjoying her fourth grade students, she serves St. John as Director of Music, adult and children's choir director, and organist. She is blessed with sharing life with her husband Paul, and their four daughters and their families, including five grandchildren. She enjoys traveling (with only 2 states left to visit), playing the organ and piano, reading, knitting, tennis, and waiting each fall to cheer on the Michigan football team.
Director of Development, Business Managerx
Director of Development, Business Manager
Ivonne has an Associate’s Degree in Accounting from Indiana Business College and a Certificate in Fund Raising Management from The Center of Philanthropy at Indiana University.
Ivonne worked in business specializing in accounting, human resources, and management. Prior to joining us at St. John she worked for the National Benevolent Association in the areas of gift planning and grants.
Ivonne’s husband, Mark, teaches at St. John School. Their family includes son Thomas married to Britney and daughter Kelly married to Tyler and five grandchildren. She likes to visit, read, keep up with the world of business and attend small group Bible Study. You might catch her yelling during a Purdue basketball game.
Shannon Velzen graduated from Indiana Business College (now Harrison College) with an Associate Degree in Business Management in 1987. She has worked as an accountant, paralegal and administrative assistant at various central Indiana businesses, before finding a truly enjoyable job here at St. John in 2006.
In 1998 Shannon met and married Patrick Velzen, an Engineer with Ryobi Die Casting. A short three years later their first child, a little girl, was born and just a few years after that their family was rounded out with the addition of a son. Both of their children attend school at St. John. The children would insist that you not forget their two dogs and gecko that think they are also "children." When not chasing around children or animals or keeping Patrick in line Shannon loves reading "books" on her Kindle, enjoying family movie nights and traveling (especially their semi-annual family trips to Disney).
Lori Reno Howard
Lori Reno Howard
Lori Reno Howard
Lori Reno Howard
Mrs. Reno-Howard earned her Bachelors Degree from Indiana University and has been employed at St. John since 2005. She is married to Kenny Howard Sr., together they have 6 children, and 1 grand-daughter they absolutely adore.
The two of them are very much looking forward to the next chapter of their lives together enjoying many blessings of family, traveling, and home.
Heidi Mielke was born and raised in Randolph, New Jersey. Heidi attended Concordia University River Forest (now Chicago) and graduated with her degree in teaching. After graduation, Heidi served as the Director of Christian Education for 15 years at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Indianapolis.
While at Concordia, Heidi met her husband, Matthew. Matthew is a native of Danville, Illinois and enjoy his profession as a Real Estate Agent. Together, they have 5 kids.
Heidi and her family enjoy traveling, hiking, and watching the kids in all of their various activities.