Leadership

Leadership 2016-10-20T23:13:54+00:00

MEET OUR PASTORS

The Reverend Kevin Clementson

Co-Senior Pastor
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Pastor Kevin was born and raised on a farm in northwest Minnesota. A graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in Social work, Kevin worked developing group homes and serving as a client advocate through the Minnesota Association for Retarded Citizens.  Kevin attended seminary at Gettysburg where he met Martha.  In 1982 Kevin and Martha were ordained and served together in a two point parish in the Beaver Valley north of Pittsburgh, PA.

In 1987 when Martha was called to serve as an assistant to the Bishop of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod of the ELCA, Kevin was called to serve as Pastor of the newly formed New Hope Lutheran Church.  During his tenure at New Hope, Kevin oversaw the construction of a new church facility; the development of one of the fastest growing congregations in the Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod.  In 1994 Pastor Kevin was called to serve Berkeley Hills Lutheran Church in the North Hills of Pittsburgh.  During his tenure at Berkeley Hills, Pastor Kevin helped a congregation reverse thirty years of declining membership, call a second pastor and move the congregation to a building expansion program to meet the growing ministry needs of the congregation.  Pastor Kevin has served on the Board of Trustees for Thiel College and as a Board member for Lutheran SeniorLife, a Lutheran Service agency that provides care for the elderly of Southwestern Pennsylvania.

At Grace Pastor Kevin works as Co-Senior Pastor with Pastor Martha.  He works with the Social Ministry, Stewardship, Property and Finance Committees and has primary responsibility is working with the Stephen Ministry program at Grace.  Pastor Kevin teaches a men’s adult Bible Study at Johansson’s in Westminster and leads an adult Bible Study during the Christian Education hour.

The Reverend Martha Clementson

Co-Senior Pastor
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A native of Pennsylvania, Pastor Martha grew up in Uniontown, Pennsylvania where her father served as a Lutheran pastor.  She is a graduate of Capital University, Columbus, Ohio and the Lutheran Theological Seminary, Gettysburg.

Pastor Martha began her service at Grace in December, 2007.  Along with Pastor Kevin, she provides leadership in worship, preaching, teaching and pastoral care.  Pastor Martha relates to the Evangelism, Adult Education, Christian Education, and Worship Committees at Grace.  She also works with the Personnel Committee.

Prior to arriving at Grace, she served for twenty years as Assistant to the Bishop in the Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.  In that role, she assisted a variety of congregations in times of transition, especially when they were exploring the focus of their ministry, or searching for a pastor or staff member, or struggling though a time of conflict.  She served congregations and the synod in the areas of Congregational Life, Leadership Development and Candidacy.  Pastor Martha served on the ELCA Evangelism Task Force and was a participant in the 2006 ELCA Ecumenical Visit to international church bodies in Geneva, Istanbul, Rome and London.

Pastor Martha and Pastor Kevin are parents of one daughter, Beth, who is a M.Div. student at the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary.

OUR STAFF

Tandy Edward (Ted) Dix

Organist and Director of Traditional Worship and Music Ministry Development
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Ted received his undergraduate degree in organ performance at Towson University in Towson, Maryland, where he was a second prize winner in the Peggy Friedmann Gordon Music Competition and a student of Dr. Thomas Spacht. His graduate study was conducted at Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, New Jersey, where he was a student of Eugene Roan and a winner in the Graduate Organ Competition. He was awarded the Master of Music in Music Theory Pedagogy degree in May, 2006, at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University.

In March of 2001, Mr. Dix was a finalist in the national Arthur Poister Scholarship Competition in Syracuse, New York. In March of 2006, he was inducted into membership of the Epsilon Omicron Chapter of Pi Kappa Lambda.

Ted currently resides in Westminster, Maryland, with his wife, Gretchen, and his children Katie and Tony, where he is the Organist and Director of Traditional Music and Music Ministry Development at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church and teaches courses in Music Appreciation, Aural Musicianship, Music Theory, and private organ study at Carroll Community and McDaniel Colleges. He is also the accompanist of the Masterworks Chorale of Carroll County and is a member of a concert artists group called East West Organists (www.eastwestorganists.com).

Leanne Elliott

Director of Christian Education, Youth and Family Ministries
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Leanne grew up outside of Philadelphia Pennsylvania and was a life-long member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Wallingford, PA. In 2008 she moved across the country to attend Trinity Lutheran College of Everett, WA where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Children, Youth, and Family Studies as well as a minor in both Children’s Ministry and Youth Ministry in May of 2012. Leanne’s ministry really began as a member of the Lutheran Youth Organization Board of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod all four years of high school. She participated in and helped plan several synod-wide mission trips and events while also attending conferences to develop her leadership skills. In 2007 Leanne spent a month living in various parts of Mexico as a part of the ELCA Global Missions Ubuntu University II trip where she felt her call to ministry. While living in Washington and going to college, she started volunteering and later interning with Youth for Christ Seattle where she was a part of developing and running a youth drop-in center in the small farming town of Snohomish. In addition to the center Leanne tutored at the alternative high school and volunteered with the local church youth group. Her passion and heart for ministry is evident in the relationships she builds with students and their families. For Leanne ministry is a 24/7 thing that she cannot turn off when her work day is over. She enjoys going to sporting events and school activities to support her students and being involved in the lives of her students. For renewal and relaxation, Leanne enjoys road trips or just driving but when that is not an option, curling up to a good book or movie usually does the trick! She also enjoys cooking and baking.

Anita Erb

Director of Little Friends of Grace Preschool
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Anita became Director of Little Friends of Grace in March of 2006. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Shippensburg University. She has over 25 years of experience in early childhood education. Anita began her career in education teaching kindergarten for Kindercare Learning Center in Hanover, Maryland; later becoming Assistant Director and Director of the center. She also was a home daycare provider and taught at Christian Preschool and Kindergarten for nine years, teaching children from age two to five.

Anita and her husband Randy have been married for 28 years and they have two daughters. Amanda, 25, recently graduated from Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida. She is currently doing freelance art, illustrating a children’s book and an e-book. Lauren, 22, is a senior at Towson University studying Elementary Education; she is interning two days at Woodholme Elementary in Pikesville and will student teach next semester at Owings Mills Elementary. In her free time, Anita enjoys reading, walking, sports, board games and photomosaic puzzles; she will miss her trips to Sarasota this year!

Erik Piisila

Director of Contemporary Music
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Erik Piisila is Grace Lutheran’s Director of Contemporary Music. You will most often find Erik leading rehearsal’s with Praise Team members on Wednesday evenings at 7:30pm in Grace Hall. Coordinating music selections with scriptures and sermon themes is a regular part of Erik’s weekly routine at Grace. You can count on 7 to 9 different contemporary praise songs from week to week during the 9:00 a.m. services in Grace Hall.

Erik has been involved in contemporary music at Grace in some form or fashion since the early 90′s. Erik brings his vocal, guitar and percussive leadership to Grace from Baltimore secular bands such as Planetary Zygote and Thread as well as contemporary Christian groups such as Prodigal Son and The Jordan Wade Band. Erik has also volunteered his music talents with ecumenical praise teams serving the Emmaus and Chrysalis communities.

When he’s not filming projects in developing countries for Lutheran World Relief or developing websites and graphics for other projects, Erik spends his free time with his wife Emily and son Makai. He has been known to show up for service most Sundays on his Harley Davidson – another of his passions in life.

Craig Giles

Deacon

A member of Grace Lutheran since elementary school Craig is a retired teacher who still works part-time for Carroll County Public Schools and the National Park Service. He also worked on the summer staff at Lutheran Camp Mar-Lu-Ridge from 1974-1997 where along with many wonderful experiences; he met his wife, Lois. Craig is a graduate of Towson State University as well as Western Maryland College (now McDaniel) and in 1997 completed the requirements and was set apart as a deacon with the Order of Saint Stephen Deacon (O.S.S.D.). The O.S.S.D. has served area Lutheran churches and outreach ministries in word and service since the 1970’s. After a program of studying including an internship as vicar deacon, O.S.S.D. deacons serve under ordained pastors in a variety of areas. Craig especially likes working in Christian education and youth ministry, helping with confirmation, volunteering at summer camp and youth events, as well as working with the Boy Scouts and 4-H. He also enjoys outreach ministry, working with the Thursday night Ardent Folk community meal and bible study at Grace and with Shepherd’s Staff. He has made several trips with outreach mission teams at Grace Lutheran and is involved in Eucharistic Ministry. Craig serves as an Associate in Pastoral Care visiting members and as a worship assistant.

Pastor Dave Bare

Pastor Dave is a Westminster native, who has lived in Georgia, Connecticut, Indiana and Wisconsin. He married Kathy in 1966 (at Grace), and has two children, Laura and Adam, and 5 grandchildren. He graduated from Georgia Tech in 1967 and worked as a sales engineer for 7 years. Upon returning to Westminster in 1974, Dave bought his father’s fuel oil company, S. L. Bare, which he and Kathy co-ran for 14 years. During this time Dave became an active member at Grace, serving on various committees including Church Council, teaching Word and Witness, and singing in the choir. In 1986 he enrolled at Gettysburg Seminary part time. After selling his business in 1988, Dave became a full time student, graduating in 1992, the year he was ordained.

After ordination Pastor Dave served as pastor at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Alesia, MD for 12 years. He also became employed part time as a chaplain at Carroll Hospital Center, served on several committees at Carroll Lutheran Village, including the board, and was Dean of the Westminster Conference. After leaving St. Peter’s in 2005, he pastored half time at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Randallstown, MD for two years and became employed by Carroll Hospice as a chaplain, where he worked until retirement in the fall of 2013.

Starting in 1992, Pastor Dave studied at Loyola College of MD, earning a Master of Science degree in Pastoral Counseling. He became a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and had a private counseling practice in Westminster for a number of years.

Pastor Dave is doing Pastoral visitations for Grace.

Don Myers

A life-long member of Grace Lutheran, Don recently retired from Stu’s Music Shop, as the co-owner of one of Westminster’s oldest family-owned businesses. Prior to managing this retail music store, he taught instrumental music in the Carroll County Public Schools. Don is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of Music, and also did graduate study in music education at Indiana University. Don and his wife, Gail, have been married for 43 years and live in Westminster. They have two adult children, Suzanne and Michael, and two grandchildren, Lauren and Cameron.

Previously Don has chaired a number of committees at Grace Lutheran, and also served as the President of the Church Council. He has participated in several of the church’s mission trips. Don is currently the coordinator for Grace Lutheran’s Eucharistic Ministry. He is a Stephen Minister and a member of the Stephen Leader team. Recently Don began study at Gettysburg Seminary, working toward a Master of Arts in Ministerial Studies degree. He is also in the candidacy process to become a rostered leader in the ELCA. Don is enthused about his role at Grace Lutheran as an Associate in Pastoral Care and the opportunity to visit members of the congregation.

Dawn Stem

Parish Secretary and Contributions Recorder
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Dawn has been at Grace Lutheran Church since May, 2011. She has over 25 years of administrative support experience working in the manufacturing industry along with several local non-profit organizations. Prior to arriving at Grace, she worked as a church secretary for a local congregation in Hampstead. It was in that position, she found she enjoys serving others and wanted to continue her service here at Grace.

Dawn lives in Westminster with her husband David, their two daughters Kaylee and Lindsey. She is a proud “meme” to her granddaughter Gabbie. She attends church at Crosswind Church in Westminster. In her spare time, she enjoys being with her family and friends, reading, walking and playing cards. She also enjoys volunteering at her church and at Carroll Hospice.

Sheilah Keefer

Financial and Membership Secretary
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Sheilah has been at Grace Lutheran Church since May, 2011. She has over twelve years’ of work experience in accounting and customer service. Prior to coming to Grace, she was a stay-at-mom with her daughter since her birth in 2007. Volunteering gives her a sense of accomplishment. In 2008, she became the Event Coordinator for Carroll’s Idol, an organization that benefits the Community Foundation of Carroll County. Sheilah enjoys being back in the working world and finds great satisfaction in working in a Christian environment.

She and her husband Jeff live in New Windsor with their daughter Indianna. In her spare time, she likes reading, baking cakes, and golfing with her husband and little girl.

Angela Procario

Bookkeeper
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Angela joined our staff at Grace part-time in May 2009. She comes to us with over forty years of accounting experience and a B.S. in accounting/business administration from George Washington University. She has experience in the federal government, the private sector and non-profits. Prior to arriving at Grace, she worked full-time in the finance department at a local continuing care retirement community. Angela also goes on Project Serve mission trips when she can.

Angela lives in Westminster and is semi-retired. In her spare time, she raises sheep and goats, enjoys reading, music and knitting. She attends church at Uniontown Bible Church and she also volunteers as treasurer at Mason-Dixon Youth for Christ.

Renee Brewer

Little Friends of Grace Preschool Administrative Assistant
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Renee has been working in education for twenty-five years. She worked at Christian Preschool for sixteen years as a teacher’s assistant with children ages two through kindergarten. In September of 2006 she became an assistant teacher at Little Friends of Grace, working with the three and four year old classes. She became the Preschool Administrative Assistant in 2014.

Renee and her husband Gene have been married for 37 years and have two grown children. Their daughter Jill and her husband Robbie have a daughter, Taylor and a son, R.J. Their son Daniel and his wife, Kristin have two sons, Caedmon and Corban as well as a daughter, Noelle. In her free time, Renee likes to walk and read. She loves to spend time being a Mimi.

Charles Crown

Facilities and Technology Manager
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Charles was born in Westminster and raised on a farm in southern Carroll County. He was an active 4-H member for several years, during which he raised rabbits, sheep and beef cattle. Charles, along with his parents and two younger sisters, worshipped at Messiah Evangelical Lutheran Church near Sykesville where he was baptized by Pastor Stanley Whitson in the mid 1980’s. In 1997, Charles’ family moved to the Westminster/New Windsor area and began attending Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Charles graduated from Westminster High School in 2004 and began working full time at Carroll Lutheran Village, where he had been working since the summer of 2002. In 2006, Charles left Carroll Lutheran Village and began his career in Real Estate with Long and Foster Real Estate Inc. in their Westminster office. Charles also worked for Walnut Springs Nursery during this period where he worked as a delivery driver and route salesman in the Metro D.C. and Northern Virginia areas.

In May of 2015, Charles answered God’s call and began working full time as the Facilities and Technology Manager for Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church. He has been worshipping faithfully at Grace since 2009 and was inducted as a full member in 2012. Charles is a member of the Property Committee and also sings with the Chancel Choir. He is also a Volunteer Fireman with New Windsor Volunteer Fire Department and helps with numerous fundraisers and the annual Fireman’s Carnival. In his spare time, Charles enjoys camping, hiking, biking, kayaking, working outside in his garden and traveling for pleasure and with the Grace Lutheran Disaster Response Mission team. Charles continues to be a part of the ministry at Grace today.

Ronald Wentz

Sexton
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Sam Gunby

Custodian