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 Luke Wattx
Pastor Luke Watt
Mr. John March was born and raised in Defiance, OH. He attended Concordia Ann Arbor in Michigan for his undergraduated degree, and the State University of New York for his Master's Degree in Curriculum Development and Instructional Technology.
Before becoming Principal at St. John, Mr. March has also taught middle school, as well as at the college level, and he served as Principal for 7 years at Our Savior's Lutheran School in Albany, New York.
John and his wife Lorrie, have two precious daughters, Emilee and Cailyn, and a sweet little boy, Jeremiah.
Mr. March's favorite Bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
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 attended school at St. John. The children would insist that you not forget their three 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 family trips to Disney).
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.