Most people call me Pastor Doug, which is my name, my vocations and my identity all wrapped up together. I graduated from Carthage College with a BA degree and from The Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago with a Masters of Divinity and Doctorate of Divinity. Ordained 44 years ago, I have served in various Lutheran church bodies, and am presently a rostered pastor in the North American Lutheran Church.
I have been married for 48 years to my college sweetheart, Terri. We have four grown children, who with their spouses, have blessed us with twelve grandchildren. They live significant distances from Noblesville, so we travel to visit them as often as possible.
Before coming to Bethel in Cicero, Indiana in 1991, I served at one congregation in Colorado and two in the Chicago suburbs. The past 30 years here at Bethel have been exciting and challenging. Bethel has grown from a small rural congregation located in Cicero to a more suburban church relocated to a 10-acre parcel at 206th and Cumberland in Noblesville that has been Bethel’s church home since 1998.
Because I grew up on a farm, I have a farm boy heart and love John Deere, gardening, and cooking … especially grilling. Now I watch a lot of the programs on the Food Network channel. I love sports and do a lot more watching than actively playing these days. Now that my time commitment at Bethel has changed, I am working on restoring a 1968 Plymouth Roadrunner. It is all over the garage floor.
Four years ago, I was diagnosed with Barrett’s Syndrome. After a series of tests, the doctors determined that I had stage 3 esophageal cancer. Six weeks of radiation and chemo at the IU Simon Cancer Center were followed by an extensive surgery that kept me on disability for almost 4 months. It was the hardest thing I have ever done or been through! So far I am cancer free … thank God … and I have the gift of life with a new normal.
My favorite scripture is I Corinthians 16:13-14: “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith, be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.” The challenges of life require us to rely on the Lord’s strength and wisdom. There are always temptations and they can cause us to stumble and fall. Our call and our purpose is to allow the love of Christ to direct our lives and follow his example of loving others.
Joe comes to St James with a diverse background in Music. Joe has a Bachelor’s degree in clarinet performance from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK and a Master’s degree in clarinet performance from Indiana State University. Not only is Joe a clarinetist, he is also a tenor. He has performed with the Sacramento Choral Society as a soloist for “Messiah” by G. F. Handel as well as Mozart’s “Great Mass in C Minor”. He also held the position of principal clarinet with the Folsom Symphony, Folsom, CA. He has experience teaching students of all ages and has been a woodwind instructor at Vincennes University. He is also an experienced church musician having served as Minister of Music in Bicknell, IN, Wichita, KS, Roseville, CA, West Sacramento, CA and Indianapolis. “My passion is for worship, it doesn’t matter what style or speed. Just give me a chance to worship my Savior. I’d gladly give up everything musical to praise God. Every musical instrument must be for the glory of God and to testify of His goodness. He stepped into my brokenness and gave me a reason to make music.”
Cindy Gregory serves as our church Treasurer since 2001. She has her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Masters degree in Business Administration. She proudly served 6 years in the U. S. Army Finance Corps then served for 26 years with the Defense Finance and Accounting Service at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis. She retired in 2015 and enjoys serving in the church.
Wendy England is our Administrative Assistant and has lived here in Greenfield for 8 years with her husband of 14 years and three kids ages 12, 10 and 6. Before working at St. James she was a stay at home mom for 8 years. When she isn’t busy, she like to be at home with their dog and four cats (yes, she is one of those people) and spend time with family.