Staff & Leadership

Sara
Olson-Smith
Associate pastor
Katy
Warren
Associate pastor
Mac
Mullins
pastor in residency
Teresa
Keller
visitation chaplain
Peter A.
Pettit
Teaching pastor
Karen
Strusz
Preschool director
Maddy
Carroll
Director of children's ministries
Liz
Franks
youth coordinator
Dana
Welser
Madison Market coordinator
Brittany
Guy
Childcare team leader
Chris
Nelson
Director of music ministries & organist
Brian
Schou
Contemporary worship director
Linda
Allebach
Assistant organist
Nathan
Windt
Chorale director
Dan
Pepper
Youth choir director
Margaret
Thompson
Children’s choir director
Sara
Harless
Children's choir director
Katie
Casey
Children's choir director
Jessica
Taylor
Director of communication
Lauren
Brown
Artistic director
Andrea
Spencer
Book Corner manager
Miles
Thompson
Operations director
Laura
Scott
Business manager
Allison
Winter
Business office assistant
Jennifer
Garvey
Receptionist
Mackenzie
Griffin
Administrative assistant
Marcia
Robertson
Giving ministry coordinator
Matt
Spencer
Building manager
Larry
Keller
Campus & grounds
Jim
Akright
Custodial & maintenance
Todd
Byerly
Tech assistant
Paul
Caldwell
Host
Terry
Ousley
Host
Terry
Haru
Host
Joe
Wollett
Host

Sara Olson-Smith

Associate pastor

Worship, people, and listening to stories form a framework for Pastor Sara Olson-Smith’s passions in ministry. She takes the lead in the church’s caring efforts and connecting with our newest members. You can hear her voice on St. Paul’s children’s podcast, Little Bird and Jesus.

Pastor Sara grew up in Colorado and Wisconsin. She earned degrees from the College of St. Benedict and Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.
Before arriving at St. Paul, Pastor Sara Olson-Smith served two congregations in New Jersey. Prior to that, she served as a youth minister in Minneapolis, and chaplain for the Moscow Protestant Chaplaincy in Russia. In Denver, she worked with homeless Colorado youth through Urban Servant Corps.

Pastor Sara and her husband Clark, also an ELCA pastor, are the parents of Susannah and Amos. She can usually be found playing outside with her kids, but she also loves creating things – quilts, bread, cookies, stories, and new adventures.

Email: sara@stpaulqc.org
Phone: 563-326-3547 Ext. 248

Katy Warren

Associate pastor

Compassionate and genuine are among the words that describe Pastor Katy Warren. Katy brings her love for hands-on serving to work with the Mission Board. She believes that adventurous serving is one way to fuel faith.

A native of Papillion, Nebraska, Pastor Katy earned degrees from Gustavus Adolphus College and Luther Seminary. From 2011-2013, Katy participated in the St. Paul pastoral residency program.

Katy is married to Allison, and together they are parents to Micah and Mia. They love the outdoors, watching Jeopardy, serving in the community, and walking their yellow lab, Penny.

Email: katy@stpaulqc.org
Phone: 563-326-3547 Ext. 232

Mac Mullins

pastor in residency

Raised in North Carolina, but no stranger to the Midwest, Pastor Mac attended DePaul University in Chicago before working in higher education. He graduated with a Master of Divinity from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary and completed his internship in Durham, NC. He accepted his first call to St. Paul and was ordained in June of 2023. Pastor Mac has a deep love for studying and chatting about all things theology. As part of the residency program, Pastor Mac seeks to grow and be formed as a partner in ministry with the people of St. Paul and our other ministry leaders.
Pastor Mac is an avid and devout Chicago Cubs fan, even in the off years. When not enjoying a baseball game, he can probably be found at a local coffee shop or finding a new book in the library. He also enjoys cooking, hiking, movies, and the occasional video game.

Email: mac@stpaulqc.org
Phone: 563-326-3547 Ext. 238

Teresa Keller

visitation chaplain

Teresa Keller was born and raised within the Quad City area. Prior to St. Paul, Teresa had a wide range of experiences with helping people. From being a paramedic to an insurance and real estate agent, and, most recently, chaplain at Genesis Health System.

Teresa and her husband Larry enjoy their grandkids, fishing, and reading. The most important part of the day is their morning coffee together.

Being present and listening to the stories and needs of St. Paul people is Teresa’s main focus as the visitation chaplain.

Email: teresak@stpaulqc.org
Phone: 563.326.3547 Ext. 310

Peter A. Pettit

Teaching pastor

As teaching pastor, Peter Pettit guides learning at St. Paul, including preschool, children & families, youth, and adults. His brings to the community gifted teaching and theological vision for lifelong growth in grace.

Peter previously served Hope Lutheran Church in Riverside, California, and led the Institute for Jewish-Christian Understanding at Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania, where he taught in the religion studies faculty. He has served on the ELCA’s Consultative Panel on Lutheran-Jewish Relations and is on the teaching faculty of the Shalom Hartman Institute (Jerusalem and New York). He earned the M.Div. at the Lutheran seminary in Philadelphia and the Ph.D. in Bible and Early Judaism at Claremont Graduate University.

A lifelong golfer, Peter enjoys travel, crossword puzzles, games, and art films with his wife, Lynn. They are parents to two adult daughters, whose husbands have brought three delightful grandchildren into their lives.

Email: ppettit@stpaulqc.org
Phone: 563-326-3547 Ext. 237

Karen Strusz

Preschool director

Karen earned a degree in health care administration from Winona State University. She completed her onsite supervisor credential for the Iowa Department of Human Services. Karen has previous experience as a community educator, assistant administrator of a medical practice, and as an instructor in the child care program at Scott Community College. She also worked at the Child Abuse Council.

Karen enjoys working with children and watching them learn about themselves and the world around them.

Karen is married to Brian. They have two children – Madison and Megan are both former preschool students at St. Paul.

Email: karenstrusz@stpaulqc.org
Phone: 563-326-3547 Ext. 219

Maddy Carroll

Director of children's ministries

Maddy focuses on Sunday morning life for children and creates family events that nourish kids and families in a life of faith. The goal of her ministry is to provide innovative, playful, and relational opportunities for children to discover the blessing of knowing Jesus Christ.

Maddy is a lifelong member of St. Paul. She is a recent graduate of Wartburg College, with a degree in Religion. She is currently a student at Wartburg Theological Seminary, working to obtain her Masters in Diaconal Ministry.

Email: maddy@stpaulqc.org
Phone: 563-326-3547 Ext. 311

Liz Franks

youth coordinator

Liz takes the lead in youth ministry, facilitating youth events, mission trips, and Sunday Night Live (SNL), and is the touchpoint for youth engagement at St. Paul. She is an Iowa native and graduated from Wartburg College, where she met her husband, Max. Her background in education, social work, and volunteering in youth ministry has fueled her passion for empowering high school students to discover the depths of God’s love and activity in their lives.

She enjoys meeting new people, hearing their stories over a cup of hot coffee, and getting involved in the community. She loves all things creative and outdoorsy, traveling the world, and a good walk with her new (not so little anymore) puppy, Charlie.

Email: liz@stpaulqc.org
Phone: 563-326-3547 Ext. 228

Dana Welser

Madison Market coordinator

Dana’s background in communication and volunteering fuels her passion for serving the church and community. She and her husband Ron are the parents of Jonathan, Lauren, and Jessica.

Email: dana@stpaulqc.org
Phone: 563-326-3547 Ext. 225

Brittany Guy

Childcare team leader

Brittany  welcomes children and parents into the Sunday-morning nursery. She supervises and trains the childcare staff.

 

Email:
Phone: 563-326-3547 Ext. -

Chris Nelson

Director of music ministries & organist

At the bench of the St. Paul pipe organ, Chris Nelson expresses the majesty and mystery of faith. His responsibilities encompass all things music: Overseeing choral and instrumental music, accompanying choirs, playing the organ, and working collaboratively to plan worship.

Schooled in church music at Bethany College and Luther Seminary, Chris has served churches in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, Minnesota, and Indiana. A member of the American Guild of Organists, Chris presents regional workshops and encourages young organists. He is the college organist and instructor of organ at Augustana College in Rock Island, and plays for a variety of events in the Quad Cities.

Chris is an adventurous cook and values time to kick back with family and friends.

Email: chris@stpaulqc.org
Phone: 563-326-3547 Ext. 214

Brian Schou

Contemporary worship director

As the leader of the Open Spirit worship team, Brian Schou brings forward contemporary music that is both compelling and uplifting for the 11:15 a.m. service at St. Paul.  Playing piano and singing, Brian leads the team of tremendously talented and dedicated volunteers each week through music rooted in the love of Jesus Christ.

A lifelong Lutheran, Brian came to the Quad Cities from Rockford, Illinois, to attend Augustana College, and never left.  He and his wife Holly are both high school English teachers who reside in Bettendorf with son Jackson, while older son Cooper lives in Davenport.  Brian has served as the contemporary music director for two other Quad City congregations while the family has been a part of St. Paul since 2009.

While not leading music at St. Paul or promoting proper pronoun usage at school, Brian can be seen performing music at several local venues under the phonetic pseudonym of Brian Skow.  He is often accompanied by one, and when the stars align, two, of his children. Read more about Brian’s other musical pursuits on his website.

Email: brian@stpaulqc.org
Phone: 563-326-3547 Ext. -

Linda Allebach

Assistant organist

Linda has served as an organist and choir accompanist for Quad-Cities congregations for many years. She teaches piano in her home to more than 35 budding young musicians.

Linda holds a Master of Arts degree in organ and a sacred music certificate in choral music, hymnody, and history. You’ll spot her on the St. Paul organ bench throughout the year. Linda and her husband Don are parents of three adult daughters and love to sail.

Email: linda@stpaulqc.org
Phone: 563-326-3547 Ext. -

Nathan Windt

Chorale director

Nathan brings a variety of ecumenical experience, serving Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist, Episcopalian, and Catholic churches throughout the country.

He has degrees in music education and conducting from North Park University and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He is director of choral activities at St. Ambrose University, where he directs two choral ensembles, as well as teaching applied voice, conducting, and choral methods. His areas of specialty include choral-orchestral repertoire, an affinity for eighteenth- and nineteen-century choral literature, and the performance of German and English art song.

Nathan lives in Eldridge with his wife, Amy, and three children, Ethan, Emma, and Ella. More information can be found on his website, www.nathanwindt.com.

Email: nathan@stpaulqc.org
Phone: 563-326-3547 Ext. -

Dan Pepper

Youth choir director

Originally from the Chicago suburbs, Dan attended Augustana College where he studied music education and sang in the Augustana Choir. He is a vocal music teacher at Sudlow Intermediate and oversees the general music program, Men’s Choir, 6th Grade Honor Choir, and the Ukulele Club. His energetic personality gets youth, grades 7-12, excited about singing at St. Paul.

Dan and his wife, Melissa, are very involved in musical theater in the QCA and can be found on stage at Quad City Music Guild or Countryside Community Theatre. They are parents of two, Grayson and Brooks.

Email: pepper@stpaulqc.org
Phone: 563-326-3547 Ext. -

Margaret Thompson

Children’s choir director

Margaret leads the Cantate choir, a group of growing musicians in grades 4-6. A graduate of Coe College, Margaret teaches music at Pleasant Valley Junior High as well as private lessons. She directed a middle school choir for three years at First Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids while attending Coe.

Margaret lives in the Quad Cities with her husband, Miles, and son, Christian.

Email: margaret@stpaulqc.org
Phone: 563-326-3547 Ext. -

Sara Harless

Children's choir director

Sara Harless is the director of the children’s choir for the littlest of singers, ages 4-kindergarten, the Alleluia Choir.

Sara is a graduate of Ball State University with a degree in early childhood education. She has taught Head Start preschool, and helps lead music for St. Paul’s Vacation Bible School. She also is involved in St. Paul’s Moms’ Morning.

As the daughter of a piano teacher, Sara has played since she was a little girl. She participated in church and school choirs, as well. She loves to sing, and lead the sweet voices of St. Paul kids as they do the same. Sara lives in Bettendorf with her husband, Sean, and children, Annie and Gary.

Email: saraharless@stpaulqc.org
Phone: 563-326-3547 Ext. -

Katie Casey

Children's choir director

Katie Casey leads the Jubilate Choir. She is the music teacher at Pleasant Valley’s Hopewell Elementary School in Bettendorf. She has a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Illinois and a master’s degree in special education from Western Illinois University.

She and her husband, Jimmy Sederquist, live in Bettendorf with their children, Kinley, 5, and Kellyn, 1.

Email: casey@stpaulqc.org
Phone: 563-326-3547 Ext.

Jessica Taylor

Director of communication

As director of communication, Jessica coordinates the website, the weekly electronic newsletter, Journey magazine, and other print pieces as well as producing the weekly worship podcast and the children’s Little Bird and Jesus podcast. Jessica developed a knack for storytelling at a young age through her passion for reading and theater.

She lives in Davenport with her husband Tom, her daughter, Avery, and their menagerie of pets. As a family, they enjoy cooking, game nights, movie nights, dance parties, and traveling.

 

Email: jessica@stpaulqc.org
Phone: 563-326-3547 Ext. 239

Lauren Brown

Artistic director

Design. Photography. Digital media. These are the components of Lauren Brown’s days. Her keen eye and enthusiastic spirit bring life and color to photos and slideshows. She manages the church website, and collaborates on a number of print resources too.

Lauren’s efforts help communicate the color and texture of St. Paul life – and reach out to people in the community. A graduate of Wartburg College, Lauren enjoys an active life in the Quad Cities with her husband Tony and children Meredith and Caleb.

Email: lauren@stpaulqc.org
Phone: 563-326-3547 Ext. 223

Andrea Spencer

Book Corner manager

Andrea will be leading the daily operations of our congregational bookstore. She finds joy in helping others find resources to grow their faith and find meaningful options for gift giving, all while supporting Fair Trade.
Andrea and her husband Jonathan, a master planning manager, are the parents of Abigail and enjoy living an active lifestyle in the Quad Cities.

Email: bookcorner@stpaulqc.org
Phone: 563-326-3547 Ext. 242

Miles Thompson

Operations director

Miles is responsible for guiding operational details that assist staff effectiveness and strengthen congregational events. He provides the administrative leadership for matters connected with contracts, employment, and with buildings and grounds projects. He also is responsible for tech support for worship and events.

Miles studied graphic design at Coe College in Cedar Rapids before transferring to Iowa State to study horticulture, landscape design, and management, which sparked his interest in sustainability and green living – a passion he’s excited to explore at St. Paul. Miles is married to Margaret and together they are parents to Christian and Charlie.

Email: miles@stpaulqc.org
Phone: 563-326-3547 Ext. 256

Laura Scott

Business manager

Laura brings experience in financial management and public accounting to St. Paul.  She oversees the financial affairs of the church and works closely with other staff members.  She partners with a finance committee comprised of St. Paul members.

Laura has two 4-legged “children” – dog Miley and cat Theo. She loves to travel, read, and do crafty things.  During the summer, you’re likely to find Laura on one of the nearby golf courses.

Email: laura@stpaulqc.org
Phone: 563-326-3547 Ext. 226

Allison Winter

Business office assistant

With enthusiasm, positivity, encouragement, and a glass-half-full attitude, Allison loves to help people make connections and enjoys a variety of activities, always willing to lend a helping hand. Allison focuses on membership and guest records, bulk mailings, accounting assistance, and some staff support. 

Allison is married to Ken who was on staff at St. Paul as the visitation chaplain. He is now at Genesis hospice as a chaplain. She is the mother of Betsy & Matt, Meredith & Aaron with our eight-year-old granddaughter Claire, Grant & Natalie who have one-year-old Henry, and Dan & Frazier. They are all spread over the country from Iowa down to Texas and up to Washington. Allison and Ken have a Maltese named Louie.

Email: allison@stpaulqc.org
Phone: 563-326-3547 Ext. 243

Jennifer Garvey

Receptionist

Jennifer is the welcoming voice on the other end of the phone when you call the church office. She also coordinates office volunteers, manages the extensive church calendar, and brings a flair for hospitality ministry.

Jennifer is the mother of Bridget, a young adult. She loves tap dancing and flea market shopping.

Email: jennifer@stpaulqc.org
Phone: 563-326-3547 Ext. 210

Mackenzie Griffin

Administrative assistant

Mackenzie provides strong support for Pastor Peter Marty. She takes the lead in producing Connections, St. Paul’s weekly newsletter, and worship bulletins. In addition, Mackenzie manages all in-house printing and maintains records for pastoral care.

MacKenzie and her husband Kyle have three children; two in college and one middle-schooler. As a family, they love hiking and experiencing live music.

Email: mackenzie@stpaulqc.org
Phone: 563-326-3547 Ext. 211

Marcia Robertson

Giving ministry coordinator

Marcia leads the passion-filled stewardship initiatives at St. Paul. Retired from Tech Systems, she uses her keen organizational skills and love for St. Paul to grow a spirit of extravagant generosity.

Marcia and her husband, Doug, a dentist, have three daughters. They also enjoy time spent with their grandchildren.

Email: marcia@stpaulqc.org
Phone: 563-326-3547 Ext.

Matt Spencer

Building manager

Matt Spencer works with part-time maintenance and security staff, overseeing general cleaning and building maintenance. You’ll notice Matt regularly on Sunday mornings, serving up donuts, coffee, and welcome.

Matt’s wife, Robin, is a business teacher for the Muscatine Community School District. They are the parents of two adult children and grandparents of four. In his spare time, Matt enjoys working with his hands on “anything mechanical” and spending time with his grandkids.

Email: spencer@stpaulqc.org
Phone: 563-326-3547 Ext. 235

Larry Keller

Campus & grounds

Larry cares for the building campus that serves St. Paul’s seven-days-a-week ministry. The exterior grounds, property budget management, and facility contracts are his focus. Larry helps oversee various St. Paul groups that help keep the campus looking its best.

Larry and his wife Teresa, the St. Paul visitation chaplain, have four adult children and are proud grandparents to seven. The two love to fish together and the most important part of their day is their morning coffee together.

Email: larry@stpaulqc.org
Phone: 563-326-3547 Ext. 302

Jim Akright

Custodial & maintenance

Jim is one of the staff members who keeps St. Paul clean and comfortable. He is tops at taking care of the floors that endure a lot of beautiful feet, as well as managing a vigorous cleaning schedule for the spaces of St. Paul.

Jim is married to Tina, and together they have five kids. They enjoy traveling to Hawaii and camping.

Email:
Phone: 563-326-3547 Ext. -

Todd Byerly

Tech assistant

Todd is responsible for tech support for worship and events.

Todd, who is married to Lori Byerly, is retired from J.W. Koehler Electric in Davenport. He is president of Empower Tanzania, a nonprofit organization. He and Lori were ELCA missionaries in Tanzania from 2004-2009.

Email:
Phone: 563-326-3547 Ext.

Paul Caldwell

Host

Paul is the second of the duo of weekend hosts who ensure all who enter the doors feel at home. He is a retired production welder from Hansaloy Corp. Paul and his wife, Karen, live in Davenport with their therapy poodle, Gus. Paul likes to cook, bicycle, garden, read, walk Gus, and ride his scooter.

Email:
Phone: 563-326-3547 Ext. -

Terry Ousley

Host

Terry retired from MidAmerican Energy as vice president of customer service after nearly four decades in the utility industry.  He has a degree in accounting and business administration from St. Ambrose University.  Terry believes in giving back to the community and serves on many non-profit boards in the Quad Cities region.  He enjoys spending free time with friends and family, traveling, reading, and playing volleyball and golf.

Email:
Phone: 563-326-3547 Ext.

Terry Haru

Host

Terry is a retired compliance officer for Heritage Behavioral Health Center in Decatur, Illinois. He is married to Elaine Olson, and the two enjoy spending time with their grown children and grandchildren.

Terry enjoys traveling, reading, and genealogy. He is working to learn Spanish and exercises regularly. He was born in California, and spent his teen and young adult years living in Hawaii, which he considers home.

Email:
Phone: 563-326-3547 Ext.

Joe Wollett

Host

Joe is excited to be back working at St. Paul once again. He currently works for the City of Bettendorf in the sanitation department. Joe enjoys spending time with his kids and family at home.

Email:
Phone: 563-326-3547 Ext. 227