On July 1, 2018, the Rev. John Wertz, Jr. will join the staff of the Virginia Synod, ELCA as the ELCA Director for Evangelical Mission/Assistant to the Bishop. In his primary role as Director for Evangelical Mission, he will focus on developing generous stewardship, new and renewing congregations and synod mission strategy. Pastor Wertz will be based in the Eastern Synod Office at First Lutheran Church in Norfolk but will be working with congregations around the Synod.
Since 2004, Rev. Wertz has been the pastor of St. Michael Lutheran Church in Blacksburg, Virginia. A 1997 graduate of the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, S.C., Pastor Wertz was ordained by the South Carolina Synod in 1997 and served his first call at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Walterboro, S.C. from 1997 until 2004.
Pastor Wertz has a passion for putting God’s Word into action. While at Good Shepherd, he helped launch Shepherd’s Care, an Alzheimer’s Respite program, and expanded a food pantry. At St. Michael, Pastor Wertz helped found Micah’s Caring Initiative (www.micahci.org), a community partnership sponsored by St. Michael which works with over 200 partner organizations to provide weekend meals for hungry students, monthly meals to low income senior adults and fresh food in the summer to local food pantries.
Pastor Wertz served on the Virginia Synod Council from 2009 to 2015 and is currently on the board for National Lutheran Communities and Services, the ELCA Region 9 Stewardship Council and the Virginia Synod Tapestry Team. In addition to his work in the parish, he has extensive experience and training consulting with congregations and organizations on church leadership, fundraising and developing community-based ministries.
Bishop Bob Humphrey said, “We are honored and excited to have Pastor Wertz join the ELCA and Virginia Synod Staff and look forward to the ways he can use his gifts to help support and strengthen congregational, Virginia Synod and ELCA ministry and mission.”
Beginning July 1, you can contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.