Staff

The Reverend Mike Louia

Pastor Mike Louia began his call as Senior Pastor at First Lutheran in November 2014. Prior to beginning his call at First, Pastor Mike served as pastor at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Funkstown, MD. He is excited to serve with the disciples God has called into this community as we reach out into the world with God’s loving words of grace and mercy.

Pastor Mike graduated from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, where he began his theological studies after retiring from a 20-year career at Wachovia Bank (now Wells Fargo). He currently serves as team leader for our synod’s Mission Through Leadership Team and on our synod council.

He is married to Nancy and has two adult children, Ryan and Megan.

Wayne L. Wold joined the staff of First Lutheran as part-time Director of Music Ministry/Organist in September of 2013, after serving seventeen years in a similar position at Camp David. He also is Associate Professor, Organist, and Chair of the Music Department at Hood College in Frederick MD.

Wayne is widely known as a performer, having presented organ recitals and hymn festivals all across the U.S. and in Europe, and he is harpsichordist with the Hood Chamber Players and the Maryland Symphony Orchestra. An active composer, over 300 of his compositions have been published.He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Concordia College in Moorhead MN, a Master of Sacred Music degree from Wittenberg University in Springfield, OH, a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester VA, and is certified as an Associate of the American Guild of Organists.

Lauren Gray is First Lutheran's Director of Youth and Children's Ministries.. She received her Bachelor's Degree of Children, Youth, and Family Studies from Trinity Lutheran College in Everett, Washington. Lauren has always loved being a part of children's and youth ministry. She loves building relationships with young people and helping them grow in their faith. She also loves to sing and spend time with her family and friends. Lauren is very happy to be a part of the First Lutheran staff.

Phyllis Lott, Administrative Assistant, publishes the weekly bulletin and parish notices, edits the Messenger (monthly newsletter), maintains the church archives and assists the treasurer in financial management.

 

 

The Reverend Gigie Sijera-Grant

Pastor Gigie Sijera-Grant was called as Associate Pastor to First Lutheran in October 2002, after completing her studies at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, California. Pastor Gigie believes in connecting people, helping them identify their spiritual gifts, and equipping and empowering them for ministry to spread the good news of Jesus Christ.

Pastor Gigie is a graduate of the Synod Leadership Academy, is a member of the Racial Justice Ministry Team, and served as a member of Synod Council and the Mission through Leadership Team. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the Association of Asians and Pacific Islanders-ELCA, and Chairs the Filipino Caucus, a group of Lutheran pastors in Filipino ministries in the U.S. Over the years, she was a speaker and preacher at the Asian Lutheran International Conference in Thailand, and continues to write and contribute to various publications on Asian Ministry, most recently “Abundant Harvest,” a book about indigenous Asian Lutheran leaders who made distinguished contributions in spreading the good news among Asian people.

Her husband Bruce is a cultural anthropologist and writer. They have two sons, Brian who is serving in the U.S. Navy Reserve while completing college in San Diego, CA, and Jason, an officer in the U.S. Army Maryland National Guard. She has two grandsons and one granddaughter.

Laurel Wacyk joined the staff of First Lutheran as assistant director of music ministry and choir director in the Fall 2016. She is a recent graduate of the master’s program in choral conducting at Temple University and holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from Western Michigan University. Laurel has been active in choral music education with teaching positions in Cecil and Howard Counties, and she has worked as a clinician, presenter, and guest conductor in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. She is a recipient of a Dean’s Grant (Temple University), the Robert Page Award for Excellence in Choral Conducting (Temple University) and the Lannom Award for Young Conductors (ACDA).

Jenny James is the Director of First Lutheran Preschool. Her experiences include teaching at numerous preschools, training child care providers, managing training programs for a work/life company, and advocating for children and families. She studied Early Childhood Development at De Anza College in California and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from University of Maryland, University College. Jenny is also the Regional Ambassador for Region 8 of the Evangelical Lutheran Education Association.

Renee Kalu joined the staff of First Lutheran as part-time Director of Communications in July 2017, with more than 15 years of marketing and communications experience. Renee has worked with large corporations such as CBRE, Honeywell and AutoNation, as well as small companies, directly supporting the marketing, communications and administrative needs of corporate leaders and business owners. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Renee has also completed several computer graphic & web design courses as part of her continuing education. Renee is passionate about joining in and communicating the amazing things God has done and is doing around and through her. She has been an avid volunteer since the age of 13, lending her talents, time and resources primarily to the youth and elderly in the church and community. She currently serves on the Media Relations team with Samaritan’s Purse, Operation Christmas Child (OCC), and has had success in pitching several OCC stories to the local media in NC. In her new role with First Lutheran, she will direct, develop and support the congregation’s communication processes in living out its mission of Welcoming, Growing and Sharing in God’s Grace, by telling the story of God’s work in our congregation. She is excited to connect her passion with her purpose here at First Lutheran.

Not Pictured:


Preschool Teachers: Tracey Conrad, Sue Davis, Kim Delmar, Andrea Stremmel, Angie Swann, and Stuart Unkenholz.
Assistants: Jeanette Gallo, Diane Hauk, Noelle Jackson and Seema Zaman.
Music Teacher: Betsy Mangum

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