Rev. Michael Okine serves as Senior Pastor of Messiah. Born and raised in Ghana, Pastor Michael Okine served there at Lutheran Media Ministry. Later he and his family came to Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. After completing his degree in communication in Houston, Pastor Okine was called to Messiah in 2006. In response to the question: “What’s the most important thing to know?” Pastor Mike says, “Jesus loves you! And don’t you ever forget that!”
Pastor Matt Hoehner serves as Administrative Pastor of Messiah. For the last five years Pastor Matt has served as Regional Executive Director of Open Sky Education (formerly Educational Enterprises), in St. Louis. In this role, Pastor Matt is leading the development of a region of high performing EAGLE Charter Schools and Compass Educational Programs in St. Louis. Matt also serves with the Character Formation Project, serving schools and organizations across the nation and the world.
Pastor Matt graduated from Concordia University, River Forest in 1998. He then went on to Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, where he received a Master of Divinity, a Master of Sacred Theology, and a Doctor of Ministry in Cross-Cultural Leadership. There he served as an adjunct instructor for nine years. He also served as an adjunct instructor with Concordia University Wisconsin, in St. Louis.
Rev. AJ Espinosa serves as assistant pastor of Messiah. He graduated in 2014 with his Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary, where he currently studies part time in the Biblical Studies PhD program. In 2013 he completed his vicarage at Salem Lutheran Church and School in Affton, MO, where he directed the 7th- and 8th-grade confirmation program.
Before going to seminary, AJ studied linguistics at Yale University, where he completed his BA thesis in semantics, comparing how biblical Greek describes motion relative to the person speaking. While studying at Yale he volunteered as a tutor at New Haven Reads with his wife Gaby, who currently pursues her PhD in biomedical engineering at Washington University in St. Louis. Together they enjoy playing games, playing woodwind instruments, and taking bike rides in Forest Park.
Nelda Cameron has been involved in making music since age 4. As a child, she got to play piano, accordion, and guitar at home (on the farm). At school it was trumpet; in college it was trumpet and all band instruments. In NC she added dulcimer, bones, and lots of folk music. Back in St. Louis, Orff music education led to Panpipes and Andean Flutes; her stay in IL added harmonica, more guitar, trash cans, buckets, and African and Latin percussion (World Music Drumming).
She has taught band and general music—grades pre-K through high school—directed brass, woodwind, and percussion ensembles for worship, and taught Sunday School for over 20 years.
Over the years, she and her husband, Bruce have been blessed to live and work in a variety of black, inner city, and rural communities. They have been blessed with 5 children and 7 grandchildren, all of whom have been a lot of fun.
Nelda looks forward to making music with all the different people of the Messiah community and the various instruments they may play. Praise God with... the sound of the trumpet...crashing cymbals...flute...strings. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Office manager Becky Gill is available Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm. 314-772-4474 or firstname.lastname@example.org.