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Photo credit: Jill Slaby

Photo credit: Jill Slaby

Reverend Jeff Steeber, Pastor

Pastor Jeff Steeber was born and raised in Berea, Ohio.  He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Religious Studies from Kent State University, a Master’s Degree in Divinity from Trinity Lutheran Seminary, and is a prospective 2018 graduate of Ohio University’s Masters in Business Administration program.  Pastor Jeff was ordained in 2006, and served calls at St. Paul’s in Newcomerstown, Ohio, and Living Word in Medina, Ohio, before answering the call to Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church in 2013.  Pastor Jeff is currently a Novice in the Order of Lutheran Franciscans, a religious order within the ELCA that places an emphasis on reaching out and ministering to the disenfranchised members of society.  He is supported in his ministry by his wife, Melissa, and their children, Grace and Benjamin.

A word from Pastor Jeff:

My experience is unique when compared to most pastors. While other pastors have come to the Lutheran church from other denominational backgrounds, I have come to the faith as a convert. 

While I was in college I began to study world religions, as I tried to discern my place in the world. I would read the stories about Jesus in the Bible, and wonder how such an amazing man could love people who often did the wrong thing. However, God continued to work in my life and after a year of searching and discernment, I found myself being led to the Christian faith.  As I studied theology and attended different churches (Yes, I was a “Church Shopper”) I felt most at home within the Lutheran church.

I was baptized on January 31st, 2001, I graduated college in May of 2001, was married on June 30th of 2001, and began seminary immediately following my honeymoon.

My main passions for ministry are teaching, leading worship, and working with children and youth. I have always enjoyed working with children. Many times our youth take a backseat to the “adult issues” of the church. While I believe that there are very real adult issues to address within every congregation, we need to realize that it is our calling to raise our children in the Christian faith. This cannot be done by plopping them in a seat for worship or Sunday school, but then failing to be an example of the faith during the rest of the week. I understand that we are all sinners in need of forgiveness, but we are also held to a standard of living that illustrates our Christian faith. By daily dying and rising with our baptism, we can be who God has called us to be.

As a convert to Christianity, I have an intense desire to understand and express our faith. I feel called to bring excitement and a strong grace-filled identity to people who understand that ministry exists both within and outside of the church building.  I truly believe that if we, as Christians, are not living out the gospel message of grace, love, mercy and forgiveness, then we are missing the gift that it is to be a child of God.

Randi Smarsh, Organist

Randi Smarsh, Organist

Randi first began playing organ for church services as a sophomore in high school once a month at the country church in which she grew up.  During her career of over 50 years, she has played for St. John's Lutheran in rural Crestline, Ohio; Calvary United Church of Christ in Crestline, Ohio, and has been part of the music ministry at Christ Evangelical Lutheran since 1980.  Randi has also provided music for many services with Busch Funeral Homes.  Accompanying the choirs and soloists has been one of her favorite roles as CELC organist.

Randi is married with two adult children, Ryan and Stephanie, and resides in Avon Lake with her husband, Ron. And most recently became a proud grandma!

Bill Higgins, Custodian

Bill Higgins, Custodian

Bill is a life-long member of Christ Lutheran, as well as a life-long resident of Avon Lake. He has been employed as the custodian for 25 years. His goal is to provide a clean and welcoming environment for vistors, members, Good Kids and the pre-school.

Bill is a very proud uncle of 13 nieces and nephews as well as 13 great nieces and nephews.



Heather Nordman, Office Administrator

Heather has been a member for Christ Lutheran for 6 years and the Office Administrator for 2 years. She lives in Avon Lake with her husband of over 25 years and their four children.  Her family, both immediate and church, mean the world to her.  She strives to keep the office and church, organized and running as smoothly as possible.  She is always ready to welcome you with a smile and a hello.