Our Pastor

Let me introduce myself. My name is John Place. My childhood hails from NW Ohio near Bowling Green where I lived on a farm with my family.  I did not grow up in the church, but I became acquainted with Christ when I began attending St. Paul Lutheran, Haskins, Ohio beginning with the first Sunday of May my Sophomore year.  Why did I go to church that first time?  The answer is simple: I went in order to be eligible to play on the church softball team.  In those days I would do anything to play sports, even attend church.  It turned out to be a life-changing experience for which I am eternally grateful.

I attended Capital University at the suggestion of my pastor & then graduated from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in 1965.  I have served as pastor of six congregations, the last one being St. John, Richmond, In., where I retired in August 2003.  From 2001-2006 I served as the part-time chaplain at Wernle Home for boys in Richmond.  After, retiring in 2003 I served as Interim Pastor for 10 months at Peace Lutheran, Georgetown, Ohio, followed by a 16 month interim at Providence, Brookville.  My third interim was Grace, Eaton for 13.5 mos., the fourth at Hope, Springfield for 6 mos, the 5th was Bethlehem, Middletown for 12 mos & the 6th at Salem, West Alexandria, for 18 mos. where my last day was Easter of this year.

My wife's name is Bess and she was a primary school teacher in the public school system for many years.  Since 1987 she has served the Lord in the churches where I have served: as the director of Adult Education, Stephen Ministry Leader and trainer, Director of Stewardship, first Communion  and catechism instructor and Sunday School teacher.  I am truly blessed with a wonderful and talented and giving helpmate.

We have two children: Evelyn Gruben who lives with her husband Kreg and their 3 daughters in Madison, Wisc. and John David Place who lives with his wife Patty and 2 children, in Goshen, Ind.

My favorite activities are: gardening, landscaping, competiting each summer in the Masters track and field meets across the midwest and basketball on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

Pastor John

Pastor John and his wife, Bes