Pastoral Leadership

Our congregation is served by our Interim Pastor Jim Ward and Vicar Sharilyn Wendt. We also have a dedicated group of members who serve our ministry. Come to visit us and get to know us better!

Pastor Jim Ward
Pastor Jim grew up in Elkhart, IN and was a member of Lutheran Church of the Redeemer. He earned an Engineering degree from Purdue University and spent 15 years in the construction industry, including two years in Egypt, prior to discerning a call to ordained ministry.

Pastor Jim attended Trinity Lutheran Seminary earning a Master of Divinity degree and being awarded the senior award for Excellence in Preaching. He was ordained in 2003 and served his first call with the people of St John’s Lutheran church in Nappanee, IN. His second call was at New Hope Lutheran Church in Monticello, IN. He has also completed interim ministries at Faith Lutheran in Goshen, IN, Purdue Lutheran Ministry in West Lafayette, IN, Trinity Lutheran in Lebanon, IN and Bethlehem in Indianapolis, IN.

Pastor Jim’s hobbies include woodworking, gardening (aka feeding the rabbits), genealogy, home renovation and playing guitar. When not under call as an interim pastor, Pastor Jim spends his days renovating houses to flip or offer as rentals. He started a small cabinet shop as friends insisted on paying for the woodworking projects he made for them. Pastor Jim enjoys listening to Classic Rock and fancies himself a blues rocker (which he also confesses he is not).

Pastor Jim and his wife Kathy live in West Lafayette, two miles from Purdue’s campus. Kathy is a CPA and works for a Cancer Research Firm located at the Purdue Research Park in West Lafayette, IN. High School Sweethearts, they were married while in Egypt and have four adult children and four grandchildren. His grandchildren think his job is to make them things… a vocation he embraces with gusto.

Vicar Sharilyn Wendt
Vicar Sharilyn Wendt is completing the training for her Masters in Divinity through Luther seminary. Originally from Wisconsin, Vicar Sharilyn has lived in Indiana for 13 years and now makes her home in Lafayette, IN with her cat (Samwise) and her dog (Winston). Vicar Sharilyn also holds a Masters in Social Work from Indiana University and has worked as a mental health social worker in the community mental health system providing therapy and case management for adults with serious mental illness and their families. Our Bishop Bill Gafkjen has authorized her as a SAM or Synodically Authorized Minister so that she is able to provide sacrament at St Paul’s as well as our ministry partners in Mulberry and Attica.

In her rare spare time, Vicar Sharilyn enjoys knitting (badly), cards (she is the self-proclaimed Euchre champion of the 2018 IK Synod convention) audiobooks, and lovingly collecting old hymnals. A cradle Lutheran, she shopped around denominations before returning to her roots when she started attending Servants of Christ Lutheran Church in Indianapolis. Vicar Sharilyn’s formal internship is scheduled for May 1, 2020-April 30, 2021.