FLC Gainesville is intergenerational in its make-up, impassioned in its worship, and inspired in its service to the Gainesville community and university setting. As a church, FLC is designed to bless the community, to engage with the universities around us (University of Florida and Santa Fe College), and invite everyone to follow Jesus with us.
We take the Bible seriously when it says that God gave the world people willing to go and serve, to speak truth in love, to tell the good news of Jesus, to tend to those in need, and to teach the whole counsel of God. We believe firmly that these apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers do not have to be full time churchworkers, but come from among all the people in the church.
Our staff, full-time and part-time churchworkers, serving FLC and the Gainesville community are not meant to do everything at the church (Ephesians 4). They are meant to lead us with vision and equip us for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ and blessing the world. Take a moment to get to know them…
Pastor John Glover — Senior Pastor. Pastor Glover joined FLC in August 2014. Throughout his ministry he served churches in Berkeley, Menlo Park, and Stockton, California, Palatine, Illinois, and Hamilton, Ohio. His heart is in teaching God’s message to his congregation members, families, and the surrounding communities. He graduated from Concordia Theological Seminary in St. Louis in 1991, and completed his undergraduate studies at Concordia New York. Pastor John served FLC as campus pastor during his internship/vicarage at the University of Florida. This is when he discovered his passion for teaching and ministering to young adults. He is a life-long learner and avid reader. He enjoys sharing good food with good friends. He loves playing and listening to live music and his tastes are vast and wide. With roots in New Jersey, and a love for the coast, John, his wife, and daughter are very excited to serve FLC.
Kimberly R. Green — Kimberly is the Executive Assistant at First Lutheran Church of Gainesville. She is an only child originally from Woodbridge, Virginia but moved to Gainesville in 1998. She’s a graduate of Eastside High School (Go Rams!) and obtained her Masters of Business Administration degree from Saint Leo University in 2010. She is happily married to the wonderful John E. Green II and the proud mother of four beautiful children sons Xavier, Mason, Quincy and daughter Sydney. She enjoys anything that involves family time, traveling and riding the Harley with her husband.
Vicar James Ebersole — “VJ” is from San Antonio, TX. In highschool he ran cross-country, played basketball, and sang in the choir. After graduating he continued his schooling at Concordia College New York. There, he received his B. A. in Elementary Education with a Lutheran Teaching Diploma. From there, he moved back to San Antonio for a year where he spent time coaching, subbing, and teaching K-2 P.E. While at home, he came to hear his bigger calling of transitioning life to the seminary to learn more about his faith and about what God’s plan is for him and his family. At the end of his first year of seminary God blessed him with a wife and child. He said, “life has had some pretty big changes, but with God there is nothing that I can’t handle. To God be all the Glory.”
Angie Burr — Director – Open Arms Lutheran Child Development Center. Angie has been the Open Arms CDC Director since October 2010. She has worked in childcare for 14 years and enjoys seeing the children learn about the love of Jesus. A huge Gator football fan and Angie likes going to the games with her two boys. She believes it is truly is a blessing to work at Open Arms Lutheran Child Development Center and serve the Gainesville community and its families in this way.
Stephanie Karolus — Director of Christian Education. Stephanie started as DCE at FLC in August 2017. Prior to serving at FLC, Stephanie served as a DCE in Barnesville, MN. She is a 2013 graduate of Concordia University Chicago. Stephanie loves connecting with people of all ages and sharing with them the Good News of Christ’s love for everyone! She is excited to be serving and working with the families and members of Open Arms and First Lutheran Church. In her spare time Stephanie can be found reading a good book, cooking, or cheering the Green Bay Packers on to victory.
Jacob Goetz — Jacob is the Director of Youth Ministries at First Lutheran, working with kids from grades 6-12 since 2015. Jacob is also president of the church’s college ministry in Gainesville. Originally from Rochester, Minnesota, Jacob discovered his own passion for working closely with and counselling people while being a leader in his own high school youth group. Jacob is currently applying to PhD programs in counselling psychology while he continues research on life satisfaction and goal achievement at UF. Jacob serves in a Christian fraternity and at a local pharmacy. He loves road trips, biking, playing frisbee, basketball, drumming on occasion, and cheering on the Gators!
Ken Chitwood — Assistant Pastor. While Ken is a full-time PhD student with the University of Florida, studying Global Islam and Religion in the Americas, he also serves FLC as he preaches, teaches, assists with pastoral duties, and oversees our digital ministry efforts. His research is currently on Puerto Rican Islam and Islam in the Americas, from a global perspective. He has served in California, New Zealand, South Africa, Arizona, and Texas working with youth, college students, and children; in foreign mission partnerships, urban settings, and suburban missional communities. Ken also enjoys living in, and exploring, Gainesville’s nature and culture while training for ultra-distance running events. He also enjoys well-placed sarcasm, craft beer, bike-commuting, traveling, hiking, camping, & rugby. He is a religion journalist and cultural commentator and his published and personal work can be found at www.kenchitwood.com or by following him on Twitter — @kchitwood.
Executive Board: The elected governing board of the church, which is comprised of the President, Vice President, Secretary, Chairman of the Board of Elders, Treasurer, Financial Secretary, and appointed Head Trustee.
Endowment Board: Elected by the congregation to shepherd endowments given to the church.
Trustees: Are tasked with maintaining all church properties.
Publicity/Advertising: Facilitates the creation and distribution of First Lutheran Church publications for newspaper, brochures and the Internet.
Volunteers for Administration: Are needed occasionally for all administrative activities including but not limited to: answering phones, newsletter/bulletin assembly, greeting visitors etc.
Offering Counters: Meet at the bank on Mondays to count all monies that come into the church each week.