Meet Our Staff

 

Pastor

Heidi Schwerdtfeger-Jones

 

Pastor Heidi has been serving as Pastor of Pilgrim since the Fall of 2018. Before joining the Pilgrim family, Pastor Heidi served in both Dallas and Austin, TX. While in Austin, she was instrumental in planting a Lutheran mission congregation in Spicewood, TX, which she co-served for a time. Prior to moving to Texas, Pastor Heidi served congregations in Moorhead MN, Geneva, IL, and Las Vegas, NV.

 

Pastor Heidi has a love for chaplaincy. She served as a police chaplain in Texas. She was the only female chaplain with the Austin Police Department and served on Departments (APD) Chaplain Advisorary Board. She was involved in chaplaincy with the Fargo, Moorhead and New Orleans police departments., the Moorhead Fire Deptartment, hospitals (adult and child) in Columbus, OH, and Las Vegas, NV.  She has ministered in prisons, domestic violence shelters, and recovery centers.

  

Pastor Heidi graduated from the University of Kansas with a BA in Psychology and a BA in Germanic Languages and Literature. She has an MS from the University of Memphis in Psychology, and a Master of Divinity from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, OH.

   

Pastor Heidi is married to Robert and they have one daughter. Robert is a teacher and coach. 

Director of Education

Gloria Worth

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Gloria began her service as a teacher with the Pilgrim Lutheran Church Preschool in 1988. While doing so, she wrote the curriculum and developed the program for the transitional kindergarten class, as well as teaching Sunday school classes. Eventually she took on the responsibility of team teaching the confirmation classes and in 2002 became the Director of Christian Education. With the help of an active Education Board and committed volunteers, Gloria develops the Sunday School curriculum, Bible studies, Wednesday night programming, children’s musicals, worship dramas, Vacation Bible School curriculum, and outreach mission projects. As a committed Christian educator, Gloria continues to take classes in Bible storytelling, Christian education, curriculum studies, and much more.

 

In her role as an educator, Gloria enjoys the many wonderful opportunities she is given to work with Pilgrim members, especially the children. Gloria says, “As a Christian Educator I feel that my role is one to encourage life-long learning. It is my goal, along with my committee, to provide a dynamic learning experience for our Pilgrim people. The education programs should enable all Pilgrim people to grow in wisdom and faith as they learn and journey together."

 

Gloria and her husband Steve have been Pilgrim members since 1986. They have grown twin sons Matthew and Benjamin, daughter-in-law Jolene, and two step-grandsons Jacob and Ethan. Outside of church work and activities, Gloria enjoys walking her dog Gracie Mae, gardening, reading, cooking, and needlecrafts.

Preschool Director

 

 

Amy Tucker

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Amy was a teacher at Pilgrim Lutheran Preschool for 18 years prior to her becoming the director for the 2016-2017 school year. Amy holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Ball State University. She was married to her husband, Todd, shortly after graduating, and they have two daughters, Lindsey (23), and Emily (19). Lindsey and Emily attended preschool at Pilgrim Lutheran Preschool and it was at this time that Amy began teaching here. Amy has also worked in recent years at the Speedway Public Library, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Outside of her life at Pilgrim, Amy enjoys reading, attending concerts, and spending time with her family.

Cantor to the Congregation

 

Sarah Gran Williams

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As Cantor with Pilgrim since 2003, Sarah’s role includes music director, organist, adult choir director, and worship planner. Sarah received a Bachelor of Music degree from

St. Olaf College in Northfield Minnesota, studying organ with John Ferguson and a Master of Music degree Indiana University studying with Larry Smith.

 

As Cantor, Sarah's role is to help the congregation sing and proclaim the Gospel story, to help them praise God and pray through music, and to lend what she calls, “a musical foretaste of the heavenly feast to come while on our earthly pilgrimage together.”

 

A native of rural Erskine, Minnesota, Sarah has been a church organist since the of age of 13.

Youth Director and Director of Music for Children & Youth

 

Gail Powell

 

Gail has been serving in children’s ministry at Pilgrim since 2000. In the fall of that year she and several other Pilgrim members founded the Kids in Christ Program. This program can be described as a youth group for younger children. The kids enjoy a lesson, a craft, music, and fellowship. She says it has been a joy to see many Pilgrim youth graduate this program.

 

Gail also says she is passionate about providing music for youth in church. She believes that sharing time through music builds a connection among the kids. “There are so many Bible lessons and scriptures that are told through music,” says Gail. “The kids learn to sing and perform together, and learn about God as they do so. I love watching the kids grow in the six years I spend with them and being a part of their spiritual growth. It is my hope that as they become adults, they will remember their experience and serve in music ministry.”

 

Gail graduated with a degree in Music Education from DePauw University, and received her Masters in Music Education from Butler University. Prior to having her family, Gail was a teacher in the Greenfield Central School Corporation for 11 years. She is currently a part-time vocal music teacher at Traders Point Christian Academy, teaching 6th, 7th, 8th and high school choirs. Gail says she loves teaching, especially in a school where she can share her faith.

 

Gail and her husband Gerald have three children, Andrew, Aaron and Ann. In her spare time, Gail enjoys gardening, and seeking out new antique shops to explore.

Youth Director 

Jenny Pitts

Handbell Director

 

Kevin Donley

 

Kevin is the handbell director for Pilgrim Lutheran Church. Growing up, Kevin played the clarinet from the time he was a young boy all the way through his college years. He was a member of various concert bands at Purdue University and studied with Michael Borschel of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. After college, Kevin put down the clarinet and began singing. Through it all, he has also played handbells for over 30 years. In 2000 Kevin made the transition from ringer to handbell director and in 2009 he formed Pilgrim’s youth handbell choir. “Bells offer a unique musical opportunity as well as an enhancement for our worship,” says Kevin. “As we move forward, I hope to expand our bell choirs and continue this offering that our congregation has so warmly embraced."

 

Kevin holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer and Electrical Engineering from Purdue University and is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Indiana. Kevin worked in the automotive industry for 13 years before moving to Roche Diagnostics in 2007.

 

Kevin and his wife Tammy live in Fishers with their two children, Aaron and Amanda.

Assistant Treasurer

Donna Drew

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As the assistant treasurer for Pilgrim Lutheran Church, Donna performs the monthly, quarterly, and year-end financial duties at the direction of the treasurer to the Board of Directors.

 

Donna and her husband Kyle have been Carmel residents since 1992 and member of the Pilgrim staff since 2004. They have two grown children, Lauren and Erin.

Office Manager

Debbie Collins

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Debbie became Office Manager for Pilgrim in October 2014. She holds the office together and is Pilgrim’s go-to person for just about everything. Debbie works with the Pastor, staff, and committees of Pilgrim Lutheran Church to ensure the ministries of the congregation are coordinated with each other, run efficiently, and are well publicized.

 

Debbie was born and raised here in Carmel. She has 3 grown daughters and 7 grandchildren.  She enjoys traveling, reading, cooking and dancing. She enjoys spending time with family and friends.

Set Up & Custodial Assistant

 

Matt Worth

Maintenance

Mark Wylie