The Reverend Wilbert "Wilk" S. Miller began his ministry at First Lutheran Church in June 2005. Prior to coming to San Diego, Pastor Miller was senior pastor of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Ardmore, PA (1995-2005), Augustana Lutheran Church, in downtown Washington, D.C. (1982-1995), and Calvary Lutheran Church in inner-city West Philadelphia (1977-1982).
Pastor Miller grew up in Wheeling, West Virginia. He graduated from Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio, in 1973, with a B.A. in religion. He received his M. Div. degree from Yale Divinity School, New Haven, Connecticut, in 1977. He has completed his course work for a S.T.M. at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia in the area of worship, with particular interest in how the literature of Annie Dillard might inform a "liturgical posture."
Pastor Miller currently serves as the Dean of the West San Diego Conference of the Pacifica Synod and is active with the San Diego Organizing Project (a faith-based community organization comprised of twenty five San Diego congregations). In his free time, he loves reading, hiking in the desert, running, and helping Dagmar in the garden.
Pastor Miller is married to Dagmar, a native of Germany, who is a real estate agent. The Millers have two adult sons, Caspar and Sebastian.
Jim Lovell is the Executive Director of the Third Avenue Charitable Organization (TACO) which is a non-profit agency (associated with First Lutheran Church and using the church as its headquarters) that provides meals; medical, dental, acupuncture, and law clinics; and social services support to those in the downtown area. His wife, Nance Lovell, heads up the "Going Home" project of TACO, a program for people with terminal illnesses who are living on the streets. See the TACO web page for more information. Jim and Nance have two daughters, Isabelle and Sophia.
As Director of Music at First Lutheran, Jared is has an incredibly wide knowledge of sacred music within the global church. He takes time to teach and motivate as well as direct and lead our volunteer choir. He is an awesome organist and pianist and understands how much music contributes to worship.
Jared is a native of western Pennsylvania who began his keyboard study at age 5 at the historic Chautauqua Institution in New York, where is he is now Coordinator of Worship and Sacred music each summer.
A life-long protégé of the internationally known concert pianists Ozan and Patricia Benkman Marsh, Jared holds degrees in keyboard performance from Westminster College and the University of Arizona. He has served churches in every major denomination.
His concertizing has taken him throughout the United States, and to England, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. In 1988, Jared was invited to the Vatican by Pope John Paul II to be an American delegate to the historic First World Congress on Church Music.
Jared also frequently shares his talents with the San Diego community as guest performer on the Spreckels Organ in Balboa Park, the largest fully-outdoor instrument in the world. Whether you are a concertgoer or visitor to First Lutheran, we think you will agree that Jared creates a sense of awe and worship through his musical gifts.
Rachel Line joined the staff at First Lutheran Church in June of 2008 as the Office Administrator. Rachel graduated from San Diego State University in 2007 with a degree in Religious Studies. While a student at SDSU, she lived and worked at the Lutheran Campus Ministry Center, known as Agape House. Rachel is the elected Secretary of the Pacifica Synod Council.
Mark Best has been First Lutheran's custodian since 1995. He works into the early hours of the morning seeing to it that the church is spotless for Sunday morning worship and other events throughout the week.
Many other people contribute in valuable ways to the Christian witness associated with First Lutheran Church and TACO. One of note is: