Kurt Lutjens, Senior Pastor
I was born on April 29, 1953 of German stock in Hackensack, New Jersey to Herman and Amy Lutjens. I was baptized as an infant in a Lutheran congregation in Paramus, N.J. As a small child I was lovingly led by the Holy Spirit to know my sinful condition and my need for Jesus the Savior. This was in fulfillment of the 4,000 year old promise to Abraham to bless the nations of the world through his seed! I attended Church of the Savior grade school, Holdrum Middle School (public) and graduated from Pascack Valley High School in 1971. I attended Bowling Green State University and graduated in 1975 with a major in History and a minor in Philosophy. This is also where I met Susan, my beloved, late wife. We married in December of the centennial year 1976 with a small wedding and an even smaller honeymoon. I began my studies in Theology at Trinity Seminary in Deerfield, Ill. and completed my M.Div. at Covenant Seminary in 1982. I have three terrific grown children whom Susan and I have always treasured, Heidi, Jeffrey and Carrie.
Thurman Williams, Associate Pastor
He was the pastor of New Song Community Church (PCA), in the Sandtown community of West Baltimore, MD, since February of 2000. Prior to that, he served as the Minister of Outreach and Youth at Faith Christian Fellowship Church (PCA), also in the city of Baltimore, for 5 years while completing his Masters of Divinity (M.Div.) at Chesapeake Theological Seminary. Before serving at Faith, he was on staff for 4 years with the ministry of Young Life. Thurman and his wife, Evie have been married for 16 years and they have been blessed with four beautiful children, Charvez, Shaquana, Joshua, and Caleb. Thurman completed his Doctor of Ministry degree in May 2011 at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, with his dissertation entitled, “Christ-Centered Preaching in Hip Hop Culture.”
Melody Perkins, Shelter Ministry Team Leader & Ministry Facilitator
Melody (Burke) Perkins began earnestly following Christ while an undergraduate at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, after growing up in a large, energetic Catholic family in Nashville, TN. In her early adult years she worked in social work and elementary education, volunteering in her spare time in college ministry at Christ Community (PCA). She moved to St. Louis in 1996 to complete a Covenant Seminary degree and seek a career in mercy ministry or missions. Melody began working full-time for Grace & Peace in 1999, as Administrator and Shelter Team Leader. Expansion of both roles led to her present title in late 2007. Melody married her husband, Todd, in July 2008 and lives in Richmond Heights. She loves using God-given talents and skills to glorify Him, including discipleship, mercy ministry, teaching, writing, stewardship, and interpersonal relationship opportunities. In her free time, Melody enjoys any time she has with her husband, plus reading, singing, crafts, projects, catching up on movies she hasn't seen yet, family time, and being outdoors.
Music Director (not pictured)
Evie Williams, Interim Children's Ministry Leader (not pictured)
Stephen Schaper, Youth Ministry Leader
Stephen was born and raised in the south suburbs of Chicago, IL. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2009 and married Grace 3 months after. For the next 2 years he worked with youth, both in residential treatment and high school settings in Urbana and Chicago, IL. In 2011, Grace and Stephen moved to St. Louis where he started work on a Masters of Divinity from Covenant Theological Seminary to be completed in May 2015. When he isn’t enjoying time ministering with young people, you can find Stephen playing sports, DJing, dog training, or playing spades.
Stephanie Clear, Office Manager
Stephanie came to know the Lord as an adult 25 years ago at Memorial Presbyterian Church. She has been a part of urban ministry since volunteering in the mid-1990s with the former Today’s Lost Children near the Benton Park neighborhood of South St. Louis, where she and her family live. Now a member of South City Church, Stephanie and her husband, Stacey, an architect, have one son, Daniel, a 7th-grader at Westminster Christian Academy. Stephanie worked locally for 15 years as a community journalist before having Daniel. Stacey and Stephanie also were members of Olive Branch, a PCA church plant in Benton Park, before helping to join Olive Branch with the planting team at South City 10 years ago. She has served in the women’s and children’s ministries at both churches and is currently excited to help grow South City’s Youth Ministry. Her job at Grace & Peace gives Stephanie the chance she enjoys to love the people of St. Louis in a tangible way. When not at work, Stephanie also likes to walk, hike with Stacey, cook and bake, and take short road trips. She also dreams of one day chasing a storm.