Staff
Pastor

Rev. Richard J. Leseganich

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Pastor Richard Leseganich was called to Messiah in May of 2018 after serving in the Northeastern Ohio and Southwestern Pennsylvania Synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. A native of Youngstown, Ohio, Pastor earned his Bachelor’s degree at Thiel College in Greenville, PA. He completed a chaplain residency at The York Hospital in York, PA, through the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education. He served as pastoral associate at Friedens Lutheran Church in Myerstown, PA. Studying at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, Pastor earned his Master of Divinity degree in 1999. He was ordained into the Ministry of Word and Sacrament at Friedens Lutheran Church (Myerstown, PA) in December 2000 by The Rev. Donald J. McCoid, Bishop of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod at the time. 

He also completed coursework at Walden University in the Masters of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree program.  He served as contracted on-call chaplain at Mercy Regional Medical Center in Lorain, OH for a number of years. Outside of church life, Pastor is certified to teach English to Speakers of Other Language and served English Language Learners as part of the tutoring staff of Lorain County Community College in Elyria, OH.  

In 2018, Pastor received his Certificate of Spiritual Direction from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, and is a member of Spiritual Directors International.  Pastor is available for individual spiritual direction sessions. 

 

 




Director of Music

Deacon John Renfroe

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ELCA Rostered Deacon

John Renfroe is the director of music and organist at Messiah. He leads the Chancel Choir, the Messiah Motet Ensemble, the SonRise Singers and the Evensong Ensemble. He also supervises the Christian Education programs, Youth Ministries, and visitations to the homebound. John graduated from Stetson University with a degree in organ performance as a church music major with a minor in music theory and composition. He is very active in community and synod music events. John and his wife Darlene live in Cape Coral. His daughter Courtney graduated from Stetson University and now teaches English in Busan, South Korea. His son John David obtained his B.Mus. from Florida State University and his M.Mus. from the University of South Florida. He currently lives in Chicago, IL where he coordinates IT and Ticketing/Reservations with the Chicago Lyric Opera.




Parish Administrator

Deacon Scott VanBaaren

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Synod Parish Deacon

A native of New Jersey, Scott has lived in Florida since 2003 and he has been a member of MLC since 2008. He brings a wealth of experience in Church Administration to the parish office having served in various parish and Christian college offices for over ten years. He obtained an A.A. degree with a specialization in Liberal Arts from Ocean County College in 2000 followed in 2002 by a B.A. in Religious Studies with a minor in Philosophy from Felician University, both in New Jersey.  He has completed coursework toward a Master's Degree in Religious Education and spent the final two years of his college career in College Seminary while discerning a call to the priesthood. He and Al currently reside in North Fort Myers FL.




Director, Handbell Choir

Judith King

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Judith King is in her 12th year serving as director of handbell music at Messiah Lutheran Church. Originally from Vermont, Judith is a member of the American Guild of English Handbell Ringing, has rung handbells for over 30 years and was a charter member of the Southwest Florida Handbell Ensemble. In 2013 Judith attended the International Handbell Symposium in Liverpool, Great Britain. While in England she participated in ringing at a tower bell rehearsal at St. Michael's Anglican Church in Garston. Earlier this year Judith traveled throughout Ireland and Scotland visiting several cathedrals, some with handbell choirs and/or tower bell choirs. She had the privilege of accompanying the bell ringers in the tower at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland to toll the bells for Sunday services. While in central Scotland she participated in a handbell rehearsal in Dunkeld and attended the Dunblane Cathedral ringers handbell concert featuring their three versatile advanced choirs. Judith plays tenor drum for the Harp and Thistle Bagpipe Band from Naples, Florida, which placed first in the state of Florida 2015 Highland Games. Judith also plays mountain dulcimer and is a member of the Southwest Florida Dulcimer club. Judith enjoys reading, English Country dancing, Contra dancing and has achieved the three levels of the Florida Master Naturalist program.

 




Parish Nurse

Betsy Keller, MSN, RN-BC

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I am Betsy Keller and feel so blessed to be your parish nurse. I want to share a little about myself. I am married to Ed Keller and we’ve been married almost 35 years. We have three children. Blair is 33, married and lives in Denver, Colorado. She is a nurse. Our middle daughter, Courtney, is married and expecting our first grandson around Thanksgiving. She is also a nurse and lives in Lakeland. Our son, Casey, lives in Oakland with his girlfriend and our granddog, Marls. We have a yellow lab named Scout who is 16 months and an 8-year-old cat named Rosie.

 




Director, Kids Connection ELC

Carmen Orozco

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Ms. Carmen has been the director of Kid's Connection since 2007, and before that was assistant director for 3 years.  She has a Bachelor's Degree in psychology and sociology, and an associate's degree in Human Services and Early Childhood Development.

Ms. Carmen is married and has three children and six grandchildren. 




President, Council

David Gilbert




Treasurer, Council

Susan Hillbish

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Secretary, Council

Pat Yost




Member, Council

Cynthia Cosher




Member, Council

John Eaglesfield

John Eaglesfield is originally from Indiana and attended Indiana University where he found a love for singing and was in the Madrigal Singers. He has three children and four grandchildren scattered across the USA. He has experience in the banking and marketing industries. His one claim to fame is being the 150th Indiana State Fair watermelon seed spitting champion at 33ft 9in and has a ribbon to prove it. He and Valerie are “internet pioneers” in that they met on the internet playing in a card game room, fell in love, and got married and have been happily together since 2007. They have a heart for those in need, running a Group Work Camp in Indianapolis through Resurrection Lutheran Church, where 350 teens came and helped elderly homeowners with home repairs. They have also managed the Wednesday Outreach at All Souls Episcopal in NFM for over two years. They figured out a while ago that the more you freely give, the more unexpected blessings you receive.

 




Member, Council

Kenrick Goerz

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Member, Council

Pearl Slusher




Member, Council

Phyllis Roberts