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Hi! I’m Pastor Jason and I’ve been serving as Mount Olive's pastor in Madison since August of 2009. It’s truly been an honor to walk beside the family of God at Mount Olive as we move forward as bold witnesses of the life and salvation found only in Jesus Christ!
Prior to my coming to Mount Olive, I was blessed to serve as a church planter and mission developer for 12 years in Northern Illinois. I was born and raised in Eastern Iowa (go Hawks) and have always had a passion for sports and music. I met my wife, Laurel, at Concordia University Wisconsin and was married on July 31, 1993. We’ve been blessed with three children and a lifetime of memories. It is very humbling to be called as a pastor to God’s people and be welcomed into the lives of many. I treasure our times together and look forward to God’s guidance in leading us into the future.
My door is always open and I look forward to the opportunity to meet new people along the way. God’s peace to you as we follow our Lord wherever He leads us!
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“Rejoice in the Lord, always; again, I say, rejoice!” (Phil 4:4) This verse has been the theme verse for my ministry for 34 years. I attended Concordia University in Seward, NE, and received a Bachelor of Science in Education Degree. I was ordained in 1984 after graduating from Concordia Seminary in Fort Wayne, IN. From 1984 to 1993, I served as Senior Pastor at Eastern Heights Lutheran Church in St. Paul, MN.
In 1993, I accepted a call to serve at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in West Des Moines, IA, where I worked in the areas of Youth, Family Life, and Care Ministries. The Iowa District West, in 1997, called me to serve as Chaplain in Des Moines. During that time, I also served six vacant congregations in central Iowa.
In 2004, I accepted a call to be Senior Pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Ankeny, IA. During my 12 years at St. Paul, the congregation added a Family Life Center, called two Associate Pastors, and began a mission church – The Gate.
From 2015-2018, I served as Intentional Interim Pastor at Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church in Norwalk, IA, and Assoc. Intentional Interim Pastor at St. James in Shawano, WI.
On June 15th, 2018, I retired from full-time Pastoral Ministry. My wife, Marci, is a retired Family Counselor and she is currently serving Mount Olive as an Asst Executive Director. Marci and I have two adult children, Dana and Mark, and five grandchildren.
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“Praise Him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise Him with the harp and lyre, praise Him with timbrel and dancing, praise Him with the strings and pipe, praise Him with the clash of cymbals.” Psalm 150:3-5
It is a life blessing to serve the Lord musically. A blessing which has led to a wonderful journey of faith and music, and one which I am honored to continue at Mount Olive. A native of New York, I have had the honor of serving musically, nationally and internationally in the fields of sacred music, opera, and musical theatre.
Among some of the greatest musical houses of the world, I have been humbled to make appearances as conductor, organist, guest artist, and musical director at Carnegie Hall, St. Ignatius Loyola, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and First Church of Christ in Wethersfield.
For the past twelve years, it has been an exceptional blessing to serve as Director of Music and the Arts at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Castle Hill section of the Bronx; where traditional and contemporary worship has been a staple in existing to receive and share God’s gifts.
Having earned B.A. degrees in Music Education and Voice, as well as a M.M. from Manhattan School of Music, I look forward to sharing and growing in the musical life of Mt. Olive, praising God and nurturing our musical gifts.
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Working with young children and their families is something I love doing! Sharing Jesus everyday has been a privilege and it reminds me of one of my favorite Bible verses, "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6
I grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and attended Lutheran schools from second grade through college. In May of 1992, I graduated from Concordia University Wisconsin with a degree in Lutheran Elementary Education and a minor in Early Childhood. I met my husband (Pastor Jason) there and we were married in July 1993. We have been blessed with three children: Andrew (and his wife Kristin), Lauren, a student at Concordia University Wisconsin, and Rebecca, a High Schooler at Waunakee High School.
Before we moved to Waunakee in 2009, we lived in Braidwood, Illinois for 12 years. While we served at Shepherd of Peace Lutheran Church, I was the Preschool Director and Teacher of 4 Year-Olds for nine years. Here at Mount Olive, I am a member of the Christus Choir and a volunteer for Vacation Bible School.
In my spare time, I love to watch Green Bay Packer games and the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. My hobbies include crossword puzzles, board games, reading, and watching my children particpate in their sports and musical activities.
It is a blessing to be a part of the Mount Olive staff as we share the love of Jesus in and around Madison.
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My name is Derek Handley, and I serve as administrator for the Mount Olive church office. In a given day, I will prepare bulletins, announcements, monthly newsletter (The View), and weekly slides. I manage the church calendar, website, and church social media accounts as well. Previous admin experience includes Operations Assistant at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Evanston where I was the parish bookkeeper, and Program Coordinator at Midwest Young Artists, a youth music organization. I have a masters in music performance (cello), and I play in the Madison Symphony Orchestra, in addition to other groups.
My wife Natalie and I moved to Madison from Evanston, Illinois (my hometown) in February of 2014. Lifelong Presbyterians, we have made our church home at Christ Presbyterian Church where Natalie is the Contemporary Music Director. We have two sons, Daniel and Bennett, who keep us on our toes. We cherish spending time together as a family.
Outside of work, I enjoy getting out into nature, camping, and traveling. In addition to cello, I play guitar and bass, mostly in the CPC worship band but out on the town as well. I feel the need to confess that I am a Chicago Bears (and Cubs) fan, which has not caused any turmoil in the office yet. It is by God's grace that I am here in Madison and at Mount Olive as part of the office staff.