Arthur Murphy, Pastor
Hi, I am Pastor Arthur Murphy. I am excited to serve at St. James Lutheran Church. We are a multicultural church reaching out to all people, especially those who speak English and Spanish in our area. In Spanish, our church is called Iglesia Luterana Santiago Apóstol. We are striving to be a truly multicultural church that serves and welcomes all people in the community around us. We see the diversity of lives and cultures as a gift of God that allows us to build bridges with one another and break down barriers between us. One of my favorite passages of scripture is from St. Paul’s letter to the Colossians, where St. Paul writes, “In Christ, all things hold together.” Col. 1:17. I see in this a vision for our ministry here at St. James/Santiago Apóstol.
In Christ, we see differences—not as reasons for division—but as cause for celebration. We follow Jesus in seeing all of God’s people as made in the image of God. We do not have to share a common ethnic or cultural heritage to be held together by a shared commitment to follow Jesus in our lives. As it says in the song we sing, ‘Somos uno in Cristo. We are all one in Christ.’
My wife, Kathy, and I have two boys and two dogs. We love Houston, love sports, love movies and gardening, and would love to see you become a part of our multicultural experience here at St. James/Santiago Apóstol!
Rev. Alejandro S. Montes
I am Rev. Alejandro S. Montes. I thank God for the opportunity God is giving me to minister in the Community of St. James /Santiago Apóstol. Many thanks to each of you for the support you’ve given me. I want us to work together to make a difference in the neighborhood that surrounds us. I am at your service for anything you need, in whatever is within my power to do. I ask for your prayers for Pastor Arthur and his family, as well as for mine and for all of us who are serving in this beautiful community.
“Trust with all your heart in the Lord and not in your own intelligence. Keep the Lord in all you do, and he will lead you on the right path. “-Proverbs 3: 5-6.
Stephanie Stark, Director of Youth and Family Ministries
For the past sixteen years I have walked alongside a variety of children and youth on journeys of faith. Each one of them has helped me grow deeper in my faith while we learned, served, and laughed together. It is my great joy to be God’s gardener; planting seeds that will grow later, or watering seeds that were planted by someone else. No matter where you are on your journey I am grateful to be on it with you.
In addition to being the Director of Youth and Family Ministries here at St. James/Santiago Apóstol, I am a third year seminarian student at Luther seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. Two thirds of my time is spent studying online and the other third is spent attending classes on campus. It is a new way of learning for me, but one that has given me the flexibility to stay in Houston with my husband. Speaking of husband, we have been married for twelve years and have two dogs (Bowzer the Pug, Maddie the Westie) and a cat (Skeletor).
Irene Del Arco, Administrative Assistant
I’m a member of St. James/Santiago Apóstol since 2015, and I’m the mom of a teenager, Diego, who is part of the Youth Group here at St. James. On November 2017 I got the opportunity to work in the office as Administrative Assistant. I’m so grateful to God for giving me the blessing of working in this place. Every day is something new to learn, not only at the office with the computer, or trying to improve my English skills, but the biggest learning comes from the people that surround me here, always looking for ways to help people in need, always patient and respectful with everybody, and always giving a good example of love, compassion and interest in the community, especially with children and youth.
Part of my job is to make the bulletins for both Worship Services (English and Spanish) which I love to do. Even if it sounds like doing the same thing every week, I enjoy making small changes to them, looking for pictures for the covers, and of course it is a good way to read God’s Word many times!
I feel blessed to meet people that come to St. James/Santiago Apóstol for very different reasons or different circumstances. Listening to them always reminds me how important it is to love each other.
Robert Rivera, Director of St. James Lutheran Family Life Center
Our Family Life Center provides social, educational, nutritional, spiritual, and economic service and support in communities in and around Houston, TX.
Mr. Rivera is the retired Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Project GRAD USA, the national network of thirteen Project GRAD sites across the country. Mr. Rivera began his career with Project GRAD in 1995, in Houston, TX as a Cluster Leader for Communities in Schools and was promoted in 1998 to serve as Associate Director of Project GRAD Houston. This work focused on student advocacy and support and Mr. Rivera led the first expansion of Project GRAD outside of Houston.
With the creation of Project GRAD USA in 2001, Mr. Rivera led the organization as Executive Vice President and COO until being named CEO in November of 2005. His prior experience in designing and implementing student support services, developing parental engagement strategies, and supervising academic programs helped him become a leading name in the community around student advocacy. In fact, Robert is the architect of GRAD’s innovative Parent and Community Engagement Program that includes the Walk for Success™ and Parent University.