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Christ the Servant Lutheran Church

"We grow, live and serve so that the world will know the story of Christ."


Our Staff

Interim Pastor

Rev. John Keller

I am a Minnesotan by birth and was baptized at First Lutheran in Little Falls, Minnesota in May, 1954. When I was a year old my family moved to Washington state. I was confirmed at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Bremerton, Washington. However I missed the first communion celebration with my confirmation classmates because I went on my first backpacking trip with friends. The call to explore God’s creation has often been as strong as my call to ministry.

Though I was always active in my Lutheran congregation, I also participated in the charismatic renewal of the 1970's. While attending a Quaker college I participated in a variety of non-Lutheran local congregations and youth summer camps. Yet when I finished college, I knew that I was still a Lutheran at heart and so decided to attend Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul.

I graduated from Luther Seminary in 1984 and then served St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi. As a parish pastor, I worked in a variety of capacities: evangelism and church growth, congregational care and senior ministry, adult education and spiritual development. I was a key leader in the congregation’s development of senior housing, St. Andrew’s Village, and in the transition of senior leadership in 2005 to 2007.

In 2010 Pastor I was called to be lead pastor of Resurrection Lutheran Church in Woodbury. I helped the congregation grow in mission outreach and in stewardship. In 2015 the Holy Spirit lead me to consider Intentional Interim ministry and I completed the ELCA training in Spring of 2016. I recently served a thirteen month interim at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lindstrom, MN.

Through out my pastoral ministry I focused on three things: 1. The Lord is a God who is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for the thousandth generation, forgiving the iniquity and transgression of sin. (Exodus 34:6-7) In a word: Grace. 2. Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. (I John 14:11). In a word: Love. 3. Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him. (Psalm 37:7) In a word: Prayer

My wife, Carolyn, served four years as a Lutheran pastor at Mt. Carmel Lutheran Church in NE Minneapolis, but chose to be home as our children grew up. In more recent years, she has written a Bible study for the Women of the ELCA and has served as continuing education advisor for the Minneapolis Area Synod. We live in Shoreview.

Our three children are now young adults. Jonathan is married, has three children and is the CEO of a small company called Lifefloor. Suzanne graduated from college in 2005 and works with her brother at Lifefloor. Christina is a Montessori Grade 1-3 teacher in Austin, Texas.

Since 1999, I have participated in a weekly running group at St. Andrew’s. I have completed 12 marathons and have hosted an annual 5K race benefiting Habitat for Humanity. I continue to enjoy back-packing in the mountains and exploring new trails of adventure. You can read more about my adventures on my blog: pastorjohnkeller.org.

I look forward to helping Christ the Servant grow in mission and spirit during my short “bridge” interim with you. May God strengthen and guide us during our time together.

Blessings, Pastor John Keller

Ministry Coordinator

Sandy Hammerlind

I began my position as Ministry Coordinator at Christ the Servant July 26, 2016. I come to Christ the Servant with many years of experience of serving in various ministry positions throughout my life. Originally I was rostered in the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod in the parish worker program serving in this position (church secretary with an emphasis in Children, Youth and Family) at Zion Lutheran Church in Brainerd, MN and then in Redeemer Lutheran Church in Wayzata, MN.

As my life continued to unfold, I began working in ministry positions in the ELCA in congregations in Hibbing and Duluth, MN. Those positions included working as a Christian Education Director, Organist and Youth Director. In June of 2002 my son, Chad, and I moved to St. Paul, where I was employed by Luther Seminary as Assistant to the Director of Admissions. That position evolved and in 2011 I was appointed as the Admission’s Office, Admissions Systems Specialist. During my years at Luther I, also, completed my Bachelor’s degree at Metropolitan State University and completed the candidacy process as an Associate in Ministry in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. Luther Seminary commissioned me in 2007.

My son and his family now live in Austin, Texas. He is a patent attorney graduating from the University of Minnesota with a bio-medical engineering degree and completing his law degree at William Mitchel University. I have been blessed with five grandchildren.

I am looking forward to serving and being a part of “God’s Work, Our Hands” here at Christ the Servant.

Lead Musician

Bob Smith

I come to Christ the Servant with 16 years of experience leading music for Lutheran churches. My first (church) work was at Westwood Lutheran in St. Louis Park – followed by concurrent jobs at Mt. Calvary in Excelsior (Saturdays) and Gethsemane in Hopkins – largely covering the first decade of the 2000’s.

While classically trained as a trombonist and singer, my piano skills are geared towards playing music of all styles, including contemporary and folk music – as well as traditional songs from the Lutheran hymnal.

My degree from the University of Minnesota is in music education – with 10 years of teaching experience that include directing bands and jazz ensembles from the elementary years through the college level.

A resident of Edina since 1987 – I am a native of Bayport, and a graduate of Stillwater H.S. My wife of 36 years, Deb – is a product manager at Pearson/Vue in Bloomington. My daughter Amanda (26) – a graduate of Luther College and Iowa State, is a talented trumpet player – and son Danny (20) is a violinist – (but) whose primary interest is being a starting pitcher for Luther College’s baseball team.

I am excited to be “putting music on the table” at Christ the Servant – and look forward to many Sundays of worshipping and singing together.

CHRIST THE SERVANT LUTHERAN CHURCH     3676 Centerville Road, Vadnais Heights, MN 55127
Phone: 651-429-6595 - Email

Pastor:  Rev. John Keller; Email

Lead Musician:  Bob Smith; Email

Ministry Coordinator/Church Office:  Sandy Hammerlind; Email

Webservant:  Lois McKeag; Email

St. Paul Area Synod St. Paul Area Synod    ELCA logo Evangelical Lutheran Church in America