Our Staff

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John Stoudemayer

Interim Pastor


Our new Interim Pastor is John Stoudemayer. He comes to us after retiring from Mt. Tabor in Little Mountain. He is a 1972 graduate of Furman University, BA in History, and a 1985 graduate of Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary here in Columbia. That’s a bigger gap between the two than we once thought was normal. However, as much as 2/3 of my class at seminary was what we call “second career.” John has spent the last 30 years as an ordained pastor in the ELCA, the last 18 of those at Mt. Tabor Lutheran Church, Little Mountain, in the heart of the Dutch Fork. He has generally been called Pastor John by adults and PJ by youth and children. He is married to Stephanie and they have one son. We appreciate Pastor John leaving retirement to guide us through this time of transition and look forward to seeing him and Mrs. Stephanie Stoudemayer at some of our church activities.

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Susan Sturkie



Susan Sturkie has been Organist at Good Shepherd since October 1988. Born in Mooresville, NC, Susan graduated from St. Andrews Presbyterian College (now St. Andrews University) in Laurinburg, NC, with a B.M. in Music Education studying both organ and voice. After graduating, she taught elementary school music at Ft. Bragg and Ft. Jackson Dependents Schools. She is a member of the American Guild of Organists, the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, and the Association of Lutheran Musicians of SC. Susan serves as Treasurer and Membership Chair of the Greater Columbia chapter of the American Guild of Organists and Treasurer of the Association of Lutheran Musicians of SC. Susan and her husband Dick are the parents of one son, Trey.

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Jim Johnson

Interim Music Director


Jim is a commissioned and rostered Deacon in the ELCA, graduating from Wittenberg University with Bachelor of Music and Master of Sacred Music degrees. During his 40 years of full-time parish ministry, he served congregations in New York, Illinois, North Carolina, and South Carolina. He is a member of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians and served as its first national Executive Director. Space does not allow for all the ways he has served the church and community over the years. In his retirement, he currently serves as Staff Musician at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary.

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Joey Allison



Joey Allison has served as Sexton at Good Shepherd since January 1993. Over the years he has had to adjust to many changes, including new pastors, new staff, new council members, the Day School, and building changes. Joey takes care of the physical facilities as well as the church campus grounds. He is always looking for help out in the yard! In his spare time Joey enjoys disc golf, vegetable gardening, canning (he even has a small greenhouse in his backyard), music, watercolor painting, writing, collecting all sorts of old stuff, and his dog Raibh Sibh (pronounced Roe-sha).

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Michael Simmons

Interim Contemporary Music Director


Michael is from Columbia, SC  and has served in churches across the southeast. He is a graduate of  USC with a Bachelor of Music Theory and Composition.  He has experience as Musical Director for both the traditional and contemporary services.  Michael enjoys working with community theater  in each of the cities he has lived.  Most recently in Columbia he was musical director for West Side Story at Town Theater and  musical Director for Cats  with the Broadway Vista Theater Project.  As a composer and arranger he has done studio work in Nashville TN  and also written musical scores for SC ETV .