In this part-time position, Sharon Jaks coordinates the church office including parish records, calendar, facility use, and communications. Sharon is the daughter of a Lutheran pastor and is a retired teacher. She has been an active part of Shiner Lutheran Church for over 40 years.
Pastor Chris Heinold grew up not far from Shiner in Coletoville, Texas, where he first sensed God calling him to ordained ministry when he was a teenager in the late 1990's. He graduated from Goliad High School in 2000.
Pastor Chris earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Houston in Victoria in 2004. He went to seminary at the Lutheran Seminary Program in Austin, Texas and graduated with a Master of Divinity in 2008.
Formative to Pastor Chris's formal seminary education were a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at both St. Luke's Hospital and Texas Children's Hospital in the Texas Medical Center in Houston. He did a yearlong internship serving a 6-point shared ministry in rural Northwestern Kansas in 2006-2007.
Pastor Chris was ordained in 2008 when he took his first call to St. James Lutheran Church in Ganado, Texas. He served there for 11 years until he received a call to serve Shiner Lutheran Church in 2019. With a heart for rural and small-town ministry, Pastor Chris loves being in Shiner.
He is married to Dr. S Gemayel, a hospital pharmacist. Together they have two children, Kayla and Joseph. They enjoy tent camping, riding ATVs, going mudding, and driving around in Pastor Chris' old Jeep. If it involves oil or grease and has wheels, Pastor Chris is probably interested.
Authentic worship that reflects the community's heritage is important to Pastor Chris. He appreciates the wide variety of worship styles at Shiner Lutheran Church, especially the Country Gospel and Polka services. Pastor Chris and Gemayel love creating a welcoming space for the youth in the community. They both have completed Godly Play core training.
Pastor Chris's favorite Bible verse is John 13:14-15: "So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you."
President - James Davis
Vice-President - Brian Pokluda
Secretary - Brian Baker
Treasurer - Shannon Blaschke
Vicar Daniel was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, before attending Wartburg College, receiving his BA in Religion and a concentration in Church Music. During his time there, he met his wife, Mallory, and they currently have one young son, Jackson. Daniel is now enrolled in Wartburg Seminary's collaborative learning (CL) program. Through this program, students spend 4 years in an internship site instead of the traditional 1 year, allowing hands-on learning and growth. Daniel has been in Shiner since July 2020. He is currently a candidate for Word and Sacrament through the Grand Canyon Synod of the ELCA and is anticipating his first call to begin in the Summer of 2024.
2023 Church Council
Pastor Chris Heinold
Vicar Daniel Volkmann
Our congregation functions with paid staff members, lay leaders, and volunteers.
Ronnie Bruns serves in this part-time staff position, helping to plan worship and coordinate musicians, choral groups, hand chimes, and instrumentalists. Ronnie is a lifelong Lutheran and grew up in Shiner Lutheran Church. He works hard selecting music and creating liturgies that are relevant to the biblical passages used by the pastor.
Minister of Worship and Music:
Serving part-time as bookkeeper, Shannon Blaschke manages bill paying, budget, and financial reports.
Tammy Guettner handles weekly custodial duties on a part-time basis.
Karen Vaughan serves in this appointed, unpaid staff position by receiving, recording, and depositing contributions with a team of other volunteers.
Our congregation is guided by an elected Church Council that oversees the operation and mission of our congregation.
United Evangelical Lutheran Dr. Martin Luther Church