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About Us

ABOUT US

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Who We Are
We are one in the body of Christ. We, as a community of faith, have much to share about God's love in Jesus Christ. Serving communities in Woodbury, New Jersey as well as Woodbury Heights, Deptford, West Deptford, Bellmawr, Westville, Paulsboro and more, we worship, pray, learn, share and are witness to the living Lord in the world. Visit St. Stephen’s to find faith in action: meaningful worship in a moving setting, opportunity for personal spiritual growth, a chance to serve others and fellowship.

Affirmation of Welcome

In response to the overwhelming love of God, we stand in awe of the wideness of God’s mercy. In faithfulness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, mindful of our Lutheran emphasis on grace, and rejoicing in the celebration of our shared baptismal journey, we welcome all who are seeking God’s love and grace. We welcome all because God welcomes all, regardless of race or culture, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or relationship status. We welcome all without regard to addictions, physical or mental health, imprisonment, socio-economic circumstances, or anything that too often divides us. Our unity is in Christ.

Our Mission Statement

Graced by the love of God through Word and Sacrament to be a caring community of believers, the fellowship of St. Stephen's is called:​

  • To support one another in growth in faith

  • To share in the mission of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; and

  • To reach out in witness and in service to the communities to which we belong as one in the body of Christ

 

Our Partners in Mission

Christus Lutheran Church- Camden, New Jersey
Emmanuel Lutheran Parish- Katutura, Namibia

Church Affiliations
ELCA: God's work. Our hands. St. Stephen Lutheran Church is an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) congregation.
NJ Synod: The New Jersey Synod geographical groups ELCA congregations sharing the mission and ministry of the Church in New Jersey. It is one of 65 synods of the ELCA.
GWCM: Eleven local faith communities join cooperatively as the Greater Woodbury Cooperative Ministries to serve many needs in the local community

Reconciling Works

St. Stephen's is a Reconciling in Christ community. We welcome people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions, as well as those who may have been excluded because of other human distinctions, such as race, disability, addictions, physical or mental health, imprisonment or economic status. Learn more about Reconciling Works here.

Staff & Council
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The Rev. Joseph Graumann

Pastor Joseph Graumann joined our congregation in July of 2022 after serving another church called St. Stephen in Marlborough, Massachusetts. He has an M.Div. from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (now United Lutheran Seminary) and a B.S.F.S. from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. Pastor Joe is really interested in how God dwells in communities of people, specifically through political systems and international efforts for peace. He has a passion for music, and he can play the piano, trumpet, and concertina. Pastor Joe loves working with youth and children, as well as teaching Bible Study. He was born in Atlantic City, and he grew up in South Jersey, and he is thrilled to be home. He enjoys running, travel, cooking, beer, and taking long walks with his dog, Jonah.

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Church Staff

Michael Wyatt
Meghan Ruggeri
Gail Gassaway

Director of Music
music@ststephenselca.org

Director of Communications
info@ststephenselca.org

Business Manager

gail@ststephenselca.org

Frank Newell
Mike Wyatt

Sexton

Facilities Manager

Church Council

Jack Bryant
Lisa Carney
Gail Gassaway

President

Vice President

Liason to Fellowship Committee

Treasurer
Liason to Financial Committee

Andi Gerrard
Dottie Shields
Dorothy Keenan

Secretary

Liason to Christian Education & Youth Committee

Financial Secretary

Liason to Financial Committee

Council Member
Liason to Stewardship Committee

Rich Dann
Kevin Glass
Judy Hunter

Council Member
​Liason to Worship & Music Committee

Council Member
Liason to Call Committee

Council Member
Liason to Evangelical Outreach and Social Ministry

Kevin Deininger
Jackie Wyatt
Sandy Margerum

Council Member
​Liason to Church Property

Council Member
Liason to Fellowship Committee

Council Member
Liason to Worship & Music Committee

History

OUR HISTORY

St. Stephen’s history begins with its two predecessor congregations, St. John’s and Trinity, which merged in 1966. The merger took place at a joint organizational meeting on the afternoon of March 27, 1966 at St. John’s fellowship hall. Members of both churches voted overwhelmingly to form a new congregation and to adopt a new constitution. The congregation was named St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church of Woodbury, NJ in honor of the first-century deacon and martyr. Pastor Ernest A. Spangler was called to be the first pastor.

 

For the next several years after the merger, St. Stephen’s held three worship services every Sunday - two at the “North Chapel” (the former Trinity) and one at the “South Chapel” (the former St. John’s fellowship hall), with Pastor Spangler shuttling back and forth between the two locations.

 

In April 1967, the congregation purchased a 2 1/2 acre lot of North Evergreen Avenue for $57,500. That same year, the old St. John’s church building was demolished because of structural weakness, although the fellowship hall continued in use. By 1971, both both properties had been sold.

 

On July 19, 1970, St. Stephen’s broke ground on a new church and educational building at the Evergreen Avenue site. The facilities were dedicated on June 27, 1971. Since then, the congregation has undertaken several major roofing projects, along with expansion of the parking lot and extensive landscaping improvements. An entrance portico was added in 1997, and air conditioning was installed in the nave in 2001. Restrooms have been added on the main floor and the lower level. A landscaped memorial garden was dedicated 2005 at the western end of the church building, to which a columbarium was later added.

 

In 1978 the church began renting classroom space in the education wing. In 1986, Durand School began renting the facilities. We are proud to continue this agreement with Durand, as they serve students ages 5-21 with autism, learning, and developmental disabilities.

Pastoral Leadership

The Rev. Ernest A. Spangler, Pastor (1970-1994)

The Rev. James T. Heckman, Assistant Pastor (1980-1983)

The Rev. Kenneth L. Regan, Assistant Pastor (1983-1986)

                                                 Co-Pastor (1995-1999)

The Rev. Christine R. Regan, Pastor (1995-2021)

The Rev. Tammy Harmer, Assistant Pastor (2016 - 2019)

The Rev. Joseph H. Graumann, Pastor (2022 - present)

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