Gethsemane Staff

Pr. John and Pr. Liz Backus

Pr. John and Pr. Liz Backus are Gethsemane's transitional Pastors. They are temporary and with Gethsemane to facilitate a swift, healthy transition from one permanent leader to another. 

Pastor John and Liz Backus moved to St. Louis almost three years ago, and are doing major rehab work on a house in Botanical Heights. They view St. Louis as their retirement destination. They have worked together for 37 years and are looking forward to this next adventure in mission and ministry. 

Pr. John:; Pr. Liz:

Kimberly Elliott - Office Manager

Kim is a member of Gethsemane Lutheran Church. She and her husband Mike are the proud parents of two girls, KT and Rowan.

Bob Chamberlin - Organist

Bob is a retired Professor of Music and Director of Music Theory and Musicianship at Webster University.  Bob returned to Gethsemane Lutheran Church as organist in April, 2013. During the 1990's, Bob was organist at Gethsemane. In between these appointments, he served as organist at Webster Groves Christian Church. Prior to 1990, he was an active organist at various congregations in Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Missouri, and Illinois. An active composer, Bob's works have been performed throughout the United States, Canada, The Netherlands, and Poland. Bob spent the summer of 1977 learning how to perform on the one-of-a-kind 31-tone-per-octave pipe organ in Haarlem, The Netherlands. Bob is an active member of the St. Louis Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

Gretchen Jenson - Connections Coordinator

Gretchen works with our social media presence, our volunteers, and our new members, helping us communicate and get connected! She and her husband have three children and a rescue mutt named Maizie. 

Position Open! Choir Director and Handbell Choir Director

Gethsemane Lutheran Church, 3600 Hampton Ave., St. Louis, Missouri is seeking applicants for the part-time position of Choir Director and Handbell Choir Director.


Gethsemane is a diverse, active, and multi-generational congregation. Duties include conducting the choir at one service each Sunday from September - May. The handbell choir performs less frequently. The choir and handbells also perform at special services throughout the church year, such as Christmas Eve, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter. Weekly services are at 8:30 am and 11 am. Choir and handbell rehearsals are scheduled on Monday evenings, September - May.


Preferred candidates have a Bachelor’s degree in music, church music, or equivalent experience in choral conducting and handbells. The ideal candidate will have a knowledge of different styles of church music (classical, contemporary, folk, and gospel) and an understanding of the role of music in worship.


To apply, please send cover letter and resume to or via snail mail attention: Bob Chamberlin. 

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ELCA Lutheran Church
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