Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Blessings to each of you on this day the Lord has made. Your Leadership Board, St. John’s West Bend
Foundation, and Spiritual Health Ministry Team have been in constant prayer for Pastor Jeff Dorth, the family
of St. John’s West Bend and Island Lutheran Church, in South Carolina. As we embrace the truth that God’s
Will Is What’s Best, we reflect on the tremendous blessing of a shepherd in Pastor Dorth for over 15 years.
We rejoice in God’s call to bring Pastor Dorth to Island Lutheran Church and know that God’s Will is
continually filled in the vocations He sets out before us. As the Joint Leaders at St. John’s, we wanted to share
with you the work your leaders have been doing in the last week as we prayerfully seek and determine God’s
will for St. John’s. As we transition leadership at St. John’s, we want to keep you informed and ask for your
prayers as God continues the amazing work of Connecting, Caring, and Sharing in Christ.
The Leadership Board had a special meeting with Pastor Dorth, Derrick Iseler of the St. John’s West Bend
Foundation, and Dan Rudolf of the Spiritual Health Ministry Team on Thursday, October 24, 2019, where
Pastor Dorth informed us that he accepted the Lord’s call to Island Lutheran Church. Pastor Dorth discussed
the details of the difficult deliberation and why the Lord led him to accept the call. It was a time of reflection,
support, and prayer for all involved. The Lord has abundant plans for the family of St. John’s, Pastor Dorth and
his family, and Island Lutheran Church.
The Leadership Board has asked Pastor Jeff Hesse to assume the roles and responsibilities of Pastor Dorth as
God continues to reveal His plan for St. John’s. This decision will be finalized, per our constitution, by vote at
the next scheduled Leadership Board meeting on November 4, 2019. The Leadership Board will provide
regular updates to the congregation as we all follow the Lord’s will for the family of St. John’s. Please lift up
Pastor Hesse and his family in prayer as he steps into the role of lead shepherd.
As hard as it is to see Pastor Dorth accept the call to Island Lutheran Church, it is a great time to reflect on the
many blessings God has provided St. John’s through his leadership. The school is growing with the Parental
Choice Program, a new emphasis on discipleship through sports, and amazing teachers and staff. The Early
Childhood Center is thriving and has become a beacon in the community, and the congregation is more
focused than ever on its Mission (Connecting, Caring, and Sharing in Christ) and Vision (Discipleship in as Many
Places as Possible). The Lord continues His work in His church through His people.
We thank God for you and the opportunity to serve our Lord alongside all of you!
Peace in Christ,
Rich Buss, President
Derrick Iseler, Chairman
Dan Rudolf, Chairman
St. John’s Evangelical St. John’s West Bend St. John’s Spiritual Health
Lutheran Church Foundation Ministry Team