Meet Our Pastor and Staff

Reverend

Eric Klemme

Please allow us to introduce our newly called minister, Pastor Eric Klemme and his  wife, Jennifer.  Pastor Eric will join us on Sunday, June 27th at his installation  service.  

 Pastor Eric hails from the southwest side of Chicago, IL.  He is the eldest of three   brothers and a sister.  His undergraduate degree is from Concordia University, River   Forest (as it was then known).  He graduated in 1990 with a dual major in theology   and psychology. He then attended Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis and graduated   with an M.Div. in 1994.

Pastor Eric was ordained and installed at Saint Martin Lutheran Church Winona, MN  as the assistant pastor and campus chaplain for Winona State University’s Lutheran  Student Fellowship (“town and gown” ministry).  Pastor Eric served in this capacity for five years and then received a call to Messiah Lutheran Church Moundsview, MN as the pastor of youth and outreach.

After Moundsview, Pastor Eric worked as a mission planter in Isanti, MN planting Living Hope Lutheran Church.  It was during this time that he suffered personal loss and setbacks and felt the need to take a hiatus from ministry.  He left the roster for a thirteen-year period of time which served as his “wilderness wandering.”

During this time of wilderness wandering, Pastor Eric served as a Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professional (QIDP) and case manager working with developmentally disabled children and adults.  He also served as an Individual Social Service Advocate (ISSA) working as a case manager overseeing the funding of Medicaid Waiver, Social Security Disability, and any other benefits entitled to a developmentally disabled person.  In addition, he oversaw the proper implementation of each participant’s Individual Service Plan (ISP) and making sure the agencies were caring for the participant in an ethical manner.

In 2013 Pastor Eric met his wife Jennifer (Elder).  They met via the online dating service Match.com.  Their romance was a whirlwind and within three weeks after meeting they became engaged.  As Pastor Eric said, “When it’s right, you know it!”  Jennifer is a life-long member of the LCMS. 

Pastor Eric and Jennifer were married on June 7, 2014 at her home congregation of Saint Matthew Lutheran Church Lemont, IL. They were married by her long-time pastor Mike Gudgel, and Eric’s stepfather, Rev. Dr. John M. Richy.

 

Jennifer is the oldest child of a boy and girl.  She was born and raised in the southwest suburb of Lemont, IL.  She attended the University of Illinois where she received her degree in secondary education.  She received her MA from Lewis University Romeoville, IL in reading and literacy.  She has been teaching for over 25 years at both the middle/junior high level, and the high school level (Junior English). She has been hired by Mandeville Junior High School to teach English Language Arts to the eighth grade.

Pastor Eric and Jen served Christ the King Lutheran (CtK) of Natchitoches, LA from 2017-2021.  It is from CtK that they now come to us here at Lamb of God.

Pastor Eric has many hobbies and interests, including music, cars, history (specializing in Civil War, WWII and Early Church).  While the pastor of CtK, he hosted a weekly radio show called The King’s Messenger.  He also formed the Cruising with the King Car Show, cofounded the Cane Country Cruisers, and hosted several annual outreach events. 

He was known throughout Natchitoches as “the ukulele playing pastor” due to his love of the ukulele.  Pastor Eric plays the uke as a guitar, by finger picking (finger style) classical style.  He recorded a six-part series entitled Songs of the Seasons- Hymns of the Church Year.  This is a series of hymns arranged and played on his tenor ukuleles.  All hymns come from the Lutheran Service Book and follow the course of the Church Year, from Advent through Pentecost.

Pastor Eric enjoys writing and has written a book entitled Life Beyond the Ripples- How the Heck did We Get Here?  He writes all of his own bible studies.  Among his favorites are Apocalypse- The Revelation of Saint John, Galatians- The Life of Christian Liberty, and the Epistle of James- Christianity in Action.

Jennifer is a classically trained clarinetist and vocalist.  She studied music at the U of I as a minor.  Jen was actively involved in Lutheran Student Fellowship at U of I and served as their choir director for a time. She sang in the choir at Saint Matthew for many years and served as the director of education for eleven years.  Jennifer also served in this capacity at CtK. As the director she oversaw all Sunday School, VBS and other educational efforts pertaining to children. 

Pastor Eric and Jen own a chaweenie dog named after the dwarf from the Lord of the Rings- Gimli. 

Pastor Eric and Jen are a team in ministry.  They have led congregational music together, and Jen has sung for special services and weekly online hymn devotions, as her schedule permitted.  Jennifer was extremely influential in helping to guide Pastor Eric back into the Office of the Holy Ministry. 

After 13 years off of the roster, Pastor Eric felt that the Lord was guiding him to return to his first love, congregational ministry.  Through a dear friend who was then serving as the circuit visitor for the English District in Chicago, Eric was invited to do pulpit supply at Bethany Lutheran Church in Edgewater, Chicago.  After much prayerful consideration, he agreed to serve in this capacity.  Pastor Eric served Bethany for a year when he finally decided to reapply to the roster of the LCMS.  He was reinstated in November 2016 and was called as the official pastor of Bethany.  In June of 2017 he received the Call to serve CtK, and was serving in that capacity until the Divine Call came to serve Lamb of God Slidell, LA. 

Pastor Eric and Jen are very blessed and excited to be serving LoG!  Pastor Eric is thrilled to begin meeting the folks of LoG and the neighbors of Slidell.  His passion is for outreach and developing lasting relationships with the people of the community.  Ministry is all about relationship!  It is the life of costly discipleship in action; a holistic life of disciples making disciples by loving and serving as Jesus loved and served us.




Organist

Louis Mayer

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Meet our organist, Louis Mayer.  Louis has been our organist since 2018.  Louis previously was the organist and choir director for 15 years at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Slidell, Louisiana and a member of that church.  He became the organist at Good Shepherd in 2003 when the church held its first services.   He also concurrently served as organist and choir director for First English Lutheran Church in New Orleans and was performing each Sunday morning for their two services at that church on Franklin Avenue.  Thus, for a brief period, he performed three services each Sunday. 

He began studying piano when he was 8 years of age by taking music lessons at Werlein’s Music on Canal Street in New Orleans.  He has received musical instruction in piano and/or organ from Werlein’s, Grunewald, NORD, and private lessons and has attended several musical conferences over the years.  When he was 8 years old, he participated in a citywide musical contest at Tulane University and received a semi-finalist designation. His professional career as a Lutheran Church organist began in 1970.  Louis has been the Sunday service organist for the following churches:

St. Timothy Lutheran Church – New Orleans, LA.   (First church to be organist – 1970),  Gethsemane Lutheran Church – Chalmette, LA., St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church – New Orleans, LA., First English Lutheran Church – New Orleans, LA., Bethany Lutheran Church – Slidell, LA., Good Shepherd Lutheran Church – Slidell, LA, and Lamb of God – Slidell, LA

Louis has been a substitute organist at other Lutheran Churches in New Orleans, Chalmette, Slidell, Picayune, and Houma, LA and has served as a substitute organist at non-Lutheran Churches in New Orleans.  He has served as the organist at many weddings and funerals in the metropolitan area, and also as tenor soloist for Sunday services, weddings and funerals.

After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Tulane University asked Louis to be the project coordinator to replace the pipe organ in the Roger’s Memorial Chapel on the Uptown Campus.  After several months of plan development, a new Schantz pipe organ was installed in 2006 at a cost of $186,000.00.   This organ is used today for services and performances in that facility.  Louis has performed on that instrument for weddings, funerals, and other services held in that facility.

Louis holds two college degrees from LSUNO in German and a MPH in Public Health from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine (TUSPHTM) in the field of Biostatistics and Epidemiology.  He has completed several post graduate courses from the TUSPHTM and completed several undergraduate courses from the Tulane University School of Music to include vocal music. 

Louis is married to Lana Gerica of New Orleans and they have no children.  They reside in Slidell, Louisiana.

Louis was baptized, confirmed, taught Sunday School, married, served as organist and choir director at the First English Lutheran Church in New Orleans, LA and attended the St. Paul – First English Lutheran School from kindergarten to ninth grade (1955 – 1965).  

He still provides musical instruction to students in his home studio on his very own Schantz pipe organ.   

 

 




Church Secretary

Melanie Olivieri

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Meet our church secretary, Melanie Olivieri. Melanie is originally from Morgan City, Louisiana, and now resides in Chalmette, Louisiana. She has lived there for 10 years now. She went to Young Memorial Technical College and graduated in 2006 for Office Technologies with an associate degree. From there she was hired as a part-time secretary for Pharr Chapel United Methodist Church. She worked there for 4 years before moving to Chalmette with her husband of 14 years. I

Melanie was hired as secretary of Lamb of God Lutheran Church in October 2016 and has been blessed to work with this congregation for 4 years and counting.